Posted on February 14, 2022

Black Caucus Members Propose Awarding 200,000 Black Civil War Vets Congressional Gold Medal

Nicole Duncan-Smith, Atlanta Black Star, February 11, 2022

Two politicians, descendants of enslaved African-Americans, are proposing that hundreds of thousands of Black people who fought for the nation during the Civil War be honored. The legislators state that these soldiers should receive “the recognition they deserve.”

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), both members of the Congressional Black Caucus, introduced a bill on Friday, Feb. 4, that proposes to posthumously award approximately 200,000 Black men the Congressional Gold Medal. {snip}

“What took us so long?” Norton stated. “Since it’s taken us, what is it, 150 years after the Civil War, Black History Month is a good time for the House and the Senate to honor these soldiers and sailors, 200,000 of them, who served in the Civil War.”


Norton stated that the recognition is indeed constructed to honor “all” Blacks that served in the war to grant emancipation to enslaved Americans.


The archive states that by the conclusion of the Civil War, 10 percent of the Union Army were Black, totaling 179,000 African American soldiers in the branch’s ranks. The Navy boasted 19,000 soldiers serving on their ships.

Remarkably, reports say that of the approximately 40,000 Black soldiers that died in the Civil War, three-quarters of them died from infection or disease, not in active duty. {snip}

Listed among the jobs Blacks served in are carpenters, chaplains, cooks, guards, laborers, nurses, scouts, spies, steamboat pilots, surgeons, and teamsters who also contributed to the war cause. Some soldiers did actually fight in the war.


By the end of the war, 80 Blacks of the 200,000 soldiers were commissioned as officers and only 16 Blacks of that number were given the Medal of Honor.