Prepared by Grace Morris Cordial, MLS, SL, Historical Resources Coordinator , Beaufort County Library. Posted: February 15, 2011.
Latest revision: February 24, 2012.
Resources about African-Americans in the Military during the Civil War
The Civil War Trust has a United States Colored Troops hub athttp://www.civilwar.org/education/history/usct/usct-united-states-colored.htmlAmong the offerings are primary source materials,articles, a slideshow, and a quiz about actions in which the men of the USCT participated. .
“Men of Color: To Arms! To Arms!” by Elizabeth Berlin Taylor for the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History at http://www.gilderlehrman.org/history-by-era/african-americans-and-emancipation/resources/%E2%80%9Cmen-color-arms-arms%E2%80%9D.
REF 973.7 DYECompendium of the War of the Rebellionby Frederick H. Dyer. (3 vols.) (BEA, HHI) Also available online athttp://www.civilwararchive.com/regim.htm
973.7 WARThe War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies(130 vols.) (BDC, BLU) Also available online athttp://cdl.library.cornell.edu/moa/browse.monographs/waro.html.
The New South, a Civil War era newspaper published here from 1862-1866 is available online athttp://www.sc.edu/library/digital/collections/newsouth.html.
BCL website pages on Robert Smalls, a local African-American Civil War naval hero are found at:
National Park Service, Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/ . Read the “History of African Americans in the Civil War” at http://www.itd.nps.gov/cwss/history/aa_history.htm .
In honor of the 150 th Anniversary of the Civil War, the Navy has posted an online brochure “Blacks in Blue Jackets: African Americans in the Civil War” at http://www.scribd.com/doc/38189408/Civil-War-Navy-Sesquicentennial-African-American-Sailor-Brochure
“Black Men in Navy Blue During the Civil War,” an article originally published in the National Archives
PrologueMagazine, is a very good introduction to what life was like for black sailors in the Union Navy. Go tohttp://www.navyandmarine.org/ondeck/1862blackinblue.htm.
“The African American Experience In Ohio, 1850-1920” found at http://dbs.ohiohistory.org/africanam/ allows searches on “African American soldiers” and keyword “Civil War” which brings up some good digital images of individual soldiers, most of whom had direct connections with the State of Ohio.
“The African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship” found at http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/aaohtml/exhibit/ . Select “The Civil War” section and read “Soldiers and Missionaries” and “Fighting for Freedom.” An added benefit of this site is a digital image of a photograph of black soldiers in Beaufort.
“The Fight for Equal Rights: Black Soldiers in the Civil War Preserving the Legacy of the United States Colored Troops” by Budge Weidman is found at http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/blacks-civil-war/article.html . This site is part of the “Teaching With Documents” series offered to the schools by the National Archives.
“First to Serve” found at http://www.nps.gov/fosc/historyculture/firsttoserve.htm states: “During theCivil War, Kansas was the first state to officially recruit and train military units comprised of black soldiers.” For more about the Kansas Colored Troops, please see this site: http://www.kshs.org/p/online-exhibits-keep-the-flag-to-the-front-part-4/10654
“Valley of the Shadow” project found at http://valley.vcdh.virginia.edu/ contains limited information about USCT. Select the “The War Years,” and then “Images.” Enter the term “African Americans” in the Subject dropdown box to access 71 images, some of which were taken in our area. A notable person, Maj. Martin Delaney, is shown. He was the first Black Officer in the Union Army. He served with the 55 th Massachusetts which was based here for a time during the Civil War.
“United States Colored Troops – Civil War: Brief Notes and Links” researched and compiled by Bennie J. McRae, Jr. offers some insights of a dedicated Civil War buff. The web site address is http://www.coax.net/people/lwf/usct.htm .
The Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment was the first military unit consisting of black soliders to be raised in the North during the Civil War. The Massachusetts Historical Society launched a website displaying some of their archival holdings of photographs, broadsides, and manuscripts relating to the 54th MASS at http://www.masshist.org/online/54thregiment/essay.php?entry_id=528 .
“American Memory, Library of Congress” found at http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html is a treasure trove of information but you have to play with the database to get the best results. Appropriate databases to search are “Civil War Treasures from the New-York Historical Society, contained within Civil War Images ~ Multiformat ~ 1861-1865 , Civil War Maps in the Hotchkiss Map collection and the “Civil War Maps, 1861-1865” digital exhibit; and the Brady Studio and Others photographic collection.
“Photographs of African Americans During the Civil War: A List of Images in the Civil War Photograph Collection” can be accessed through the Prints and Photographs Division
,Library of Congress through the portal found athttp://www.loc.gov/rr/print/list/081_cwaf2.html.
