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

By Ronald A. Reis

This publication tells of the contribution of African american citizens to the reason for the Union within the American Civil warfare. in the beginning refrained from, loose 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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Later in the spring, Congress abolished slavery in all the territories of the United States—and, most dramatically, on April 16, 1862, it eliminated slavery in the District of Columbia. “I trust I am not dreaming,” declared Frederick Douglass, as quoted by Bruce Catton in The Civil War. ” Still, the president wavered. He declared on August 22, 1862, as stated in The Civil War, “My paramount [main] objective in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or destroy slavery.

There was also bitter opposition in the border states. “I don’t want the Negro free,” declared a private from Missouri, as quoted by William Kling­ aman.  . ” In the North, there was a widespread fear that blacks, fresh from the cotton fields, would flood Northern towns and cities. ” Yet despite the prejudice, fear, and paranoia displayed by many, the North as a whole gave its approval to the momentous event of emancipation. It pinned the fight to a ­high-­sounding cause, a holy war for freedom, rather than just an attempt to restore the Union.

They were determined to make a contribution and to be a part of the war effort. Willing and Able In spite of the restrictions before them, black men sought to enlist in the Union cause from the moment the war began. In Boston, within 36 hours after Lincoln asked for volunteers, a mammoth meeting of blacks was called at the Twelfth Baptist Church. A resolution was quickly and unanimously passed, declaring, as cited in The Negro in the Civil War, “Our feelings urge Contraband Camps Contraband camps represented freedom for former slaves, but in such camps, black families were often neglected and abused by their Union protectors.

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