Emancipation and Hard War

Once the idea of emancipation came about it changed the way the Union fought the war. The policy that the Union used was hard war; which is war amid at the destruction of the enemy economic resources.[1] Slave labor was a huge advantage for the South because it allowed more southern men to fight in the army, without destroying the southern economy. One of the first steps towards emancipation was the First Confiscation Act. The First Confiscation Act declared the forfeiture of slaves that were used directly in the confederate war effort.[2] This a hard war policy because it took away labor from the Confederacy. Another use of hard war tact’s was The Militia Act of 1862; which allowed the president to organize blacks and use them for any military or naval purpose he saw fit.[3] Not only was this taking away labor from the South, it helped to increase the Union Army. The idea of hard war for the Union was once they broke down the confederate economic infrastructure they would be able to win the war.[4] Once Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation the U.S. used former slaves in any way they saw fit. Ex slaves would be both military laborers and soldiers. [5] While emancipation was a useful hard war tactic it did not end the war in the way the Union had hoped.


Emancipation and Hard War 


[1] Grimsley, Hard Hand of War, 5.

[2] Grimsley, Hard Hand of War, 123.

[3] Grimsley, Hard Hand of War, 134.

[4] Grimsley, Hard Hand of War, 4.

[5] Grimsley,  Hard Hand of War, 140.


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