Though at first shunned when it was made clear that the Civil War was to be a white man's fight, Northern blacks sought to contribute to the war effort from the moment volunteers were called. Initially taken in as contraband, free blacks and ex-slaves eventually donned uniforms and fought in more than 400 battles to reunite the Union and free their brethren from bondage. Incurring blatant prejudice that saw black soldiers underpaid and denied officer commissions, the vast majority endured hardship and deprivation in battle after battle in an attempt to demonstrate bravery and dedication to the cause. With their willingness and ability to fight initially questioned, African Americans repeatedly proved their valor. Discover in "African Americans and the Civil War" how, according to President Abraham Lincoln, black soldiers made the difference between victory and defeat.
Ronald A. Reis has written young adult biographies of Eugenie Clark, Jonas Salk, Mickey Mantle, and Ted Williams, as well as books on the Dust Bowl, the New York Subway System, African Americans and the Civil War, and the World Trade Organization, all for Chelsea House. He is the technology department chair at Los Angeles Valley College.
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