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During the Civil War, an act of Congress allowed loyal slave owners in border states (where slavery was still legal after the Emancipation Proclamation) whose slaves enlisted or were drafted into the U.S. military to file a claim against the Federal government for loss of the slave's services. Since each slave compensation claim was based on the service of a specific soldier, a copy of the claim's paperwork was placed in that soldier's compiled military service record. The regiments of U.S. Colored Troops that have a large number of these claims are the regiments formed in the border-states (Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri) or in neighboring states.
This index includes troops who served the following regiments:
For more information about these records, please contact the Special Collections Department.