Library of Congress
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Call for Transcribers of United States Colored Troops Documents

40,000 records already transcribed

African American Civil War Soldiers is a burgeoning online project attracting thousands of volunteers to transcribe the military service records of African American Civil War soldiers who fought in the Union Army's United States Colored Troops (USCT). These soldiers fought for their freedom during the American Civil War (most had been enslaved at the war’s beginning) and deserve to be known for their heroism.

The USCT made up over 10 percent of the Union Army at a time when only one percent of the Northern population was African American. Facing the inherent racism festering in the psyche of the nation, the enlisted troops were met with segregated units and discriminatory practices. Despite the circumstances, these men fought on participating in every major campaign and battle during the last two years of the war earning twenty-five Medals of Honor in the process.

The project's goal is make the stories in these records freely available and searchable online, where they will be a vital resource for African American genealogists and students of history. For this purpose the project's organizers are inviting members of the public to turn these hand-written documents into digital text. So far, the records of 40,000 of 200,000 soldiers have been transcribed, and the recent streamlining of the transcription process means that it takes only 20-30 seconds to transcribe a given record.

We hope you will join on the site and help spread the word about the project so that the full database can be published as soon as possible.

Visit the African American Civil War Soldiers website >>