March 5, 1864: Ovation for a Black Regiment

26th United States Colored Troops

Following the draft riots in New York City in July 1863 where blacks were hunted and murdered in the streets by mobs, the Union League of New York City helped the blacks of the city recover from the devastation inflicted upon them, and in December 1863 received permission to sponsor the raising of a black regiment.  The regiment was duly raised, the 26th Infantry, United States Colored Troops.  They would see service on the South Carolina coast, fight in several engagements, and be mustered out on August 28, 1865.  On March 5, 1864, they paraded before a crowd of 100,000 New Yorkers, white and black, and a reporter from the New York Times marveled at the change from just nine months before: (more…)