What is a Contraband Soldier?

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Nearly 180,000 southern slaves fled to the North as soon as war broke out. Designated as "contraband," goods legally prohibited in trade, many of these freed slaves went to work helping the Union troops. The contrabands toiled in the unglamorous support positions: loading cargo, building roads, digging ditches—wherever manual labor was needed. Thus, the term, "Contraband Soldiers" naturally arouse from this convienient circumvention of the law until the 13th Amendment was passed.

We can give Benjamin Franklin Butler credit for this clever temporary solution to a complex problem.

A research grant to study slavery and the Underground Railroad in Kentucky  inspired, "A Promise Moon." I alluded to, or drew inspiration from my findings as I wrote my latest novel which is set during the Civil War.


Return to a "Promise Moon."


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