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Restrictions among African American soldiers Essay

Restrictions among African American soldiers Essay

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Topic:

Restrictions among African American soldiers

Type of paper:

Research paper

Discipline:

History

Format or citation style:

Chicago / Turabian

Pages: 8

Chicago  style- due to the restrictions within African American soldiers during the civil war- idealistic regardless fighting for one’s country – rules and restrictions  put amongst them would not at this point change during history. Basically they can act American as much as they wanted but wouldn’t bring on social change nor alter attitudes towards their own race and the life as a slave would continue amongst their own race. – conditions – rights- and acceptance

Primary sources are very important. At least 5

Restrictions among African American soldiers

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Restrictions among African American soldiers Essay

Introduction

The predicament of the African American soldiers in the civil war depicts an agonizing tale of discrimination and slavery. African American soldiers would claim a significantly minimal recognition in the civil war. Despite their potent and willingness to take part in the war, the soldiers were reduced to a minimum role and limited participation. Prior to the start of the Civil war, President Abraham Lincoln had a firm stance on the restriction and obstruction of black volunteers to be recruited in the army. The prodigy of the African American emancipation declaration by the president was a temporal and limited absorption into army actions on the onset of the civil[1]. The black had been confined to slavery state and their push to take part in the civil war would do nothing to recant the racial perception.

The Emancipation Proclamation and Enlisting of African American Soldiers

The proclamation on liberation by Abraham Lincoln ignited a conflict between the northern territories standing for unity and the Southern part seeking secession. The southern territories glorified slavery and would not welcome the calls to free the slaves. African American become the center of the civil war, and consequently, the federal union was hesitant to deploy black soldiers during the war[2]. The integration of the African American into the army faced criticism and obstruction resulting to the restricted assimilation of the black troops. It was an outright threat to turn imminently freed slave workers into soldiers as they would turn to be more harm than good. The phobia of reiteration and adversity of black troops was a vague assumption which played a significant role in obstructing the African American soldiers to take part in the civil war[3].

The African American Soldier’s Experience

            A contemplative inquest in the life of the black troops manifests a high level of oblivion and turmoil of the African American soldier. The number of direct narration of the black troop’s experience has been reduced to a minimum as less number of letters from the soldiers has since been retrieved. Nonetheless, the participation of the Black soldiers in the Civil rights movement of the 1850s and 1860s stands close to 200,000 soldiers[4]. The treatment of the black troops was no different from that of an oppressed and restricted captive taking part in a battle that would mark a great revolution in the American union of states. The black troops were demeans and mistreated as of less dignified soldiers of the northern states union where they were deemed as newly freed slaves, only capable as laborers, illiterate and ignorant of the complicated nature of war[5].

            Racism forms the pinnacle of the worst part of the African American soldiers. As soon as the Northern slaves were liberated and limited enlisting of the black troops, the campaign on “men of color; to arms” went round. Before emancipation proclamation, the states of slavery were growing worse. Even though the liberation marked a turn of events, it marked the switch from one misery to another for the black soldier. The enlisting of the black troops turned out a forceful affair and violent as it were in the slavery days. The African American soldier enlisting also involved manipulation and victimization leaving them less of a choice but link up with the army for the sake of safety for their families and relatives.

Nonetheless, the African Americans were overlooked as being incapable of fighting along with the whites and were turned away despite their voluntary quest to take part in the war.  The whites segregated the African Americans as they perceived as nothing better than slaves and laborers. However, as the War came to a halt, the African American soldiers had proved to be valuable assets and committed to the soul to fight for the country[6]. Although the whites discriminated and demeaned the African Americans, the soldiers put on a brave fight when called upon on the war front[7]. However, the effort and commitment of the African American soldiers go down the drain with minimum or no recognition as the whites took all the pride in the civil war.

The African American soldier expresses his frustration concerning the negative treatment and discriminatory alleviation in participation in the civil war. Most of the freed black soldiers were college trained and possessed necessary knowledge and skills to take part in the war even way better than the white’s counterparts[8]. In addition, the African American had extra motivation to take part in the civil war and win as a justification for the fight of their rights as American citizens. For a better part of the independence decree, the African American were denied an equal claim and rights as citizens of the United States. The participation in the civil war was a path to put a case that they were equal citizens and deserved recognition[9].

Women also were not spared of turmoil and agony of serving in the military camps. A narration of the African American women serving at the military camps of the Federal union spell of lousy treatment, insults, torture and racial discrimination[10]. Despite the grant of freedom to the African American, women in the camp were used as servants and oppressed by the whites. At the worst, the black women were ridiculed and stereotyped as being hypersexual, bestial and on the extreme obsequious mammies. The scene of seeing the African American soldiers suffer and go through harsh conditions in camps and at war was too much for the women[11].

