United States Colored Troops Lesson Plan

Who were the 200,000 African American Freedom Fighters?
By Paul LaRue (Washington High School, Ohio)

Grades: 6-8

Length of Time: Approximately 1 week


Students will understand the diverse background of the approximately 200,000 African American soldiers and sailors whom served in the Union Army and Navy.


1) Given handouts, students will be able to answer questions in regards to the handouts in either written or oral formats.

2) Given a primary document, students will be able to gather critical information in regards to the person who wrote the letter and present it in an oral or written form.

Materials Used:

1. Handout 1 – Free African American Population 1860
2. Handout 2 – Slave Population 1860
3. Handout 3 – United States Colored USCT Troops (recruited from free states)
4. Handout 4 – USCT (recruits from slave states)
5. Handout 5 – Robert Pinn Letter (side 1)
6. Handout 6 – Robert Pinn Letter (side 2)
7. Robert Pinn Photograph
8. Script for Teacher

Anticipatory Set/Hook:

Do you think that African Americans fought during the American Civil War?  Where do you think they came from?  How many do you think fought?


Provide students with the handouts given below and follow the procedures listed on the Script for Teachers.


Did the areas where African American soldiers were recruited from surprise you?  Do you think the locations they came from had something to do with why they joined the army?  Do you think these soldiers made a major difference in the outcome of the American Civil War?


Students will be graded based on how well they answer questions on the handouts and primary documents.

Modification Ideas:

-Place students in groups so they can work on the answers together.

-Have students verbally answer questions instead of writing their answers down


4th USCT
4th USCT Regiment
Source: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division

Our Sponsors

Powered by Blackbaud
nonprofit software