Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Schmidt, James D.||Kulikoff, Allan

Degree Name

Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)

Legacy Department

Department of History


Maryland--History--Civil War; 1861-1865--African American troops; Maryland--History--Civil War; 1861-1865--Veterans; United States--History--Civil War; 1861-1865--Maryland; United States--History--1865-1921


There have been multiple studies of the lives of black Civil War soldiers. Most argue that the wartime experience of black enlistees elevated and ennobled them. Subsequent to release from service, these studies continue, black veterans tended to occupy positions of relative social, political and economic importance within the black community. This current study tests the prevalent belief that service during the Civil War was, on the whole, a positive experience. This study uses a sample of 290 black Civil War veterans from Maryland. Almost all bibliographical information about these veterans was culled from pension records. The results of this dissertation do not support the contention that service during the Civil War improved the lives of black veterans after the war. Black veterans often left the service in bad physical and psychological condition and this, in turn, precluded their ability to work in jobs that required heavy manual labor. Many black veterans, therefore, were often dependent upon the charity and good will of others as well as the pension bureau. Ironically, however, the debilities from which many veterans suffered compelled them to seek help and this, in turn, helped bolster the size and complexity of Maryland's black community.


Includes bibliographical references (pages [225]-228).


xiv, 228 pages




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