Civil War and Emancipation, 1861 - Newly Added Items
A Great Sacrifice by James G. MendezA Great Sacrifice is an in-depth analysis of the effects of the Civil War on northern black families carried out using letters from northern black women--mothers, wives, sisters, and female family friends--addressed to a number of Union military officials. Collectively, the letters give a voice to the black family members left on the northern homefront. Through their explanations and requests, readers obtain a greater apprehension of the struggles African American families faced during the war, and their conditions as the war progressed. The original letters that were received by government agencies, as well as many of the copies of the letters sent in response, are held by the National Archives in Washington, D.C. This study is unique because it examines the effects of the war specifically on northern black families. Most other studies on African Americans during the Civil War focused almost exclusively on the soldiers.
Call Number: E 540 .N3 M46 2019 - Belleville General Book Collection
Publication Date: 2019-02-05
Embattled Freedom by Amy Murrell TaylorThe Civil War was just days old when the first enslaved men, women, and children began fleeing their plantations to seek refuge inside the lines of the Union army as it moved deep into the heart of the Confederacy. In the years that followed, hundreds of thousands more followed in a mass exodus from slavery that would destroy the system once and for all. Drawing on an extraordinary survey of slave refugee camps throughout the country, Embattled Freedom reveals as never before the everyday experiences of these refugees from slavery as they made their way through the vast landscape of army-supervised camps that emerged during the war. Amy Murrell Taylor vividly reconstructs the human world of wartime emancipation, taking readers inside military-issued tents and makeshift towns, through commissary warehouses and active combat, and into the realities of individuals and families struggling to survive physically as well as spiritually. Narrating their journeys in and out of the confines of the camps, Taylor shows in often gripping detail how the most basic necessities of life were elemental to a former slave's quest for freedom and full citizenship. The stories of individuals--storekeepers, a laundress, and a minister among them--anchor this ambitious and wide-ranging history and demonstrate with new clarity how contingent the slaves' pursuit of freedom was on the rhythms and culture of military life. Taylor brings new insight into the enormous risks taken by formerly enslaved people to find freedom in the midst of the nation's most destructive war.
Call Number: E 453 .T18 2018 - Belleville General Book Collection
Publication Date: 2018-11-26
Paying Freedom's Price by Paul David EscottPaying Freedom's Price provides a comprehensive yet brief and readable history of the role of African Americans--both slave and free--from the decade leading up to the Civil War until its immediate aftermath. Rather than focusing on black military service, the white-led abolitionist movement, or Lincoln's emergence as the great emancipator, Escott concentrates on the black military and civilian experience in the North as well as the South. He argues that African Americans--slaves, free Blacks, civilians, soldiers, men, and women-- played a crucial role in transforming the sectional conflict into a war for black freedom. The book is organized chronologically as well as thematically. The chronological organization will help readers understand how the Civil War evolved from a war to preserve the Union to a war that sought to abolish slavery, but not racial inequality. Within this chronological framework, Escott provides a thematic structure, tracing the causes of the war and African American efforts to include abolition, black military service, and racial equality in the wartime agenda. Including a timeline, selected primary sources, and an extensive bibliographic essay, Escott's book will be provide a superb starting point for students and general readers who want to explore in greater depth this important aspect of the Civil War and African American history.
Call Number: E 453 .T18 2018 - Belleville General Book Collection
Publication Date: 2016-10-28
The Fifth Massachusetts Colored Cavalry in the Civil War by Steven M. LaBarreIn January 1863, a long-anticipated military order arrived on the desk of Massachusetts Governor John Andrew. President Lincoln's secretary of war, Edwin Stanton, had granted the governor authority to raise regiments of black soldiers. Two units--the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Infantry--were soon mustered and in December, Andrew issued General Order No. 44, announcing "a Regiment of Cavalry Volunteers, to be composed of men of color...is now in the process of recruitment in the Commonwealth." Drawing on letters, diaries, memoirs and official reports, this book provides the first full-length regimental history of the Fifth Massachusetts Cavalry--its organization, participation in the Petersburg campaign and the guarding of prisoners at Point Lookout, Maryland, and its triumphant ride into Richmond. Accounts of the postwar lives of many of the men are included.