The Library of Congress highlights images, maps, and other resources on African-Americans at http://www.africanamericanhistorymonth.gov/index.html . Of particular interest are the recently arrived images of African-American soldiers and sailors as found in the Liljenquist Collection of Civil War portraits. The portal for the Liljenquist Collection is found at http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/caption/captionliljenquist.htmlhttp://www.loc.gov/rr/print/caption/captionliljenquist.html .
For digital images posted by the Historical Division of the United States Navy, start with their homepage which is found at http://www.history.navy.mil/ . They are running a special “Navy African American Experience” at http://www.history.navy.mil/special%20Highlights/AfricanAmerican/African-hist.htm.
Information found in “African-Americans and the U.S. Navy” at http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/prs-tpic/af-amer/afa-1860.htm is very useful. There’s even a special feature on our native son, Robert Smalls!
Angela Y. Walton-Raji writes a blog entitled “The USCT Chronicle: Telling African American Civil War Stores, of Soldiers, Civilians, Contrabands, First Days of Freedom, and the Events that led to Freedom” at http://usctchronicle.blogspot.com/.
You can check out these materials from Beaufort County Library:
The branch libraries in Beaufort (BEA), Bluffton (BLU), and Hilton Head (HHI) have particularly strong collections of printed materials on the Civil War and the African American soldiers, sailors, and civilians who served.
PLEASE ask a Reference Librarian for help locating these and many other relevant materials about the role of African-Americans in the Union military during the Civil War.
B GOULDDiary of a contraband : the Civil War passage of a Black sailor[edited by] William B. Gould IV. (BEA, BLU, HHI)
B MCCLINESlavery in the Clover Bottoms: John McCline’s narrative of his life during slavery and the Civil War.(BLU, LOB)
B SHAWBlue-eyed child of fortune: the Civil War letters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. (BDC, HHI)
B SMALLSCongressman Robert Smalls [DVD]: a patriot’s journey from slavery to Capitol Hillnarrated by Sean Patrick Thomas; written and directed by Adrena Ifill. (BDC, BEA, BLU, HHI, LOB)
The journals of Charlotte Forten Grimke
edited by Brenda Stevenson. (BDC, HHI)
973.7 CIV The Civil War[DVD] Produced by Greystone Communications, Inc. for The History Channel. Jim Lindsay, Narrator. (BLU, HHI)
973.7 CIVCivil War journal [DVD]: the conflict begins. History TV Network presentation; produced by Greystone Communications, Inc. in association with A & E Networks. Danny Glover, Narrator. (HHI)
973.7 FREFreedom’s journey: African American voices of the Civil Waredited by Donald Yacovone. (BLU)
973.7 HAWA woman doctor’s Civil War : Esther Hill Hawks’ diaryedited with foreword and afterword by Gerald Schwartz. (BDC, BEA, HHI)
973.7 HIGThe complete Civil War journal and selected letters of Thomas Wentworth Higginsonedited by Christopher Looby. (BDC, HHI, LOB)
973.7 MCPFor cause and comrades: why men fought in the Civil Warby James M. McPherson. (BEA, BLU, HHI)
REF 973.7 SOU
South Carolina African-Americans in the Civil War: two sides to a story, compiler and author, Roberta VH. Copp ; editing, Judith M. Brimelow. (BLU)
973.7 TRULike men of war : Black troops in the Civil War, 1862-1865by Noah Andre Trudeau. (BLU, HHI)
973.7 WASEagles on their buttons: a Black infantry regiment in the Civil Warby Versalle F. Washington. (HHI, STH)
973.7415 ASHFirebrand of liberty : the story of two Black regiments that changed the course of the Civil Warby Stephen V. Ash. (ALL)
973.7415 CORThe sable arm: Black troops in the Union Army, 1861-1865by Dudley Taylor Cornish. (BLU)
Forgotten Confederates : an anthology about Black southerners
compiled & edited by Charles Kelly Barrow, J.H. Segars & R.B. Rosenburg. (BDC, BEA)
973.7415 GLAForged in battle: the Civil War alliance of Black soldiers and white officersby Joseph T. Glatthaar. (BDC, BEA, HHI)
REF 973.7415 GRESwamp angels: a biographical study of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment: true facts about the black defenders of the Civil Warby Robert Ewell Greene. (BDC, HHI)
973.7415 MAS[DVD]The Massachusetts 54th [DVD]: colored infantryby Jacqueline Shearer. (HHI)
973.7415 WARThe slaves’ war: the Civil War in the words of former slavesby Andrew Ward. (BEA, BLU, HHI)
973.742 HIGArmy life in a Black regimentby Thomas Wentworth Higginson. (BDC, BEA, HHI)
Come to the BDC Research Room to see these items:
Please note that materials available only through the Beaufort District Collection (BDC) are not available for checkout. Customary visiting hours are Monday – Friday: 10:00AM – 5:00PM; the BDC is closed on Saturday and Sunday.
