New Book Focuses on the African-American Experience in Pennsylvania during the Civil War

by LP Green, II

Pennsylvania Civil War 150, the state’s official program commemorating the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, is proud to announce the release of a new publication“The Civil War in Pennsylvania: The African American Experience.”

The book is published by the Senator John Heinz History Center in partnership with Pennsylvania Civil War 150.

The new, 240-page book features essays written by national experts on African-American life during the Civil War. A total of eight essays cover topics related to Pennsylvania’s role in the Civil War, ranging from the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 to Camp William Penn and the service of the United States Colored Troops.

“The Civil War in Pennsylvania: The African American Experience,” is edited by Samuel W. Black, director of African-American Programs at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, and tells the little-known but extremely important stories of African-Americans and the Civil War. It provides new insights into topics such as emigration, abolitionism, civil rights, armed resistance, service in the war, and more. It treats the war with circumspection from a point of view that defines the conflict as a war over slavery and the opportunity to liberate the masses of Africans from bondage.

The book is currently available for $29.95 online at and The State Museum Store as well as through the Heinz History Center’s e-store at It will become available in other retail outlets in the coming year.

Pennsylvania (PA) Civil War 150 is the state’s official program commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, an observance that launched in 2011 and will continue through 2015. The PA Civil War 150 Committee was convened by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) in partnership with the Pennsylvania Heritage Foundation inHarrisburg, the Senator John Heinz History Center, and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. It is a statewide alliance of history, heritage, arts and cultural organizations.

PA Civil War 150’s mission is to leverage the considerable strengths of these institutions and bring quality programming to the commonwealth’s commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War.

Pennsylvania Civil War 150 includes a wide array of statewide initiatives and facilitates numerous activities and events at the regional and local levels. Recent projects include exhibitions such as “Objects of Valor: Commemorating the Civil War inPennsylvania” and “Stories from the Homefront: Pennsylvania in the Civil War,” both at The State Museum of Pennsylvania. Other projects include “Pennsylvania Civil War” at the Heinz History Center and the award-winning publication, “The Civil War inPennsylvania: A Photographic History,” a 312-page book that features a collection of 475 rare and unpublished images depicting Pennsylvania’s role on the battlefield and on the homefront.

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