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The Civil War
(1861-1865)

African Americans in the Civil War



African Americans in the Civil War
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.1

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    contraband, helping, retreat, recruit, enlist, slavery, All-black, commander, actually, victory, slave, free, anger, allow, prove, earn
     content words:    President Abraham Lincoln, Border States, Emancipation Proclamation, In September, On September, If Confederate, Massachusetts Regiment, Robert Gould Shaw, Frederick Douglass, In July


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African Americans in the Civil War
By Cathy Pearl
  

1     When the war started, there were many free blacks in the North. These men volunteered to fight for the Union army. At first, President Abraham Lincoln did not want to recruit black soldiers. He did not want to upset people in the Border States between the South and the North. He also did not want to anger people in the North who did not want to fight a war over slavery. He insisted the North was fighting the war to save the Union.
 
2     Blacks were disappointed, but they didn't stop trying. Through 1861 and most of 1862, they pushed to be allowed in the army. Even if Lincoln did not want to say it, most blacks knew this was a war against slavery.
 
3     It was harder to decide what to do with escaped slaves. As the Union army would go near a plantation, many slaves would escape and cross over to the Union side. Some thought the slaves should be sent back. Others put them to work helping the Union army.
 
4     Finally, escaped slaves were declared "contraband of war." A slave could earn this title if he had been forced to help the Confederates in any way. If a slave was found to be contraband, he was declared to be free.

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The Civil War
(1861-1865)

             The Civil War
(1861-1865)



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