On July 17, 1862, Congress passed two acts allowing the enlistment of African Americans, but official enrollment occurred only after the September 1862 issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. However, state and local militia units had already begun enlisting blacks, including the Black Brigade of Cincinnati, raised in September to help provide manpower to thwart a feared Confederate raid on Cincinnati.
'''See:''' [[United States Colored Troops in the Civil War |United States Colored Troops in the Civil War]]
In general, white soldiers and officers believed that black men lacked the ability to fight and fight well. In October 1862, African American soldiers of the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteers silenced their critics by repulsing attacking Confederates at the Battle of Island Mound, Missouri. By August, 1863, 14 Negro Regiments were in the field and ready for service. At the Battle of Port Hudson, Louisiana, May 27, 1863, the African American soldiers bravely advanced over open ground in the face of deadly artillery fire. Although the attack failed, the black soldiers proved their capability to withstand the heat of battle.
==== Buffalo Soldiers ====
On July 28, 1866, Congress passed and act that authorized the army to raise six regiments of '''African-American '''soldiers.
These six regiments became known as the '''Buffalo Soldiers''', men who served with distinction on the Western frontier.
The six regiments became:
*38th, 39th, 40th and 41st Infantry Regiments
'''*''' In 1869 the Infantry Regiments
*38th and 41st became the 24th Infantry Regiment