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Honoring the 107th U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment

Fort Corcoran was a wood-and-earthwork fortification constructed by the Union Army in northern  Virginia as part of the defenses of Washington, D.C.. during the American Civil War. Built in 1861, shortly after the occupation of Arlington  by Union forces, it protected the southern end of the Aqueduct Bridge and overlooked the Potomac River and Theodore Roosevelt Island known as Mason’s Island.

The fort was named after Colonel  Michael Corcoran, commander of the U.S. Fighting 69th  Infantry, Irish Brigade 69th New York Volunteer Regiment, one of the units that constructed the fort.
Fort Corcoran was home to the Union Army Balloon Corps and the headquarters of the defenses of Washington south of the Potomac River, and served throughout the war before being dismantled in 1866. Today, no trace of the fort remains, although the Arlington County government has erected a historical marker at its site.

This view (pictured above) of the defenses of the Washington, D. C./ Rosslyn VA  area shows a group of twenty African American soldiers with musical instruments. Blacks served in various capacities in the Union army. At first Union leaders allowed no black men to be commissioned officers, but eventually they served as noncommissioned officers, doctors, and chaplains. The first African American field officer was Major Martin Delany. 

Freed blacks served in various capacities in the Union army, including in various bands. The 107th Regiment Infantry was first organized in Louisville, Kentucky and they participated in the siege of Petersburg, the first and second expeditions to Fort Fisher, the capture of Wilmington, the occupation of Raleigh, the surrender of Johnston, and several other smaller battles and skirmishes.