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Martin R. Delany's Civil War and ReconstructionA Primary Source Reader$
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Tunde Adeleke

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781496826633

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2020

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781496826633.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM Mississippi SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mississippi.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Mississippi, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MSSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

The Black Major

The Black Major

(p.27) Chapter 1 The Black Major
Martin R. Delany's Civil War and Reconstruction
Tunde Adeleke
University Press of Mississippi

Chapter one introduces readers to Martin Delany’s services as the first combat major in the Union Army. The documents embody his hopes and aspirations for post-slavery America, and highlight his patriotic fervor and leadership abilities. Convinced that the future of blacks depended on the War’s outcome, Delany used his elevated status and distinction to launch recruiting efforts; urging blacks to enlist and fight for their freedom and future. While assisting with recruiting colored regiments, Delany advised freedmen on best adaptation strategies. He considered land-acquisition crucial to solidifying black freedom and urged blacks to pool their resources and assist each other with acquiring land. His status as a government official did not deter him from continued critique of slavery and racism. He focused on ensuring that freedmen felt empowered and understood that times had irreversibly changed and that slavery was over; a disposition some government officials found unsettling and potentially subversive.

Keywords:   Black Major, Colored Troops, Freedmen, Slavery, Cotton Agents

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