About

The Project
179,000 African American men from the North and South served in the United States Colored Troops and about 18,000 more served in the Union navy. Black Virginians in Blue began in earnest in the summer of 2016 and was launched on April 13, 2021. Although "complete," we will continue to gather more information and add more Black soldiers and sailors from Albemarle County as they are discovered.
 
This project's database now contains all known Black Virginians from Albemarle who served in the Union army or navy. We have identified 257 men who enlisted or served in more than 80 different regiments and five different naval vessels. This project would not have been possible without the generous help of the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities, the Jefferson Trust, and Mr. John L. Nau III.
 
We would also like to acknowledge the contributions and support of members of the Central Virginia History Researchers Group, the York History Center, and others who have contacted us with information about our soldiers or sailors over the years.

Contributors  
  Ervin Jordan
Archivist, University of Virginia
  Jonathan W. White
Associate Professor of American Studies, Christopher Newport University
  Frank Cirillo
Editorial Assistant and UVA Graduate Student
  Brian Neumann
Editorial Assistant and UVA Graduate Student
  Kevin Caprice
UVA Graduate Student
  Clayton Butler
UVA Graduate Student
  Stephanie Lawton
UVA Graduate Student
  Ian Iverson
UVA Graduate Student
  Amelia Gilmer
UVA Undergraduate
  Sarah Anderson
UVA Undergraduate
  Jane Diamond
UVA Undergraduate
  Joseph Wright
UVA Undergraduate
  Amelia Wald
UVA Undergraduate
  Matthew Wallace
UVA Undergraduate
  Matthew Weisenfluh
UVA Undergraduate
  Casey Bowler
UVA Undergraduate
  Lily Snodgrass
UVA Undergraduate
  Annie Valentine
UVA Undergraduate
  Adam Jacobs
UVA Undergraduate
  Catherine Kolo
UVA Undergraduate Student
  Seth Stowe
UVA Undergraduate Student
  Cole Davidson
UVA Undergraduate Student
  Marvin Hicks
UVA Undergraduate Student

Center Staff

 
 
Brian C. Neumann was an editorial assistant on Black Virginians in Blue and UVA Unionists and now serves as the Nau Center's Managing Director and Digital Historian. He received his PhD from the University of Virginia in 2020 under the direction of Elizabeth R. Varon. His work has appeared in The South Carolina Historical MagazineSouthern Studies, the Magazine of Albemarle Charlottesville History, and Protest in the Long Eighteenth Century. His first book, Bloody Flag of Anarchy: Unionism in South Carolina during the Nullification Crisis, will be published by LSU Press in 2022.

William B. Kurtz was the primary investigator and project manager on Black Virginians in Blue and UVA Unionists. From March 2016 to May 2021, he was the Nau Center’s Managing Director and Digital Historian. He received his PhD in 2012 from the University of Virginia, where he studied under the direction of Gary W. Gallagher. His first book, Excommunicated from the Union: How the Civil War Created a Separate Catholic America, was released by Fordham University Press in 2016.

Caroline E. Janney is Director of the Nau Civil War Center and John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War. A native of the Shenandoah Valley, she is the author or editor of five books, including Remembering the Civil War: Reunion and the Limits of Reconciliation (Littlefield Fund for Southern History and University of North Carolina Press, 2013), Burying the Dead but Not the Past: Ladies’ Memorial Associations and the Lost Cause (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2008), and Petersburg to Appomattox: The End of the War in Virginia (University of North Carolina Press, 2018). Remembering the Civil War was selected for the History Book Club and Military Book Club and won the Charles S. Sydnor Award by the Southern Historical Association and the Jefferson Davis Award by the American Civil War Museum.

Elizabeth R. Varon is Associate Director of the Nau Civil War Center and Langbourne M. Williams Professor of American History at the University of Virginia.  Varon grew up in northern Virginia. She received her PhD from Yale, and has held teaching positions at Wellesley College and Temple University. A specialist in the Civil War era and 19th-century South, Varon is the author of We Mean to be Counted:  White Women and Politics in Antebellum Virginia (1998); Southern Lady, Yankee Spy:  The True Story of  Elizabeth Van Lew, A Union Agent  in the Heart of the Confederacy (2003), Disunion!: The Coming of the American Civil War, 1789-1859 (2008) and Appomattox: Victory, Defeat and Freedom at the End of the Civil War (2013).
Gary W. Gallagher is Director Emeritus of the Nau Civil War Center and John L. Nau III Professor in the History of the American Civil War. A native of Los Angeles, he is the author or editor of more than thirty-five books, including The Confederate War (Harvard University Press, 1997), Causes Won, Lost, and Forgotten: How Hollywood and Popular Art Shape What We Know About the Civil War (University of North Carolina Press, 2008), The Union War (Harvard University Press, 2011), and Becoming Confederates: Paths to a New National Loyalty (University of Georgia Press, 2013). He has served as editor of three book series at the University of North Carolina Press: "Civil War America," with more than 105 titles to date; “Military Campaigns of the Civil War,” with 10 titles; and the “Littlefield History of the Civil War Era,” with 10 titles.

Sponsors
John L. Nau III
Founder of the Nau Center
 
Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
 
Jefferson Trust
University of Virginia Alumni Association
 
Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities
University of Virginia