Frederick Douglass Worried After the Civil War that the Role of Black Soldiers Would be Forgotten in Favor of Confederate "Heroes"

ForeverFree

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Dubious Dubois

This is probably the genesis of the self-emancipation theory and the role of the USCT:

"The decisive action which ended the Civil War was the emancipation and the arming of the black slave; that, as Lincoln said, 'Without the military help of black freedmen, the war against the south could not have been won.' The freedmen, far from being the inert recipients of freedom at the hands of philanthropists, furnished 200,000 soldiers in the Civil War who took part in nearly 200 battles and skirmishes, and in addition perhaps 300,000 others as effective laborers and helpers.” - W.E.B. Dubois, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880

The Lincoln quote is dubious. As far as I can tell, the only source for it is Dubois. First, it speaks of the war in the past tense, even though there were 150,000 rebels still around when Lincoln was killed. Second, Dubois never met Lincoln. He was born in 1868.

This is an authentic Lincoln quote:

Abraham Lincoln, Washington, DC, December 8, 1863
State of the Union Address
Fellow-Citizens of the Senate and House of Representatives:​
…The preliminary emancipation proclamation, issued in September (1862), was running its assigned period to the beginning of the new year. A month later the final proclamation came, including the announcement that colored men of suitable condition would be received into the war service. The policy of emancipation and of employing black soldiers gave to the future a new aspect, about which hope and fear and doubt contended in uncertain conflict.
According to our political system, as a matter of civil administration, the General Government had no lawful power to effect emancipation in any State, and for a long time it had been hoped that the rebellion could be suppressed without resorting to it as a military measure. It was all the while deemed possible that the necessity for it might come, and that if it should the crisis of the contest would then be presented. It came, and, as was anticipated, it was followed by dark and doubtful days.​
Eleven months having now passed, we are permitted to take another review. The rebel borders are pressed still farther back, and by the complete opening of the Mississippi the country dominated by the rebellion is divided into distinct parts, with no practical communication between them. Tennessee and Arkansas have been substantially cleared of insurgent control, and influential citizens in each, owners of slaves and advocates of slavery at the beginning of the rebellion, now declare openly for emancipation in their respective States. Of those States not included in the emancipation proclamation, Maryland and Missouri, neither of which three years ago would tolerate any restraint upon the extension of slavery into new Territories, only dispute now as to the best mode of removing it within their own limits.​
Of those who were slaves at the beginning of the rebellion full 100,000 are now in the United States military service, about one-half of which number actually bear arms in the ranks, thus giving the double advantage of taking so much labor from the insurgent cause and supplying the places which otherwise must be filled with so many white men. So far as tested, it is difficult to say they are not as good soldiers as any.

- Alan
 
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ForeverFree

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Dubious Dubois

This is probably the genesis of the self-emancipation theory and the role of the USCT:

I often ask people the question, "during the Civil War, who freed the slaves?" My answer is, "African Americans, in alliance with the Union, freed themselves." This is NOT to say that African Americans freed themselves by themselves. The point is that they were agents of their own liberation, they were part of a team effort, and their role in Union victory and ending slavery must be acknowledged.

Note that, African Americans themselves made the point that they were agents of their liberation during this period.

Duncan Winslow was born an enslaved person in antebellum Tennessee. He joined the US army during the war; per military order, enlistment freed him from bondage. He was at Fort Pillow, which most of us know about. Winslow was lucky: unlike most of his comrades, he survived. But he was wounded in the arm and leg, and scarred for life.

After the war, he moved North. He gained the right to vote. The transformation from slave to soldier to citizen must have been profound; we can only imagine it. An election year came around. A white politician asked Winslow for his vote, saying "don't forget, we freed you people." Duncan Winslow pointed to his battle-scarred arm and said, "you see this here?... it looks to me like I freed myself."

Duncan Winslow made it clear: he fought for freedom, he bled for freedom, his compatriots died for freedom. He would not let anyone take that away from him.