Susie King Taylor narrates a tale of the memoir of the African American soldiers as it transpired. The treatment and discrimination against the women were far stretched. Susie Taylor served in the camp for more than four years without being trained and receiving no pay at all. Amidst the endless mistreatment and discrimination against the African Women, life in the camp was full of hurdles and difficulties. In addition, the women had to accompany the troops during the war to assist with providing necessities to the soldiers[12]. African American went through hell while they put their lives on the line regardless of the disrespect and discrimination from the whites.

            The African American soldier story revolves around narration about training, the revelation of the war, comrades, turmoil, and suffering as well as a bitter and fateful tale of greatly disadvantaged black troops[13]. The force and pressure grew from training to the war itself, and it is all unpleasant even to imagine. The black troops were put through humiliating experiences, and racial insults kept falling on their faces more occasionally than not. As the black soldiers narrate, the order of the day was disrespect, mistreatment and the acts of injustice[14]. The plagues of diseases did not spare the lives of the black troops, and a majority of the African American soldiers fall prey of the unending suffering and victimization.

            The black troops also faced raids behind the Southern lines as they did march to victory into Charleston, Wilmington, Richmond and the capital of the defeated Confederacy[15].  In addition to adverse treatment by the white officers, fellow soldiers and civilians from both the north and south, insults come in equal measures. The government further decided to reduce the pay for the African American soldier. The involuntary and discriminatory pay cut came as a massive blow to an army of the blacks already facing the worst times of their lives[16]. The black army only received seven dollars compensation at the end of the month while their white counterparts received almost double bagging home thirteen dollars. African American soldiers faced a struggle to survive and fight in anticipation of gaining respect and equal claim to the declaration of independence.

The African American soldiers demonstrated a great appeal and dedication to stand for a united state rather than back up the secession bid. Although the soldiers were limited in number during the civil war, their push and commitment was an amusement considering they were considered as slaves. The African American soldiers put the slavery issue behind them and put in blood and sweat in the civil war[17]. It was clear that they considered and fought for the nation as they were equal citizens as the whites. Regardless of the slavery problems and mistreatment, African American soldiers were not bothered at all and entirely concentrated in fighting the civil war and going home victorious[18]. The African American soldiers gave the white counterparts a concern to think about concerning their loyalty to the states.

            In the Confederate units, black troops served as servants of the rebel officers and did little to amount to active participation as army men. A lot of hardship came along for the African American at the hands of the white soldiers and officers. Black officers previously enlisted from Louisiana were later forced to resign leaving the helm of control and power to the whites. In some instances, black soldiers had to be in the company of the dead and the wounded while they were under attack[19]. In addition, the African American soldiers were deployed for the first time in the Gulf States under the command of Captain Andre Cailloux. The black troop had a taste of immense attack and heavy fire at port Hudson which was under a heavy guard of the rebel forces[20].

            One of the most traumatizing moments of the wars is the Fort Pillow massacre where Confederates troops conducted a surprise attack. The Union army which consisted of a majority of the blacks docked their gunboat, Silver cloud and passenger stream, Platte Valley at the Fort where the Confederates had offered a truce to surrender the wounded Federal captives[21]. The scene turned rather bad, and the rebels went on to surround the federal troops where a large group of the black soldiers was killed. The massacre signaled a colossal blow to the enlisted black soldier since a considerable number was lost on that fateful occasion. The massacre was a huge scare for the black soldier enlisted in the federal troops[22]. The fort pillow massacre accounts for one of the heaviest blow and darkest moment for the African American troops.

An army of the African American soldiers was considered relatively inferior and as on sergeant Symmes Stillwell objected strongly the equipping of the slaves. The move to turn the African American slaves to soldiers was termed as a “confession of weakness and an insult to the brave white soldiers.”[23] In totality, the merits for the grant of resources and corresponding training were pinned down to envision the discriminatory and oppressive treatment of the blacks. The notion of recruiting and eventually deploying black soldiers was a huge burden to the American white which they could not stand even a flash of a second to consider being a reality[24].

The Skirmishes of the Civil War

            The emancipation proclamation by Lincoln gradually changed focused and the eruption of the civil war later turned to be a great turning point for the African American society. The twist from a constitutional entanglement between territories manifested as the incumbent liberation of the Black slaves which would make the African American soldiers prod. Regardless of a minor consideration in the civil war, African American soldiers put up a dual effect attributes in defending the unity of the states and the liberation from slavery[25]. The central role and focus of the African American troops is inevitable despite the numerous challenges to claim a considerable chunk of participation. The African American soldiers stand to be recognized as heroes who pioneered the identity of the state and the black community in the country[26].

