By the conclusion of the American Civil War, an estimated 179,000 Black men had served in the U.S. Army and another 19,000 in the Navy. In this online lecture, Researcher Jonathan Hill will provide an overview of the records and tools that can be used to uncover the stories of Black Civil War veterans, including Compiled Military Service Records, Muster Rolls, Descriptive Rolls, Widows Pensions, Regimental Histories, Disability Certificates, the 1890 Veterans Census, as well as primary source documentation such as newspapers and after-action reports. We will also use the case studies of two Black Civil War soldiers from different backgrounds and geographic locations to highlight the types records that are available for researchers and demonstrate best research strategies for understanding the lives and stories of these veterans.
This syllabus is intended to accompany our online lecture Researching Black Soldiers in the Civil War (archived recording as of 11/9/23: https://americanancestors.org/video-library). It includes a reference for all resources mentioned in the session, plus links to many others.
Created by Jonathan Hill
Published: November 2023
PDF Download, 11 pages