Martin Delany was a friend of Frederick Douglass. Abraham Lincoln commissioned him to the office of major; Delany was the highest ranking black man in the US army.

440px-Major_Martin_Delany.jpg

Major Martin Delany

In July 1865, Delany delivered an oration at St. Helena Island, SC to an audience of freepeople. Delany pointedly described the source of their liberation: “It was only a War policy of the Government, to declare the slaves of the South free, knowing that the whole power of the South, laid in the possession of the Slaves. But I want you to understand, that we would not have become free, had we not armed ourselves and fought out our independence.”

A common talking point in the post war period among African Americans was that they had earned their freedom, as well as equality in civil rights. In 1867, Frederick Douglass is quoted as saying “A man’s rights rest in three boxes. The ballot-box, the jury-box, and the cartridge-box.”

The thing is, African Americans were not the ones who wrote the history books.

- Alan
 
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ForeverFree

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Dubious Dubois

This is probably the genesis of the self-emancipation theory and the role of the USCT:

"The decisive action which ended the Civil War was the emancipation and the arming of the black slave; that, as Lincoln said, 'Without the military help of black freedmen, the war against the south could not have been won.' The freedmen, far from being the inert recipients of freedom at the hands of philanthropists, furnished 200,000 soldiers in the Civil War who took part in nearly 200 battles and skirmishes, and in addition perhaps 300,000 others as effective laborers and helpers.” - W.E.B. Dubois, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880

The Lincoln quote is dubious. As far as I can tell, the only source for it is Dubois. First, it speaks of the war in the past tense, even though there were 150,000 rebels still around when Lincoln was killed. Second, Dubois never met Lincoln. He was born in 1868.
Ulysses S Grant stated the following in a letter to Abraham Lincoln, August 23d 1863,

His Excellency A. Lincoln President of the United States,​
Sir:​
I have given the subject of arming the negro my hearty support. This, with the emancipation of the negro, is the heaviest blow yet given the Confederacy.​
The South rave a great deal about it and profess to be very angry. But they were united in their action before and with the negro under subjection could spare their entire white population for the field. Now they complain that nothing can be got out of their negroes.​
There has been great difficulty in getting able bodied negroes to fill up the colored regiments in consequence of the rebel cavalry running off all that class to Georgia and Texas. This is especially the case for a distance of fifteen or twenty miles on each side of the river. I am now however sending two expeditions into Louisiana, one from Natchez to Harrisonburg and one from Goodriche’s Landing to Monroe, that I expect will bring back a large number. I have ordered recruiting officers to accompany these expeditions. I am also moving a Brigade of Cavalry from Tennessee to Vicksburg which will enable me to move troops to a greater distance into the interior and will facilitate materially the recruiting service.​
Gen. Thomas is now with me and you may rely on it I will give him all the aid in my power. I would do this whether the arming the negro seemed to me a wise policy or not, because it is an order that I am bound to obey and do not feel that in my position I have a right to question any policy of the Government.​
In this particular instance there is no objection however to my expressing an honest conviction. That is, by arming the negro we have added a powerful ally. They will make good soldiers and taking them from the enemy weaken him in the same proportion they strengthen us. I am therefore most decidedly in favor of pushing this policy to the enlistment of a force sufficient to hold all the South falling into our hands and to aid in capturing more.​
your obt. svt.​
U. S. Grant​
Maj. Gn.​
Note that Grant says "I have given the subject of arming the negro my hearty support. This, with the emancipation of the negro, is the heaviest blow yet given the Confederacy."

Note that earlier Lincoln says "The policy of emancipation and of employing black soldiers gave to the future a new aspect, about which hope and fear and doubt contended in uncertain conflict."

Both men make the point that the Union policy is to not free the Negro, but also, to arm him. There was not merely an emancipation policy; there was an emancipation and black enlistment policy. When people speak of an emancipation policy without mentioning black enlistment, they are misstating Union policy.

