Black soldiers fight Confederate-supporting guerrillas at the Battle of Island Mound in Bates County. It marked one of the first times Black soldiers participated in Civil War Combat. “They would be allowed to enter federal service a few weeks later,” a history from the Missouri Secretary of State notes. This photograph taken between 1861 and 1865 shows a Black Union soldier holding a bayonet. Read more about the battle and the state historic site here

Photo credit: Full Standing Black Soldier, Rifle With Fixed Bayonet. [Between 1861 and 1865] Photograph. Retrieved from the Library of Congress,