62nd & 65th Regiments United States Infantry,
Co-founders of Lincoln Institute,
Later, Lincoln University

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Soldiers at school, Courtesy National Archives

Anderson Davis
When the march for freedom began, escaped slave grandfather Sgt. Jacob Anderson alias Anderson Davis and ex-slave Great-grandfather Henry Parker, * along with 186,000 former slaves and black freedmen, responded by joining the Union Army.  Thirty-seven thousand of these men of courage made the ultimate sacrifice by giving their lives for their cause.  Those that survived the horrors of the Civil War had had much to dream about, but little ability and resources to make their dreams come true.  It was recognized then, as it is today, that education is a key to sound moral values, personal growth and economic progress.  So it was that the men of the 62nd and 65th Regiments U. S. Colored Infantry accepted these truths and implemented their plan to make at least one of their dreams come true, the co-founding of Lincoln Institute.

Grandfather Anderson escaped from the last of three slave masters.  On November 28, 1863 he enlisted in the Union Army.  Upon his discharge, he was a Sergeant and had been a member of the Honor Guard.  As one of the first to join the service in his area, Anderson was assigned to the 1st Missouri Regiment of Colored Infantry at Benton Barracks, Missouri.  On December 18, 1863 the 62nd Missouri Regiment of Colored Infantry was organized at the same location.  Later, the two units were joined to form the 62nd and the 65th United States Colored Infantry.  The men of these regiments were uneducated ex-slaves, with the exception of Franklin Lewis, a freeman.  Laws at the time forbade slaves from being educated.  In 1847, the Missouri State Legislature passed one of these laws, which made it a crime for a person to teach any Negro how to read and write.

Many of the soldiers in the 62nd and 65th died not only in battle, but from horrific conditions at the Benton Barracks.  In October 1864, less than a year after the first recruits entered Benton Barracks, a medical board convened.  Its findings showed that more than a third of those enlisted had died from various undiagnosed diseases.  Others expired due to poor sanitary conditions, lack of proper food and the means to prepare it.  One hundred soldiers, thinly clad, with no shoes and hats died during their first two months of duty at Benton Barracks, beginning December 1863.  Two hundred other soldiers were recommended for immediate medical discharge.  Black regiments were most often bivouacked near swampy or poorly drained areas of the camps.  The condition and treatment of these troops was a direct result of racism and discrimination which was prevalent throughout the army. General Daniel Ullmann was assigned to correct these conditions, which did inprove things to a more humane level.

Even after black soldiers had proven themselves in battle, officers physically abused them, while others routinely assigned them to fatigue duty, performing the most undesirable duties imaginable.

Though the army intended for the black soldier to gain some amount of educational training under the direction of the Company chaplains, Commanders weren't prone to build school houses when men were apt to be moved unexpectedly for battle.  Not until the latter part of the war did regiments significantly begin to build school houses, which were segregated when feasible.

The men of the 62nd and the 65th were committed to their educational goals, but some apparently were not always on task and doing their homework.  Some commanders, to say the least, were somewhat fanatical about correcting this situation.  As it is sometimes said, "There's the right way of doing things and there's the army's way of doing things".


Education and Ethics: The Military Way



Order By the Commander of a Missouri Black Regiment
Morganzia, La. July 3rd 1864.

General Order No. 31

All non-Commissioned officers of this command who shall fail to learn to read by or before the 1st day of January 1865 will be reduced to the ranks and their places filled by persons who can read. In the position of Sergeants preference will be given to men who can both read & write and are otherwise good soldiers. All soldiers of this command who have by any means learned to read or write, will aid and assist to the extent of their ability their fellow soldiers to learn these invaluable arts, without which no man is properly fitted to perform the duties of a free citizen.

By order of Lt. Col. David Branson Comm'd'g Regt.


General Order No. 31, HD. Qrs. 62d Cold. Infty.., 3rd July 1864, Orders, 62nd USCI, Regimental Books &Papers USCT, RG 94 {G-235}. Six months later, Branson reduced five noncommissioned officers to the ranks for failing to comply with the order. (General Orders No. 3, Hd. Qrs. 62nd U. S. Colored Infantry, 12 Jan. 1865, Orders, 62nd USCI, Regimental Books & Papers USCT, RG-94 {G-253})



Brazos Santiago, Texas. October 29th 1864

General Orders No. 35

Hereafter when any soldier of this command is found to be, or to have been, playing cards, he will be placed, standing, in some prominent position in the camp with book in hand, and required then and there to learn a considerable lesson in reading and spelling: and if unwilling to learn, he will be compelled by hunger to do so. When men are found gambling in any way, the money at stake will be seized and turned into the Regt. Hospital fund. No freed slave who cannot read well has a right to waste the time and opportunity here given him to fit himself for the position of a free citizen.  This order will be read twice to this command, and copied in each order book.