B DELANYLife and public services of Martin R. Delany [Excerpt photocopied from book]: Sub-assistant Commissioner Bureau Relief of Refugees, Freedmen, and of Abandoned lands, and Late Major 104th U.S. Colored Troopsby Frank A. Rollin. (BDC)
B SHAWBlue-eyed child of fortune: the Civil War letters of Colonel Robert Gould Shaw. (BDC, HHI)
B SMALLSCongressman Robert Smalls [DVD]: a patriot’s journey from slavery to Capitol Hillnarrated by Sean Patrick Thomas; written and directed by Adrena Ifill. (ALL)
SC 306.3621 HUNSouth Carolina Volunteers [Pamphlet Articles] : Letter from the Secretary of War, in answer to a resolution of the House of June 8, 1862, transmitting correspondence of Major General Hunter, in relation to arming South Carolina volunteers: fugitive slaves : July 2, 1862.(BDC)
SC 371.1 JOUThe journals of Charlotte Forten Grimkéedited by Brenda Stevenson. (BDC, HHI)
SC 973.7 BRODesperate deliverance : the story of African Americans in the Civil Warby Robert Broadwater ; edited by Patricia Mitchell [and] Judy Gowan. (BDC)
SC 973.7 HAWA woman doctor’s Civil War : Esther Hill Hawks’ diaryedited with foreword and afterword by Gerald Schwartz. (BDC, BEA, HHI)
SC 973.7 HELSouth Carolina’s African American Confederate pensioners, 1923-1925by Alexia Jones Helsley. (BDC)
SC 973.7 HIGThe complete Civil War journal and selected letters of Thomas Wentworth Higginsonedited by Christopher Looby. (BDC, HHI, LOB)
SC 973.7 OFFOfficial Records of the Union and Confederate Navies in the War of the Rebellion(25 vols.) (BDC)
SC 973.7 ROSThe roster of Union soldiers, 1861-1865.United States Colored troopsedited by Janet B. Hewett (BDC)
SC 973.7 SUPSupplement to the Official records of the Union and Confederate Armiesedited by Janet Hewett. (BDC)
SC 973.7 TAYA Black woman’s Civil War memoirs: reminiscences of my life in camp with the 33rd U.S. Colored Troops, late 1st South Carolina Volunteersby Susie King Taylor. (BDC)
SC 973.7 WARThe War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies(130 vols.) (BDC, BLU) Also available online athttp://cdl.library.cornell.edu/moa/browse.monographs/waro.html.
SC 973.7415 ASHFirebrand of liberty : the story of two Black regiments that changed the course of the Civil Warby Stephen V. Ash. (ALL)
SC 973.7415 FORForgotten Confederates : an anthology about Black southernerscompiled & edited by Charles Kelly Barrow, J.H. Segars & R.B. Rosenburg. (BDC, BEA)
SC 973.7415FULMen of Color, To Arms!: Vermont African-Americans in the Civil Warby James Fuller. (BDC)
SC 973.7415 GLAForged in battle: the Civil War alliance of Black soldiers and white officersby Joseph T. Glatthaar. (BDC, BEA, HHI)
SC 973.7415 GOOOn the altar of freedom: a black soldier’s Civil War letters from the frontby James Henry Gooding. (BDC)
SC 973.7415 GOU104th infantry regiment-USCT, Colored Civil War soldiers from South Carolinaby J. Raymond Gourdin. (BDC)
SC 973.7415 GRESwamp angels: a biographical study of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment: true facts about the black defenders of the Civil Warby Robert Ewell Greene. (BDC, HHI)
SC 973.7415 HUMIntensely human : the health of the Black soldier in the American Civil Warby Margaret Humphreys. (BDC)
SC 973.7415 WESBlack troops, white commanders, and freedmen during the Civil WarbyHoward C. Westwood; with a foreword by John Y. Simon. (BDC)
SC 973.74157 MCRNineteenth century freedom fighters : the 1st South Carolina Volunteers byBennie J. McRae Jr., Curtis M. Miller, Cheryl Trowbridge-Miller (BDC)
SC 973.742 HIGArmy life in a Black regimentby Thomas Wentworth Higginson. (BDC, BEA, HHI)
SC 973.896 KINWounds that Bind: A Comparative Study of the Role played by Civil War veterans of African descent in community formation in Massachusetts and South Carolina, 1865-1915by Lisa Yolande King. (BDC)
Records on Microfilm
New South , Free South , Palmetto Heraldnewspapers, 1862-1866 (BDC, BEA, HHI)Please note:The New South, 1862-1866 is available online athttp://www.sc.edu/library/digital/collections/newsouth.html.
