A Grand Army of Black Men: Letters from African-American by Edwin S. Redkey

By Edwin S. Redkey

The Civil warfare stands vibrant within the collective reminiscence of the yank public. There has continuously been a profound curiosity within the topic, and in particular of Blacks' participation in and reactions to the conflict and the war's consequence. virtually 200,000 African-American infantrymen fought for the Union within the Civil warfare. even if such a lot have been illiterate ex-slaves, numerous thousand have been good informed, unfastened black males from the northern states. The 129 letters during this assortment have been written by means of black squaddies within the Union military in the course of the Civil conflict to black and abolitionist newspapers. they supply a distinct expression of the black voice that was once intended for a public discussion board. The letters inform of the men's reviews, their fears, and their hopes. They describe intimately their military days--the pleasure of strive against and the drudgery of digging trenches. a few letters supply bright descriptions of conflict; others protest racism; nonetheless others name eloquently for civil rights. Many describe their conviction that they're battling not just to unfastened the slaves yet to earn equivalent rights as voters. those letters provide a unprecedented photo of the warfare and likewise demonstrate the brilliant expectancies, hopes, and eventually the calls for that black squaddies had for the future--for themselves and for his or her race. As first-person files of the Civil conflict, the letters are powerful statements of the yankee dream of justice and equality, and of the human spirit.

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Extra info for A Grand Army of Black Men: Letters from African-American Soldiers in the Union Army 1861-1865

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Johnson mistakenly believed that slaves had helped the Confederate soldiers and said that only when the Union gave them civil rights would black soldiers join the army in large numbers. We have met the enemy in this pro-slavery war - we have fought two great battles - one the longest and most sanguinary ever fought in America. M. , and our loss was great. M. We lost everything - life, ammunition, and honor. We were driven like so many sheep into Washington, disgraced and humiliated. One week ago we marched into Virginia with the Stars and Stripes proudly floating in the breeze, and our bands playing Yankee Doodle!

One fort on the right is called Redoubt Fribley, in honor of the late Colonel of the Eighth. The Eighth, in command of Captain R. C. Bailey, and a detachment of the Third United States Colored Troops, in command of a Hungarian artillery captain, are South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida 43 the troops here. The order from the War Department, giving authority in this department to enroll and draft all male colored persons, is to be put into effect in a few days. It creates some excitement among those who prefer to be servants instead of soldiers.

The Captain of the rebel Navy, and sixteen soldiers, surrendered. Guns are now being fired, in honor of the victory. LETTER 7 (William H. Johnson, 8th Connecticut Infantry, Albemarle Sound, North Carolina, March 9, 1862; PSP, March 27,1862) As Gener- 18 A Grand Army of Black Men al Burnside's army expanded its hold on the North Carolina coast, many slaves were liberated or escaped to Union lines. Federal policy about these "contrabands" was not yet clear, but Johnson saw Union victory as freedom for the slaves.

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