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Black Men Fight for the Union

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Presentation on theme: "Black Men Fight for the Union"— Presentation transcript:

1 Black Men Fight for the Union
11.4 Black Men Fight for the Union

2 The Union Enlists Black Troops
The Emancipation Proclamation not only began the process of ending slavery but it also authorized the enlistment of black troops By early 1863 the Union army was not doing well and it was clear that the addition of African American soldiers could provide a needed boost to the forces

3 South Carolina Volunteer Regiments
Some Union officers recruited black men long before emancipation In 1862 General David Hunter began recruiting former slaves along the S. Carolina coast He even used Union soldiers to force enlistment among black men that refused to enlist Initially Congress refused to finance this operation and all but one company of these soldiers were dismissed

4 African American Regiments
Congress did however pass the 2nd Confiscation Act and the Militia Act of 1862 which allowed Lincoln to enlist black soldiers That fall two regiments of free black men were enlisted they were called the Corps d’Afrique These groups were commanded by two members of the Secret Six that funded John Brown’s raid Thomas Wentworth Higginson and James Montgomery commanded these units and were committed to proving the merit of African American soldiers

5 The 54th Massachusetts The Black Committee was a group of prominent abolitionists tasked with raising a black regiment in the North This unit became known as the 54th Massachusetts even though the men came from all across the Northern states This group became the most famous black unit in the war

6 Black Soldiers Confront Discrimination
The army was segregated with separate black and white units Most whites were not willing to accept black soldiers or their ability to endure combat Many white officers refused to command black units in combat Black soldiers were often paid less and were refused duty in combat

7 Black Soldiers Confront Discrimination
The 54th Massachusetts refused payment until they received equal pay One Sgt. William Walker insisted his men be paid equally or not at all. He was charged with mutiny convicted and shot Congress didn’t compromise on equal pay for black soldiers until 1864 This only included retroactive pay for those soldiers that were never slaves

8 Black Men in Combat Black soldiers fought in almost every battle for the remainder of the war They also suffered disproportionate amounts of casualties They fought in many significant battles throughout the war and many were decorated for bravery They helped to dispel the myth that African Americans were not fit for combat

9 Assignment 1. Why were black men willing to fight for the unification of the country? 2. What led to the formation of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment? 3. What types of discrimination did African American soldiers face? 4. Which Acts allowed Lincoln to finally enlist black soldiers? 5. Who commanded the Corps d’ Afrique? Why were these men important?

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