By order of Lieut. Col. David Branson. Comdg. Regt.


Brazos Santiago Texas January 25th 1865.

General Orders No. 4.

The Regimental Council of Administration having appropriated Fifty Dollars for the purchase of premiums for the encouragement of the enlisted men of this Regiment to learn to write it is hereby ordered. That a gold pen be given to the Sergeant in each Company, who shall learn to write the best by the fourth day of July 1865.

That a gold pen be given the Corporal in each Company who shall learn to write the best
by the 4th day of July 1865. That a good book be given the private of each Company who
shall learn to write the best by the 4th day of July 1865.  These rewards to be publicly given by a committee chosen as mentioned in orders.

By order of Major J. K Hudson Commanding Regt.


General Orders NO. 35, Head Qrs. 62nd Regt. U. S. Cold. Inf., 29 Oct. 1864, Orders. 62 USCI, Regimental Books & Papers USCT, RG 94 {G-254}; General Orders No. 4, HD. Qtrs. 62nd Regt. U. S. Cold. Infantry, RG 94 {G - 254 };.

Prize winners were announced in General Orders No. 13, Head Quarters 62nd Regt. U.D. Colored Infty., 31 July 1865.  Orders, 62nd USCT, Regimental Books & Papers USCT, RG 94 {G-256}.


They accepted these terms!  At the end of the war, the 62nd Reg. U. S. Colored. Infantry had one of the highest rates of literacy.  Grandfather, sergeant Anderson Davis, retained his stripes.

Initial efforts to establish Lincoln Institute, (later, Lincoln University) in Jefferson City, Mo., began when soldiers started contributing part of their monthly salary to its establishment.  With each donation, the ex-slaves signed their names with a cross. As their educational achievements increased, so did the frequency with which they actually wrote their names on the list as opposed to their usual X.  You can imagine their pride.  As the Civil War came nearer to its end, the size of the donations increased.  At the close of the war, pledges as much as $200 were collected.

In his Farewell To Arms Ceremony, to the 62nd United States Colored Infantry on January, 4, 1866, Ringwald Texas, Colonel Theodore H. Barrett, stated, with the utmost of pride that, "of four hundred and thirty one men, ninety-nine have learned to read and write under-standingly; two hundred and eighty-four can read; three hundred and thirty-seven can spell in words of two syllables and are learning to read, not more than ten men have failed to learn the alphabet."
Official Records, ser. 3, vol. 4, pp. 227-28

Each year, Lincoln University holds its Founder's Day Celebration, which commemorates the soldiers of the 62nd and 65th Regiments U. S. Colored Infantry, for their patriotism, vision and their commitment to the betterment of the human spirit.

Henry Parker was in the 101st Regiment. U.S. Colored Infantry and was a Buffalo Soldier
in the Indian Wars from 1867-1877. See

Additional information on the Co-founding of Lincoln Univeristy can be found at
Preservation Issues,Volume 4, Number 1.

 Partial Roster of Soldiers
62nd Regiment U. S. Colored Infantry


I have noted the letters & names not legible, within ( ).
A ? means, I'm not sure if he was in the last Company noted.

Gordon, Oliver W., Asst. Surgeon

Company A

Allen, Isaac
Douglass, Nat.
Sysart, Warren
Hawkins, Stephen alias
Hopkins, Stephen A&H

Higgerson, Joseph A&H
Worden, William J. Sgt. Maj.

