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=== Civil War ===
[[Image:Sgt Major Christian Fleetwood.jpg|thumb|right|300px{{SMCF}}]] The history of African Americans in the U.S. Civil War is marked by 180,000 African Americans comprising 163 units served in the Union Army during the Civil War, and many more African Americans served in the Union Navy. Both free African Americans and runaway slaves joined the fight. Substantially smaller numbers of blacks are recorded to have served on the Confederate side including two units formed in Richmond, Virginia in 1865, however records are scarce and an exact number is not known.
On July 17, 1862, Congress passed two acts allowing the enlistment of African Americans, but official enrollment occurred only after the September 1862 issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation. However, state and local militia units had already begun enlisting blacks, including the Black Brigade of Cincinnati, raised in September to help provide manpower to thwart a feared Confederate raid on Cincinnati.
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