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Download African Americans and the Civil War (The Civil War: a Nation by Ronald A. Reis PDF

By Ronald A. Reis

This e-book tells of the contribution of African americans to the reason for the Union within the American Civil warfare. at the beginning kept away from, unfastened blacks and ex-slaves finally donned uniforms and fought in additional than four hundred battles. regardless of blatant prejudice and discrimination, they proved their valour and contributed highly to the good fortune of the Union.

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Sample text

In New York City, a number of African Americans quietly hired a public hall and began practicing military drills, somewhat in secret, with hopes of a call to serve. In Providence, Rhode Island, a company of more than 100 blacks offered to accompany the 1st Rhode Island Regiment on its way to the front. The offer was declined briskly. Two Northern free blacks even wrote to Secretary of War Simon Cameron, pointing out that with them [contraband] report that the blacks are encountering terrible hardships.

Such recruiters contributed little to overall ­ African-­American enlistments. By the end of the war, they had registered fewer than 5,000 black soldiers. As it turned out, the burden of black recruitment was left mainly to USCT officers, much to their annoyance. In the South, where blacks had been Union contraband, such officers or potential officers had mixed success. Black men were all around, and, in many cases, convincing them to go from camp laborers to putting on blue uniforms was not difficult.

Constitutional obligations to a foreign country, which Virginia now claims to be. Major Cary: But you say, we can’t secede, and so you cannot consistently detain the Negroes. A White Man’s War General Butler: But you say you have seceded, and so you cannot consistently claim them. I shall detain the Negroes as contraband of war. You are using them on the batteries. It is merely a question whether they shall be used for or against the government. Nevertheless, although I greatly need the labor that has providentially fallen into my hands, if Colonel Mallory will come into the fort and take the oath of allegiance to the United States, he shall have his Negroes, and I will endeavor to hire them from him.

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