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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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Military Status of Negro Troops

Military Status of Negro Troops

Chapter:
(p.102) 6 Military Status of Negro Troops
Source:
A History of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion, 1861–1865
Author(s):

George Washington Williams

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823233854.003.0006

The legal status of Negro soldiers ought never to have been a mooted question. Ancient and modern history furnished safe and noteworthy precedents for the guidance of the government in the War of the Rebellion. The words of the Constitution descriptive of persons eligible to military service are clear. In the matter of the pay and bounty of Negro soldiers, the action of the government was manifestly unwise and unjust. In every army, the Negro had served in—ancient and modern, Christian and Pagan—he had always received the same wages and allowances awarded to other soldiers. In the Revolutionary War, it was sometimes said that slaves made expensive soldiers because they were purchased at public expense, and were then paid the same as white soldiers. The enemies of the Negro and the obstructionists in Congress sought by every means and upon all occasions to prevent the passage of every appropriation bill that contained an item for the maintenance of the Negro troops already accepted by and in the service of the government.

Keywords:   Negroes, legal status, Negro soldiers, War of Rebellion, Constitution, Congress, army, military service, slaves, wages

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