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.


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