Date Thesis Awarded
Honors Thesis -- Open Access
Bachelors of Arts (BA)
"I analyzed the establishment of the black regiments as a premier fighting force in the Union Army. From the beginning of the Civil War, Black men were used in various capacities, mainly as contraband labors. In 1862 Black troops served as soldiers in the Department of the South and the Department of the Gulf. By 1863 with the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln cleared the path for the use of black soldiers in all the Union Armies. In spite of adversity and prejudice, these troops led by white commissioned officers served well throughout the war, fighting especially valiantly at Fort Wagner and the Battle of the Crater. By examining a collection of primary sources from the War department archives, I obtained the perspective of the elite members of society, congressmen and generals who commanded the troops. By looking at various black newspapers and Northern white newspapers, I developed a perspective on how nineteenth-century non-elites might have felt about black soldiers. Unfortunately, most black soldiers were illiterate and therefore my study cannot include the views of average black soldiers"--Author abstract.
Miller, Benjamin Lee, "The patriotism of the minority :the role of the African American soldier in the American Civil War" (2004). Undergraduate Honors Theses. William & Mary. Paper 339.
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