African Americans in the Civil War Essay

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African Americans in the Civil War

About 180,000 African American people comprised 163 units that served in the Union Army, during the time of the Civil War, and many more African American people had served in the Union Navy. Both the free African-Americans and the runaway slaves had joined the fight. On the date of July 17, in the year of 1862, the U. S. Congress had passed two very important acts that would allow the enlistment of many African Americans, but the official enrollment had occurred only after the September, 1862, issuance of the, Emancipation Proclamation. In general, most white soldiers and officers, had believed that most of the black men, who had served in the Civil War, lacked the courage, and the will to fight
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The 1st Kansas Colored's, which had held the center of the Union line, were able to advance their status, to within around fifty paces from the Confederate line, and they had exchanged gunfire for around twenty minutes, until the Confederates, had finally broke and ran. General James Blunt, of the Union, had wrote after the battle, "I had never seen such fighting as was done by the Negro regiment. The only question that the Negroes, will be able fight has been settled, and besides they make better soldiers in every other respect, than any of the troops, that I have ever had under my own command."

The most widely known battle which was fought by many African American soldiers, was the assault on Fort Wagner, in the southern state of South Carolina, by the 54th Massachusetts, on the date of July 18, 1863. The 54th Massachusetts had volunteered to lead the assault, on the strongly-fortified Confederate grounds. The soldiers of the 54th Massachusetts, had been able to scale Fort Wagner's, parapet, or military barricade, and then they were only driven back, after the brutal hand-to-hand combat.

Although many of the Negro soldiers had proved themselves as very reputable soldiers, the discrimination in pay, and in many other areas, had remained very widespread. According to the notable Militia Act of 1862, all soldiers of any African descent, were to only receive $10.00 a month, plus
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