July 1862 - "Colored Troops"
Congress passed the Second Confiscation and Militia Act, freeing slaves who had masters in the Confederate Army. Two days later, slavery was abolished in the territories of the United States, and on July 22 President Lincoln presented the preliminary draft of the Emancipation Proclamation to his Cabinet members. These acts legalized the enlistment of African Americans, and black volunteers from South Carolina, Tennessee, and Massachusetts filled the first authorized black regiments. In May 1863, to handle the growing number of black enlistees, the U.S. Government established the Bureau of Colored Troops. (NC Civic Education Consortium)