The 2nd Infantry Regiment United States Colored Troops was organized from June 20 to November 11, 1863, at Arlington, Virginia. Though the regiment was accredited to the District of Columbia, it's ranks were filled by men from the District, Virginia and Maryland. A full one fifth of the regiment was from Maryland.
After it's organization and training at Camp Casey in Arlington, the 2nd U.S.C.T. was ordered to the department of the Gulf in December of 1863. It's route to Louisiana was in no way a direct one. The regiment first moved to Washington, moved to New York by rail, and was then transported to New Orleans by steamer.
The 2nd U.S.C.T. was attached to the District of Key West, Florida, Department of of the Gulf, in February, 1864, and saw duty in New Orleans and Ships Island, Mississippi. In May the unit also participated in an attack on Confederate fortifications at Tampa, resulting in the destruction of the Confederate positions. The 2nd participated in several operation along Florida's west coast between July 1st and 31st, 1864; including raids from Fort Myers to Bayport, and from Cedar Key to St. Andrew's Bay. During the St. Andrew's Bay expedition the 2nd skirmished with Confederate troops on the 18th of July.
In January, 1865 several companies participated in the defense of Fort Myers. From February through March, several companies served at Fort Myers and Punta Rosa. Several companies served aboard the steamships Magnolia and Honduras and embarked on operations in the vicinity of St.Marks, February 21-March 7; East River Bridge, March 4-5; Newport Bridge, March 5-6; and Natural Bridge, March 6 .
The unit mustered out January 5, 1866. The Regiment suffered 173 casualties: 3 officers and 24 enlisted men ,killed and mortally wounded; and 11 officers and 135 enlisted men, lost to disease.