I have deliberately tried in Civil War Emancipation not to toot my horn too much. My credentials as a historian are freely available to anyone who cares to read my profile blurb that gets added at bottom of each new post, or by simply Googling me. Nonetheless, I am grateful when someone calls attention to my scholarly work, which occurred yesterday over at David Woodbury’s blog, of Battlefields and Bibliophiles.
Yesterday, Woodbury featured an article I published with Elizabeth Regosin in Prologue, the National Archives quarterly, back in 2005–thanks, David. This article was a warm up piece to a scholarly project that Liz and I collaborated on that eventually produced our book, Voices of Emancipation: Understanding Slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction through the U.S. Pension Bureau Files (NYU Press, 2008). Both in article and the book, we sought to bring attention to the value of Civil War pension files as a source for documenting the history of African Americans before, during, and after the Civil War–often in the words of the slaves themselves.
Like the aforementioned work, an important purpose of Civil War Emancipation is to profile first-person accounts by African Americans concerning freedom for the slaves. I’ll have a particularly interesting example tomorrow–please stop back then.