Chester County USCT Index

This index represents an attempt to document all African American soldiers and sailors from Chester County who served in the Civil War. Unlike their white counterparts, black volunteers did not muster into local companies. There were no black Pennsylvania regiments. Local volunteers from Chester County joined the United States Colored Troops (USCT) or other black state regiments such as the 54th Massachusetts.
(The database was too large for one report, see both reports for full information on a soldier)

Identifying Chester County soldiers who were not mustered into local units by using sources that rarely identified current residence was a daunting task. Taking into account that many African Americans who were residents of Chester County during the Civil War were not born in Chester County it is more than likely that some soldiers were missed. This index defines a Chester County soldier as 1 who was born here, and/or resided here at the time of enlistment, and/or lived and died here after the war.

Of those identified, Chester County African Americans served in over 30 different regiments. The largest contingent of Chester County soldiers (134) served in the 3rd USCT. This regiment was mustered in at Camp William Penn outside of Philadelphia in August of 1863.
A portrait of an African American soldier in 1863

Did We Miss Your Ancestor?

If you know of a Chester County soldier who is not in this index please let us know. If we can verify his service and connection to Chester County we will add him to our index.

Source List

  • Bounty - Bounty Record (CCA)
  • BR - Board of Relief Records (CCA)
  • CDN - Death Notice, Clippings file (CCHS)
  • CGAR - GAR-George Smith Post newspaper clippings (CCHS)
  • DRR - Draft Registration Record, 1863 (NARA)
  • EQB - Equalization Bounty Records (CCA)
  • Harper - Compiled list of soldiers created by Douglas Harper (CCHS and CCA)
  • SR - Compiled military service records (NARA)
  • VBR - Veteran's Burial Records (CCA)
  • VCC - Veteran's Cemetery Cards (CCA)
  • VCS - 1890 Veteran's Census (CCA, CCHS, NARA)

Record Locations

For a History of the USCT

Black Soldiers in the Civil War