Black Soldiers in Blue: African American Troops in the Civil by John David Smith

By John David Smith

Encouraged and trained via the newest learn in African American, army, and social historical past, the fourteen unique essays during this e-book inform the tales of the African American infantrymen who fought for the Union reason. jointly, those essays probe the extensive army, political, and social importance of black infantrymen' armed provider, enriching our figuring out of the Civil battle and African American lifestyles in the course of and after the clash. The individuals are Anne J. Bailey, Arthur W. Bergeron, Jr., John Cimprich, Lawrence Lee Hewitt, Richard Lowe, Thomas D. Mays, Michael T. Meier, Edwin S. Redkey, Richard Reid, William Glenn Robertson, John David Smith, Noah Andre Trudeau, Keith Wilson, and Robert J. Zalimas, Jr.

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Colored Artillery (Light), Department of the Cumberland, ca. . (Chicago Historical Society, no. ICHi-) By war’s end, under Lincoln’s authority, the army had raised , African American soldiers, organized in  infantry regiments, four independent companies, seven cavalry regiments, twelve regiments of heavy artillery, and ten companies of light artillery. Approximately  percent of the men were recruited in the eighteen Northern states,  percent in the four loyal slave or border states, and  percent in the eleven Confederate states.

31 In  Lincoln thus had moved consistently though circuitously toward emancipation and black enlistment. He had progressed so far that Neely insists that by mid-July—contemporaneous with passage of the Second Confiscation Act—the president had already decided to free the slaves if the Confederates did not surrender. Writing to a Louisiana Unionist soon after enactment of the Second Confiscation Act, Lincoln explained ‘‘that what is done, and omitted, about slaves, is done and omitted on . .

Deeply committed to emancipation and black enlistment as means to weaken the Confederacy and to turn the slaves against their former masters, Phelps implored Butler to allow him to arm the slaves in his camp. Butler refused, arguing that he lacked authority to enlist black soldiers and also doubting the necessity and quality of African American troops. Undaunted, in July  Phelps raised five companies of black troops with hopes of arming them. Instead of supplying Phelps’s men with guns, however, Butler ordered him to have them cut trees around the camp, not drill.

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