The Bill of Rights in Action: Black Troops in Union Blue



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1. Read The Bill of Rights in Action: Black Troops in Union Blue (independently, in pairs, or as a whole group).
2. As a group discuss the questions below. Have one person record the group answers on a sheet of paper. Title and put your names on the paper. Turn it into the 3rd or 4th period box.
** Why do you think Lincoln objected to the enlistment of black men into the Union Army at the beginning of the war? Why do you think he changed his position in the Emancipation Proclamation?
** In what ways were black soldiers not treated equally in the Union Army?
** What important things do you think black soldiers proved in the Civil War?

3. Create a Newspaper Article

During the Civil War, black abolitionist Fredrick Douglass produced a newspaper called Fredrick Douglass’s Paper. In this activity each person will write and publish their own article for Fredrick Douglass’s Paper. Reflect on some of the important controversies concerning black troops in the Union Army.
Choose 1:

1. Write a petition to President Lincoln by the 54th Massachusetts Infantry listing the arguments for equal pay. Add details and give specific reasons!


2. Create and write a U.S. Army recruitment advertisement aimed at free black men and emancipated slaves.
3. Write an editorial by Fredrick Douglass concerning the equal rights that black people should be guaranteed once the war is over.
4. Write a first-person account of a black soldier’s experience in combat.
**You should write a draft with a minimum of 10 sentences but no more than 1 page. If you finish your draft and still have class time -switch and peer edit with another person in your group. Your final copy should be written in blue or black ink or typed and is due tomorrow! Tomorrow be sure to put each of groups articles on the chart paper. Title your newspaper and be sure all group member names are listed
4. If you didn’t finish the article. Finish at home tonight. Be sure your final draft is in ink or typed.


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