Call Number: E 513.6 5th .L33 2016 - Belleville General Book Collection
Publication Date: 2016-07-18
For Their Own Cause by Kelly D. MezurekThe 27th United States Colored Troops (USCT), composed largely of free black Ohio men, served in the Union army from April 1864 to September 1865 in Virginia and North Carolina. It was the first time most members of the unit had traveled so far from home. The men faced daily battles against racism and against inferior treatment, training, and supplies. They suffered from the physical difficulties of military life, the horrors of warfare, and homesickness and worried about loved ones left at home without financial support. Yet their contributions provided a tool that allowed blacks with little military experience, and their families, to demand social acceptance and acknowledgment of their citizenship. Their service did not end when their enlistment was over. After the men of the 27th returned to Ohio, they and their families sought full access to the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments and compensatory citizenship rights for their collective sacrifice. Despite their constant battle against racism, this public behavior benefited the men and their families. It also meant that the African American role in the Union victory remained part of local community remembrance and commemoration. As a result, the experiences of these men from the 27th USCT gave the late-nineteenth-century Ohio black community legitimate hopes for access to equal civil and social rights for all. For Their Own Cause is the first comprehensive history of the 27th USCT. By including rich details culled from private letters and pension files, Mezurek provides more than a typical regimental study; she demonstrates that the lives of the men of the 27th USCT help to explain why in the wars that followed, despite the disappointments and increasingly difficult struggle for African American equality that continued for far too many decades after the promise of the three Civil War-era constitutional amendments, blacks in the United States continued to offer their martial support in the front lines and the back.
Call Number: E 492.94 27th .M49 2016 - Belleville General Book Collection
Publication Date: 2016-10-25
Thunder at the Gates by Douglas R. EgertonAn intimate, authoritative history of the first black soldiers to fight in the Union Army during the Civil War Soon after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, abolitionists began to call for the creation of black regiments. At first, the South and most of the North responded with outrage-southerners promised to execute any black soldiers captured in battle, while many northerners claimed that blacks lacked the necessary courage. Meanwhile, Massachusetts, long the center of abolitionist fervor, launched one of the greatest experiments in American history. InThunder at the Gates, Douglas Egerton chronicles the formation and battlefield triumphs of the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Infantry and the 5th Massachusetts Cavalry-regiments led by whites but composed of black men born free or into slavery. He argues that the most important battles of all were won on the field of public opinion, for in fighting with distinction the regiments realized the long-derided idea of full and equal citizenship for blacks. A stirring evocation of this transformative episode,Thunder at the Gates offers a riveting new perspective on the Civil War and its legacy.
Call Number: E 492.9 .E35 2016 - Belleville General Book Collection
Publication Date: 2016-11-01
Reminiscences of My Life in Camp by Susie King TaylorThis edition has been expanded and annotated with updated information.Suzie King Taylor made a remarkable journey from slavery to freedom through service with the first black Civil War regiment to fight for freedom in America's history.Written toward the end of her life, her memories are not those of a battle veteran, though she helped care for plenty of shattered bodies, heard the guns, and saw rebel soldiers at close range. At risk to her life and freedom, she served throughout the war as a teenaged nurse.Assigned as a laundress, she actually did very little laundering but instead played an important role in the care and spirits of black soldiers and their white commanders.Her depth of feeling about the past and her passionate hopes for the future bring her writing to life. This is an important contribution to American history that is made available in this volume for the first time for e-readers.Susie King Taylor (1848-1912) was an African American army nurse with the first black Union troops during the Civil War. She wrote the only memoir of an African-American woman who had experience with combat troops. She was also the first African American to teach in a school for former slaves in Georgia.There is great beauty in some of the small details of Suzie King's recollections. She briefly ponders in amazement her ability to acclimate to the horrors of war."It seems strange how our aversion to seeing suffering is overcome in war, how we are able to see the most sickening sights, such as men with their limbs blown off and mangled by the deadly shells, without a shudder; and instead of turning away, how we hurry to assist in alleviating their pain, bind up their wounds, and press the cool water to their parched lips, with feelings only of sympathy and pity."She also writes of her delight in becoming proficient at field-stripping, cleaning, and shooting a musket.Her final chapter is an eloquent plea for civil rights and a recognition that emancipation's promise was still a distant goal.Every memoir of the American Civil War provides us with another view of the catastrophe that changed the country forever.
Call Number: E 492.94 33rd .T3 2006 - Belleville General Book Collection