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How Black Union Soldiers Went from Slavery to Forever Free

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How Black Union Soldiers Went from Slavery to Forever Free

Short | 03:06

When Congress declared that slaves who enlisted in the Union Army would be forever free, African Americans seized the opportunity and rushed to join.

More About This episode

A century and a half ago, North battled South in a conflict that would kill more Americans than any other war. The outcome would change our nation forever, and no one had more to gain, or to lose, than enslaved Americans. Join actor Dennis Haysbert as he looks at their struggles through the objects in the Smithsonian's collection. From a bloodstained map to the inkwell Lincoln used to write the Emancipation Proclamation, these artifacts transport us to a brutal and complicated time when our country tore itself apart.

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