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                  Nathan Jones, Master Artist                



The Soldiers

On April 12, 1861 the Civil War begin between the Confederacy and the Union.  President Abraham Lincoln declared all slaves free through the Emancipation Proclamation effective January 1, 1863. This proclamation was for the purpose of stimulating Negro participation in the war.   Over 180,000 Negroes had served in the Union Army, and 33,000 enlisted Negro Troops died in uniform prior to the end of the war in 1865.  On December 18, 1865 the thirteenth amendment was added to the constitution abolishing slavery, because several states disregarded the proclamation.  Congress passed an act on July 28, 1866 provisions were made for the Negro to serve in the Army at peacetime. Six regiments of Negro Troops were authorized, two of cavalry, and four of infantry.  Congress formed the ninth and tenth cavalry who fought Indians, protected settlers, guarded railroads, train passengers, built railroads, guarded diplomats, etc.  The name “Buffalo Soldier” was given to the Negro Troops by the Indians because of the similarity in the kinky buffalo hair and Negro hair. The congressional Medal of Honor was awarded to at least last 21 black soldiers during the Civil war by the Federal Government. These soldiers fought battles throughout the west for 24 years ending in 1891.


On April 1, 1866 The United States Congress gave equal rights to all persons born in the US, except Indians.  June 13, 1866 the fourteenth amendment to the United States Constitution gave Negroes rights of citizenship, (to be ratified by the States).

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