I also make note of Grant's statement "that... by arming the negro we have added a powerful ally." Recollect my earlier comment that "African Americans, in alliance with the Union, freed themselves." Grant speaks directly to this idea that the Union was in an alliance with the Negro. The two parties might have different goals, but there was a desire for the same outcome: the defeat of the Confederacy and the end of slavery.

- Alan
 

ForeverFree

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Even 10% would make a difference, particularly given the fact that as you say, that resource was concentrated over a much shorter period of time. USCT troops doing garrison duty still released other troops for combat, and regardless of the number of hot engagements involved in, the USCT's service and valor made a world of difference in shifting negative attitudes towards African Americans, a consideration that would eventually help to counteract the legacy of slavery.
A key point is that, depending on the timing, African Americans could have been 10%-15% of the US army, or more.

The policy for black enlistment did not really start in earnest until 1863, and continued apace in 1863, 1864, and 1865. By then, a number of early (white) US enlistee's had left the service. (Initially, in 1861, President Abraham Lincoln called for 75,000 men to serve for three months. Later that summer, Congress approved the enlistment of 500,000 men for three years. Higher numbers of enlistments were approved later on.)

By 1865, I speculate that the percentage of African Americans in the US army at that time probably exceeded 10%, and could have been 13-15%. This is speculation, I do not have exact percentage numbers. I wish that some scholar somewhere would look into this.

- Alan
 

ForeverFree

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That's where the "southern lost cause" nonsense hits a serious roadblock.....as ex Confederates or white southerners would only be about 1 out of 5 post war Americans.

For any "lost cause" narrative or ignoring the USCT to become popular national policy or narrative.......the 4/5's would have had a rather larger role then the 1/5........so the attempts of some to continuely only blame that 1/5 is a dog that don't hunt........

This is the from the 1860 Census:
1608986760660-png.png


Now, there was a count of 4.4 million African Americans in the US census. 83% of them lived in the Confederate States. SC and MS were over 50% African American. AL, FL, and LA were 44% African American or more. VA was only 34% African American, but it had the most African Americans of any state. Point being, the black population was overwhelmingly southern. And the former Confederacy was roughly 40% black.

Despite there having been a Civil War, the US was still a country run by federalism. The states, and local municipalities, control the school system. If there was going to be a correct interpretation of the role and experience of African Americans during the War, it had to happen at the state and local level where black people actually lived. And up until the Great Migrations that started in the mid 1910s, the vast majority of black people lived in the former Confederate States.

This is what the white South offered as history: this from a pamphlet that was published in 1920 by the the United Confederate Veterans (UCV):

asuring-rod-warnings-and-rejects-2-gif-gif-gif-gif.gif


The pamphlet's author was Mildred Lewis Rutherford, who was the historian general of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. An obvious censorship/propaganda tool, it gave a clear warning concerning books which didn't measure-up to what has been called the Lost Cause standard: they must be Rejected.

This did not come from the North or the general white population of the US. This is a a clear and obvious case of white Southerners dictating what white and black southerners would be taught in schools, and read in their libraries. Public education was driven locally, public commemoration was driven locally. We know that white southerners like Mildred Lewis Rutherford were responsible for this because they put their names on it.

There is certainly a case to be made for northern complicity in establishing the Lost Cause, which included a white-washing of the history of black Civil War soldiers, and more than that. But to be clear, white southerns created the Lost Cause narrative. White southerns controlled southern education; the South is where the vast majority of black people lived; and it is kind to say that the history being taught in the South was merely ahistorical.

----

In 1957, the book Virginia: History, Government, Geography was one of a trio of state-commissioned texts that was used in Virginia schools. This is an image from the book:
5abab8ce7bf21-image-jpg-jpg.jpg


The image depicts a smiling, well-dressed African family coming off the boat to meet his stately slave-master. They almost seem to greet each other as equals. This seems preposterous and ridiculous today, but this is from an actual Virginia school book!

