Voices of the Civil War - The Charles H. Wright Museum Blog - Page 4

Voices of the Civil War Episode 24 "African Americans and the Confederate Army"

JANUARY 2014: 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.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

By the end of 1863, with the Confederate army lacking resources, funds, and manpower, it had become clear to Confederate General Patrick Cleburne that the south desperately needed to find ways to recruit new soldiers for the rebel cause. Calling it “a plan which we believe will save our country,” in January 1864, he called upon the leaders of the Army of the Tennessee and proposed the emancipation of slaves in order to enlist them in the Confederate war effort. In Episode 24 we explore the role of African Americans in the Confederate States Army.

Credits

1, 9, 10 National Archives and Records Administration

2, 3, 5-8, 11-14, 17-20, 22, 24 Library of Congress

4 Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

15 Alabama Department of Archives and History

16 Virginia Historical Society

21 New York Historical Society

23 Riddick’s Folly Museum House

25 Harper’s Weekly

26 Tom Farish Collection

27 Personal Collection of Andrew Chandler Battaile

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Voices of the Civil War Episode 23 "Robert Smalls"

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.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

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.

Credits

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

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-civil/civsh-p/planter.htm

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

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Voices of the Civil War Episode 22 "The Gettysburg Address"

NOVEMBER 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.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

On November 19, 1863, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, President Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address, just 272 words, lasting 3 minutes. The location of the Gettysburg Address had its own special resonance for African-Americans. Since the eighteenth century, the town of Gettysburg had maintained a small, vibrant African-American community. But during the Battle of Gettysburg, the two armies damaged or destroyed much of the property belonging to African-Americans, and many of the black residents who fled the town did not return. Though no one could mistake the meaning of the "new birth of freedom", the Gettysburg Address remained silent about the fate of African-Americans. The "great task" mentioned by Lincoln was not emancipation, but the preservation of self-government. Though words cannot end a war or bind up a nation's wounds, the Gettysburg Address lives on as perhaps the most significant speech in American history.

Credits

1, 3, 9, 11 National Archives and Records Administration

2, 5, 7-8, 10, 12, 13, 15-20, 24 - 25 Library of Congress

4, 6 Massachusetts Historical Society

14 Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library

21, 23 Adams County Historical Society, Gettysburg, PA

22 Courtesy of Special Collections/Musselman Library, Gettysburg College

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Voices of the Civil War Episode 21 "Sojourner Truth"

OCTOBER 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.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

The women's rights movement in America was directly influenced by the work of the abolitionist movement. By 1863, the abolitionist and women's rights advocate Sojourner Truth had spent more than twenty years speaking out against slavery. She was a remarkable case, but the Civil War saw many female heroes. During the war, American women threw themselves into public life with an enthusiasm born out of a sense of duty.

Credits

1, 2, 11 New York Public Library

3-5, 7-8, 12-13, 15-16, 18, 20, 22, 23, 25-27, 29-30 Library of Congress

6 Corbis

9, 17, 28, 31 Public Domain

10 Willard Library

14, 24 Documenting the American South, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Libraries

19 Detroit Public Library

21 Savannah College of Art and Design, Charles White

32 U.S. Army Center of Military History - Army Military History Institute Collection

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Voices of the Civil War Episode 20 "The Medal of Honor"

SEPTEMBER 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.

Click here to visit the Voices of the Civil War blog to see previous episodes.

More than 180,000 African American soldiers served in the Union Army during the Civil War and of these, sixteen earned the Medal of Honor. Soldiers like Sergeant William H. Carney, Private James Daniel Gardner, Corporal Miles James, Thomas R. Hawkins and Christian Fleetwood were awarded for personal acts of valor that were above and beyond the call of duty. Fourteen of the sixteen Medals of Honor awarded were given away for actions at the Battle of New Market Heights, where over 50 percent of the black troops were killed, wounded, or captured.

Credits

1, 3, 10 Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

2 Clements Library of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

4, 7-10, 12, 14-18 Library of Congress

5 Massachusetts Historical Society

6 National Archives and Records Administration

11 General Research & Reference Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

13 County of Henrico, Virginia, Historic Preservation and Museum Services

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