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The Negro in IllinoisThe WPA Papers$
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Brian Dolinar

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037696

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037696.001.0001

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(p.78) 10. Soldiers
The Negro in Illinois

Arna Bontemps

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the experiences of Illinois Negro soldiers in the Union army that fought in the Civil War. According to George W. Williams, Illinois sent 1,811 soldiers during the Civil War, but Champaign's Union and Gazette states that “of the colored men enlisted in the war, Illinois raised one thousand one hundred and eleven.” The correct number was perhaps an average between the two figures; downstate Quincy alone is said to have raised 903 of these men. Congress was appealed to decide whether or not Negroes were to fight in the conflict; after long months of pro and con debate an act was passed requiring that Negroes be paid ten dollars per month, with three dollars deducted for clothing while white soldiers received thirteen dollars per month in addition to their uniforms. This chapter considers the role of H. O. Wagoner in leading the Negro personnel of Civil War forces in Illinois, as well as questions regarding the Negro's place in military affairs.

Keywords:   Negro soldiers, Union army, Civil War, Illinois, Negroes, H. O. Wagoner

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