The thing is, I was born in 1955... if I had been raised in Virginia, I might have used this book!

Again, we must not let white non-southerners off the hook and deny their complicity in the spread of the Lost Cause narrative. But as a matter of fact we can say that egregious misstatements of history were made in the former Confederate States where the majority of black people lived, and it is fair to hold white southerners primarily responsible for the Lost Cause education that happened there.

- Alan
 
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This is the from the 1960 Census:
View attachment 391084

Now, there was a count of 4.4 million African Americans in the US census. 83% of them lived in the Confederate States. SC and MS were over 50% African American. AL, FL, and LA were 44% African American or more. VA was only 34% African American, but it had the most African Americans of any state. Point being, the black population was overwhelmingly southern. And the former Confederacy was roughly 40% black.

Despite there having been a Civil War, the US was still a country run by federalism. And the states, and local municipalities, control the school system. If there was going to be a correct interpretation of the role and experience of African Americans during, it had to happen at the state and local level where black people actually lived. And up until the Great Migrations that started in the mid 1910s, the vast majority of black people lived in the former Confederate States.

This what the white South offered this as history: this from a pamphlet that was published in 1920 by the the United Confederate Veterans (UCV):

View attachment 391082

The pamphlet's author was Mildred Lewis Rutherford, who was the historian general of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. An obvious censorship/propaganda tool, it gave a clear warning concerning books which didn't measure-up to what has been called the Lost Cause standard: they must be Rejected.

This did not come from the North or the general white population of the US. This is a a clear and obvious case of white Southerners dictating what white and black southerners would be taught in schools, and read in their libraries. Public education was driven locally, public commemoration was driven locally. We know that white southerners like Mildred Lewis Rutherford were responsible for this because they put their names on it.

There is certainly a case to be made for northern complicity in establishing the Lost Cause, which included a white-washing of the history of black Civil War soldiers, and more than that. But to be clear, white southerns created the Lost Cause narrative. White southerns controlled southern education; the South is where the vast majority of black people lived; and it is kind to say that the history being taught in the South was merely ahistorical.

----

In 1957, the book was Virginia: History, Government, Geography was one of a trio of state-commissioned texts that was used in Virginia schools. This is an image from the book:
View attachment 391083

The image depicts a smiling, well-dressed African family coming off the boat to meet his stately slave-master. They almost seem to greet each other as equals. This seems preposterous and ridiculous today, but this is from an actual Virginia school book!

The thing is, I was born in 1955... if I had been raised in Virginia, I might have used this book!

Again, we must not let white non-southerners off the hook and deny their complicity in the spread of the Lost Cause narrative. But as a matter of fact we can say that egregious misstatements of history were made in the former Confederate States where the majority of black people lived, and it is fair to hold white southerners primarily responsible for the Lost Cause education that happened there.

- Alan
Don't disagree at all, my point is there was only about 6 million white southerners that would have been ex-confederate including civilians.

The national narrative would indeed be driven and decided by 22 million white northerners, one could add 4 million ex slaves, but it didn't offset the northerners willing to adopt the lost cause and racism. As in the orginal article, what upset and motivated Douglas's remarks was northern papers....not southern, that were becoming increasingly laudatory to ex Confederates, and increasingly embracing reconciliation.

I do beleive Douglas understood they would be the relevent majority going forward. And they increasingly saw reconciliation as the more important cause.

But also the problem with the angle of trying to politicize blacks, to disenfranchise the ex Confederates from the start......was it could only have worked in 3 of the 12 states even if it went ideally. I agree whites were still the majority in the south. Any successful version of reconstruction would have needed white southerners involved setting the policy, simply ignoring them obviously didn't work, because they remained a strong enough majority to unofficially set policy. It's amazing to me not that reconstruction failed, but that anyone had even thought it could succeed ignoring the majority in the affected area.

Jury nullification or selective enforcement of the laws wasn't anything new, then or today. Local or regional majorities will still have a say, unofficially if they disagree with the outside official policies.

