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Bluejackets and ContrabandsAfrican Americans and the Union Navy$
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Barbara Brooks Tomblin

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780813125541

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813125541.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 30 May 2020

Contraband Sailors

Contraband Sailors

Chapter:
(p.189) Chapter 7 Contraband Sailors
Source:
Bluejackets and Contrabands
Author(s):

Barbara Brooks Tomblin

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813125541.003.0008

Soon after the fall of Fort Sumter, the Navy Department realized that the fleet's rapid wartime expansion would require thousands of sailors, and it sent navy recruiters out to recruiting stations, called rendezvous, in large eastern cities and small coastal and river towns to lure men into the service. Only about 300 African American men reported to these stations, and by the end of 1861 they accounted for only about six percent of Union Navy crews. These numbers soon grew, however. According to Howard University's Black Sailors Project, 18,000 African American men (and 11 women) served in the Union Navy over the course of the Civil War. African American sailors constituted about 20 percent of the enlisted force, nearly double the proportion of black soldiers who served in the Union Army during the war. The largest number of black men joining the Union Navy listed their place of origin as either Maryland or Virginia.

Keywords:   Fort Sumter, Navy Department, sailors, recruiting stations, rendezvous, African Americans, Union Navy, black sailors, black soldiers, Union Army

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