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  • Trunk Inscribed to Colonel Charles Warren Foster, US Volunteers Adjutant Genl Dept, US Army Quartermaster's Dept

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    Trunk Inscribed to Colonel Charles Warren Foster - US Volunteers Adjutant General Department, US Army Quartermaster's Department , and War Department, where he organized the bureau of colored troops.  Top of trunk is nicely stenciled, "CoL.C.W.Foster. / Bradford / NH."  Trunk measures 37 1/2" x 24 5/8' 22 3/4".  Nice solid trunk. 

    As recruiting of African American volunteers began in earnest, the United States government took steps to centralize the administration of its new black regiments under the auspices of one agency. On May 22, 1863, the War Department organized the Bureau for Colored Troops under the leadership of Major Charles W. Foster. The Bureau issued guidelines for black regiments, staffed the units with officers, and oversaw recruiting and enrollment. All existing and future black regiments mustered into Union service under the oversight of the Bureau. At that time, units received a regimental number under the designation USCT. For example, the 1st South Carolina became the 33rd USCT and the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteers became the 79th USCT. An exception was made for the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Infantry regiments, both of which were allowed to keep their state designations and remain in state service.  The Bureau for Colored Troops brought efficiency to the USCT regiments

    Major and Quartermaster, United States Army. In 1880 he was assigned to Newport, Rhode Island. His father was born in England and his mother in Massachusetts.


    The following excerpts are from the Obituary from The Evening Star Friday, May 20, 1904:

     “Death Of Major Foster

     Entered the Military Service of the United States in 1846

     Major Charles W. Foster, a retired officer of the army, died the 10th instant, at the Hotel Dennis at Atlantic City, after a protracted illness. Major Foster’s military career was an eventful one. Entering the service in 1846, in the Engineer Corps of the army, he was, in 1861, appointed an Assistant Adjutant General of Volunteers with the rank of Captain, subsequently reaching the grade of Major and Assistant Adjutant of Volunteers. In 1863 he was assigned to duty in the War Department, where he organized the bureau of colored troops.

     As Chief of that bureau he superintended the organization of the volunteer colored troops in service during the Civil War. In 1864 he was brevetted Colonel of Volunteers. After the muster out of the volunteer forces he was relieved from duty in the War Department and having previously been appointed a captain and assistant quartermaster in the army, he was assigned to duty in the Quartermaster’s Department. In 1883 he was advanced to the grade of Major in the Quartermaster’s Department and in 1891, having served forty years, he was, at his own request, placed on the retired list of the army.

     Colonel Foster was born in Massachusetts and entered the service from the state of New Hampshire. His widow, who has many friends in Washington, makes her home at the Park Avenue Hotel in New York.

     The Boston Herald Sunday, May 22, 1904

     The Army And Navy

     Major Charles W. Foster, United States Army, retired, who died in Atlantic City last Tuesday, was born in Massachusetts in 1839. He was engaged in the Mexican War and later in the Civil War. He was retired in 1891 at his own request, after a service of 40 years.

     The Boston Herald Friday, May 13, 1904


     Foster. At Atlantic City, New Jersey, May 10, Colonel Charles W. Foster, United States Army, retired. Interment at West Point, New York."

    Charles Warren Foster:

    Residence was not listed;

    Enlisted on 9/19/1861 as a Captain.

    On 9/19/1861 he was commissioned into

    US Volunteers Adjutant Genl Dept

    He was Mustered Out on 9/1/1867

     (Prior service in US Army from 06/01/1846 until 08/26/1856)

    On 11/4/1865 he was commissioned into US Army Quartermaster's Dept

    (date and method of discharge not given)

     (Subsequent service in US Army until retiring 09/24/1891)


    * Capt 9/19/1861 (Captain & Asst Adjutant General)

    * Major 8/24/1863 (Major & Asst Adjutant General)

    * Lt Colonel 9/24/1864 by Brevet

    * Colonel 9/24/1864 by Brevet

    * Capt 11/4/1865 (Captain & Asst Quartermaster)

    * Major 11/4/1865 by Brevet

    * Lt Colonel 11/4/1865 by Brevet

    Other Information:

    born in Massachusetts


    Inventory Number: IDE 013