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    In this exhibit, the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections has selected items from their extensive collection of family papers and institutional records to pay tribute to students past and present.
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  • 1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Regiment, 1863-1865

  • In our final installment highlighting African American manuscripts, we present pages from the original account book of Capt. Ethan Earle of Boston, commander of the First Kansas Colored Volunteer Regiment Company F. His account book contains a 28-page history of the regiment, a list of the regiment’s field, staff and line officers, and the roll of soldiers in Company F. The roll is followed by monthly lists concerning the issuance of clothing to the Company.

    The account book was donated by Capt. Earle in 1873. The original, Mss C 4911, is restricted but a microfilm copy is available in the library.

    1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Regiment page 1

    History of regimental flag
    Capt. Earle’s account book contains a short history of Company F’s flag. The original flag is in the possession of the Kansas Historical Society. To view an image of the flag and to learn more about the regiment visit their website at

    1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Regiment page 2 List of soldiers being issued clothing
    Clothing issued to enlisted men from enlistments January 13th  1863, when mustered. Capt. Earle records those who deserted or were killed in  action.

    1st Kansas Colored Volunteer Regiment page 3

    Sergeant Clement Johnson
    In the back of his account book, Capt. Earle records the history of the regiment. Among his notes is an account of his company sergeant, Clement Johnson, a slave from Missouri.

                                                   Sergeant Clement Johnson

    1862                                                  Note

    August                  When enlisting men in Leavenworth, a tall
                                  well deposed colored man can into my Store
                                   he had the [    ] of a gentleman.
     Clement Johnson.                   He told me he was Methodist
                                   preacher in Missouri, but was a Slave!
                                   that he had a wife and a daughter, who
                                   were Slaves in Tennesee, that he thought
                                   by enlisting in this Regt. if it went South,
                                   he might possibly find his wife and daughter.
                                                  I told him I would give him the
                                   first position in my company, and if we
                                   should go down as far as Tennesee, if that State was
                                   occupied by our troops (U. troops) I would go
                                   there to find them if I could.
                                                        When the Regiment arrived at
                                   Fort Smith, about the first colored people
                                 we met were his wife and daughter of this
                                 man. – They heard in Tennesee that a Colored
                                 Army was coming down from Kansas, they pro-
                                 cured passage in a government Steamer to Fort
                                 Smith from there he procured conveyance
                                 In a gov’t train to Leavenworth – where I
                                 Saw them after the war, happy in the
                                 enjoyment of their freedom. Mr. Johnson
                                 remained with the Regiment to the close of the
                                 War, then joined his family in Leavenworth.
                                                 This man could neither read
                                  nor write, but his language in his religious Services
                                  was as good as most educated men,
                                  particularly at the burial of dead.
                                  He learned to read and write at my
                                  School at Fort Scott – through the entire War; he conducted
                                 at all times with great dignity and propriety, and was
                                 more respected by all classes than any man in the Regt.

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