BTW good to see you back.
 
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ForeverFree

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Dubious Dubois

This is probably the genesis of the self-emancipation theory and the role of the USCT:
In the Border States, and portions of others, black enlistment equaled self-liberation for former enslaved people. This was not a theory, it was a fact.

The Emancipation Proclamation was an instrument of the president's war powers. The EP declared the end of slavery and the employment of Negroes as soldiers in states that were in rebellion. At the time the final EP was issued, DE, KY, MD, MO, and TN, and portions of southern LA, were not considered as being in rebellion. So, the EP was not operative in those places.

However, the Union needed men. The Union developed a policy which said that enslaved men could join the US army, gaining their freedom in the process. Some dates to know:

1863
July 17 Second Confiscation Act frees the slaves of persons engaged in or assisting the rebellion and provides for the seizure and sale of other property owned by disloyal citizens; it also forbids army and navy personnel to decide on the validity of any fugitive slave's claim to freedom or to surrender any fugitive to any claimant, and authorizes the president to employ “persons of African descent” in any capacity to suppress the rebellion
July 17 Militia Act provides for the employment of “persons of African descent” in “any military or naval service for which they may be found competent,” granting freedom to slaves so employed (and to their families if they belong to disloyal owners)

August 22 In New Orleans, General Benjamin F. Butler incorporates into Union forces several “Native Guard” units composed of free-black soldiers; soon thereafter he begins recruiting both free-black and ex-slave men for additional regiments
August 25 After having withheld its permission for months, the War Department authorizes recruitment of black soldiers in the South Carolina Sea Islands

1863
January 1 Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Lincoln; it declares free all slaves in the Confederate states (except Tennessee, southern Louisiana, and parts of Virginia) and announces the Union's intention to enlist black soldiers and sailors. {United States slave states are excluded.} By late spring, recruitment is under way throughout the North and in all the Union-occupied Confederate states except Tennessee

October 3 War Department orders full-scale recruitment of black soldiers in Maryland, Missouri, and Tennessee, with compensation to loyal owners, irrespective of their owners' consent; enlisted soldiers are emancipated, but this does not apply to the enlistee's family members

1864
June 7 Enlistment in Kentucky opened to slave men irrespective of their owners' consent, with compensation to loyal owners; enlisted soldiers are emancipated, but this does not apply to the enlistee's family members.

1865
March 3 Congress approves a joint resolution liberating the wives and children of black soldiers
******

This is a count of US Colored Troops, by state of enlistment, for the 3 states that provided the most troops to the US army:

State | Number of USCT

Louisiana 24,052
Kentucky 23,703
Tennessee 20,133

Again, the 3 states mentioned were exempt in whole or part from the EP. Most of these men were former enslaved people. By enlisting in the army, they freed themselves from bondage.

There was also USCT enlistment in these states not covered by the EP:
Maryland 8,718
Missouri 8,344
Delaware 954

I do not know the exact number of former slaves in these numbers, but it was over 50% at the least. This self-liberation sometimes (often?) led to retribution against family members by the enlistees' former legal owners. The hope was that the war would lead to a national emancipation that would free the enlistee's family and friends. And that is what happened eventually. But that was preceded by the tens of thousands of black men who gained freedom by joining the US armed forces.

- Alan
 

ForeverFree

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Congrats, that's one (actually it's called the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial and has soldiers of the 54th in the background).

30 regiments of USCT were raised in the North.

Where is number two?
They didn't control public spaces - but only five on private land? How many black owned cemeteries are there across the country? Hundreds? Thousands?
Were there any petitions to the Federal government for a monument?
Seems like there was a lack of interest.

