"Band of the 107th U.S. Colored Infantry," 1865. Collection New-York Historical Society.
Black Soldiers

"I know what I am fighting for. Only a few years ago I ran away from a man in Maryland who said he owned me and since than I've worked on a farm in Syracuse but as soon as the government would take me I came to fight not for my country, for I never had any, but to gain one."

— A New York soldier, 1865

"Instead of the musket It is the spade and the Whelbarrow and the Axe cuting in one of the most horable swamps in Louisiana stinking and misery. Men are Call to go on thes fatiuges wen sum of them are scarc Able to get Along.'"

— Nimrod Rowley, 20th USCT, Louisiana, Aug. 1864

These quotations give voice to two of the men who fought in New York State's black regiments. No photographs of individual soldiers from the New York units have been identified, however. These photographs of unidentified black soldiers from other units were probably taken during their military service as keepsakes for family members.