President Donald Trump has created the first national monument to black soldiers who served in the Civil War. Once again, we see that President Donald Trump has done more for blacks in two years than Obama did in eight.
Late last month, Trump created the first national park to honor blacks who fought in the Civil War with at the Camp Nelson historic site in Nicholasville, Kentucky.
The media paid little attention, but President Trump signed the proclamation on October 26 making Camp Nelson a national monument, Daily Wire noted.
As Breitbart News reported:
“Camp Nelson was one of the largest Union Army recruitment centers for African American Union soldiers, then known as United States Colored Troops,” Trump’s proclamation states. “During the war, thousands of enslaved African Americans risked their lives escaping to Camp Nelson, out of a deep desire for freedom and the right of self-determination. Today, the site is one of the best-preserved landscapes and archeological sites associated with United States Colored Troops recruitment and the refugee experiences of African American slaves seeking freedom during the Civil War.”
The Civil War recruitment and training camp “was organized around an 800-acre core, included more than 300 buildings and tents that housed a quartermaster commissary depot, ordnance depot, recruitment center, prison, and a hospital,” the proclamation says.
“Camp Nelson reminds us of the courage and determination possessed by formerly enslaved African Americans as they fought for their freedom,” the proclamation continued. “The broader Camp Nelson archeological record also provides opportunities for research and scholarship related to military history, race, identity, and gender during the Civil War — a pivotal chapter of the Nation’s history.”
Around 10,000 black soldiers went through Camp Nelson according to records. It was not the only camp that trained black troops as 23,000 black troops enlisted in Kentucky for the war.
All total about 179,000 blacks fought for the north during that bloody war. 40,000 died in service to the country.
Anti-slavery activist Frederick Douglass once noted that letting blacks serve in the U.S. Army was the biggest step toward assuring eventual equal rights: “Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letter, U.S., let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pocket, there is no power on earth that can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship.”
As Breitbart also noted:
While Kentucky was a slave state as the war started and initially tried to stay neutral as the fighting flared, the state eventually became a federal stronghold. Indeed, despite its southern leanings, more Kentucky men served in the Union Army than served in southern forces. About 125,000 Kentuckians fought for the north during the war while only about 33,000 went into the thin gray ranks.
It is of interest to note that every single southern state gave thousands of troops to the northern cause, but few northern states had anything more than small groups head south. In fact, only the state of Illinois gave a full unit to the southern cause when a group of over 100 Illinoisans went south and formed a company of the 15th Tennessee Infantry.
Aside from Illinois (and the border states notwithstanding), no other northern state sent any organized forces to join the southern armies.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.
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