Confederate seizure of free blacks in the Gettysburg Campaign

Posted on December 5, 2008 by


After posting twice this week (on 12/2 and 12/3) about Confederates taking civilians during the Gettysburg Campaign, I recalled having heard different stories about Confederates taking free blacks (and “runaways”) and sending them into slavery in the South. So, I thought I’d Google a few things to see what information the Web might yield. For this post, I’ve plucked only two works from the Web for your consideration. I think that the first work provides more than enough information to satisfy curiousity, but I’m also interested in the second, so I’ve included it as well.

Likely my most significant find on the Web, Virginia’s Civil War (2005) is a series of essays edited by Peter Wallenstein and Bertram Wyatt-Brown. See this link for the chapter (“Race and Retaliation: The Capture of African Americans During the Gettysburg Campaign”) written by David G. Smith. It begins on p. 137 and runs to p. 151 (and includes references!). Since this is a Google Books preview, some pages of the essay are not included. Nevertheless, enough understanding can be gained by reading what is available. Be sure to read every part of the chapter that you can as there is much to be considered. This is an excellent essay and I plan on adding the book to my Christmas list. 

From The Colors of Courage (2006) by Margaret S. Creighton, there is a little bit to be had on pages 129 and 212. Regretfully, in a search of the book through Google Books, I can’t find that she mentioned anything about the taking of the seven Gettysburg men. Bummer! Nonetheless, it looks like another book that I need to put on my list.

I also need to see if something is mentioned in the many resources for Franklin County, Pa. on the Valley of the Shadow site. If I find some information to add to the above works, I’ll mention it in another post.  

Enjoy reading about this “forgotten” part of the history of the American Civil War.

Related information (Civil War atrocities/depredations/Civil War “war crimes”) can be found in posts from 3/11/08, 7/18/08, 10/3/08, 12/2/08, and 12/3/08.