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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 Outlook

The Outlook

(p.120) 8 The Outlook
A History of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion, 1861–1865

George Washington Williams

Fordham University Press

Even after the Negro had obtained the uniform and musket of a Union soldier, he was persistently denied public confidence. His enslavement by the dominant race for centuries furnished no illustration of racial valor. A few irascible Negroes had inaugurated puny insurrections, but they were destitute of that element of enlightened courage which invests revolutions for liberty with invincible power. These fugitive slaves became agitators at the North, and assisted in bringing about the condition of affairs in which bullets took the place of books, and cannon supplanted counsel. Even the most advanced leaders on the Union side, the antislavery friends of the Negro, were neither willing to affirm nor deny his courage in a military encounter, but the most appaLling fact that stared the Negro soldier in the face was an Act of the Confederate Congress denying him the immunity of a prisoner of war.

Keywords:   Negroes, Union, fugitive slaves, North, Congress

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