I have an essay over a movie about a specific historical event. I ended up with Glory. There is a historical background part that i need some help on.
I need to summarize the history of the Civil War from the beginning of the war up to the battle of Fort Wagner (where the 54th regiment fights in Glory) empasizing the changes that happened to African Americans (such as the Emancipation Proclamation and the fighting of all-black regiments)
The movie Glory! is a fine film that documents what may have been the most memorable moment of black soldiering during the Civil War. The 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment was one of the first Negro fighting units in the war, and they were decimated following their near suicidal frontal assault on Ft. Wagner.
Several other battles included Negro troops, but neither of them resulted in positive results. At the Battle of Fort Pillow, Confederate troops under General Nathan Bedford Forrest overran the enemy garrison after the Union commander refused to surrender to a force three times his size. When the Confederates discovered that about one-half of the Federal troops were Negro soldiers, they massacred most of the survivors of the attack.
Another battle where Negro troops were involved was at the Battle of the Crater in Petersburg, Virginia. After the Union troops detonated a large underground cache of explosives planted under the Confederate lines, Federal troops attempted to capture the position. Instead of proceeding around the gaping hole left by the blast, the Union troops marched into the crater. Confederate reinforcements led by Gen. Billy Mahone pinned the troops inside, and the slaughter began. Two brigades of black troops (who were originally supposed to lead the charge, but were withheld due to political maneuvering) were ordered into the crater to reinforce those already inside, but they, too, were decimated by Confederate artillery and rifle fire.
In the early days of the war, Negro troops mostly were used in non-combat duty, but by the end of hostilities, tens of thousands of Negro troops had seen significant action.