About this Collection
The William A. Gladstone Afro-American Military Collection (ca. 500 items) spans the years 1773 to 1987, with the bulk of the material dating from the Civil War period, 1861-1865. The collection consists of correspondence, pay vouchers, orders, muster rolls, enlistment and discharge papers, receipts, contracts, affidavits, tax records, miscellaneous military documents, and printed matter. Most items document African Americans in military service, especially the United States Corps d'Afrique and the United States Colored Troops, which were organized during the Civil War. Also included are many documents concerning slavery and various other Civil War documents that mention African Americans. The Revolutionary War items are primarily pay vouchers to Connecticut blacks who served in the Continental Army. World War I is represented by the papers of Lieutenant Edward L. Goodlett of the 370th Infantry, 93rd Division. Printed matter includes nineteenth-century speeches and writings on slavery, government orders, broadsides, and twentieth-century booklets and journal articles for scholars or collectors.
The collection was purchased by the Library of Congress from Gladstone in 1995. It has been kept in the numerical order established by him, which is neither topical nor chronological. The Gladstone Collection of African American Photographs in the Library's Prints and Photographs Division complements and enhances this collection of manuscripts.