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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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Raising and Training the Black Regiments

Raising and Training the Black Regiments

(p.19) Chapter One Raising and Training the Black Regiments
Freedom for Themselves

Richard M. Reid

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter shows how the four regiments of African American soldiers raised in North Carolina during the Civil War offer a range of insights into the ways in which black units were organized and trained over the course of the conflict. In the case of the three infantry regiments, a progressive experiment begun in early 1863 to demonstrate the value and ability of black soldiers, was overtaken by events and swallowed up in the larger war effort. At the same time, some of the abstract idealism of Northern white officers and the initial optimism of Southern black soldiers began to erode even while others, more skeptical about a biracial army, began to change their racial attitudes. As long as men such as Brig. Gen. Edward A. Wild and Governor John Andrew of Massachusetts could influence their regiments, they used them as models of how black troops might be structured and used.

Keywords:   African American soldiers, North Carolina, Civil War, black units, black soldiers, abstract idealism, Edward A. Wild, Governor John Andrew

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