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 donald_shaffer@yahoo.com

What I Have Been Up to Lately

My apologies for the lack of posts of late. I have been busy lately with various thing professional and personal, which have tended to pull me away from the labor of love, which is Civil War Emancipation. Last weekend, for example, … Continue reading

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Men of Color, To Arms!

By early Spring 1863, the recruitment of black soldiers into the Union Army was finally getting underway in earnest. Although it would not be difficult for most black men of military age at that moment to appreciate the importance of … Continue reading

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Not Dead Yet

The February 21 edition of Civil War Emancipation discussed evidence of slavery as an institution coming apart in early 1863. Also included was a cowardly but wise qualifier, “While slavery was far from dead . . .” This edition of the blog … Continue reading

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Where the Slaves Were Located

At the end of February 1863, Harper’s Weekly, no doubt drawing on 1860 Census data, dramatically illustrated the geographic distribution of slaves on the eve of the Civil War, with a map in which the higher the concentration of slaves the … Continue reading

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Worthy Fundraising Effort! Please Give!

Dear Readers, The African American Military History Museum in Hattiesburg, Mississippi was badly damaged by a tornado earlier this month. My good friend, Tom Ward, of Spring Hill College, has launched a fundraising drive to help pay for repairs to … Continue reading

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Signs of the Times

Harper’s Weekly, 21 February 1862. Source: http://www.sonofthesouth.net/leefoundation/civil-war/1863/february/freed-negroes.htm While slavery was far from dead in the United States in early 1863, the signs increasingly were not good for its long-term survival. The first piece of evidence was an illustration (above) and accompanying … Continue reading

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Freedom Comes to Key West

[Please note: an incomplete version of this edition of Civil War Emancipation went out earlier by accident--my apologies.] It is normal these days to think of Key West, Florida, as simply an attractive vacation destination. As Florida’s southern-most community, surrounded by … Continue reading

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Reaction to the Emancipation Proclamation

While public opinion, North and South, had considerable time between late September 1862 and the end of the year to adjust to the idea that Abraham Lincoln meant to free most slaves in the United States by proclamation at the … Continue reading

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Images of Slaves Reaching Freedom

Source: Harper’s Weekly, 31 January 1863 Once the Emancipation Proclamation had gone into effect in January 1863, slaves escaping to Union lines were no longer in limbo, but effectively free. They might still be called “contraband” but the word no longer … Continue reading

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Thomas Nast Envisions Emancipation

Thomas Nast, “The Emancipation of the Negroes, January, 1863 – The Past and The Future,” Harper’s Weekly, 24 January 1863. The second anniversary of this blog on January 21 passed without me realizing it until yesterday. For two years, I have … Continue reading

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