Military

From the American Revolution to the Spanish-American War

Who was the first black American to hold the rank of lieutenant colonel?

In 1906 Allen Allensworth (1842–1914) became the first black American to hold the rank of lieutenant colonel. Born a slave, he taught under the auspices of the Freedmen’s Bureau, operated a number of businesses, and served as a chaplain in the army. He founded an all-black town named Allensworth in Tulare County, California.



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