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  • Union Army General David Hunter, with vague orders from the US Army, began enlisting the formerly enslaved refugees in the Union Army with the help of Abraham Murchinson, an escaped formerly enslaved preacher from Savannah. Highly influential among the formerly enslaved, Murchinson recruited soldiers and the regiment eventually swelled to over 1,000 soldiers. The regiment was eventually disbanded, as the US Army did not fully support this enlistment effort and refused to pay the colored troops. However, the existence of this regiment set the stage for the eventual approval by Congress of colored troops in the Civil War later in 1862, including the local First South Carolina Volunteer regime, many of whom were nursed back to health by Harriet Tubman herself. 
  • The disbandment of the colored regiment, in addition to the influx of other formerly enslaved people, resulted in overcrowded conditions in the slave/refugee barracks and a desire by the Union Army to remove the “contraband” out of their military installation, as they were becoming a “burden and a nuisance.”

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