Conference 2006
Understanding the African-American Experience

On 19-21 May 2006, University of Mississippi co-hosted the second annual Conference on the Civil War:  Understanding the African American Civil War Experience.  Panelists addressed a wide range of complex aspects of African American Civil War history, including resistance to slavery, enlistment in both the Union and Confederate armies, wartime experiences, and post-war challenges. 

Donald R. Shaffer, now assistant professor of history at Upper Iowa University, delivered the keynote address.  Dr. Shaffer is the author of After the Glory:  The Struggles of Black Civil War Veterans, which garnered the 2005 Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship.


Conference Program

Friday, 19 May

First Session
Before the War:  The Struggle against Slavery

The Branham Affair
            -Deborah Freeland, University of Mississippi

A Second Haitian Revolution:  John Brown, Toussaint Louverture, and the Making of the American Civil War
           -Matt Clavin,  University of West Florida

Second Session
To Apply the Remedy:  The Debate over Black Enlistment

Governor John A. Andrew:  The Homely Hero behind the Fifty-Fourth Massachusetts
            -John M. Hutchins

General Lee and the Enlistment of Black Soldiers
            -Leonne M. Hudson, Kent State

Third Session
Earning Their Right:  Motivations to Fight

That We May Restore Peace to the Union Again” and Other Reasons Why Black Ohioans Fought in the Civil War
           -Kelly D. Selby, Kent State

“If You Give Us Guns We Will Fight”:  Black Southerners and the Confederacy
           -Jeffery S. Prushankin, Penn State—Abington College

Saturday, 20 May

Keynote Address

            The Sable Arm Speaks:  Civil War Pension Files Giving Voice to
           Black Union Soldiers

           -Don Shaffer, University of Northern Colorado

Fourth Session
Something Stirring to the Record:  The Black Military Experience

The Fort Jackson Mutiny
            -Sharon Heist, Smith College

Department of the Gulf and the History of the Corps D’Afrique
            -Bennie J. McRae, Jr.

Fifth Session
A Brief Moment in the Sun:  Post-war Victories and Struggles

Slavery’s Long Grasp:  The Problem of Pensions for Dependents of USCT Veterans
            -David H. Slay, Texas Christian University