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Children's LiteratureDuring the Civil War, over 180,000 African-American men served in the armed forces of the Union. The contributions of these soldiers and sailors were immense; they helped pave the way toward the eventual Federal victory. Despite this, the use of African-American fighting men was strongly resisted by many parties in the North. Not until 1863 was there deemed to be sufficient need to call forth African-American fighting men in any substantial numbers. Once given the opportunity to serve, African-American men faced racism amongst their Union comrades and murderous anger on the part of their Confederate foes. At places such as Fort Wagner, Port Hudson, and Petersburg, African-American soldiers demonstrated their capacity to fight and serve with courage. The story of those African-American service men is presented in this volume of the illustrated "Slavery in the Americas" series. In telling this important but often neglected element of Civil War history, Deborah DeFord does a journeyman's job. The text of this book is sprinkled with enlightening information and quotations from actual participants in the war. Occasionally elements of hyperbole or slight factual errors indicate a somewhat sketchy grasp of military facts. Nevertheless, taken as a whole, this book offers valuable information about a legacy of African-American military service that is all too often overlooked. 2006, Facts on File/Chelsea House, Ages 10 to 14.
—Greg M. Romaneck