I am a historian, writer, and speaker who researches Black Civil War soldiers, sailors, and veterans. The African American men served as soldiers in the United States Colored Troops (USCT) and as sailors in the U.S. Navy.
You can read about some of my past and ongoing research by subscribing to my Substack, and on Facebook by visiting the pages Black Men in Lincoln Blue and the 27th United States Colored Troops. Use the Resources tab above to view a variety of sources on the African American Civil War soldiers and sailors and their white officers.
I am currently working on an edited volume of letters sent between the Black soldiers and sailors who served in the United States army and navy (often referred to by them as the Union army and navy) and their families. Do you know of any unpublished letters written by African Americans during the Civil War? If so, I would love to hear from you!
My first book project focuses on the 27th US Colored Infantry, the second of two regiments of Black men raised in Ohio. I published For Their Own Cause: The 27th United States Colored Troops in 2016, but I continue to research the soldiers and officers of the regiment. I host a Facebook group where descendants and anyone interested in learning more can share.
My latest publication is “‘The Colored Veteran Soldiers Should Receive the Same Tender Care’: Soldiers’ Homes, Race, and the Post-Civil War Midwest.” It is available in The War Went On: Reconsidering the Lives of Civil War Veterans. I also wrote a chapter-length study on the men in the USCT who served as sentinels over Confederate prisoners of war. You can read it Crossing the Deadlines: Civil War Prisons Reconsidered.
One of the most rewarding aspects of being a historian is the opportunity to communicate and share information with the descendants of the Black men who served in the Civil War. I also enjoy meeting the people who attend my talks and support local community programs.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about my research or would like to arrange a speaking engagement. You can also visit the Ohio Humanities Speakers Bureau for details about my public presentations.
Thank you for stopping by!
Kelly D. Mezurek