Most freedmen joined the Union army when colored soldiers became introduced. Many former slaves that were recruited were offered militia housing for their families. Freedmen Union troops worked as spies, scouts, and guides. This was a special job for them because with them being former slaves they knew the land in a way Union troops did not. Major General Rush Hawkins ordered that freedmen in the army were to be paid 10 dollars a month, a ration, and an allowance for clothing. Most of the men on the island with able-bodies were drafted into the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd colored volunteer corps, which was later changed to the 35th, 36th, and 37th U.S. colored troops. These colored troops didn't just stay on the island, they fought battles in the south including Olustee, Petersburg, and New Market Heights. Though many died or got severely injured it was a revolutionary idea that showed the north how loyal an rescued slave could be.