108th USCT regiment honored at Rock Island National Cemetery

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 5:27 PM CDT
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ROCK ISLAND, Ill. (KWQC) - The Rock Island National Cemetery will hosted a ceremony Monday honoring the soldiers of the 108th United States Colored Troops (USCT). The 108th USCT was honored by an organization comprised of local descendants of men from the USCT regiment and other community members committed to honoring the soldiers by sharing their stories.

The 108th USCT is one of 170 Civil War regiments comprised of formerly enslaved and free black men that served during the American Civil War. The regiment was formed in Kentucky and organized on June 20, 1864, in Louisville, Kentucky. After garrison and guard duty at various points in Kentucky, the regiment was transferred to Rock Island Prison Barracks at Rock Island, Illinois (now the site of Rock Island Arsenal). The 108th arrived on the post on Sept. 24, 1864, and served as guards at the prison that held Confederate prisoners of war.

On May 30, 1865, the 108th left the Rock Island Prison Barracks and transferred to Vicksburg, Mississippi. While at Rock Island, 50 men from the regiment died from various illnesses or infections. Those men are buried at Rock Island National Cemetery. During the duration of their service, the regiment lost more than 200 men.

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