AfriGeneas Military Research Forum
Florida's 21st, 33rd, 34th USCT
Greetings US Colored Troops Researchers:
We all owe a very big thanks to the Graduate and Undergraduate Students of the University of North Florida for their contribution to "Black Floridians and the Civil War: The 21st, 33rd, and 34th United States Colored Infantry Regiments."
The url below will take you to Florida History OnLine's important Civil War presentation. The information included in its website will appeal to ALL USCT researchers because it includes transcriptions of pension records, and interviews with pensioners and widows.
Many of us have ordered our ancestor's Civil War pension records and wondered why there were so many pages… until we began to read them. The veterans of the 21st, 33rd and 34th endured the same bureaucratic hassles of our ancestors.
Its introduction explains:
"Most of the veterans who applied for pensions underwent painstaking scrutiny at the hands of government investigators who repeatedly questioned them. The fact that they had served their country was not usually sufficient to guarantee them a pension when they became disabled or when they grew old. These men had to prove beyond a doubt, through repeated and relentless questioning and a tedious and time consuming bureaucratic process that they had served the Union government, had been injured or had contracted a debilitating disease in the line of duty, and that they had lived upstanding lives as citizens after leaving the army. In the pages of the pension records, therefore, the black veterans explained what life was like during slave times, what they experienced in the army, and what they attempted as they built lives as new citizens."
Please read this fascinating account of Florida's US Colored Troops and share it with your colleagues and friends.
Again, many thanks to the history department and Daniel L. Schafer at the University of North Florida for bringing the African American Florida experience into the much needed chronicle of the Civil War.
K Wyer Lane