Category Archives: Slavery

From ECW’s Archives – Black Confederates: Laborers or Soldiers?

In 2016, Emerging Civil War author Steward T. Henderson wrote a five part series, sharing his research about Black Confederates. Were they soldiers or laborers? We thought it was a discussion to revisit during 2018 Black History Month.

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Bernard Slave Cabins

A new article by guest author Michael Aubrecht One of the more overlooked spots on the Fredericksburg National Battlefield is the Bernard Slave Cabins. This area was the homestead of a number of enslaved African-Americans and a focal point of … Continue reading

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Not the Same African Americans We Always See

I was watching a television show a couple of weeks ago, and the subject of Black History Month was mentioned. One of the characters complained that America always trots out the same four African Americans every year to stand in … Continue reading

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The Emancipation Proclamation: An International Turning Point

In  his post “Thenceforward and Forever Free”: The Emancipation Proclamation as a Turning Point, Dan Vermilya makes a good case that the president’s executive action was a turning point of the war because it clarified Union war aims on the issue of … Continue reading

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The Homestead Act, Early Republicans, and the Coming of the Civil War

Nearly everyone knows that the Emancipation Proclamation became effective on January 1, 1863.  This document formally established abolition of slavery as one of the Union’s goals in fighting and winning the Civil War and enabled the North to recruit African … Continue reading

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War Comes to St. George’s (part four)

(part four in a series) After the battle of Fredericksburg and before the battle of Chancellorsville, the Confederate army used St. George’s for services and revivals. J. William Jones reported in his memoir Christ in the Camp that revivals were … Continue reading

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War Comes to St. George’s (part three)

(part three in a series) With the Union army occupying Fredericksburg, change was in the air, with runaway slaves and soldiers coming in and out of town, mixing freely with the citizens. Betty Herndon Maury describes the scene: Runaway Negroes … Continue reading

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Turning Point: Assault on Battery Wagner by the 54th Massachusetts

Around a small hamlet in southern Pennsylvania, Robert E. Lee’s vaunted Army of Northern Virginia was stymied and driven back after three days, July 1st through the 3rd, of bloodletting at the Battle of Gettysburg. A turning point in the … Continue reading

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War Comes to St. George’s (part two)

(part two in a series) In the summer of 2010, Park Service historian John Hennessy and I presented a History at Sunset program entitled “Slavery and Slave Places in Fredericksburg.” One of our stops was at St. George Episcopal Church’s … Continue reading

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War Comes to St. George’s (part one)

(part one of a series) Last August, I had the honor of giving a lecture at my church, St. George’s Episcopal Church, about its history during the Civil War. Several living historians, members of Women of the Civil War, the … Continue reading

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