When Confederate General John Hunt Morgan laid plans to attack Cincinnati in August of 1862, the Black community of Cincinnati met to organize a home guard and offer their help to defend the city. However, their offer was rejected by city authorities—the Black residents were forbidden to hold any further meetings and were told that it was not their war to fight. But Union General Lew Wallace, the military commander responsible for Cincinnati, felt differently. He hoped to enlist Black men to help construct defense fortifications in northern Kentucky.
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