Of the Emancipation Proclamation's provisions, few were more radical in their implications than the enrollment of African-Americans into the Union army. By fighting and dying for the Union, black soldiers staked a claim to citizenship in the reconstructed nation that would emerge from the Civil War.
the war, blacks had been excluded from the regular army and militia.
In 1861 and 1862, the Lincoln administration had rejected black volunteers,
fearing that white soldiers would refuse to serve alongside them.
Within the army, black soldiers were anything but equal to whites. Organized into segregated regiments under white officers, they initially received less pay than whites.
the African-Americans who served in Congress, state legislatures, and
other posts during Reconstruction, many had fought as soldiers and sailors
during the war