It is unfortunate that the race issue had to be brought into the discussion. Attempting to turn the war into a morality play about race is a relatively modern phenomenon. While slavery was one of many factors leading to secession and subsequently the war, it is inaccurate to portray the war in racial terms. There were any number of individuals that owned slaves-blacks, whites and Native Americans. In fact, Anthony Johnson a free black in Virginia is generally recognized as the Father of chattel slavery in the United States.
Originally Posted by firstmdes
If the war was fought to achieve racial equality, there would have been no New York draft riots, Grant would have released his slaves prior to the passage of the 13th amendment and the gravestone of Private Brown would have read US, not USCT. Furthermore, Pvt. Brown would have received the same wages and equipment as his white counterparts. The US Colored Troops may have even been permitted to perform the task that they had so diligently trained to perform at the Battle of the Crater.
However, Burnside refused to allow them to lead, replacing the USCT with untrained white US troops.
"With the desperate situation in the crater, the racism of white Union soldiers became blatant. Knowing that the Confederates would give no quarter to black troops if taken prisoner, white soldiers feared that they would suffer the same if caught with black soldiers. They thus began to bayonet their own comrades in arms."
Terry from Occupied Baltimore
"As I stood upon the very scene of that conflict, I could not but contrast my position with his, forty-seven years before. The flag which he had then so proudly hailed, I saw waving at the same place over the victims of as vulgar and brutal a despotism as modern times have witnessed."
Francis Key Howard, Ft. McHenry 1861