The Civil War was a fight for the emancipation of slaves in the United States during the 1860's. African Americans fought for their beliefs throughout the war, usually for the Union cause. The slaves not only fought a battle for the North, they fought for the certain unalienable rights that are guaranteed to all Americans in the Constitution. At the end of the Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln announced that the freed blacks "would be received into the armed service of the United States.". During the Civil War era, Union commanders and their black troops faced additional hardships due to the plague of racism, which was manifested in their fight for freedom.
After the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln issued an order to organize black troops. The decision was based on numerous reasons, all of which produced postive results. President Lincoln believed that that by passing a law that allowed black men to enlist in the army would have a psychological advantage on the soldiers of the Confederate Army (Williams 2). He also believed that the black man would give the Union a powerful advantage in the war by simply adding manpower to the Union side. After a strong friendship was created between president Lincoln and Frederick Douglas, Lincoln decided to make the choice to place an order for colored troops.
In the beginning, involvement of the African Americans was a very slow process. Both free Africans-Americans and runaway slaves joined the fight. All troops were given leadership under a white commander. Approximately 180,000 black men served under a white Union commander during the Civil War. The Unites States Colored Troops (USCT) suffered over 68,000 casualties and approximately 37,000 deaths during the Civil War on the Union side. The war offered newly freed slaves an opportunity to make something of themselves. They gained new skills in regimental skills and a wider knowledge of the world in army service (Berlin 1).