The St. Louis County Library has a collection of Slave Compensation Claims for US Colored Troops. This is a free, searchable index of slaves who served in the Civil War. The slave claims came for slave owners in Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Tennessee, and West Virginia and are indexed by the former slave owner’s name or the former slave’s name.

“During the Civil War, an act of Congress allowed loyal slave owners in border states (where slavery was still legal after the Emancipation Proclamation) whose slaves enlisted or were drafted into the U.S. military to file a claim against the Federal government for loss of the slave’s services.  Since each slave compensation claim was based on the service of a specific soldier, a copy of the claim’s paperwork was placed in that soldier’s compiled military service record. The regiments of U.S. Colored Troops that have a large number of these claims are the regiments formed in the border-states (Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, and Missouri) or in neighboring states.”


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