MISSOURI STATE ARCHIVES
United States Colored Troops in Missouri:
Finding African American History at the Missouri State Archives
The Records: A Sense of History Preserved
The Missouri State Archives is part of the Office of the Secretary of State. The Archives maintains, or keeps, all records of permanent and historical value. It has some records about United States Colored infantry troops from Missouri. These records include muster rolls, descriptive lists, service records, and oaths, orders, reports, and commissions of officers.
Muster rolls helped the federal government keep track of how many men enlisted in the army. The records also give personal facts about each soldier, such as their hometown, height, race, hair and eye color, and occupation. These records tell us about the African Americans who enlisted as soldiers from Missouri.
The records of George Reynolds tell us several things about him. He is listed as the slave of James Reynolds. Where George Reynolds is prompted to sign his enlistment form, he has made his "mark," a simple X, and his name has been signed for him by someone else. These, and many other, characteristics of the records offer a glimpse into the way of life of men "mustered in" as United States Colored Troops during the Civil War.
The Missouri State Archives also keeps records about Lincoln University.