Beaufort Republican newspaper , 1871-1873(BDC, BEA)
Port Royal Commercial and Beaufort County Republican newspaper ,1873 -1874(BDC, BEA)
Palmetto Postnewspaper, 1882-1906 (BDC, BEA, HHI)
Index to and Heads of Family Land Certificates, 1863-1872 (BDC, HHI)
Tax Sale Certificates 1864 (BDC, HHI)
Land Sale Certificates, 1869-1870; 1875-1876 (BDC, HHI)
Abstract of Voter Registrations reported to the Military Government, 1868 (BDC)
1890 Federal Census of
Union Veterans and Widows(BDC, HHI)
1790 – 1880, 1900 – 1930
Federal Censusfor Beaufort County. (BDC, HHI) Also available electronically in all branch libraries throughAncestry Library Editiondatabase.
1870, 1880, 1900-1930
Federal Censusfor Hampton County. (BDC, HHI) Also available electronically in all branch libraries throughAncestry Library Editiondatabase.
Federal Censusfor Jasper County. (BDC, HHI) Also available electronically in all branch libraries throughAncestry Library Editiondatabase.
Suggested Subscription Databases in the Beaufort County Library
Please note: (Valid Beaufort County Library card and Password Required)
History Reference Centerdatabase
Biography in Context,Academic OneFile, U.S. History in Context, andExpanded Academic ASAPdatabases are particularly helpful when learning more about key figures and military actions during the Civil War era, including the role of the members of the USCT.
ANCESTRY LIBRARY EDITION
Ancestry Library Editionis available on the library’s Internet stations located in each of our branch libraries. To get the most out of the experience, come prepared with a list of USCT ancestors to research. Go to the Ancestry Database Card Catalog search search, type in “Civil War” as keyword and filter the location to the “United States.” (This eliminates records to civil wars in other countries). You will get a listing of 109 databases inside ALE about Civil War soldiers, sailors, and civilians. Here you will find links to key series:US Civil War Soldiers, 1861 – 1865; US Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles; Civil War Pension Index; Civil War Prisoner of War records; US, Colored Troops Military Service Records, 1861 – 1865; US Navy Pension Index, 1861 – 1910; the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 1861 – 1865,and theAfrican American Photo Collection, 1850 -2000among others.
Ancestry Library Editionalso offers a version of the National Park Service’s Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System database.Ancestry Library Editioncalls its versions theU.S. Civil War Soldiers, 1861-1865[database collection]. This database tells the researcher whether a specific African-American is included in the African American Civil War Memorial and if so, the soldier’s name and plaque number.
Ancestry Library Editionis the largest online genealogy resource available with almost 8000 complete databases, and more than 4 billion names. The database includes census data; maps; military records and slave stories. New content is added regularly.
Suggested USCT and Civil War Web Sites on the Net
025.06 THOThe Civil War on the Web: A Guide to the Very Best Sitesby William G. Thomas and Alice E. Carter (BEA, HHI).This book offers valuable suggestions for the Civil War researcher. Chapter 5 evaluates web sites about “The Experience of the U.S. Colored Troops. Part II recommends specific topical sites that are well organized and updated regularly.
Suggested Sources for Images and Maps of the Civil War
We have a number of digital images imbedded within our Library’s website that our customers can view and photocopy for educational use. Permission to reproduce our images for publication and appearance in works produced by others must be granted by the Beaufort County Library per policy of the Library Board of Trustees. For additional information, please contact Grace Cordial, Historical Resources Coordinator, Beaufort County Library, 843-255-6446 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
SCIway hosts a number of online maps on its site found at http://www.sciway.net/hist/maps/ .
Port Royal Sound – circa 1860 –
City map of Beaufort – circa 1860 (with sites of Civil War hospitals)
Port Royal entrance – 1862
Beaufort River – Compiled from U.S. Coast Survey – 1864
Broad River – Beaufort and Jasper Counties – 1865 –
LEGEND TO MATERIALS LOCATION
BDC = Beaufort District Collection
BEA= Beaufort Branch
BLU = Bluffton Branch
HHI = Hilton Head Branch
LOB = Lobeco Branch
STH = St. Helena Branch