Civil war, black Union soldier

Posted by Clicksy | Posted in Wiggle Animations | Posted on 25-03-2010

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1864 - "Auction & Negro Sales," Whitehall Street

“Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letter, U.S., let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pocket, there is no power on earth that can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship.”

-Frederick Douglass

Of all of the images I’ve seen on the LoC website, this has been by far the most striking. If my guess is right, this man is a Corporal in the Union army. Perhaps guarding this building, or just resting with a book. This was taken when the Union General Sherman was in Atlanta, after forcing the Confederacy away from the munitions center. He allowed his men to rest and recover in Atlanta for a couple of months before moving on, during which time a photographer documented the scene (unfortunately most of his images were destroyed in a fire). Most people don’t realize how many black soldiers there were on the Union side. According to the National Archives, “By the end of the Civil War, roughly 179,000 black men (10% of the Union Army) served as soldiers in the U.S. Army and another 19,000 served in the Navy.” Find more about participation of blacks at the National Archives here. This image was badly warped, and isn’t a particularly striking animation.  I think the image stands very well on it’s own.

View the original image from the Library of Congress here.

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