African Canadians in Union Blue: Volunteering for the Cause in the Civil War by Richard M. ReidAfrican Canadians in Union Blue: Volunteering for the Cause in the Civil War by Richard M. Reid

African Canadians in Union Blue: Volunteering for the Cause in the Civil War

byRichard M. Reid

Hardcover | May 13, 2014

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Before Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, he made a last-minute change – a paragraph authorizing the army to recruit black soldiers. Over the next two years, approximately 180,000 soldiers and 18,000 sailors joined the cause. Several thousand came from Canada.

What compelled these young men to leave the relative comfort and safety of home to face death on the battlefield, loss of income for their families, and legal sanctions for participating in a foreign war? Drawing on newspapers, autobiographies, and military and census records, Richard Reid pieces together a portrait of a group of men who served the Union in disparate ways – as soldiers, sailors, or doctors – but who all believed that the principles of liberty, justice, and equality were worth fighting for, regardless of which side of the border they made their home.

By bringing the courage and contributions of these men to light, African Canadians in Union Blue opens a window on the changing nature of the Civil War and the ties that held black communities together even as the borders around them shifted or were torn asunder.

Richard M. Reid is a professor emeritus at the University of Guelph and the author of several books on Canadian and American history, including Freedom for Themselves: North Carolina’s Black Soldiers in the Civil War Era.
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Title:African Canadians in Union Blue: Volunteering for the Cause in the Civil WarFormat:HardcoverDimensions:308 pages, 9.25 × 6.35 × 0.9 inPublished:May 13, 2014Publisher:Ubc PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0774827459

ISBN - 13:9780774827454

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Table of Contents

Introduction

1 British North America: Glory Land or the Least-Worst Option?

2 The Black Response: What the Numbers Mean

3 Blacks in the Navy: A Different Military Experience

4 Promises Deferred: In the Army, 1863-64

5 Promises Fulfilled: In the Army, 1864-65

6 Black Doctors: Challenging the Barriers

7 Post-War Life: Continuity and Change

Conclusion

Appendix: Establishing the location of black British North American veterans, 1865-75

Notes

Selected Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

When Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, he also authorized the army to recruit black soldiers. Nearly 200,000 men answered the call. Several thousand came from Canada. What compelled these men to leave the relative comfort and safety of home to fight in a foreign war? In African Canadians in Union Blue, Richard Reid sets out in search of an answer and discovers a group of men whose courage and contributions open a window on the changing nature of the Civil War and the ties that held black communities together even as the borders around them shifted and were torn asunder.Richard Reid tells the story of a group of men whose commitment to “Liberty, Justice, and Equality” gave them the strength to overcome legal sanctions as British subjects and racial discrimination in the United States to enlist for the cause. Told with verve and conviction, African Canadian in Union Blue brings to light their extensive contributions to the northern victory. - James W. St.G. Walker, author of The Black Loyalists: The Search for a Promised Land in Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone, 1783-1870