Black Soldiers in the Union Army

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  • Black Soldiers in the Union Army 
  • By Sarah Butterfield Core 3 5/25/17
  • Many free black men in the North wanted to fight for the Union cause as soon as the Civil War began.
  • "We are willing to fight! We are able bodied men!"
  • Due to a 1792 law that forbade black people from enlisting or bearing arms in the U.S military, free black men could not help fight for the cause. 
  • "No black men are to fight in the U.S military units."
  • Lincoln was afraid that the border states would secede from the Union if he allowed black men enlist. 
  • By the end of 1862 the government had Decided to let emancipated slaves enlist, due to a decease in white volunteers.
  • "We have to discuss allowing blacks to enlist, or else I fear we will have no army!"
  • Black recruitment for the army was slow until Frederick Douglas encouraged men to enlist to ensure eventual full citizenship 
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