Washington County residents reflect on African-American history with Civil War

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"They knew it was about their freedom and the future of America."

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM)– In honor of Black History Month, Washington County residents reflect on the lives of African-American men and women during the Civil War.

Both enslaved and free, thousands of African-American men and women fought and died in the Civil War. Hood College History Professor Emilie Amt spoke about how most African-Americans lived with the fear of being abducted by the Confederate Army and therefore were some of the biggest supporters of the Union Army. Professor Amt said she believes African-Americans shaped the Civil War’s outcome and without them, our history could’ve been quite different.

“It was really an event that shaped us as a nation in terms of who we’re going to be as a society,” said Dr. Amt. “At that time, African-Americans knew that better than anyone. They knew it was about their freedom and we need to remember that when we think about the Civil War.”

More than 100 African-American men from Washington county served in the Union Army.

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