was among those congressmen who opposed the legislation and maintained that Congress did not have the constitutional authority to disband any state militia. On March 2, 1867, the Army Appropriations Act, containing a rider that disbanded militia forces in the southern states, was passed. President Andrew Johnson did not support the rider but was compelled to sign the legislation to provide funds for the Federal Army. 25
Without state organizations to maintain peace and order in the southern states, Congress depended upon the Federal Army to support the Reconstruction Acts and to protect the rights of all citizens. Legislation enacted on July 28, 1866, reorganized the Army and extended military service to African Americans and Indians. This was the first time in the history of the United States that African American soldiers and Indians were considered an integral part of the peacetime Army. Although restricted to service in the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments and four infantry regiments, which were reorganized into the 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments, African Americans were also recruited for service in the Seminole-Negro Indian Scout Detachment. When a proposal was introduced on July 25, 1868, to repeal Senate Bill 648 that forbade the formation of militia organization in the southern states, Congress had already stressed on February 29, 1867, that all militia organizations would be composed exclusively of loyal citizens without regard to race or color. The Committee on the Militia further emphasized that African American personnel were entitled to form separate companies and regiments. Revised legislation passed on March 3, 1869, initially pertained only to Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, and South Carolina. The remaining southern states were not permitted to organize their militia until July 15, 1870, after they had accepted Congressional Reconstruction. 26 These congressional actions enabled African American veterans and other personnel the opportunity to serve in the Federal Army and the state militia during Reconstruction. Many of the organizations that were established became the nucleus of the African American militia after 1877.
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Publication information: Book title: African American Soldiers in the National Guard:Recruitment and Deployment during Peacetime and War. Contributors: Charles Johnson Jr. - Author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1992. Page number: 13.
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