Black Soldiers In The Civil War Essay

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When Union troops invaded Confederate states, thousands of black slaves flocked to Union camps for a chance to fight and a chance for freedom. Many of these men were unofficially allowed to enlist in the Union Army. After President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, Jan. 1, 1863, black Soldiers were officially allowed to participate in the war. Black Soldiers distinguished themselves in battle on numerous occasions. On Feb. 1, 1863, Col. T. W. Higginson, commander of the 1st Regiment South Carolina Volunteers, gave this report after the St. Mary’s River expedition in Georgia and Florida: "No officer in this regiment now doubts that the key to the successful prosecution of this war lies in the unlimited employment of black troops… It would have been madness to attempt [the battle], with…show more content…
1863: 54th Massachusetts Infantry In early 1863, the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, an all black regiment of the Union Army, was activated. More than 1,000 blacks about 25 percent of whom were former slaves from 24 states and several countries enlisted in the regiment. Frederick Douglass, best known as a black orator and abolitionist, was also instrumental in the Union victory of the Civil War. He urged Lincoln to free slaves and to arm all blacks willing to fight. Douglass, a former slave, recruited his own two sons to serve in the Union Army. Douglass also helped to establish the all-black 54th Massachusetts Regiment of the Union Army. On Aug. 13, 1863, Douglass was directed by the secretary of war to travel from his hometown of Rochester, N.Y., to Vicksburg, Miss., “to assist in recruiting colored troops.” The 54th proved their bravery during the storming of Fort Wagner on James Island, S.C., July 18, 1863. The 54th led several white regiments in the assault, through darkness and across a marsh with water 4-feet
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