Black Soldiers in the Civil War

Essay by sjunejo April 2005

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During the Seventeenth, Eighteenth and part of the

Nineteenth Century the White people of North America used the Black people of Africa as slaves to benefit their interests. White people created a climate of superiority of their race over the Black African race that in some places, still lingers on today. The American Civil War however, was a key turning point for the Black African race. Through their actions and the political actions

of President Lincoln and his administration, Black Africans set a presedent for their freedom, equality and liberation.

A very important aspect of Blacks proving themselves was that of the Black Man acting as a soldier in the Civil War. During the Civil War the official decision to use Blacks as soldiers in the Union Army was a slow gradual process and a series of strategic political decisions. The actual use of Blacks as soldiers in the Union Army was completed by a series of actions the Black Man performed that won him the respect of becoming a soldier.


two differ in that it was to President Lincoln's benefit to enlist Blacks as soldiers when he did. Whereas the later was the Black Man's will to fight for his freedom and prove himself as an equal human being. However, because the Black population was barred from entering the army under a 1792 law(4) the Black Man becoming a soldier was not officially recognized until late 1862.

"There was strong anti-Black prejudice among most people

in the free states, and in the loyal slave states the idea of arming the Black man was anthema"(1). This statement directly reflects the generally held fear White people had about putting Blacks on the fighting line of the armies in the Civil War. Whites felt that the Civil War was a...