African Americans at War: An Encyclopedia by Jonathan Sutherland

By Jonathan Sutherland

African american citizens at struggle: An Encyclopedia КНИГИ ;ВОЕННАЯ ИСТОРИЯ Издательство: ABC-CLIOАвтор(ы): Jonathan D. SutherlandЯзык: EnglishГод издания: 2004Количество страниц: 844ISBN: 1-85109-371-0Формат: pdf (e-book)Размер: 11.0 mb RapidIfolder zero

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Not all of the men had commanding officers as devoted to their welfare. Many were enlisted at the end of a bayonet, while others were imprisoned until they agreed to sign the enlistment papers. The pressure to fill the ranks of the regiments also meant that age was not an overriding concern. Young boys were recruited as regimental musicians, but children as young as fourteen were enlisted as regular soldiers. In many cases some of the men had infirmities that would have excluded them under normal circumstances.

Library of Congress) relocation of a man’s family before enlistment was completed. The family would be free, and they would be able to earn money in the laborshort North to contribute to their own welfare. Despite some voices claiming that they would be a financial burden, few proved to be so. Maj. Joseph W. S. Colored Cavalry, enlisted 500 African Americans into his unit. Taking advantage of the Red River Campaign, he scattered his men far and wide with horses, mules, and wagons to collect their families and dependents.

Matters were brought to a head on April 12, 1861, when Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter, South Carolina. Lincoln and the federal government now had either to put down the rebellion or accept secession. African Americans began to present themselves to the Union army in 1861, and initially they were turned away. It was considered unnecessary to recruit African Americans and, more important, to do so would drive a wedge between the federal government and the slaveowning border states. This move did little to discourage African Americans who wanted to fight with the Union Army for the freedom of their compatriots in the South and to prove to the nation that they were full citizens.

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