Category Archives: USCT

Emerging Scholar Ashley Towle

As part of our partnership with the American Civil War Museum in Richmond and Civil War Monitor, we’re pleased to introduce the next of our “Emerging Scholars,” Ashley Towle. Ashley will be presenting her work at the museum’s Grand Opening May 4. A Tale … Continue reading

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Susie King Taylor: The First African American Army Nurse

“I was born under the slave law in Georgia, in 1848, and was brought up by my grandmother in Savannah.” So begin the memoirs of Civil War nurse Susie King Taylor, a most unusual woman in many ways. She was … Continue reading

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African American Soldiers at Fort Gilmer

It was September 29, 1864. General Benjamin Butler’s Army of the James finally arose from its slumber, crossing the James and launching attacks against the outer Confederate fortifications around Richmond. The plan was to pierce the works and then to … Continue reading

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The First Contraband Combatants

“The scene on board the flag-ship was novel and thrilling. The thunder of the conflict drowned all other noises,” wrote historian John S. C. Abbott.[1] In one of the first Civil War histories, written while it happened, Abbott employed elegant … Continue reading

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Their Faces: Those Who Fought To Be Free – A Photographic Essay

When I have a lazy evening, I like to wander through the files of photographs on the Library of Congress website. The rain drummed outside, its even cadence echoing the drums of war from long past years. I decided to … Continue reading

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The Newby Family Fights for Freedom

For more than two decades I’ve been fascinated with John Brown’s 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry. There’s so much intrigue to the story…it almost reads like a Hollywood script. More than the voluminous books, the artifacts and the sites associated … Continue reading

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Remember Poison Spring!

If you have seen the 2012 film Lincoln, you may remember the first two scenes: a gruesome hand-to-hand fight between white Confederate troops and African-American Federal soldiers, and two USCTs speaking with their commander-in-chief. Besides the overarching themes of race, … Continue reading

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At Sea: Fighting For Freedom

African Americans hazarded their lives and freedom against the nation’s enemies in the colonial and United States navies while achieving a level of respect, relatively fair treatment, and economic opportunities generally not available ashore. (Dwight Hughes, 2018, ECW Blog) In … Continue reading

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“Freedom!” Their Battle-Cry: 1863 Poetry For African American Soldiers

Poetry has many form and uses, and this writing form has legendarily been used to celebrate heroes. Some of the earliest epics in World History – Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey – were crafted in poetry form. Through meter, rhythm, and … Continue reading

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Facebook Cover Photo: African American Soldiers for the Union

“Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letters U.S., let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder, and bullets in his pocket, and there is no power on the earth … Continue reading

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