Story of Civil War slave refugees resonates today

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Belle Montgomery

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WORCESTER - A historian whose new book sheds light on the slave refugee camps of the American Civil War says she was struck by the number of children whose lives were thrown into upheaval by the conflict, in a foreshadowing of today’s migrant crisis.

An estimated 500,000 displaced African-American slaves sought refuge behind Union lines in the Civil War, Amy Murrell Taylor, author of “Embattled Freedom: Journeys Through the Civil War’s Slave Refugee Camps,” said Tuesday in a talk at Clark University.

“I counted about 300 refugee camps, and in some of these places, the majority of the refugee population was under the age of 12,” said Ms. Taylor, who teaches history at the University of Kentucky.

“That struck me, because before the war, when enslaved people ran away, usually it was a man,” she said. “They didn’t take the children; it was too risky. Now they were taking the children. It was a sign they knew the moment had finally come - freedom was finally coming.”

She said the experience of the emancipated slave children...
REST OF ARTICLE:https://www.telegram.com/news/20190205/story-of-civil-war-slave-refugees-resonates-today
She's the author a book for you: “Embattled Freedom” @Pat Young
 
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