Strike the Blow for Freedom: The 6th United States Colored Infantry in the Civil War - Hardcover
Strike the Blow for Freedom: The 6th United States Colored Infantry in the Civil War
When Southern guns opened fire on Fort Sumter, thousands of Northerners rallied to support the nation's war effort. Some of the more idealistic volunteers were driven either by an angry impulse to avenge the assault on their flag or by a fervent resolve to restore their beloved Union. For African Americans, however, even at the war's outset, this conflict had deeper meaning.
Black volunteers stepped forward from many quarters. But they were told that this was to be "a White man's war." It was to be a war to preserve the Union, and not a war against slavery. The government pronounced the preservation of the Union to be the official war aim, and the general populace of the North agreed.
By mid-1862 a frustrated Lincoln admitted: "We had about played our last card, and must change our tactics or lose the war." Employment of black troops soon became a matter of "vital military importance." After the Union victory at Antietam, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation and changed the complexion of the war.
This in-depth study of the organization and achievements of the 6th United States Colored Infantry Regiment will be a valuable addition to secondary school and college libraries as well as to the collections of those interested in African Americans' contributions to the Union cause. Strike the Blow for Freedom also complements other studies of the Civil War in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and North Carolina.
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