Cover image for Freedom's journey : African American voices of the Civil War
Freedom's journey : African American voices of the Civil War
Yacovone, Donald.
First edition.
Publication Information:
Chicago : Lawrence Hill Books, [2004]

Physical Description:
xl, 568 pages ; 23 cm.
What Is at Stake: Black Abolitionism, Politics, and Lincolns̕ Election -- Where We Stand -- Emigration and Colonization -- The Slavery of Racial Prejudice -- Race Riots -- Black Soldiers and the War, Part I: What We Can Do -- The Black Soldiers and the War , Part II: The Hate We Face -- Equal Pay and Equal Rights -- The Black Sailor -- Black Women and the War -- Emancipation -- Conditions in Dixie -- Wars̕ End -- Lincolns̕ Death and the Future -- The Context of Black Service -- Glory -- Out of the Briars -- Remembering Slavery and the Civil War in Missouri -- Remembering Slavery and the Civil War in Tennessee -- Remembering Slavery and the Civil War in Kentucky -- War, Race, and Remembering.
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E540.N3 F735 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
E540.N3 F735 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
E540.N3 F735 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Black History Non-Circ

On Order



The men and women represented in this book had the extraordinary opportunity of witnessing the end of a 200-year struggle for freedom: the Civil War. Gathered here are the stirring testimonies of many African Americans including slaves who endured their last years of servitude before escaping from their masters, soldiers who fought for the freedom of their brethren and for equal rights, and reporters who covered the defeat of their oppressors. These African American voices include the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass on the meaning of the war; Martin R. Delany on his meeting with Lincoln to gain permission to raise an army of African Americans; Susie King Taylor on her life as laundress and nurse to a Union regiment in the deep South; Elizabeth Keckley, Mary Todd Lincoln's seamstress, on Abraham Lincoln's journey to Richmond after its fall; Elijah P. Marrs on rising from slave to Union sergeant while fighting for his freedom in Kentucky; and letters from black soldiers to black newspapers. Each testimony is presented unabridged, allowing the full flavor of these voices to be heard, and each is supplemented with introductions and notes that provide rich context.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Aside from providing the kind of authoritative insight that primary sources always afford, this collection of African American perspectives on the Civil War by people who experienced it shows yet again the breadth and depth of African American letters of the time and of the struggle against racism--not just slavery--that African Americans then waged. The South considered slavery a cornerstone of the Confederacy, and far too many in the North felt that trusting a colored man with a weapon would lead to the unthinkable equality of races. Although much has been and continues to be written about the war, and about the participation of--to use the contemporary term-- colored troops, not many collections of material by those troops are readily available, and Freedom'sourney probably fills a gap in most general collections. An excellent compilation, not least because its contents directly refute any notion that the Civil War had nothing to do with slavery. --Frieda Murray Copyright 2004 Booklist

Choice Review

The responses of African Americans to the Civil War and emancipation are the focus of much of today's best US history scholarship. This well-conceived and creatively and thoroughly edited anthology presents both familiar and relatively obscure voices that document the emancipation process and its meaning from the perspective of free blacks and former bondsmen. Yacovone (Massachusetts Historical Society) arranges the 57 texts in two parts: "Freedom's Battlefield" and "Memory's Battlefield." He includes the speeches and writings of such well-known blacks as Frederick Douglass, Martin R. Delany, Henry Highland Garnet, Charlotte Forten Grimke, and Elizabeth Keckley. Other spokesmen and women--less familiar, perhaps, but no less persuasive and powerful in condemning slavery and racism--include James McCune Smith, J.W.C. Pennington, Susie King Taylor, and Elijah P. Marrs. These voices and others document the heterogeneous attitudes of African Americans toward abolition; colonization; racial violence; the mobilization of and discrimination against black soldiers; emancipation; and Abraham Lincoln's assassination. In keeping with the best recent scholarship, Yacovone frames the postwar writings of former slaves and black soldiers within the context of historical remembering and forgetting. A sophisticated and invaluable collection. ^BSumming Up: Essential. All college and university collections at all levels. J. D. Smith University of North Carolina at Charlotte