History tells us that black soldiers played a significant role in the military once they were allowed to enlist, but do we understand and realize the significance in their role?
When the Civil War broke out, the Union was reluctant to let black soldiers fight at all, citing concerns over white soldiers’ morale and the respect that black soldiers would feel entitled to when the war ended. For nearly two years, the Civil War was a whites-only affair. But, as the Union Army’s death toll increased, the skeptics relented and allowed blacks to enlist in the armed forces.
By war’s end, almost 200,000 black men had enlisted and their help resulted in the Union defeating the Confederate Army.