By Ronald A. Reis

This booklet tells of the contribution of African american citizens to the reason for the Union within the American Civil warfare. at the beginning kept away from, unfastened blacks and ex-slaves ultimately 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 luck of the Union.

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General Butler: I propose to retain [keep] them. Major Cary: Do you mean, then, to set aside your constitutional obligations? General Butler: I mean to abide by the decision of Virginia, as expressed in her ordinance of secession. I am under no 35 36 african americans and the civil war Enslaved black men and women in the South were not allowed to serve in the mili-­ tary, but were often forced to contribute to the Confederate war effort. Many worked in construction and nursing, while others manufactured weapons in armories or provided laundry services.

The government is doing little for them. ” At one camp it was reported that 25 percent of the inhabitants died within a ­two-­year period, many from outright starvation. Some contraband, finding conditions too difficult, even re-­ turned to slavery, as reported by eyewitness Maria R. Mann in the Arkansas News: One family of 40 plantation negroes came two months since, did very well for a time, several got work, but the change of life, weather, and being robbed by our soldiers of clothing and bed-­ ding till they were greatly exposed and became sick and 13 of them died, others must die, and when their master came to per-­ suade them to return most of them did.

The response was overwhelming. The whole North, East, and West were soon up in arms. Drums were beating, men were enlisting, companies were forming, and regiments were marching with banners flying. A White Man’s War Yet blacks were not welcome. One reason centered on the issue of time. In the beginning, many people felt the war would be over soon enough, so why get tangled up in the question of enlisting African Americans to fight? There was more to it than that, of course. There was the deep prejudice that existed throughout the North.

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