Freedom by the Sword: The U.S. Colored Troops, 1862-1867

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  • Edition: 00
  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2013-02-17
  • Publisher: FRWHEEL

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The Civil War changed the United States in manyways-economic, political, and social. Of these changes, none was more importantthan Emancipation. Besides freeing nearly four million slaves, it broughtagricultural wage labor to a reluctant South and gave a vote to black adultmales in the former slave states. It also offered former slaves newopportunities in education, property ownership-and military service. From late1862 to the spring of 1865, as the Civil War raged on, the federal governmentaccepted more than 180,000 black men as soldiers, something it had never donebefore on such a scale. Known collectively as the United States Colored Troops andorganized in segregated regiments led by white officers, some of these soldiersguarded army posts along major rivers; others fought Confederate raiders toprotect Union supply trains, and still others took part in major operationslike the Siege of Petersburg and the Battle of Nashville. After the war, manyof the black regiments took up posts in the former Confederacy to enforcefederal Reconstruction policy. Freedom by the Sword tells the story ofthese soldiers' recruitment, organization, and service. Thanks to its broadfocus on every theater of the war and its concentration on what black soldiersactually contributed to Union victory, this volume stands alone among historiesof the U.S. Colored Troops.

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