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A History of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion, 1861–1865$
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George Washington Williams

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780823233854

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823233854.001.0001

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The Army of the James (1865)

The Army of the James (1865)

(p.209) 14 The Army of the James (1865)
A History of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion, 1861–1865

George Washington Williams

Fordham University Press

During the winter of 1864–1865, twenty-five regiments of Negro troops were concentrated on the James River, confronting the Confederate capital. The reputation won by Negro troops was respected in both armies, and the prejudice against their employment among conservative Northern representatives in Congress had almost wholly disappeared. Moreover, there was now a disposition in Congress to make amends for the bad treatment and neglect that Negro troops had suffered. Accordingly, on January, 31, 1865, the House passed a constitutional amendment prohibiting slavery, the news of which had a splendid effect upon the Negro soldiers in the field. When General Robert E. Lee was appointed commander-in-chief of the Confederate army, one of the many new features that he immediately sought to incorporate in his war policy was the military employment of Negroes by the Confederate Government. Negro troops in the Army of the James would later have a hand in preventing Lee's army from passing over the Appomattox at Farmville.

Keywords:   Negro soldiers, James River, Army of James, Congress, slavery, Robert E. Lee, military employment, Appomattox

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