On this day in 1865, the Confederacy did something that sounds counter-intuitive. It approved the use of black soldiers.

With Gen. William Sherman riding through the Carolinas and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s army overtaking Gen. Robert E. Lee’s forces, slaves were the only source of fresh manpower for the Confederacy.

Thousands of black slaves were enlisted, but it did not change the course of the war. Nearly 200,000 blacks were fighting for the Union.

Source: History.com