Location

Buller Hallway

Start Date

3-7-2014 2:30 PM

End Date

3-7-2014 4:00 PM

Description

My research project consists of delving through over nine hundred pension records from the files of fifteen African American soldiers who participated in the Civil War. These documents are comprised of general affidavits, witness statements, physicians’ certificates, military enlistment records, marriage certificates, military roll/attendance records, certificates for discharge, and documentation of receipt of or rejection of pension requests. Using these documents I investigated the cases of these soldiers in order to discover why they did or did not receive their military pensions, the length of time the process of attaining their pensions required, and explore the stories of the soldiers and their families behind each case. Using a combination of my findings and a variety of secondary source materials, this work will argue that in addition to their opportunities to receive pension assistance, the livelihood, and quality of life of black soldiers and their families after the Civil War were adversely affected by the bureaucracy of the Federal Pension System during the period of Jim Crow. The primary goal of my research is to add a personal dimension to the statistics from my secondary source material, which infers that the military pension system was prejudiced against African American soldiers.

Acknowledgments

J.N. Andrews Honors Scholar, Undergraduate Research Scholar, and Earhart Emerging Scholar

Advisor: Kathryn Silva, History

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Mar 7th, 2:30 PM Mar 7th, 4:00 PM

P-02 Service Un-Requited: African American Civil War Soldiers and their Fight for Freedom and Pension Compensation

Buller Hallway

My research project consists of delving through over nine hundred pension records from the files of fifteen African American soldiers who participated in the Civil War. These documents are comprised of general affidavits, witness statements, physicians’ certificates, military enlistment records, marriage certificates, military roll/attendance records, certificates for discharge, and documentation of receipt of or rejection of pension requests. Using these documents I investigated the cases of these soldiers in order to discover why they did or did not receive their military pensions, the length of time the process of attaining their pensions required, and explore the stories of the soldiers and their families behind each case. Using a combination of my findings and a variety of secondary source materials, this work will argue that in addition to their opportunities to receive pension assistance, the livelihood, and quality of life of black soldiers and their families after the Civil War were adversely affected by the bureaucracy of the Federal Pension System during the period of Jim Crow. The primary goal of my research is to add a personal dimension to the statistics from my secondary source material, which infers that the military pension system was prejudiced against African American soldiers.