After the Battle at Fort Sumter, many freemen went to sign up to fight in the war but were turned away due to a law in 1792. This law prohibited black people from "barring arms for the United States".
Following 2 year for war with much winning, President Lincoln considered a change in his thoughts about African Americans fighting in the War. He later passed the Second Confiscation and Militia Act of July 17, 1862, which allowed them to fight
In February 1863 the first call for Black soldiers was made. They were called the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment and was the first black regiment in the North, lead by Robert Gould Shaw The 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment was praised for fighting so bravely.
Though black women were not able to fight, many black women were nurses, scouts, and spies. Harriet Tubman was one of the most famous nurses and scout in the war.
During the war, there were many disadvantages to being a black soldier. There was less pay, more hatred for the other side, and even when enlisting they were not able to get good jobs.
16 African American soldiers received the Congressional Medal of Honor for their brave service in the Civil War.