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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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Families of the Soldiers during the War

Families of the Soldiers during the War

(p.215) Chapter Six Families of the Soldiers during the War
Freedom for Themselves

Richard M. Reid

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes enlistment, for many African Americans, as a time fraught with worries about the families, friends, and dependents they were leaving behind to an uncertain fate. As black Union soldiers from Southern states, not only did they face higher risks if captured by Confederate troops, but also their families, either at home or in refugee camps, could find themselves in equally perilous situations. The Union's white soldiers from the North could expect that, in their absence, their families would receive support and assistance from their local community, their state government, and Federal agencies. If they were killed or seriously wounded in battle, some aid would be provided for those left behind. At the very least, family members would enjoy the respect of their society for the sacrifice their men were making. Moreover, many of these men and their families had financial resources that would help buffer dependents from privation while the war lasted.

Keywords:   enlistment, African Americans, black Union soldiers, Southern states, Confederate troops

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