SAT Subject US History Practice Question 793: Answer and Explanation

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Question: 793

54. All of the following statements about African American troops in the Civil War are true EXCEPT

A. they fought on the front lines in battles.
B. they received pay equal to that of the white troops throughout the war.
C. they were always under the command of white officers.
D. many of them were runaway slaves, who were called "contraband" by Lincoln.
E. they often served as workers in the rear of battles.

Correct Answer: B


There was considerable pay and supply discrimination against the African American troops, who did not receive equal pay until late in the war. They fought on the front lines in battle (A), although not until after the Emancipation Proclamation. They were always under the direction of (C) white officers. Before they fought, slaves who ran away from the South were considered "contraband of war" (D) by Lincoln. He accepted them behind Northern lines as a way to steal Southern "supplies." These men and women worked behind the lines (E) for the army from the beginning of the war.

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