Africans in the War

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  • African Americans in the War
  • We want to fight in the Civil War
  • You can't fight! This is conflict is a white man's war
  • The Massachusetts 54th Regiment:
  • Equal Pay
  • You're fighting a war over me; why are you getting paid more to do the same work?
  • Because i'm white and you're black.
  • Despite the fact that the Civil War was fought over slavery, many Northerners felt that African Americans should let the white men fight. 
  • Eventually, Congress allowed black recruits, including former slaves, to enlist in the Union army. The Massachusetts 54th Infantry was one of the first black regiments. In addition to the unease of new troops, black soldiers faced the prospect of being forced into slavery, should they be captured by the Confederacy.
  • Even after black men were admitted into the army, they were not treated equally to white soldiers. They received little training and less pay. The black soldiers of the 54th regiments protested this by refusing pay until Congress granted them equal pay. 
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