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Slaves picking cotton

Slaves returning from a cotton field in the American South, early 1860s.

East African Slave Ship

Harriet Tubman, slave, abolitionist, spy and 1st woman to lead an armed expedition during war. Born into slavery, she was beaten, 'hired out' and suffered seizures from being hit by a heavy weight. After escaping, she later made ~19 trips to rescue a total of over 300 slaves, sometimes using the Underground Railroad. Called 'Black Moses', she carried a gun and threatened to shoot any slave who would turn back. She was a Union spy during the Civil War and struggled for women's suffrage.

Jefferson Coates, who lost both eyes at Gettysburg and was awarded the Medal of Honor ca 1870

Confederate First Sergeant... Union cavalry surrounded a lone Confederate soldier who had no horse and whose clothes were dirty and tattered. A Union officer said to him that it was obvious that he had no wealth and not the means to own slaves. The officer asked: “Why are you fighting this war?” The Confederate answered: “Because you are here.”

A Black Confederate soldier during the Civil War

Michael Beschloss on

Twitter / BeschlossDC: Here is General Ulysses Grant ...

“All quiet along the Potomac” Mathew Brady’s cameraman, Thomas Le Mere, thought that a standing pose of the president would be popular. Lincoln wondered if it could be accomplished in one shot, and this is the successful result. It was taken on April 17, 1863

First Lieutenant William Dominick Matthews, of the U.S. Colored Light Artillery, In addition, Matthews helped recruit many black soldiers. Before the Civil War, Matthews ran a boarding house in Leavenworth, Kansas, that was part of the underground railroad. The Leavenworth businessman soon was appointed captain, the highest ranking African American officer in the regiment. More extensive historical story at the link!