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Union Army Recruits in Black Regiments in the United States, 1862-1865: [Instructional Materials] (ICPSR 3466)

Principal Investigator(s): Oberly, James W., University of Wisconsin-Eau-Claire.


These instructional materials were prepared for use with UNION ARMY RECRUITS IN BLACK REGIMENTS IN THE UNITED STATES, 1862-1865 (ICPSR 9426), compiled by Jacob Metzer and Robert A. Margo. The data file and accompanying documentation are provided to assist educators in instructing students about the demographic, military, and medical history of African-American men who volunteered for service in the Union Army during the American Civil War. An instructor's handout has also been included. This handout contains the following sections, among others: (1) General goals for student analysis of quantitative datasets, (2) Specific goals in studying this dataset, (3) Suggested appropriate courses for use of the dataset, (4) Tips for using the dataset, and (5) Related secondary source readings. This data collection was designed to examine the characteristics of free Blacks and ex-slaves mustered into the Union Army between 1862 and the end of the Civil War. In addition to variables on personal characteristics (such as skin, eye, and hair color, height, age, birthplace, and occupation before enlistment), the data also contain Army-related variables (such as regiment and company number, rank, enlistment date and place, changes in rank, and date and cause of end of service).

Access Notes

  • This study is intended for instructional use, and may be subsets of the original data. Variables and/or cases may have been removed to facilitate classroom use.

  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions. Please log in so we can determine if you are with a member institution and have access to these data files.

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    This study is provided by ICPSR. ICPSR provides leadership and training in data access, curation, and methods of analysis for a diverse and expanding social science research community.


Dataset - Download All Files (0.993 MB)

Study Description


Oberly, James W. Union Army Recruits in Black Regiments in the United States, 1862-1865: [Instructional Materials]. ICPSR03466-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2004.

Persistent URL:

Export Citation:

  • RIS (generic format for RefWorks, EndNote, etc.)
  • EndNote XML (EndNote X4.0.1 or higher)


This study was funded by:

  • University of Wisconsin. Office of Professional and Instructional Development

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    African Americans, American Civil War, armed forces, demographic characteristics, enlistment (military), ex-slaves, instructional materials, instructional modules, military records, military service, nineteenth century, physical characteristics, race, Union Army

Geographic Coverage:    Alabama, Arkansas, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, United States

Time Period:   

  • 1862--1865

Date of Collection:   

  • 1977

Universe:    All Black regiments in the Union Army.

Data Type(s):    administrative records data

Data Collection Notes:

This collection was archived by ICPSR to promote the use of social science data in undergraduate and graduate education through the sharing of faculty-submitted ICPSR data-based instructional materials developed for use in the classroom.


The data are provided as an SPSS portable file, which was created from the ASCII data available from ICPSR 9426.


Sample:    Judgmental sample of eight Black infantry regiments in the Union Army. The sample represents slightly under 5 percent of all Black troops and has wide regional coverage within the Southern states.

Data Source:

Union Army Regimental Records

Restrictions: SIMI instructional modules are to be used at ICPSR member institutions only. They may not be redistributed without the express written permission of ICPSR.


Original ICPSR Release:   2004-02-27


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