(1) You say there were 30 USCT regiments raised in the North. I will assume that's true. So, according to wiki, these are all the regiments raised by the US during the Civil War:

USA CSA Regiments.png

As can be easily seen, the number of USCT regiments in the North was a minuscule portion of the US Army. And there's a reason for that: African Americans were only 1.2% of the northern population. There were only 225,000 in that region per the 1860 Census. Consider this table:

new-free-black-population-1860-census-jpg-jpg-jpg.jpg


There was no real critical mass of population who could (or would) make USCT-only memorials. Consider also that the average African American had less income then the average white person. (How much less, I have not not researched, but there was definitely an income gap.)

(2) Even with that, there were depictions of African Americans in some monuments. The Shaw/USCT monument in Boston we've talked about. The Soldiers and Sailors monuments in Cleveland (shown in an earlier post) and Brooklyn (not shown), both 19th century monuments, do feature renderings of African American sailors. The All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors in Philly, commissioned in 1927, commemorates soldiers from the Revolution through WWI.

- continues

- Alan
 
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ForeverFree

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Congrats, that's one (actually it's called the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial and has soldiers of the 54th in the background).

30 regiments of USCT were raised in the North.

Where is number two?

They didn't control public spaces - but only five on private land? How many black owned cemeteries are there across the country? Hundreds? Thousands?
Were there any petitions to the Federal government for a monument?
Seems like there was a lack of interest.

- continued from previous post.

(3) African American veterans in particular did ache over the lack of recognition of the role they played in the Civil War. In his book After the Glory: The Struggles of Black Civil War Veterans, historian Donald R Shaffer writes (p185-7):

However, perhaps more bothersome to black veterans was the forgetfulness that many white Americans manifested about their military exploits. This growing amnesia troubled black ex-soldiers greatly...​
To correct this injustice, some black veterans pushed for a memorial to their war time service. During the late 19th century, numerous monuments were being erected in commemoration of white Civil War soldiers, both union and confederate. Yet none of these monuments honored black soldiers. African-Americans simply lacked the resources to build impressive monuments and the lack of such monuments put them at a serious disadvantage and the battle for memory. As one scholar put it, "Blacks could never anchor their memory of the Civil War in... public spaces... in the same manner that whites could."​
If monuments to black soldiers were to be built the money would have to come from sources outside the African-American community. (Veteran) George W Williams, for instance, proposed that the federal government build a monument to black Civil War soldiers near Howard University in Washington DC…​
William certainly was not the first former soldier to call for monument to honor the contributions of himself and his comrades. In December 1884, Charles Sumner Post No. 9 in Washington DC organized a meeting of African-American veterans to begin pushing for the construction of a national monument to black soldiers. [P]rominent participants... included Robert Smalls, who was then a member of the US House of Representatives, and Blanche K Bruce the first black man to serve a full term in the U.S. Senate...​
...nothing appears to have come of the gathering, since no monument to black soldiers was ever built in the nations capital during the lifetimes of the man who fought in the war. They simply could not convince the federal government to fund the project, nor could they raise the money from within the impoverished black community.​
(4) In his book Standing Soldiers, Kneeling Slaves: Race, War, and Monument in 19th Century America, Kirk Savage writes about George Williams' failed attempt at a monument to black Civil War soldiers (p190):

The bill for (the monument's) erection never made it to the House (of Representatives) floor, however, and the project died. One of the objections Williams apparently faced was that there should be no "separate" monument for black soldiers. This implied of course that the standard soldier monuments already represented them and that additional monuments specifically honoring black soldiers would be viewed not as a redress of commemorative exclusion but as a special commemorative privilege offered to one particular race.​
The same objection was faced when a public subscription campaign appeared the same year for "a monument to commemorate the part was the African race took in our Civil War."​
Clearly the debates over black-soldier monuments took place within much larger ideological conflicts about race relations in America. Blacks in Rochester argued against a monument for black soldiers probably because they felt that it smacked of black separatism and was therefore incompatible with stated goals of racial integration and equality. Whites resisted the idea probably because they needed to maintain the comforting illusion that their soldier monuments were race-free...​
At the most basic level the monuments were white because the American polity itself was structured as white. This left room for black representation only in a "separate" monument, which... whites could then reject as an unwarranted racial privilege. Even a separate monument to black soldiers segregated from the mainstream white monuments presented a serious problem because they threatened to expose and undermine the racial formation implicit in these monuments.​

- Alan
 
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Fairfield

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Congrats, that's one (actually it's called the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial and has soldiers of the 54th in the background).

