After the Glory-The Struggles of Black Civil War Veterans

by Donald R. Shaffer

The heroics of black Union soldiers in the Civil War have been justly celebrated, but their postwar lives largely neglected. Donald Shaffer’s illuminating study shines a bright light on this previously obscure part of African American history, revealing for the first time black veterans’ valiant but often frustrating efforts to secure true autonomy and equality as civilians.

As Shaffer reveals, they also had nearly equal access to military pensions, financial resources available to few other blacks, and even found acceptance among white Union veterans in the Grand Army of the Republic fraternity. Shaffer makes clear, however, that their postwar pursuit of citizenship and a dignified manhood was never very easy for black veterans, their triumphs frequently neither complete nor lasting.

Photo: Unidentified African American Confederate Soldier: No information has been located online for the photo source or the name of this soldier. We can only imagine what his life must have been like, and remember him by a faded photo.