The Civil War in Missouri

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Enlistment of Anderson Humble, 68th U.S. Colored Troops (USCT)

MHM Archives

On his enlistment, Anderson Humble identified himself as a 25-year-old blacksmith born in Kentucky, enslaved by William Mayo of Cooper County, Missouri. Humble’s enlistment is signed by Franklin Swap, an assistant provost marshal, who is known to have been an active recruiter of African Americans in his central Missouri district. Swap, as well as Humble, was responding to General John M. Schofield’s General Order No. 135, which authorized provost marshals to recruit free and enslaved blacks in Missouri. Humble signed up in Tipton on February 29, 1864, and was mustered into service with the 68th U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) at Benton Barracks in St. Louis a few days later. Mayo’s motivation to surrender his slaves—more of them enlisted the same day—either willingly or forcibly, probably came in the form of compensation. Schofield’s order permitted any slaveholder whose slaves enlisted to claim as much as $300 upon filing a deed of manumission.