Prior to 1865, Southern slaves in the Confederate Army were limited to menial labour. But by March 1865 Southern troop losses were so severe that General Lee approved the recruiting of black soldiers to increase numbers. The enlisting of slaves had been strongly resisted as it meant arming black people and, more profoundly, recognizing them as equal to whites if they were to serve side-by-side. But the war was nearly at its end and so the enlisting of black troops into the Confederate Army was limited.
The Confederacy decides to permit slaves to serve in the military (84 words)
Historical Context Note
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