Welcome to the Kentucky U.S. Colored Troops Database

As part of our Kentucky U.S. Colored Troops Project we are researching the lives of African American men who either enlisted in the Union Army in Kentucky, or were born in Kentucky and enlisted elsewhere. 

Our eventual goal is to create in-depth records for all such men, but our starting point, for now, is to focus on approximately 750 soldiers from nine counties in Kentucky that surround Louisville. To do this, we are using a variety of archival documents, including slave schedules, church records, wills, estate inventories, pension documents, census data, and newspapers to create a database record for each soldier and his family with links to primary source documents as well as a family tree. The results of this research are published in a searchable database, with new information being added regularly. 

There are several ways you can explore these soldiers’ records. You can browse by county, you can browse by regiment, you can search for a soldier, or search by an enslaver. Please note that for some soldiers,  you will only find very basic information about them, while for the soldiers from the Louisville area you will find significantly more.

Another way you can interact with our soldier data is to look through all of the available records we have for soldiers in our Black Ancestor database, which contains over 90,000 records of Black people who lived in Kentucky during the period of slavery. Currently we have over 20,000 records for Black soldiers from Kentucky in a Google Sheets spreadsheet. You can find a helpful user guide here which explains the various terms and abbreviations that are used throughout this spreadsheet, such as Family Code and Owner Code.

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