DECEMBER 2013: The Voices of the Civil War is a five-year film series dedicated to celebrating and commemorating the Civil War over the course of the sesquicentennial. Each month, new episodes cover pertinent topics that follow the monthly events and issues as they unfolded for African Americans during the Civil War. Within these episodes there are various primary sources – letters and diaries, newspaper reports, and more - to recount various experiences of blacks during this period. We encourage your feedback and commentary through our Voices of the Civil War web blog.
In December 1863, a lifelong slave named Robert Smalls became the first black captain of a United States vessel. From that point onward, he would earn $150 per month, making him one of the war's highest paid black soldiers. But Smalls' most memorable accomplishment came a year earlier, in one of the most audacious acts of the Civil War.
1, 2, 4 Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
3, 8, 10-14 Library of Congress
5, 9 U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph
6 The Planter, Official Records of the Navies, Series 1, Vol. 12.
Courtesy of the Beaufort District Collection, Beaufort County Library
7 Hagley Museum and Library