Lead: In the uncertain year of 1863 during the Civil War, the Federal government established the Bureau of Colored Troops. Its goal: recruit, enlist, and muster African Americans into the army.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.               

Content: Up until the Civil War, blacks were not permitted officially to serve in the Army. With the passage of the Militia Act in 1862 (which allowed them to be used in military service) and the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, which went into effect in early January, 1863, northern white public prejudice against black military service began to break down. Whites began to show a willingness to tolerate the enlistment of black troops – particularly as the need for manpower in the Union Army escalated after the heavy body count in 1862.