By Edwin S. Redkey

ISBN-10: 0521434009

ISBN-13: 9780521434003

The Civil conflict stands vibrant within the collective reminiscence of the yankee public. There has continuously been a profound curiosity within the topic, and in particular of Blacks' participation in and reactions to the conflict and the war's end result. virtually 200,000 African-American infantrymen fought for the Union within the Civil struggle. even though such a lot have been illiterate ex-slaves, numerous thousand have been good informed, loose black males from the northern states. The 129 letters during this assortment have been written by way of black squaddies within the Union military throughout the Civil struggle to black and abolitionist newspapers. they supply a special expression of the black voice that used to be intended for a public discussion board. The letters inform of the men's stories, their fears, and their hopes. They describe intimately their military days--the pleasure of wrestle and the drudgery of digging trenches. a few letters provide shiny descriptions of conflict; others protest racism; nonetheless others name eloquently for civil rights. Many describe their conviction that they're scuffling with not just to loose the slaves yet to earn equivalent rights as electorate. those letters supply a rare photo of the warfare and in addition show the brilliant expectancies, hopes, and finally the calls for that black infantrymen had for the future--for themselves and for his or her race. As first-person files of the Civil battle, the letters are robust statements of the yank dream of justice and equality, and of the human spirit.

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Extra resources for A Grand Army of Black Men: Letters from African-American Soldiers in the Union Army 1861-1865

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I am still afflicted with the rheumatism - not badly; but so as to render it unsafe for me to return to the field again for the present. . Dr. M[artin] R. Delany has been lecturing here with good effect. His subject has been Africa. He has very ably set forth the advantages to be derived by us, as a people, in emigrating. The doctor is liberal. I think that he is right. " So say I. When the proposition is fully endorsed by our people, and I 22 A Grand Army of Black Men think that it will shortly be, I hesitate not to say that the good people of Albany will turn their steps to Hayti.

Nevertheless, Sherman took Savannah and presented it as a "Christmas present" to President Lincoln. Although General Sherman would not allow black units in his own army, African-American regiments from the Department of the South did help take and hold the outlying forts and islands around Savannah. When Sherman turned north and started marching through South Carolina, the Confederates realized that they could no longer hold Charleston. It formally surrendered on February 18, 1865, and black soldiers were among the first to enter and occupy the city.

26th Pennsylvania Infantry, Union Mills, Virginia, November 20, 1862; WAA, December 5, 1862) This letter was probably written by George E. Stephens, a cabinetmaker from Philadelphia. Stephens later joined the 54th Massachusetts regiment and rose to the rank of first lieutenant. But first he served as a cook for the colonel of a white Pennsylvania regiment in the Army of the Potomac. After the Battle of Antietam in September 1862, the army slowly followed Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia south toward Fredericksburg.

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A Grand Army of Black Men: Letters from African-American Soldiers in the Union Army 1861-1865 by Edwin S. Redkey


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