Author Archives: Donald R. Shaffer

About Donald R. Shaffer

Donald R. Shaffer is the author of _After the Glory: The Struggles of Black Civil War Veterans_ (Kansas, 2004), which won the Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship in 2005. More recently he published (with Elizabeth Regosin), _Voices of Emancipation: Understanding Slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction through the U.S. Pension Bureau Files_ (2008). Dr. Shaffer teaches online exclusively (i.e., a virtual professor). He lives in Arizona and can be contacted at

Groping for a New Order

Although the process of emancipation in the Civil War was far from over in Autumn 1863, on the ground in parts of the Union-occupied South there was an effort being made at that time to devise its replacement. After all, … Continue reading

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Whistling Dixie

If they were not defending such an inhumane and horrific labor system, in hindsight it might be possible to feel just the slightest bit sorry for slaveholders and those defending the slavery being in denial in late Summer 1863 as … Continue reading

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A Letter from General Grant: August 23, 1863

Originally posted on Crossroads:
One of the keys to understanding the relationship between Abraham Lincoln and Ulysses S. Grant is to understand Grant’s ability to work with Lincoln, as the following letter suggests. Cairo Illinois August 23d 1863. Sir: Your…

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The Falling Price of Slaves – August 1863

One of the barometers of the progress of emancipation over the course of the Civil War was the price of slaves. (This is a topic that Civil War Emancipation has covered before, earlier this year on February 21 and March … Continue reading

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Retaliation to Defend Black Union POWs

Harper’s Weekly – August 15, 1863 Caption reads: “Mr. Lincoln. ‘Look JEFF DAVIS! If you lay a finger on that boy, to hurt him, I’ll lick this ugly cub of yours within an inch of his life.’” The advent of … Continue reading

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Fort Wagner and the One Gallant Rush: How It Matters and What Matters More

Source: Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. In a few days, on July 18, the sesquicentennial of the Civil War will roll around to the 54th Massachusetts Infantry’s failed attempt to storm Fort Wagner, South Carolina, made famous for current generations … Continue reading

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Enslaving the Free: The Gettysburg Campaign

“Negroes Driven South By The Rebel Officers,”¬†Harper’s Weekly, November 8, 1862.¬†While not African Americans kidnapped by Confederate forces in June 1863, it presents an image something like witnesses saw in southern Pennsylvania during the Gettysburg campaign. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The sesquicentennial of … Continue reading

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