Friday, 1865 December 22, Charlottesville, Albemarle County, Virginia: “As Brother James Fife may be Pastor of the Charlottesville African Church, it is Competent for him, when in his judgement advisable, to invite any Preacher of the Gospel, without regard to Colour”

[Eight months after the war’s end, an African-American Baptist church petitions its white parent church for the right to invite licensed black ministers as public guest speakers.] Friday Evening, December 22, 1865 [excerpts from the clerk’s minute book] Brother N. … Continue reading

Monday, 1865 November 20, Huntley, Fairfax County, Virginia: “My whole heart was in our struggle . . . God had a purpose in scourging us which I cannot now see, but it will doubtless be revealed in the future”

[An unemployed ex-Confederate officer and antebellum West Point graduate seeks employment with a Virginia railroad company.] Huntley, November 20, 1865 Dear Sir: Seeing by the papers that O. F. Slaughter [Daniel F. Slaughter], Esq., of Culpeper had been chosen one … Continue reading

Friday, 1865 August 4, New Orleans, Louisiana: “Business has changed very much, not only changed hands, but the very mode of carrying it out is so different from what it used to be”

[Impressions of business conditions in postwar New Orleans and Norfolk, Virginia, and the employment of African-American ex-slaves.] New Orleans, August 4, 1865 James W. Green Esq. Rappahannock County, Virginia Dear Sir: I arrived here on 25 July on Steamship “Star … Continue reading

Monday, 1865 July 17, Toronto, Canada: “I will henceforth faithfully support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Union of the States thereunder”

[Loyalty oath by a former Confederate general in exile in Canada.] U. S. Consulate Toronto C. W. [Canada West] I, John McCausland do solemnly swear or affirm in the Presence of Almighty God, that I will henceforth faithfully support and … Continue reading

Tuesday, 1865 June 20, Washington, D. C: “. . . a full pardon and amnesty for all offenses by him committed, arising from participation, direct or implied, in the said rebellion . . .”

[A presidential pardon for a former Kentucky member of the Confederate Congress.] ANDREW JOHNSON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, TO ALL TO WHOM THESE PRESENTS SHALL COME, GREETING; Whereas, Eli M. Bruce of Kentucky, taking part in the … Continue reading

Saturday, 1865 May 13, City Point, Virginia: “. . . having served Honestly and Faithfully with his Company to the present date . . .”

[Five hundred days after his enlistment and a month after the surrender of Lee’s army, an African-American soldier receives a certificate of disability and discharge from the Union Army.] I certify, on honor, that Moses White, a Private of Captain … Continue reading

Wednesday, 1865 April 19, [Greensboro, North Carolina]: “Total Present—not Effective.”

Wednesday, 1865 April 19, [Greensboro, North Carolina]: “Total Present—not Effective.” [Ten days after the surrender of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia at Appomattox, Virginia, a Confederate staff officer prepared a list of 20,640 “not-effective” men from eleven former … Continue reading