Curriculum Vitae

Donald R. Shaffer




United States History (Nineteenth Century, African American, Social, Military)



Voices of Emancipation: Understanding Slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction through the U.S. Pension Bureau Files [with Elizabeth Regosin] (New York: NYU Press, 2008).

After The Glory: The Struggles of Black Civil War Veterans (Lawrence: University  Press of Kansas, 2004).  Winner of the 2005 Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship, George Tyler Moore Center for the Study of the Civil War, Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, W.V.

"We Are Again in the Midst of Trouble": Flooding on the Potomac River and the Struggle for the Sustainability of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, 1828-1996 (College Park: University of Maryland, College Park and the National Park Service, 1997).


“Free Soldiers of Color,” New York Times (posted: February 17, 2012):

“Voices of Emancipation: Union Pension Files Giving Voice to Former Slaves” (with Elizabeth Regosin), Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration, 37 (Winter 2005): 22-31.

“’I would rather shake hands with the blackest nigger in the land’: Northern Black Civil War Veterans and the Grand Army of the Republic,” article in Union Soldiers and the Northern Home Front: Wartime Experiences, Post War Adjustments, eds. Paul A. Cimbala and Randall M. Miller  (New York: Fordham University Press, 2002), 442-62.

"I do not suppose that Uncle Sam looks at the skin': African Americans and the Civil War Pension System," Civil War History 46 (June 2000): 132-47.

“In the Shadow of the Old Constitution: Black Civil War Veterans and the Persistence of Slave Marriage Customs,” in Southern Families at War, ed. Catherine Clinton (New York: Oxford University Press, 2000), 59-75.


Weirding the War: Stories from the Civil War’s Ragged Edges, by Stephen Berry in The Journal of the Civil War Era 3 (March 2013): 152-155.

The Fire of Freedom: Abraham Galloway and the Slaves’ Civil War, by David S. Cecelski in The Civil War Monitor (posted: January 9, 2013):

The Peninsula Campaign and the Necessity of Emancipation: African Americans and the Fight for Freedom, by David Glenn Brasher in Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 110 (Autumn 2012): 587-589.

Moments of Despair: Suicide, Divorce, and Debt in Civil War Era North Carolina, by David Silkenat in Journal of Interdisciplinary History 43 (Summer 2012): 135-136.

Freedom by the Sword: The U.S. Colored Troops, 1862-1867, by William A. Dobak in The Annals of Iowa 71 (Spring 2012): 181-183.

Sing Not War: The Lives of Union and Confederate Veterans in Gilded Age America, by James Marten in Civil War Book Review 14 (Winter 2012):

Men of Color to Arms: Black Soldiers, Indian Wars, and the Quest for Equality, by Elizabeth D. Leonard in Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 109 (Winter 2011): 108-110.

The Black Citizen Soldiers of Kansas, 1864-1901, by Roger D. Cunningham in Great Plains Quarterly 30 (Spring 2010): 142-43.

Freedom: A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1867, series 3: vol. 1, Land and Labor, 1865, edited by Steve Hahn, Steven F. Miller, Susan E.  O’Donovan, et al. in Register of the Kentucky Historical Society 107 (Winter 2009): 124-125.

Firebrand of Liberty: The Story of Two Black Regiments That Changed the Course of the Civil War, by Stephen V. Ash in Civil War Book Review 11 (Spring 2009).

Freedom for Themselves: North Carolina’s Black Soldiers in the Civil War Era, by Richard M. Reid in The Journal of American History 95 (December 2008): 855-56.

Fort Pillow: A Civil War Massacre and Public Memory, by John Cimprich in H-CivWar, October 2006.

Delivering Aid: Implementing Progressive Era Welfare in the American West, by Thomas A. Krainz in Social Service Review (June 2006): 358-60.

Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America, by Jane Schultz in Reviews in American History (March 2005): 71-77.

Slaves, Soldiers, Citizens: African Americans in the Union Navy, by Steven J. Ramold in The Journal of American History 89 (March 2003): 1531-32.

Hope and Glory: Essays on the Legacy of the 54th Massachusetts, eds. Martin H. Blatt, Thomas J. Brown, and David Yacovone in The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography (October 2001): 422-23.

Frederick Douglass: Freedom’s Voice, 1818-45, by Gregory P. Lampe in Civil War History 44 (December 1998): 306-08.

Freedom’s Lawmakers: A Directory of Black Officeholders during Reconstruction, by Eric Foner in The Maryland Historian (Fall/Winter 1993): 73-75.


“Celebration and Agitation: The Black Civil War Veterans Reunion at Boston’s Tremont Temple, August 1887,” paper presented at Freedom Rising: 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and African American Military Service, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass., 3 May 2013.

There’s an App for That: Using Technology to Teach and Research the American Civil War” and “Civil War Emancipation: Reliving Freedom One Post at a Time,” keynote presentations at Civil War Studies and the Digital Revolution, American Public University Colloquium, Charles Town, W.V., 30 March 2013.

“’They Made Me Practically Their Slave’: Accounts of Black Survivors of the Fort Pillow Massacre,” paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association, San Diego, Calif., 7 January 2010.

