Ethnicity, Race, and the Military
Racial and ethnic groups played an important role in both armies during the Civil War. Many black soldiers fought for the North, enraging Southerners on the battlefield. Hispanic soldiers fought on both sides. American Indians acted as scouts and guides, hoping to regain land and freedom if they aided the victors.
Unfortunately, it would be decades before significant numbers of Americans recognized the considerable contributions of ethnic groups that had suffered chronic discrimination and a racial group that had been alternately enslaved, segregated, or ignored for more than 200 years.
Stories from Ethnicity, Race, and the Military
Showing results 1-5 of 14
After the war, soldiers once again become private citizens. For the Union army's African American troops, they were citizens for the first time in their lives, the culmination of what, for them, the war was truly all about. Read more
Homestead National Monument of America
Though best known for guiding the nation through the tumultuous four years of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln also played an instrumental role in encouraging settlement and expansion of the American West. Read more
Petersburg, Virginia was a major supply hub for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Interestingly, half the population of this city, whose rail lines would prove so essential to the survival of Richmond, was comprised of both free African Americans and slaves. As the war closed in on this community, these individuals would play a critical role. Read more
Fort Davis National Historic Site
Following the Civil War, permanent African American regiments were constructed in the United States Army. Although segregated due to race, these regiments served with honor and distinction, and helped to tame the Wild West. Read more
Gulf Islands National Seashore
During the fight for freedom, African American soldiers were forced to deal with discrimination on a regular basis. For no other reason than possessing a different skin color, these men were perceived to be inferior troops. Yet over several fierce fights, men such as the Louisiana Native Guard proved their worth. Read more