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  • Tags: contrabands
  • Contrabands is a term used in reference to enslaved men and women who escaped and sought refuge with the U.S. Army during the war. "Contrabands" followed Union troops as refugees, and some worked digging ditches, building fortifications, cooking, washing laundry, or sewing. Some enlisted in the U.S. Army. Historians estimate that by the war's end, approximately 500,000 enslaved people and freed people sought refuge behind Union lines.

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