            The oppressive and discriminatory mechanism concerning the affairs of the African American troops indicated a deep-lying rift between the two races. Nevertheless, African American soldiers demonstrated without a doubt that unity was paramount in the building of a nation. As far as the common enemy remained to be fellow Americans whether black or white the interest of the country as a whole demanded the pulling together of efforts beyond the racial divides[27]. African American soldiers utilized their limited chance to make the best of their presence in fighting for the union of the country and liberation and abolishment of slavery in the state. Black soldiers championed for American state that would be conducive for all of its citizens and considering the limited window of participation; it was a great milestone of achievement[28].

Bibliography

Hargrove, Hondon B. Black Union Soldiers in the Civil War. McFarland, 2003.    

McPherson, James M. The illustrated battle cry of freedom: The Civil War era. Oxford University Press, 2003.

Redkey, Edwin S., Ed. A Grand Army of Black Men: Letters from African-American Soldiers in the Union Army 1861-1865. No. 63. Cambridge University Press, 1992.

Smith, John David, ed. Black soldiers in blue: African American troops in the Civil War era. Univ of North Carolina Press, 2002.

Taylor, Susie King. Reminiscences of My Life in Camp: An African American Woman’s Civil War Memoir. University of Georgia Press, 2006.


[1] Smith, John David, ed. Black soldiers in blue: African American troops in the Civil War era. Univ of North Carolina Press, 2002.

[2] Ibid 1

[3] McPherson, James M. The illustrated battle cry of freedom: The Civil War era. Oxford University Press, 2003.

[4] Redkey, Edwin S., Ed. A Grand Army of Black Men: Letters from African-American Soldiers in the Union Army 1861-1865. No. 63. Cambridge University Press, 1992.

[5] Ibid 4

[6] Smith, John David, ed. Black soldiers in blue: African American troops in the Civil War era. Univ of North Carolina Press, 2002.

[7] Redkey, Edwin S., Ed. A Grand Army of Black Men: Letters from African-American Soldiers in the Union Army 1861-1865. No. 63. Cambridge University Press, 1992.

[8] Ibid 7

[9] Hargrove, Hondon B. Black Union Soldiers in the Civil War. McFarland, 2003.

[10] Taylor, Susie King. Reminiscences of My Life in Camp: An African American Woman’s Civil War Memoir. University of Georgia Press, 2006

[11]Taylor, Susie King. Reminiscences of My Life in Camp: An African American Woman’s Civil War Memoir. University of Georgia Press, 2006

[12] Ibid 11

[13] Smith, John David, ed. Black soldiers in blue: African American troops in the Civil War era. Univ of North Carolina Press, 2002.

[14] Ibid 11

[15] Smith, John David, ed. Black soldiers in blue: African American troops in the Civil War era. Univ of North Carolina Press, 2002.

[16] Redkey, Edwin S., Ed. A Grand Army of Black Men: Letters from African-American Soldiers in the Union Army 1861-1865. No. 63. Cambridge University Press, 1992.

[17] McPherson, James M. The illustrated battle cry of freedom: The Civil War era. Oxford University Press, 2003.

[18] Ibid 16

[19] Redkey, Edwin S., Ed. A Grand Army of Black Men: Letters from African-American Soldiers in the Union Army 1861-1865. No. 63. Cambridge University Press, 1992.

[20] Smith, John David, ed. Black soldiers in blue: African American troops in the Civil War era. Univ of North Carolina Press, 2002.

[21] Ibid 19

[22] Hargrove, Hondon B. Black Union Soldiers in the Civil War. McFarland, 2003.

[23] Smith, John David, ed. Black soldiers in blue: African American troops in the Civil War era. Univ of North Carolina Press, 2002.

[24] Ibid 23

[25] Redkey, Edwin S., Ed. A Grand Army of Black Men: Letters from African-American Soldiers in the Union Army 1861-1865. No. 63. Cambridge University Press, 1992.

[26] Hargrove, Hondon B. Black Union Soldiers in the Civil War. McFarland, 2003.

[27] Hargrove, Hondon B. Black Union Soldiers in the Civil War. McFarland, 2003.

[28] Redkey, Edwin S., Ed. A Grand Army of Black Men: Letters from African-American Soldiers in the Union Army 1861-1865. No. 63. Cambridge University Press, 1992.

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