30 regiments of USCT were raised in the North.

Where is number two?
The 54th monument is correctly and fully called "Memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts 54th Regiment". There is a similar monument in Boston. An Internet search will turn up over 30.
 

Fairfield

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The USCT never formed more than 10% of the Union army and that was in the last year of the war. Most did garrison and guard duty with an occasional skirmish with the rebels. The number of major campaigns they were involved in can be counted on one hand (Petersburg, Nashville, Mobile, ?, ?...). So, are those who exaggerate the role of the USCT trying to create a new mythology?
In Maine, blacks fought in regular army units--along side white soldiers. A great number of Maine blacks went into the navy (which makes sense because estimates are that a quarter of Maine mariners before ACW were black).
 

ForeverFree

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These book excerpts speak to the unique challenges faced by African Americans regarding the creation of post-war monuments to black soldiers; instead, public observances, such as parades and pageants during holidays, were the commemorative tool of choice. From The Southern Past: A Cash of Race and Memory, by W. Fitzugh Brundage (p59-60):
(After the Civil War) Public celebrations emerged as the principal expression of black memory because of the harsh realities of the New South. Although former slaves scrambled to acquire the ability to read and write, illiteracy remain pervasive until at least the end of the century and limited opportunities to use the printed word to promote racial uplift and disseminate black memory…​
Black leaders acknowledged the impediments to any campaign to instill a sense of collective memory among newly literate and illiterate blacks in the 1870s. Andrew Chambers, and earnest African Methodist Episcopal (AME) minister in Arkansas, warned that cultivators of black memory might confront widespread indifference or concerns about squandering scarce resources on something as intangible as historical commemoration. Nonetheless, he was adamant that there was a desperate need to "direct our a literate race" toward "loftier institutions." "Visual displays," he insisted, were needed to "arouse the masses."​
Instead of the imposing monuments of stone and marble that Chambers had in mind, public observances like the 1883 San Antonio Juneteenth ceremonies better suited the ambitions and resources a black communities in the New South. Such celebrations demanded neither literacy nor large sums of money, and, most important, they ensured that the black sense of the past was accessible to more than just a literate, elite African-Americans: the events had a unique capacity to involve the breadth of the black community, from the college-trained preacher to the illiterate day laborer, from the battle scar veteran to the impressionable school child. Blacks understood that by entering public and performing communal pageants, they were incorporating black history into the region's civic culture, thereby ending their historical exclusion from "ceremonial citizenship."​

- continues -

- Alan
 
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ForeverFree

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- continued from above -

This book excerpt speaks to the unique challenges faced by African Americans regarding the creation of post-war monuments: from Festivals of Freedom: Memory and Meaning in African American Emancipation Celebrations, 1808-1915 by Mitch Kachun page 157-8)

