Men of the 25th US Infantry on parade, 1870
During the course of the American Civil War, authorities raised scores of black regiments from among the recently freed population of African Americans. Eventually these troops became part of the USCT, or United States Colored Troops, with the largest recruiting grounds being in the Mississippi Valley, from Kentucky to Louisiana. Officially mustered out of service in 1866, many of these men reenlisted for a five year term with the six newly authorized black regiments that would be part of the standing army of the United States. The black 39th and 40th regiments were raised in Mississippi and Louisiana and did garrison duty there.
In 1869, when Congress further reduced and reorganized the army, these two regiments consolidated into the 25th United States Infantry and mustered into service at Jackson Barracks, Louisiana, near New Orleans. The regiment continued with mundane garrison duty on the Mississippi and Gulf Coast for the rest of the year.
In 1870, these men left their posts along the Mississippi River and headed to San Antonio, Texas, to take their place along the frontier. They served there until 1880.