Forgotten Soldier (Key West, FL)
Men--United States Colored Troops
Plaque on base:
"In January of 1863, Col. James Montgomery of Kansas was authorized to raise regiments of troops consisting entirely of free blacks and former refugee slaves. The following month, he arrived in Key West to recruit men for that regiment.
All Africans between the ages of 15 and 50 not in the services were ordered to report for medical examination and, if capable of bearing arms, to embark on the US Steamer Cosmopolitan for transport to Hilton Head to serve in the 2nd South Carolina Regiment.
Some of these men returned to Key West after the war and started families. Several more were injured. At least 18 of them paid the ultimate price.
These men served with great distinction, but their names were lost to time. This monument honors their courage, their actions, and their sacrifice, but most importantly, stands to make sure these men are never forgotten again."