African Americans Made up
During the 1800’s in America, African Americans made up most of the population. The Southern states were inundated with slaves. They labored in farms and on plantations. African Americans received cruel treament. They were brutally beaten and looked upon as being inhumane. The issue of equal rights for African Americans caused great disparities between the states. Our new country found itself at war with one another. This was a war of the North versus the South. The Civil War for many colonies began as an attempt to preserve themselves against British rule but would end in a struggle to abolish slavery.
At that time, President Lincoln’s goal was to maintain the existing states rather than fighting for their Independence. For African Americans who were free, slaves and runaway slaves, the Civil War became an opportunity to gain their freedom and independence. African Americans wanted to be viewed as equal to their counterparts. In exchange for the hardships and indignities, they enlisted, they fought and endured. Without the help of African Americans, the Union Army could not had won the Civil War.
Initially, the Government was hesitant and slow to accept the enlistment of African Americans. Frederick Douglass who was an abolitionist knew the road to freedom for the Negro, depended upon his willingness to help win the war for the South. African American men and women accepted that call. Free men, slaves, even runaway slaves enlisted and took up arms in the Civil War. African Americans fought on both sides in the war. Thousands of free black men from the Northern states wanted to help free slaves in the south. Whether from the North or South, they wanted to show the world that they as much as any other men deserved to be full citizens in the United States. Courageous men went into battle with dreams of the world seeing them as equals.
Willing to train, march and die African American soldiers enlisted. From Massachusetts to Georgia, African Americans who were educated, could not read or slaves they wanted to fight. African Americans helped to change the perspective of the Civil War. The Civil War is thought to be the war that was fought over the freedom of African American’s. African American soldiers fought on both sides of the war. Pivotal to the sucess of the the Union Army, the contributions made by African Americans was the turning point to vicitory.
African Americans were not allowed to join the Union Army in the early part of the Civil War. President Lincoln was concerned with what other states would do because of his decision to allow blacks in the war. In particulary he feared that African Americans in the Army would convince undeciding states to join the Confederate. Although the idea caused many to fear, African Americans joined the army. They played a major role in aiding the victory of every major battle of the Civil War. African American troops joined one hundred and sixty three different units. One hundred and eighty thousand African Americans served in the Union Army.
Thousands served in the Union Navy. These soldiers were eager to join the Union Army. They wanted to take up arms and fight against slavery. Many hoped that their service would grant them the equality they so desperately wanted amongts their Caucasion counterpart. During the time in which the Militia Act was passed many states made the decision to volunteer regimes to fight, Louisiana being one of them . This state had the very first African American Native Guard in the Union Army. This regiment was commissioned to perform duties in 1862 and became part of the (USCT) in the at that. Other states would soon follow like Kansas and South Carolina.
Under the leadership of Major General Benjamin Butler who was a white man, blacks would be appointed as captains and lieutenants in the First Native Guard of Louisiana. Together, in 1863, they lead an assault on Port Hudson. Thirty seven soldiers lost their lives, both blacks and whites. One hundred and fifty-five men were amongst those who had been wounded. The number of men that were captured was one hundred and sixteen. All in all there were a total of one thousand and eighty soldiers who took part in the strike.