Civil War’s First Michigan Colored Regiment drilled in Detroit

Jul 14, 2015

Detroit was home to the first unit of African-American men trained to fight in the Civil War. Current State's Scott Pohl talks with historian Jack Dempsey about the First Michigan Colored Regiment.

Today, we bring you another of our occasional visits to historic sites in the city of Detroit. Our tour guide is Jack Dempsey, president of the Michigan Historical Commission. Current State’s Scott Pohl and Dempsey visited a marker noting the site where the First Michigan Colored Regiment honed their fighting skills during the Civil War.

It’s an important spot in Michigan history for the formation of a unit where black men, known at the time as colored, first were granted the right to fight for their freedom and for that of the slaves being held in the confederate south.