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Did any of the information about black men serving in the Union army surprise you?

Created: 08/26/19

Replies: 13

Posted Aug. 26, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2619

Did any of the information about black men serving in the Union army surprise you?

Was it a surprise to you to learn that black men were not allowed to join the Union army until 1863? That they were segregated from white soldiers and led exclusively by white officers? That they were not paid the same wages as white soldiers until June 1864? That, if caught by Confederate forces, they were usually brutally killed and never taken prisoner? Do you think the war might have ended sooner if any of these facts were different?


Posted Sep. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulagb

Join Date: 08/16/17

Posts: 136

RE: Did any of the information about black men serving in the Union army surprise you?

I believe the name of the movie was Glory with Matthew Broderick, thatfirst made me aware of these facts. The Confederate reaction to black soldiers is not surprising. It was so much easier for the slave states if all blacks were treated as less than human. The refusal ofthe Union to allow integrated fighting forces illustrates that Northern attitudes were just barely better than the policy of the Confederacy. What is perhaps more astounding is that segregated troops continued through WWII. Only during the Vietnam War did the military finally become accessible to black citizens. Perhaps the military has even been a source of opportunity for blacks since the 60s. Note I did not say equal opportunity because I doubt access to the ranks of the officers is as easily acquired by promising young blacks as by their white counterparts. Racism has long been destructive in our country and continues to be.


Posted Sep. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 292

RE: Did any of the information about black men serving in the Union army surprise you?

No. I am married to a History major/retired Government educator. He loves to share his knowledge ::;-)::


Posted Sep. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
carolt

Join Date: 03/25/17

Posts: 110

RE: Did any of the information about black men serving in the Union army surprise you?

No. I'd run into all this information while researching the Civil War myself. It was interesting to see it from Emily's point of view.


Posted Sep. 17, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
annettes

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 35

RE: Did any of the information about black men serving in the Union army surprise you?

As a history major in college I had heard of the problems that black men had in the Union army and even during World War I and II. Too many served as cooks, not in combat. Why? I do not know the anserr.


Posted Sep. 18, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JulieAB

Join Date: 07/16/13

Posts: 117

RE: Did any of the information about black men serving in the Union army surprise you?

No, it didn't surprise me. But, I've also viewed movies in the past that covered black men serving.


Posted Sep. 19, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marys

Join Date: 05/24/11

Posts: 47

RE: Did any of the information about black men serving in the Union army surprise you?

No surprises about the treatment of black men in the Union army. I think that topic has been exposed pretty well both by movies and by other historians. I think my reaction can best be summed up as not surprised but disappointed nonetheless.


Posted Sep. 23, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
TaraM

Join Date: 07/17/19

Posts: 54

RE: Did any of the information about black men serving in the Union army surprise you?

annettes, your point about black men being made to serve as cooks and not in combat is an interesting one; I had no idea that this was so common back then. I wonder if it was because of racial prejudice from the white soldiers who didn't want to fight alongside them. Which is very sad, because I'm sure many black men wanted to fight to show their patriotism.


Posted Sep. 26, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 326

RE: Did any of the information about black men serving in the Union army surprise you?

I was aware of how black men were treated by the union army. It wasn't fair.


Posted Sep. 27, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Kmfox57

Join Date: 07/21/19

Posts: 7

RE: Did any of the information about black men serving in the Union army surprise you?

After a lifetime of schooling, movies and books, the information about black men serving in the Union army was no surprise, but it is -and will always be- very disappointing.


Posted Sep. 30, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
clairem

Join Date: 05/20/11

Posts: 3

RE: Did any of the information about black men serving in the Union army surprise you?

I think ultimately the percentage of blacks in the Union army was about 10%. Many were ex- or runaway slaves, as Emily encountered in Nashville. Little surprises me about how blacks were or would be treated in the army, since we still haven’t reached a point of treating blacks as equals, and they were considered property. The officers of the north were not necessarily advanced civil rights activists so they would likely follow orders or not care unless as in the last year of the war, they would have taken anyone who could shoot as attrition left them always short.


Posted Oct. 01, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 460

RE: Did any of the information about black men serving in the Union army surprise you?

No surprise. Recruitment of colored regiments began following the Emancipation Proclamation and many of them signed up. Later in 1866 the famous Buffalo Soldiers were created. The Buffalo Soldiers museum in Houston is very interesting and informative.


Posted Oct. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
taking.mytime's Gravatar
taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

Posts: 261

RE: Did any of the information about black men serving in the Union army surprise you?

Nothing was surprising. To this very day the black man is paid less, given less care at the hospital, promoted less often. This has been the practice throughout history. And, this was the Civil War - based on slavery - freeing the black population. Black men were not even seen a sa human being - they were property. Why then would we believe that the black man would be given any dignity as a soldier? They were not 'valued' as a human being, let alone a soldier or military person.


Posted Oct. 07, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kkb

Join Date: 04/22/19

Posts: 12

RE: Did any of the information about black men serving in the Union army surprise you?

There is a very good book out recently about a black woman masquerading as a soldier in a black unit during the Civil War, called Daughter of a daughter of a Queen, by Sarah Bird. It is fiction, but based on fact, so it really sets the stage for both prejudices.


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