A bill for was introduced (for a national black soldiers memorial) by Senator George Frisbie Hoar, a white former abolitionist from Massachusetts who had an intense and diffuse interest in the perpetuation of historical memory. That the monument did not materialize even with such support indicates the uphill nature of these battles for memory that black activists were fighting.
Some of that uphill terrain was congested with those who were less enthusiastic about the erection of race-specific monuments. Regarding the proposed black soldiers memorial, some felt that a separate monument to African-Americans was inappropriate. The editor of the Kansas City Dispatch felt that "if the colored people of this country desire to erect a monument to the memory of their brave who have fallen upon many a battle field, all right, if private individuals desire to donate, is well, but the government has no right to show such lines of distinction.”​
Conversely, and responding several years later to a plan to collect $200,000 from Black fraternal groups for a monument to Abraham Lincoln and various white abolitionists, E.P. Carroll of Boston urged, "it must be remembered that we are poor as a whole people... and cannot afford to spend such a sum lavishly in statues for whites, who have as much reason to honor the black man for aiding to save this country from division."​
In fact blacks did contribute to monuments honoring white heroes like Lincoln and Robert Gould Shaw. E.P. Carroll argued that it would be better that the race's limited finances be spent on "erecting large halls in cities" where blacks could make good use of them; even more desirable would be the building and endowing "a college for our youth."​
Resistance to the erection of monument then could come from a variety of directions... ...Charles Hendley, in Huntsville Alabama [was frustrated]... his perception [was] that fallen black soldiers were resting in neglected graves... While that may have been the case by the 1880s for black veterans graves in Hendley's Alabama, it is clear from newspaper accounts that many northern black GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) posts and their female supporters took seriously their annual Decoration Day obligations.​
Hendley complained in 1888 that while both northern and southern whites took pains to "honor and distinguish" surviving veterans, "the colored people passed their brave fellows unnoticed." "We may not be able to rear costly monuments," he scolded, "but let all at least while honoring the memory of the fallen, accord kind treatment and consideration to the living colored soldier."​

- Alan
 
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We should note these monuments to Frederick Douglass (and there are one or two more that aren't shown below):

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From Wiki: A statue of Frederick Douglass sculpted by Sidney W. Edwards, sometimes called the Frederick Douglass Monument, was installed in Rochester, New York in 1899 after it was commissioned by the African-American activist John W. Thompson. According to Visualising Slavery: Art Across the African Diaspora, it was the first statue in the United States that memorialized a specific African-American person.

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Per the Maryland Office of Tourism: FREDERICK DOUGLASS STATUE AT MORGAN STATE UNIVERSITY; the eight-foot tall bronze cast of Frederick Douglass, completed in 1956, stands in front of Holmes Hall on the campus of Morgan State University on the main historic academic quad. Artist James E. Lewis, chair of the Art Department, was chosen to design and sculpt the monument. Morgan State is a historically black university.

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From NYC Parks: Frederick Douglass Memorial, located in Central Park North and Frederick Douglass Boulevard; dedicated September 20, 2011

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Frederick Douglass Memorial; Location: Easton, MD; Year: 2011. Famed abolitionist, orator, and former slave, Frederick Douglass stands before the Talbot County Courthouse in Easton, MD. Douglass was born 5 miles from the site and was incarcerated in the courthouse as a youth.

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From Wiki: Frederick Douglass is a 2013 bronze sculpture depicting the American abolitionist and politician of the same name by Steven Weitzman, installed in the United States Capitol Visitor Center's Emancipation Hall, in Washington, D.C., as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection.

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From Wiki: Frederick Douglass is a public artwork in front of the Hornbake Library at the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland. The statue memorializes African-American abolitionist, suffragist, and labor leader Frederick Douglass. It was unveiled in 2015. The statue was designed by sculptor Andrew Edwards.

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The Frederick Douglass Sculpture on West Chester University’s Campus in Pennsylvania. According to The WC Press, Douglass gave his last public address, before he passed away, at the University. The cane in the statue is based on a staff that was given to Douglass by Abraham Lincoln. Installed the 2010s.

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Fredrick Douglass monument at Hillsdale College in Michigan. Hillsdale College was founded in 1844 by abolitionists known as Free Will Baptists. Douglass spoke at the college on Jan. 21, 1863. The monument was installed on-campus in 2017.

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Statues of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass at the National Harbor in Prince George's County, MD. Installation date unknown.

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Monument to Frederick Douglass at the Maryland State House. Installed in 2020.

Douglass famously said during the war, “Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letters U.S., let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder, and bullets in his pocket, and there is no power on the earth or under the earth that can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship.” He recruited black men to join the US military during the Civil War, and met with Abraham Lincoln at least twice during that conflict.

- Alan
 
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