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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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Service in the Postwar South

Service in the Postwar South

(p.255) Chapter Seven Service in the Postwar South
Freedom for Themselves

Richard M. Reid

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes the series of difficult issues faced by the U.S. War Department and the Federal government once the last Confederate armies had surrendered. Conditions in the Southern states guaranteed that Union troops would be needed for some time to establish and enforce the yet-to-be-determined Federal policy. It was clear to most Americans that the social and economic fabric of the South was confronting fundamental changes, and any gains for the black community would be fiercely contested by the white majority. An occupation force would be required to ensure some degree of Federal control. At the same time, most soldiers wanted a quick demobilization, and they represented tens of thousands of voters. Therefore, Union policy was to begin demobilizing, as rapidly as possible, most of its huge volunteer army, while retaining enough troops to police Southern states and to intimidate any Confederates who might want to resume the war.

Keywords:   U.S. War Department, Federal government, Confederate armies, Southern states, Union troops

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