“One Negro named Robert…Valued at…$5300 impressed by me…into the Service of the Confederate Government”: The Nature of Wartime Slavery in Confederate Virginia
by Caroline Wood Newhall | | Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 15:41
During a short-term fellowship generously provided by the John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History at the University of Virginia, I found primary sources at the Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library to contextualize my dissertation research on black Union soldiers’ experiences as prisoners of war (POWs) in the Confederacy. UVA’s Special Collections houses countless documents that provide insights into the nature of American enslavement through to the end of the Civil War, particularly in Virginia and the Upper South.
Hoos in the Hoosier State: The 149th Indiana, UVA’s School of Medicine, and Post-War Reconciliation (Part 2)
by Amelia F. Wald | | Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 14:58
Marion Goss and William H. Gillum’s friendship arose through surprising circumstances, given that Gillum had served in the Confederate army. Born on November 22, 1847, in Augusta County, Virginia, Gillum was the son of Dr. Pleasant G. Gillum, another UVA School of Medicine alumnus. William H. Gillum’s grandfather was a successful planter and an early settler of Albemarle County. Exactly one day before Jacob D. Mater enlisted in the 149th Indiana, Gillum enlisted in the Staunton Artillery of the Confederate army on January 24, 1865. Gillum was present at Robert E.
Hoos in the Hoosier State: The 149th Indiana, UVA’s School of Medicine, and Post-War Reconciliation (Part 1)
by Amelia F. Wald | | Tuesday, August 14, 2018 - 14:34
While many of our UVA Unionists attended the University before the war, very few enrolled after their service. In 1869, two young men from Parke County, Indiana, travelled hundreds of miles south to enroll in the University of Virginia School of Medicine. As veterans of the 149th Regiment, Indiana Volunteer Infantry, Marion Goss and Joseph Noble starkly contrasted with the typical UVA student profile. At the time, the vast majority of the faculty and student population maintained ardent pro-Confederate views, and many had served in the Confederate army.
They Hant No Vaginia Genilmen: Transitionally literate soldiers’ letters offer insights about the sound of the Civil War
by Ben Hitchcock | | Thursday, July 19, 2018 - 20:36
The Civil War caused a national letter-writing boom, as young men rich and poor traveled far from their homes to fight. Many Civil War soldiers were experienced writers. Sons of wealthy plantation families were well-educated and well-read, and they wrote letters peppered with literary references, purple prose, political ideology, and sharp insights into the world around them. Some coped with the lonely hours in camp by writing elaborate love poems to their spouses at home.
by Jesse George-Nichol | | Wednesday, July 18, 2018 - 10:40
Last year this blog highlighted the University of Virginia’s erasure of its Union army veterans in the aftermath of the Civil War. Brian Neumann’s posts about William Meade Fishback, James Overton Broadhead, and Joseph Cabell Breckinridge remind us that Virginians understood their obligations to their state, to the South, and to the Union differently, leading neighbors, friends, and classmates to choose differ
by James Ambuske | | Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 11:05
The UVA Law Library and the John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History are pleased to announce the C.S.S. Alabama Claims Cases Transcription Project. The over 100 documents in this collection center on the life and death of the British-built commerce raider C.S.S. Alabama and her sister ships, the C.S.S. Florida and the C.S.S. Shenandoah.
by William B. Kurtz | | Wednesday, November 29, 2017 - 12:52
The Nau Center has only recently begun to recover the stories and experiences of those alumni and students who fought for the Union during the Civil War. PhD candidate Brian Neumann has already explored some of those stories in blog posts about Joseph Cabell Breckinridge, James Overton Broadhead, and William Meade Fishback.
Patriots in Pandenarium: An Albemarle Plantation, a Free Pennsylvania Settlement, and the U.S. Colored Troops
by Jane Diamond | | Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 10:54
In August 1864, three men named John Allen, James H. Garland, and George W. Lewis enlisted in Company A of the 127th Regiment United States Colored Troops (USCT). They were young—giving their ages as 17, 20, and 26, respectively on their enlistment papers—and all lived in Mercer County in western Pennsylvania. They were from a local community named “Pandenarium,” although all three had actually been born far to the south in Albemarle County, Virginia.
by Brian Neumann | | Thursday, October 12, 2017 - 10:32
In the decades following the Civil War, the University of Virginia erased its Union veterans from its history, constructing a narrative of unwavering Confederate commitment. The few writers who mentioned these UVA Unionists insisted that they were northern students, thereby reaffirming the image of southern unity. In 1906, Captain William W.
by Brian Neumann | | Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 00:00
As the seven Lower South states seceded in the wake of Abraham Lincoln’s election, Unionists in the Upper and Border South struggled to hold their fracturing country together. Many of these Unionists insisted the country could endure “half slave and half free”—as it had for more than eighty years—and they worked tirelessly to contain the crisis by finding a middle ground in the debates over slavery. Their efforts failed, however, because southern secessionists and hard-line Republicans refused to compromise, but also because of divisions within the Unionist ranks.