African Americans in the Civil War


African Americans in the Civil War..

“Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letters, U.S., let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pockets, and there is no power on earth which can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship in the United States.” – – Frederick Douglass

African American Civil War Memorial + Museum (Washington.D.C.)


US Colored TroopsThere would be at wars end over 160 African American Civil War units that would have served bravely and effectively. Over 179,000 black Union soldiers and 19,000 sailors would without doubt, aid in turning the tide over the Confederacy.

Almost 40,000 African Americans would die, over 30,000 from disease. Sixteen(16) black soldiers will receive the nations highest award, the Medal of Honor.

After the July 17, 1862 Congressional Acts which would allow the enlistment of African Americans, the battles they fought in would prove to the doubters that the black soldier was capable and eager to fight for the Union and the right of citizenship. However, freedom for these underpaid soldiers ( $10./month less $3. for clothing leaving $7 , versus $13./month without a clothing deduction for the white soldier) would come at a considerable cost.


  First African American Civil War Regiments:

> 1st Regiment South Carolina Volunteers ( Jan.31, 1863 to Feb.8,1864) than re-designated 33rd U.S. Colored Infantry Regiment

> 54th Regiment Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry ( March 13,1863 to August 4,1865) as dramatized in the epic movie “Glory”. ( see “movies” at right )


Just a few engagements (battles):

> October, 1862   Battle of Island Mount, Missouri.

> May 27, 1863    Battle of Port Hudson, Louisiana

> July 17, 1863     Honey Springs, Oklahoma

> July 18, 1863     Fort Wagner, South Carolina  ( 54th Mass. bronze below)

54th Massachusetts

African Americans in the Civil war

“African American Soldier in the Civil War” by Mark Lardas and illustrated by Peter Dennis

African Americans in the Civil war

“Intensely Human: The Health of the Black Soldier during the Civil War” by Margaret Humphreys