Two Young African-American Civil War Soldiers- Men of the 67th Colored Infantry.
War, The Ultimate Proving Ground-
The black troops persevered in the face of hardship, prejudice, and discrimination. They fought in spite of atrocious treatment and in the face of bitter challenges, believing they could make a difference. They fought for a better future:
So rally boys, rally, let us never mind the past;
We had a hard road to travel, but our day is coming fast;
For God is for the right, and we have no need to fear,
The Union must be saved by the colored volunteer.
~the rally cry of the 54th Massachusetts
Some historians contend that the colored volunteer did indeed save the Union; certainly, the war would have been longer and more deadly if the Union had not benefitted from the service of the black soldier. Colored troops exemplified meritorious service and bravery, earning the respect and admiration of those they fought with, and those they fought against. Of the hundreds of engagements in which the black troops fought, some of the most notable were Port Hudson, La. (May 21–July 9, 1863); Milliken’s Bend, La. (July 18, 1863); Fort Wagner, S.C. (April 12, 1864); and Battle of the Crater, Petersburg, Va. (Sept. 29–30, 1864); and Nashville, Tenn. (Dec. 15–16, 1864). In March of 1863, Congress established the Medal of Honor for military valor. All told, 25 black servicemen (seven Navy) were awarded the military’s highest honor.
Notes: The 67th was organized in Missouri from the 3rd Missouri Colored Infantry. Photo Sold For :$3,900 PBA Galleries/Source