School Improvement in Maryland

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 5.0 History

Topic C. Conflict between Ideas and Institutions

Indicator 5. Analyze factors affecting the outcome of the Civil War

Objective e. Describe the political impact of Lincoln's decisions regarding the deployment of black regiments

In the August 1863 issue of Douglass’ Monthly, Frederick Douglass wrote, “Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letters, U.S., let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pockets, and there is no power on earth which can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship in the United States.” Ask students to read and interpret this quote. What does Douglass mean?

Initially, African American soldiers were given less pay than white soldiers. Black soldiers boldly protested this inequity, often actually refusing to accept any payment at all if it was to be less than white pay. Have students read the charges against African American soldier Sylvester Ray, found at How did Private Ray react to receiving less pay than white troops? Next have students read Private Ray’s Detachment Muster Roll. What impact did such protest have? Ask students to think about the significance of this outcome. In a brief essay, have students address the following question: How did the organization of African American regiments and African American soldiers’ obtainment of equal pay mark a turning point in war aims and African American history?

Resources for Objective 5.C.5.e:
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