AUGUST 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.

In August of 1864, Thomas Morris Chester became the first African American war correspondent to work for a major daily newspaper in the United States. He became an eyewitness to fierce battles between the Union and Confederates and reported on the bravery of African American soldiers on the front lines.


1 Painting by Don Troiani,

2, 5-7, 10-11, 14-17, 19, 21-22 Library of Congress

3, 8, 9, 12-13, Courtesy of Special Collections, LSU Libraries, Louisiana State University

4, 18, 23 General Research & Reference Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations

20 Courtesy of Cheyney University Archives

24 National Archives and Records Administration