Escaped Slaves heading north toward the protection of a Union Army.
It’s been one of those weeks… With a new book in the final stages of editing and a surprise list of tasks from the editors and publishers, I did not have a chance to write the article about the Underground Railroad that I had hoped to write for Gazette665’s Friday.
However, I might be able to do double posts for next week, and for this Friday, I offer two articles that I wrote for Emerging Civil War’s Black History Month series in 2018 and 2019. Continue reading
Have you heard about Henry Box Brown? His escape story was so incredible that it almost seemed like fiction – even in the 19th Century. Continue reading
In 1865, the fighting on Civil War battlefields ended, but the questions were far from over. And new questions had been created during the war. One of the most exciting and most explosive questions of the era was: what did freedom look like and how would full freedom be attained by/for the former slaves?
Attempting to answer that question and solve innumerable problems, the Freedmen’s Bureau was established – originally to provide temporary aid and later re-imagined to a role that this agency never had the power successfully fill. Though the Bureau had good intentions, mixed signals from the government, lack of power/manpower, and an over-arching racism problem throughout the country limited its effectiveness.
Last August a blog reader emailed me and asked me to write specifically about the Freedman’s Bureau and its role in the Reconstruction Era. Thanks for pushing me to dig deeper into this interesting part of the era; hopefully, it will be insightful to you as well. Continue reading
This year (2017) marks 100 years since American entered World War I, and earlier we shared details about this incident in U.S. and World History. Today’s primary source about Thanksgiving was written in 1918 by a U.S. African American soldier, just days after the war ended. He was still stationed in France and shared some exciting news of the day…
For those of you who might be wondering, I found this letter in a private online archive of World War I letters. I’ve decided to include the complete text of the letter and added some notes. Continue reading
WAR DEPT., ADIT. AND INSP. GENERAL’S OFFICE,
GENERAL ORDERS, NO. 60
Richmond, August 21, 1862
- Whereas, Major-General Hunter, recently in command of the enemy’s forces on the coast of South Carolina, and Brigadier-General Phelps, a military commander in the State of Louisiana, have organized and armed negro slaves for military service against their masters, citizens of this Confederacy; and whereas, the Government of the United States has refused to answer an inquiry whether said conduct of its officers has met its sanction, and has thus left to this Government no other means of repressing said crimes and outrages than the adoption of such measure of retaliation as shall serve to prevent their repetition:
…Our Presidents, Governors, Generals, and Secretaries are calling, with almost frantic vehemence, for men. – “Men! Men! Send us men!” they scream, or the cause of the Union is gone, the life of a great nation is ruthlessly sacrificed, and the hopes of a great nation go out in darkness… Continue reading