Company E, 4th U.S. Colored Infantry, at Fort Lincoln
Although many African Americans wanted to join the Union army during the first two years of the Civil War, they were often turned away. But after January 1, 1863 -- the day Lincoln delivered the Emancipation Proclamation -- the Union actively began recruiting African Americans as soldiers. The units remained segreggated, but multiple all-black units were formed, including Company E, 4th United States Colored Infantry, pictured below.
Company E, 4th United States Colored Infantry was assigned to defend D.C. Pictured below are 27 African Americans of Company E during the Civil War, standing in two lines with rifles resting on the ground.
Smith, William Morris. [District of Columbia. Company E, 4th U.S. Colored Infantry, at Fort Lincoln]. 1863-1866. Photograph. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C.https://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2018667050/
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