Lincoln and the U.S. Colored Troops by John David SmithLincoln and the U.S. Colored Troops by John David Smith

Lincoln and the U.S. Colored Troops

byJohn David Smith

Hardcover | November 27, 2013

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When Abraham Lincoln issued his final Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, he not only freed the slaves in the Confederate states but also invited freed slaves and free persons of color to join the U.S. Army as part of the U.S. Colored Troops (USCT), the first systematic, large-scale effort by the U.S. government to arm African Americans to aid in the nation’s defense. By the end of the war in 1865, nearly 180,000 black soldiers had fought for the Union. Lincoln’s role in the arming of African Americans remains a central but unfortunately obscure part of one of the most compelling periods in American history.  In Lincoln and the U.S. Colored Troops John David Smith offers a concise, enlightening exploration of the development of Lincoln’s military emancipation project, its implementation, and the recruitment and deployment of black troops.  Though scholars have written much on emancipation and the USCT, Smith’s work frames the evolution of Lincoln’s ideas on emancipation and arming blacks within congressional actions, explaining how, when, and why the president seemed to be so halting in his progression to military emancipation. After tracing Lincoln’s evolution from opposing to supporting emancipation as a necessary war measure and to championing the recruitment of black troops for the Union Army, Smith details the creation, mobilization, and diverse military service of the USCT. He assesses the hardships under which the men of the USCT served, including the multiple forms of discrimination from so-called friends and foes alike, and examines the broad meaning of Lincoln’s military emancipation project and its place in African American historical memory.
John David Smith, the Charles H. Stone Distinguished Professor of American History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, is the author, editor, or coeditor of twenty-four books, including Black Judas: William Hannibal Thomas and “The American Negro,” Black Soldiers in Blue: African American Troops in the Civil War Era, and ...
Title:Lincoln and the U.S. Colored TroopsFormat:HardcoverDimensions:160 pages, 8 × 5 × 0.98 inPublished:November 27, 2013Publisher:Southern Illinois University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0809332906

ISBN - 13:9780809332908

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Editorial Reviews

"Smith’s approach in this tidy volume reflects the excellent work of the scholars who contributed essays to a volume Smith edited in 2004 titled Black Soldiers in Blue: African American Troops in the Civil War Era. In fact, that book of essays in combination with Smith’s succinct general narrative in Lincoln and the U.S. Colored Troops would provide students a broad understanding of this fascinating topic. At the end of his book, Smith offers readers some glimpses of how Abraham Lincoln’s steps towards emancipation, particularly the use of black troops, “empowered African Americans and changed America” (115). "--Stacy Pratt McDermott, Lincoln in Brief: A Review Essay