A renowned collector of Civil War photographs and a prodigious researcher, Ronald S. Coddington combines compelling archival images with biographical stories that reveal the human side of the war. This third volume in his series on Civil War soldiers contains previously unpublished photographs of African American Civil War participants--many of whom fought to secure their freedom.Read more...
A renowned collector of Civil War photographs and a prodigious researcher, Ronald S. Coddington combines compelling archival images with biographical stories that reveal the human side of the war. This third volume in his series on Civil War soldiers contains previously unpublished photographs of African American Civil War participants--many of whom fought to secure their freedom.
During the Civil War, 200,000 African American men enlisted in the Union army or navy. Some of them were free men and some escaped from slavery; others were released by sympathetic owners to serve the war effort. African American Faces of the Civil War tells the story of the Civil War through the images of men of color who served in roles that ranged from servants and laborers to enlisted men and junior officers.
Coddington discovers these portraits-- cartes de visite, ambrotypes, and tintypes--in museums, archives, and private collections. He has pieced together each individual's life and fate based upon personal documents, military records, and pension files. These stories tell of ordinary men who became fighters, of the prejudice they faced, and of the challenges they endured. African American Faces of the Civil War makes an important contribution to a comparatively understudied aspect of the war and provides a fascinating look into lives that helped shape America.
- ISBN-13: 9781421406251
- ISBN-10: 142140625X
- Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
- Publish Date: August 2012
- Page Count: 338
- Reading Level: Ages 18-UP
- Dimensions: 8.74 x 5.93 x 0.99 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.64 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-08-27
- Reviewer: Staff
Coddington, assistant managing editor at The Chronicle of Higher Education, follows the pattern of his two remarkable albums (Faces of the Confederacy and Faces of the Civil War) with 77 succinct sketches of African Americans, illustrated with images drawn from cartes de visite, ambrotypes, and tintypes. Of the roughly 200,000 men who enlisted in the army and navy and the thousands who were servants "to officers in the Union and Confederate armies," only a few have entered the pages of more familiar history (e.g., Martin Delany, Robert Small). Coddington helps rectify that lapse, uncovering the past and honoring the service of his 77 subjects. The "types of participants" encompass Frederick Douglass's son, Lewis, and Andrew Chandler's slave, Silas, the men of the famed 54th Massachusetts Regiment and of the obscure 108th U.S. Colored Infantry (Kentucky), illiterate escaped slaves and educated free-born African Americans, drummers and undercooks, servants and seamen, even paid substitutes for draftees. Coddington's use of African American-owned newspapers and pension records is groundbreaking. It does nothing to diminish the depth and precision of Coddington's research to say that each compelling vignette prompts the reader to hurriedly flip to the next one. Photos. (Oct.)