By Ronald A. Reis
This booklet tells of the contribution of African americans to the reason for the Union within the American Civil struggle. at the start 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 good fortune of the Union.
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Additional info for African Americans and the Civil War (The Civil War: a Nation Divided)
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. There was more. The Emancipation Proclamation declared “that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service,” as reported in Abraham Lincoln and the Road to Emancipation.
Every able-bodied white male between the ages of 18 and 45 was responsible for military service. Most of the state units formed were called “volunteer” forces, a source of pride to the men serving. These volunteer companies selected their own officers, designed their own uniforms, drilled at their own time and place, and turned out for civic parades. During the first year of war, Congress required the states to raise a certain number of “volunteer regiments,” with service lasting from three months to three years.
Feeding on that prejudice was the added belief that blacks, once they were in a position to fight their former masters, would go on wild killing sprees. White officers were assumed to be disciplined and assured, and would therefore be able to hold black soldiers in check—or so it was claimed. Furthermore, there was the simple issue of patronage. Commissions were highly sought after in the Civil War, as in all previous wars. Giving them to influential whites was a way to gain support for the cause at hand.
African Americans and the Civil War (The Civil War: a Nation Divided) by Ronald A. Reis