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Grant number: FA-53853-08

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FA-53853-08

Amy Murrell Taylor
SUNY Research Foundation, Albany (Albany, NY 12222-0001)

A Social History of Civil War Slave Refugee Camps

"An Army of Fugitives" examines the large-scale flight of enslaved men, women, and children from plantations to army camps during the U.S. Civil War, a mass exodus widely credited with pressuring Abraham Lincoln to initiate emancipation policies. But apart from these broad strokes, which are repeated but not deeply investigated in the historical literature of the U.S. Civil War and Reconstruction, we know very little about the people themselves. My project, a book-length social history of slave flight during the Civil War years, will rectify this by taking its cues from microhistory and focusing on the lives of specific people and their families during the very first moments of their transition from slavery to freedom. It is a history that highlights the wartime context of emancipation--a context that set the U.S. apart from other societies ending slavery in the 19th century--as well as a history that examines how "freedom" was defined and acted upon during this tumultuous era.

Project fields:
U.S. History

Program:
Fellowships for University Teachers

Division:
Research Programs

Total amounts:
$50,400 (approved)
$50,400 (awarded)

Grant period:
7/1/2009 – 6/30/2010