JUNE 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.

On June 15, 1864, Congress finally approved an act to equalize pay amongst all Union soldiers. African American soldiers were now paid $13 per month plus a $3.50 uniform allowance, equal to that of white soldiers. Nevertheless, Congress made a distinction between freed and formerly enslaved soldier in determining retroactive pay. This distinction divided African American regiments and lowered morale.


1 Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

2, 7, 8, 14, 15 Public Domain

3, 6, 9, 11, 12 Library of Congress

4 State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/147904

5 Massachusetts Historical Society

10 GLC07345 Francis H. Fletcher, Letter to Jacob C. Safford, May 28, 1864 (Courtesy of The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History)

13 Florida Center for Instructional Technology, College of Education, University of South Florida

16 Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society