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Special orders No. 139 [.] the following - HUBBARD, S.J. [Maj. General; by order - 1863. 
Headquarters, 16th Army Corps, Memphis 1863 - Special Order establishing the first unit of colored troops in Tennessee, some months following the Union's victory at the Battle of Memphis, which effectively ended Con- federate control of the state. The First Regiment West Tennessee Infantry (AD) mustered in June of 1863; in early 1864 they were combined with the First Alabama Infantry (colored) to form the 59th Colored Infantry. The unit fought with distinction in a number of major battles, notably the Battle of Brice's Crossroads, Missis- sippi, which though a crushing defeat for the Union was one of the first battles in which a regiment composed entirely of former slaves saw direct action.The emancipation of enslaved African-Americans that followed the Union's occupation of Tennessee was, at best, a double-edged sword. In his Brief Sketch of the Organization and Services of the Fifty-Ninth Regiment (Dayton: 1883), the unit's Commanding Officer Rob- ert Cowden recounts the methods by which colored troops were raised in Tennessee [and, presumably, in other occupied slave states]: ".recruits were collect- ed from plantations and from camps.all the field and staff, commissioned and non-commissioned, as well as all the line officers and first sergeants of companies, were white men.The plan for 'persuading' recruits while it could hardly be called the shot-gun policy was equal- ly as convincing, and never failed to get the 'recruit.' The negroes were held as property by their masters, and were appropriated as such, along with mules and horses, which were put in the same list and confiscated as a 'mil- itary necessity'.in this way, in the space of six weeks, the entire command was made up, without the expense of a single dollar to the Government."The current broadside descends from the estate of Lt.- Col. Robert E. Phillips, who was second in command of the West Tennessee Colored Infantry until his retire- ment in December of 1863. It is offered together with two other 19th-century documents relating to Phillips's military career and later life, including an 1884 quartz mining claim in Placer County, California, where Phil- lips presumably lived out his days.This document rare; not separately catalogued in the collection of any OCLC member institution, and ap- parently not reproduced of the Official Records of the War of Rebellion. Broadsheet 7-1/2" x 5", printed on both sides of a single leaf. Old folds; discoloration and scattered foxing; a Good, well-preserved example. [Attributes: First Edition]
[Bookseller: Lorne Bair Rare Books, ABAA]
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