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

Repost: The World Turned Upside Down

Dear Readers: Please check out Jimmy Price’s fine piece on the founding of the U.S. Colored Troops:

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Missionaries of Freedom, Part 2

Source: Harper’s Weekly – May 9, 1863, An earlier edition of Civil War Emancipation dealt with the phenomenon of slaves that had escaped to federal lines journeying back into rebel held territory to let family and friends know that they would … Continue reading

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The Confederate Retaliatory Act

Late last year, this blog discussed Jefferson Davis’ proclamation in late 1862 denying black Union soldiers the traditional protections of prisoners of war should they ever fall into Confederate hands. Instead, Davis indicated they and their white officers would be … Continue reading

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Harvard Conference Paper

Today, I participated in the “Freedom Rising” symposium at Harvard University. It featured a terrific group of scholars and scholarship related to the emancipation of slaves of African descent in the United States and elsewhere, and I was honored to … Continue reading

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When the Union Army Arrived on a Plantation

With Lincoln’s finalization of the Emancipation Proclamation, Union forces in effect became an army of liberation. Where federal soldiers went in the Confederate South after New Year’s Day of 1863, freedom for the slaves generally followed. Civil War Emancipation previously has covered … Continue reading

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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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