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Black Soldiers in the Civil War

Interpreting Data

All documents and text associated with this activity are printed below, followed by a worksheet for student responses.

Introduction

Read both pages of this Government poster for recruiting recently freed slaves for the Union Army during the Civil War. It promised freedom, protection and pay if they joined. It refers to the Emancipation Proclamation and to President Lincoln's order to provide equal pay for black soldiers and equal protection if they were captured by the Confederacy and became prisoners of war.

Click on "+ Add Text" in the bottom left corner and label on the pages any references you find to:

  1. Soldier pay
  2. Treatment of prisoners of war
  3. Discrimination during the Civil War
  4. Government efforts to improve conditions for black soldiers

Then click "When You're Done" to answer the conclusion questions.


Name:
Class:

Worksheet

Black Soldiers in the Civil War

Interpreting Data

Examine the document or documents below. Use the numbers to refer to the questions or hints provided. Then label the documents(s) with additional numbers or symbols based if you were asked to do in the introduction and explain them in the margins. Write your conclusion response in the space provided.

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Number: 1
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1

Activity Element

To Colored Men!

Page 1



2

Activity Element

To Colored Men!

Page 2



Conclusion

Black Soldiers in the Civil War

Interpreting Data

  1. What did President Lincoln threaten to do in General Order 233 if the Confederacy treated a black prisoner of war like an escaped slave by selling or enslaving him?
  2. Besides offering pay and protection equal to white soldiers, how did the Government try to appeal to black soldiers? What argument did they use?
  3. How important do you think enlisting black soldiers was to the Union victory?


Your Response




Document

To Colored Men!

ca. 1861 - 1865

After President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, the U.S. Army began recruiting black men in earnest. The Confederate government regarded captured black soldiers as fugitive slaves, not prisoners of war. It threatened to execute or sell them into slavery. This broadside reassured potential black recruits that the U.S. Government would treat all of its troops as soldiers – and retaliate in the event of Confederate mistreatment of black U.S. soldiers.

Text adapted from "The Fight for Equal Rights: A Recruiting Poster for Black Soldiers in the Civil War" in the February 1992 National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) publication Social Education.
This primary source comes from the Records of the Adjutant General's Office.
National Archives Identifier: 1497351
Full Citation: To Colored Men!; ca. 1861 - 1865; Letters Received, 1863 - 1888; Records of the Adjutant General's Office, ; National Archives Building, Washington, DC. [Online Version, https://www.docsteach.org/documents/document/to-colored-men, September 24, 2017]


To Colored Men!

Page 1



To Colored Men!

Page 2