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Freedom for ThemselvesNorth Carolina's Black Soldiers in the Civil War Era$
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Richard M. Reid

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780807831748

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807837276_reid

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(p.1) Introduction
Freedom for Themselves

Richard M. Reid

University of North Carolina Press

This book describes how the young black men in North Carolina never quite envisioned that in just over two years they would join the Union army and strike a blow against the Confederacy. For a variety of reasons, there seemed little likelihood that these men would have the opportunity or, perhaps, the inclination to fight other Southerners. Many Southerners believed that the conflict would be over quickly, and, in any event, Union forces seemed far removed from North Carolina. In the first months of the war, local officials worked hard, if not always effectively, to make sure that the state would be ready to resist any Federal incursions, although few North Carolinians expected that the enemy could occupy a considerable part of their state. Moreover, any African American showing reluctance to support the Confederate war effort, let alone offering to help the Yankees, could anticipate swift retribution.

Keywords:   young black men, North Carolina, Union army, Confederacy, Southerners

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