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Distributed for University of British Columbia Press

African Canadians in Union Blue

Volunteering for the Cause in the Civil War

When Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, he also authorized the army to recruit black soldiers. Nearly 200,000 men answered the call. Several thousand came from Canada. What compelled these men to leave the relative comfort and safety of home to fight in a foreign war? In African Canadiansin Union Blue, Richard Reid sets out in search of an answer and discovers a group of men whose courage and contributions open a window on the changing nature of the Civil War and the ties that held black communities together even as the borders around them shifted and were torn asunder.

Table of Contents


1 British North America: Glory Land or the Least-Worst Option?

2 The Black Response: What the Numbers Mean

3 Blacks in the Navy: A Different Military Experience

4 Promises Deferred: In the Army, 1863-64

5 Promises Fulfilled: In the Army, 1864-65

6 Black Doctors: Challenging the Barriers

7 Post-War Life: Continuity and Change


Appendix: Establishing the location of black British North American veterans, 1865-75


Selected Bibliography


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