The Civil War not only brought freedom to slaves, but it also brought military duty for many American blacks at the front lines of the warring armies. The drama of the military involvement of black soldiers comes to life in this volume. The extraordinary and virtually unknown documents in this book - written by slaves and masters, blacks and whites, soldiers and citizens - make vivid the monumental struggles of the 1860s. Drawn from the extensive records of the National Archives. this unprecedented written record came about through the intense involvement of Union and Confederate military officers and policy makers in the process of emancipation. The documents, together with the interpretive essays, offer a panoramic view of a central event in American history, as well as a unique look at revolutionary change in the day-to-day lives of men and women who experienced it.
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