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

“the longor you keep my Child from me the longor you will have to burn in hell and the qwicer youll get their” – The Spotswood Rice Letters

150 years ago this week, on September 3, 1864, a Missouri slave in the Union Army, wrote two of the most interesting surviving letters related to emancipation in the Civil War. The author of the letters was Spotswood Rice, a … Continue reading

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“It is my desire to be free”

Source: Recently, Brooks Simpson over at Crossroads has made a series of highly worthwhile posts on the historical controversy about whether Abraham Lincoln, in August 1864, with the war going poorly and facing the distinct possibility of not being re-elected in … Continue reading

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9/11 Memorial and Museum

Your humble blogger at the 9/11 Memorial (North Tower pool) on Tuesday, July 22, 2014. The 9/11 Museum is in the far background behind the trees. Every now and then I devote this blog to an off-topic post. This post … Continue reading

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Frederick Douglass: What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? (Repost)

My all-time favorite Frederick Douglass speech is “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Douglass delivered this address in Rochester, N.Y., on July 5, 1852. In it, Douglass attacked the hypocrisy of a holiday celebrating freedom when millions … Continue reading

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End of the Fugitive Slave Law

Source: Library of Congress, Tomorrow, June 28, 2014, besides being the centennial of the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, which precipitated World War I, is the sesquicentennial of an altogether happier event, the end of the … Continue reading

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Juneteenth, History and Tradition

Originally posted on Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog:
[This post originally appeared here on June 19, 2010.] “Emancipation” by Thomas Nast. Ohio State University. Juneteenth has come again, and (quite rightly) the Galveston County Daily News, the paper…

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Bottom Rail on Top or Whipping the Slaveholder

Civil War blogdom is busy these days chronicling the start of Ulysses S. Grant’s 1864 Overland Campaign which would eventually bog down in the trenches in front of Petersburg. A side show related to Grant’s larger campaign was Benjamin Butler’s effort … Continue reading

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