LINCEM_080211_65
Existing comment:
1863:
Enlisting Black Troops:
As Union casualties mounted, Lincoln came under increasingly intense pressure to allow black enlistment. Frederick Douglass demanded, "Why does the government reject the negro? Is he not a man? Can he not wield a sword, fire a gun, march and counter march, and obey orders like any other? ... this is no time to fight only with your white hand, and allow your black hand to remain tied."
(Document -- Photograph) Black troops of Ferrero's division, on the eastern front at Petersburg, Virginia. Only after Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation did the Union army officially accept black soldiers in its ranks, in all-black units. In May 1863, the war Department established the Bureau of Colored Troops.
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