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00000174-b11b-ddc3-a1fc-bfdbb1a20000The Schreiner University Department of History is honoring the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War with a series of short vignettes focusing on events from 1861 through 1865. The Civil War was the most destructive conflict in American history, but it was also one of our most defining moments as a people and as a nation. Let us know what you think about "This Week in the Civil War." E-mail your comments to Dr. John Huddleston at jhuddles@schreiner.edu.Airs: Weekdays at 5:19 a.m., 8:19 a.m., 4:19 p.m. on KTXI and 4:49 a.m., 9:29 p.m. on KSTX.

This Week in the Civil War - 497

On February 1, 1863, Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson, a prominent Massachusetts abolitionist, led the first federally authorized regiment of African American soldier, into combat. 

As reported in the New York Times, Higginson’s force, the First South Carolina Volunteers, landed in the vicinity of Fernandina Beach and then proceeded up the St. Mary’s River along the Florida-Georgia border.  In their first taste of combat under his command, Higginson’s forces availed themselves well. 

As one of their own reported: “Our colored troops are more than a match for any equal number of white rebels which can be brought against them.” Eventually, nearly 180,000 African American soldiers would serve the Union.