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Friday, August 17, 2012

Civil War Photo Friday: Banner of the 22nd US Colored Troops

Here's another great photo courtesy the Library of Congress. It's the regimental flag of the 22nd Regiment US Colored Troops from New Jersey. This unit was formed in January of 1864. For a time it had garrison and scouting duty until it became part of the Siege of Petersburg, a grinding nine-month attempt to cut off Richmond's railway network.

The regiment participated in numerous assaults on Confederate forts and won the honor of being among the first soldiers to march into Richmond when the rebel capital fell. You can read more of this regiment's fascinating history here.

It's interesting that the banner has the words Sic Semper Tyrannis ("thus always to tyrants"). Brutus supposedly said this while assassinating Julius Caesar and John Wilkes Booth was heard to say this after shooting Lincoln. The 22nd was one of the many regiments sent out to hunt for Booth.

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