"Fresh Perspectives: African-American Lives in Civil War Pension Files," paper presented (with Elizabeth Regosin) at the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians, New York, N.Y., 29 March 2008.

“U.S. Historiography: Slavery, The Civil War, and Reconstruction,” presentation made at History and Cultures: The United States, Seminar Sponsored by the University of Zurich, German Historical Institute, Washington, D.C., 19 September 2006.

“The Sable Arm Speaks: Civil War Pension Files Giving Voice to Black Union Soldiers," keynote address at the Annual Conference on the Civil War: Understanding the African American Civil War Experience, University of Mississippi, Oxford, Miss., 20 May 2006.

“Civil War, Reconstruction, and the Last West,” Session Leader at Teaching American History Grant Workshop administered by the American History Cowboy Coalition, Natrona County School District #1, Casper, Wyo., 11-12 November 2005.

“Freedom’s Voices: Union Pension Files Giving Voice to Former Slaves” (with Elizabeth Regosin), paper presented at Conference on African Americans in the Civil War, Virginia State University, Petersburg, Va., 27 May 2005.

"An Ambiguous Victory: The Struggle for Manhood of African-American Veterans of the U.S. Civil War," paper presented at Frontlines: Gender, Identity, and War, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia, 13 July 2002.

“’They washed the blood scars of slavery out of the American flag’: Black Veterans and Civil War Memory,” paper presented at the annual meeting of the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association, Philadelphia, Pa., 13 April 2001.

"The Black Family and Emancipation: Insights from Civil War Pension Files," paper presented at the Black History Workshop, University of Houston, 25 March 2000.

"Sexual Suspects: African-American Widows and Civil War Pensions," paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History, Detroit, Mich., 9 October 1999.

"Andrew Who? The Clinton Scandal from the Perspective of the Impeachment of President Andrew Johnson," paper presented at the Tuesday Reflections campus lecture series, SUNY Plattsburgh, Plattsburgh, N.Y., 20 October 1998.

"New Perspectives on the History of the Black Family from Civil War Pension Files," paper presented at the Families at War Conference: Conflicts and Loyalties in the Civil War South, University of Richmond, Richmond, Va., 24 April 1998.

"An Exploration of the Experiences of Black Civil War Veterans from a National Perspective," paper presented at a symposium sponsored by the Center of Excellence for the Study of Kentucky African Americans, Kentucky State University, Frankfort, Ky., 10 October 1997.

"An Ambiguous Victory: Black Civil War Veterans from a National Perspective," paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association, New York, N.Y., 4 January 1997.

"’In the Shadow of the Old Constitution’: Marriage Among African-American Civil War Veterans and the Persistence of Slave Marriage Customs," paper presented at the annual meeting of the Southern Historical Association, New Orleans, La., 11 November 1995.

"The Quest For Security: Black Union Veterans and the U.S. Civil War Pension System," paper presented at the annual meeting of the Organization of American Historians, Washington, D.C., 31 March 1995.

"Toward a Collective Biography of the United States Colored Troops: The Prewar Backgrounds of Black Civil War Soldiers," paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Military History, Bethesda, Md., 9 April 1994.


Ashford University, Clinton, Iowa, May 2013-Present

University of Phoenix, Phoenix, Arizona, Februart 2011-Present

American Public University System, Charles Town, W.V., June 2010-Present

Upper Iowa University, Fayette, Iowa, August 2007-Present

University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colo., August 2000-August 2007

University of Wyoming, Laramie, Wyo., August 1999-May 2000

State University of New York, Plattsburgh, Plattsburgh, N.Y., August 1998-August 1999

San Diego State University, San Diego, Calif., September 1997-May 1998

University of Maryland, College Park, September 1991-August 1996


National Park Service, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, Hagerstown, Md., August 1996-July 1997

Lead Historian. Flood History Study.  Conducted research on the effects of flooding of the Potomac River on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, and identified historic flood damage prevention strategies.

Maryland State Archives, Annapolis, Md., Summer 1991 and 1992

Archival Intern. Helped develop a collective biographical research design for studying African-American veterans of Civil War army units raised in Maryland.

Intensive Educational Development (IED) Program, University of Maryland, College Park, August 1990-May 1991

Graduate Assistant. Assisted the Associate Director in the recruitment, training, and supervision of tutors for under prepared students. Collected, recorded and analyzed statistical data on student participation and utilization of IED services.

Journal of Orange County Studies, California State University, Fullerton, and the University of California, Irvine, Spring 1990

Editorial Intern. Modified and managed the journal’s subscription system. Developed a new marketing plan for the publication.

Learning Assistance Resource Center, California State University, Fullerton, August 1988-May 1990

Graduate Assistant. Reviewed course material with students in history and economics classes. Taught reading, note taking, and exam preparation skills.

Joseph Smith Historic Center, Nauvoo, Ill., Summer 1987 and the Kirtland Temple Historic Center, Kirtland, Ohio, Summer 1988

Historic Interpreter. Presented original site interpretations of historic properties.


Book and Article Peer Referee for:

Review consultant or advisor for the following publishers:


Member of the American Historical Association and Organization of American Historians.


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