Company B

Anderson, David B; I ?
Brown, Henry alias Green, Henry B&I
Duvall, Robert
Raymond, Joseph alias
Reed, Joseph B&I

Roth, Ben B&I
Rush, Richard B&E
Scott, Thomas
Stallard, Jackson
Steele, Jack
Thornton, Stephen
Wheeler, Charles

Company C

Alexander, Benjamin
Bonsall, Charles, Sgt. Maj. I ?
Cosby, Thomas alias Hill, Thomas
Jordan, Emanuel
Martin, William alias
Page, William

Taylor, Charles
Tucker, Henry C&E

Company D

Goodwin, Joseph D&K
Bergamise, Nelson, Sgt. C, D, I
Hingston, John D&K
Kinston, John
Lindsay, Willia D&E
Lox, (Lax), Moses D&K
Morehead, John D&K
Robinson, Martin D&I
Simpson, Arthur
Smith, Brance alias

Thompson, Brance D&K

Thornton, John
Wyatt, George Calvin D&K

Company E

Adamson, Aron M.
Shelby, Buck

Company F
Jeffreys, John
Company G
Smith, James alias
Burgess, James
Turnipseed, Frank
Company I
Bonwsall, Charles
Gordon, Wesley, Sgt.
Rowlette, James


65th Regiment U. S. Colored Infantry

Leffingwell, Hiram S. Surgeon

Company A

Callaway, James alias
Griswold, James

Hughes, Henry
Marshall, Cornelius
Pitts, Sandy
Smith, Dudley alias
Twyman, Dudley

Turner, John
Vaughn, Gilbert

Company B

Hall, Henry
Harris, Robert
McCormick, James H.
McGee, James
Price, James
Taylor, Preston
Taylor, Robert

Company C
Aiken, Benjamin
Cason, Thomas
Erichson, Valentine
Ewing, Jordan
Fox, Guy
Jackson, Andrew alias
Lake, Andrew Jackson

Williams, Addison

Company D

Dudley, Allen
King, James
May, Thomas
Miller, John
Norman, Lafayette
Payton, Levi
Robertson, William
Simmons, William
Stafford, Thomas

Company E

Drain, (Draine) John
Green, Asbury Lee
Jackson, Alonzo
Shaw, Manuel

Company F
Curtis Henry alias
Ballinger, Wood

Keithley, Warren
Perkins, Levi
Smith, Washington

Company G

Buckner, John
Davis, Charles
Henry, Harris
McCloud, Edward alias
Cole, Edmond

Miller, Gabriel E. alias
Eli, Gabriel

Ogden, Wyatt
Smith, Ellis
Williams, James
Williams, Jarrott alias
Williams, Jerrod

Williams, John alias
Norval, John

Wilson, Cyrus

Company H

Bird, Henry
Green, Harrison
Prather, Jerry
Smith, Henry
Washington, Gilbert

Company I
Clayborn, William
Ellis, Dudley
Jones, Charles
Perry, John
Pierce, Perry
Scott, Andrew
Williams, George
Williams, Simon Jr. alias
Williams, Samuel
Company K
Bailey, John
Bennett, Logan
Calloway, Jacob
Hayes, George Washington alias
Hayes, Washington


62nd or 65th Regiments ?

Leonard, Warren, Sgt.
Banner, Benjemin
Winston, Richard
Edwards, Ed
Brantly, Lee Ronald
Ellis, Henry
Jackson, Henry


Soldier's names taken from Depositions Supporting
Anderson Davis' Application for Pension 1893 & 1897

62nd Regiment U.S. Colored Infantry


Dr. Allen
Dr. Gorton
Dr. Haymaker, O. R,
Dr. Winslow


Capt. Duvall, Harrison ?
Lt. Francesson, Jacob ?

         Company C & D
Coson, Jack

                                                                   Company F
Walker, Charles

  Company H

Anderson, Jacob alias
Davis, Anderson Sgt. H&A

Benton, Tom
Carter, John
Carter, Growill
Carter, Lewis
Charleson, Scott
Ellison, Isaiah
Grandison, Roberts Sgt.
Moore, Anderson


 65th Regiment U.S. Colored Infantry

 Company E

Stapleton, David


 62nd or 65th Regiments U. S. Colored Infantry ?

Adams, L(arr?)y
Adams, Tom
Blockwell, Smith
Broadus, Jerry
Eaton, Cl(u?)be
Hughes, Price
Sheperd, John
John, Turner
Poindexter, Charles
Walker, Lewis



Ainsworth, Fred C., Brig. Gen. & Kirkley, Joseph, W., THE WAR OF THE REBELLION A COMPILATION OF THE OFFICIAL RECORDS OF THE UNION AND CONFEDERATE ARMIES. U.S. War Dept., Washington Government Printing Office 1897. Series I, Volumes 3 1881, Series IV Volume 2.1900. Washington Government Printing Office 1900.


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