Tag Archives: African American sailors

The First Contraband Combatants

“The scene on board the flag-ship was novel and thrilling. The thunder of the conflict drowned all other noises,” wrote historian John S. C. Abbott.[1] In one of the first Civil War histories, written while it happened, Abbott employed elegant … Continue reading

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At Sea: Fighting For Freedom

African Americans hazarded their lives and freedom against the nation’s enemies in the colonial and United States navies while achieving a level of respect, relatively fair treatment, and economic opportunities generally not available ashore. (Dwight Hughes, 2018, ECW Blog) In … Continue reading

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Slaves and Sailors in the Civil War

The enlistment of African Americans as soldiers in the United States Army during the Civil War is a well-examined topic, but less appreciated is the story of freedmen and former slaves as sailors in the navy. Wartime experiences of these … Continue reading

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