By John David Smith
Encouraged and knowledgeable through the newest examine in African American, army, and social historical past, the fourteen unique essays during this ebook inform the tales of the African American squaddies who fought for the Union reason. jointly, those essays probe the vast army, political, and social value of black infantrymen' armed carrier, enriching our knowing of the Civil conflict and African American lifestyles in the course of and after the clash. The participants 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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Additional info for Black Soldiers in Blue: African American Troops in the Civil War Era
Black leader Frederick Douglass, however, was not impressed with what he considered to be Lincoln’s inaction. In a July , , speech he charged that Lincoln’s policies had ‘‘been calculated . . ’’ Speciﬁcally, Douglass complained that Lincoln, lacking ‘‘courage and honesty,’’ had failed to enforce the Second Conﬁscation Act. He had ‘‘evaded his obvious duty, and instead of calling the blacks to arms and to liberty he merely authorized the military commanders to use them as laborers, without even promising them their freedom at the end of their term of service .
Of Massachusetts nonetheless believed that setting free the slaves would have disastrous results for the freedpeople. ’’ At best they could perform fatigue duty. ‘‘It will be years before they can be made to stand before their old masters, unless . . some leader of their own, some Toussaint rises, who is one of them and inspires them with conﬁdence. ’’ 8 Ironically, by Adams was in command of the all-black th Massachusetts Cavalry. While he considered the African American competent enough to serve as an infantryman, Adams judged him unacceptable as a cavalryman.
Union general George B. McClellan’s tactical draw against Confederate general Robert E. Lee at the Battle of Antietam on September provided the breakthrough Lincoln desperately needed. Not only had the timing become right, but circumstances rendered such action crucial. The war had turned into a military stalemate, and morale was low in the North. England threatened to recognize President Jeﬀerson Davis’s new government. Lincoln needed more men to ﬁll depleted Union regiments. To a signiﬁcant degree the Confederacy’s military successes had depended on slavery.