CVHR Meeting (November 1, 2018): From Albemarle County to Arkansas: USCT Pensions as a Window into the Domestic Slave Trade

UVA history professor Liz Varon demonstrated how the story of one black Union Army veteran, Mathew Gardner, can shed light on multiple themes and subjects.  On the eve of the Civil War, Gardner was taken by slave traders from Mechum’s River Depot in Albemarle County to Jefferson County, Arkansas.  He and at least 245 other Albemarle-born men served in USCT regiments during the war.  As veterans of an “army of diaspora,” their service and pension records provide striking illustrations of struggles for freedom, the importance of family and community ties, and the consequences of the domestic slave trade.

See blog posts by Liz and others as part of the Black Virginians in Blue project of UVA’s Nau Center for Civil War History at

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