Nichole Drungo2-23-17W6African Americans and the Civil WarFor centuries, African Americans were forced into bondage by white settlers; racism and pro-slavery values flourished within America, which in turn forced thousands of African Americans to live lives dominated by white supremacists. However, during the 19th century sentiment towards African Americans took a significant turn. The United States was becoming divided, the Republican northern states, who mostly disfavored slavery, separated themselves from the Democratic south who favored slavery as an economic relief. Thus causing the two separated regions to go head-to-head in battle. In many ways, African Americans affected the course and consequences of the Civil War. For example, the main reason for the Civil War was African Americans being enslaved in America, and emancipation affected the course of the war; furthermore, after the war, African Americans fought for legal equality and freedom from prejudice, which affected the course of Reconstruction and the future of America. In 1861, the bloodiest war in American history began; its main purpose for starting: slavery. During the war, many opposed African Americans becoming free because they feared they would take their jobs and infect their white society. Furthermore, emancipation remained a controversial topic in politics. To gain momentum towards emancipation, Congress passed the Confiscation Act; which stated that all slaves used for “insurrectionary” purposes would be considered freed. However, many northerns were slow to accept emancipation as a war aim. Major General Benjamin F. Butler documents this trivial conflict in his report to the secretary of war in July
African Americans in the American Civil War Essay examples
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In the history of the United States, African Americans have always been discriminated against. When Africans first came to America, they were taken against their will and forced to work as laborers. They became slaves to the rich, greedy, lazy Americans. They were given no pay and often badly whipped and beaten. African Americans fought for their freedom, and up until the Civil War it was never given to them. When the Civil War began, they wanted to take part in fighting to free all slaves. Their opportunity to be soldiers and fight along side white men equally did not come easily, but eventually African Americans proved themselves able to withstand the heat of battle and fight as true American heroes. The road to freedom from…show more content…
Finally, in the summer of 1862, with the realization that the war would not be won without the end of slavery, Lincoln drew up the Emancipation Proclamation (Fincher). This document freed slaves in all areas who rebelled against the Union. This began a rippling effect to many other aspects of the war and led to the enlistment of African Americans in the Union Army and Navy.
On July 17, 1862, Congress "repealed an act of 1792 barring black men from serving in state militia'; (Smith 308). A new Militia Act permitted the enlistment of free black men and ex-slaves. Now after the long hard fight to be allowed to serve in the Union Army, African Americans would finally have their chance to prove themselves as worthy soldiers. They would serve America proudly and fight to free their fellow brothers who were still enslaved.
Enrollment began in September of 1862 (Allen 225). Thousands of black men enlisted. They would be commanded, led, and trained by all white officers. There were not to be any black officers commissioned and all African American soldiers were to be regarded as laborers. They would receive less pay than a white soldier. Instead of $13 plus clothing expenses, they would only receive $10 without clothing expenses (The American Civil War: A Multicultural Encyclopedia 55).
When word of African Americans enlisting in the Union Army got out, the Confederate Army lashed out many threats. They
…warned that Union officers recruiting