- "Come and Join Us Brothers"

Abraham Lincoln: An Extraordinary Life

"Come and Join Us Brothers"

The Emancipation Proclamation included a provision opening enlistment in the military to African American men. More than 185,000 black volunteers took up the call and fought to liberate those still held in slavery.

“Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letters U.S.,” wrote abolitionist Frederick Douglass, “let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder, and bullets in his pocket, and there is no power on the earth or under the earth which can deny that he has earned the right of citizenship in the United States.”
 

Recruitment Poster

Philadelphia’s Supervisory Committee for Recruiting Colored Regiments sought to attract African American recruits with this poster in 1863.