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 56th United States Colored Infantry Monument

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56th United States Colored Infantry Monument

Monument to the 56th Infantry Regiment, United States Colored Infantry. This obelisk honors the memory of the 175 soldiers of the 56th USCT who died of cholera in August 1866. In 1939 the monument and the remains were removed from "Quarantine Station, Missouri" by authority of the War Department. The 56th Regiment was originally organized at St. Louis as the 3d Arkansas Infantry Regiment (African Descent). The 3d Arkansas was ordered from St. Louis to Helena, Arkansas and served on post duty there. The unit's connections with Napoleon Bonaparte Buford, half-brother of Union cavalry leader and Gettysburg hero John Buford, began in 1864. The unit was one of 14 that Buford commanded in Eastern Arkansas. The unit was mustered out of the service on September 15, 1866, but before then, the tragedy occurred that contributed to the reason for this monument. The 56th was traveling aboard 2 steamers to be mustered out. During the trip several soldiers died of an undiagnosed illness. A surgeon inspected the men and reported no cholera among them. The men arrived in St. Louis at night and were kept onboard until the next morning, rather than being allowed to roam the town. The next morning, it was clear that the 56th Regiment had cholera. Ordered back to Quarantine Station, the unit lost 178 enlisted men and one officer in the next few weeks. During its service the 56th Regiment lost a total of 674 men. Four officers and 21 enlisted men were killed in action or of wounds. Two officers and 647 enlisted men were killed by disease, 96 percent of their regiment's losses.


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 28 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 19906
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for 56th United States Colored Infantry Monument (unknown–unknown), Find A Grave Memorial no. 19906, citing Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, Lemay, St. Louis County, Missouri, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .