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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: October 13, 2015 02:18 PM
From: Representative Kevin J. Schreiber and Rep. Patty Kim, Rep. Dan Moul
To: All House members
Subject: 150th anniversary of United States Colored Troops Grand Review
In the near future we will introduce a resolution designating the week of November 9 through 15, 2015, in Pennsylvania as "United States Colored Troops Grand Review Week" to honor the patriotism, bravery and sacrifice made by the African-American soldiers of the Civil War.

On May 22, 1863 the United States War Department issued General Order Number 143 which established the Bureau of Colored Troops to facilitate the recruitment of African-American soldiers to fight for the Union Army. Regiments, including infantry, cavalry, engineers, light-artillery, and heavy-artillery units, were recruited from all states of the Union and thus became known as the United States Colored Troops (USCT).

African-American soldiers numbered 180,000 and made up about 10 percent of the Union Army bolstering Union troops at a crucial time in the war. Despite their heroic service USCT soldiers were uninvited from the National Grand Review held in Washington D.C. in May 1865, following the end of the Civil War.

Instead the USCT veterans held a parade in Harrisburg on November 14, 1865. This military parade, which originated at State and Filbert Streets, filed through Harrisburg to the South Front Street residence of U.S. Senator and former Secretary of War, Simon Cameron. Cameron reviewed the troops from his front porch and thanked the veterans for their service to the nation.

November 14, 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the Pennsylvania Grand Review of the United States Colored Troops. It celebrates the proud and historic day when a congress of citizens from throughout the nation gathered in Harrisburg to welcome these heroic African-American regiments from 25 states who passed in review through our streets.

To commemorate this important date the descendants of those Civil War soldiers from those same 25 states will gather in Harrisburg on November 14th to solemnize and reenact this historic moment.

We hope you will join us, and the USCT organizers, in saluting the memory of these brave individuals and cosponsor this resolution.

Introduced as HR575