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Union Army Recruits in Black Regiments in the United States, 1862-1865

Resource Type
Dataset : administrative records data
  • Metzer, Jacob
  • Margo, Robert A.
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • National Science Foundation
Free Keywords
African Americans; American Civil War; demographic characteristics; ex-slaves; military service; nineteenth century; physical characteristics; Union Army
  • Abstract

    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.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Temporal Coverage
  • 1862 / 1865
    Time period: 1862--1865
  • Collection date: 1977
Geographic Coverage
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • New Jersey
  • New York (state)
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • Texas
  • United States
Sampled Universe
All Black regiments in the Union Army.
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.
Collection Mode
  • 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.

    Instructional materials for use with these data may be found at UNIO N ARMY RECRUITS IN BLACK REGIMENTS IN THE UNITED STATES, 1862-1865 [INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS] (ICPSR 3466).

2007-07-24 SAS, SPSS, and Stata setup files have been added to this data collection. Funding insitution(s): National Science Foundation (GS-27262 and SOC 776-002).
This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 9426 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR09426.v1
  • Sohn, Kitae. The human capital of black soldiers during the American Civil War. Economics Letters.122, (1), 40-43.2014.
    • ID: 10.1016/j.econlet.2013.10.035 (DOI)
  • Komlos, John. On the biological standard of living of African-Americans: The case of the Civil War soldiers. The Biological Standard of Living in Comparative Perspectives: Proceedings of a Conference Held in Munich January 18-23, 1997.Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag. 1998.
  • Costa, Dora L., Steckel, Richard H.. Long-term trends in health, welfare, and economic growth in the United States. Health and Welfare During Industrialization.Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. 1997.
  • Margo, Robert A., Steckel, Richard. Civilian occupations of ex-slaves in the Union army, 1862-1865. Without Consent or Contract: The Rise and Fall of American Slavery - Technical Papers: Markets and Production.New York: W.W. Norton. 1992.
  • Metzer, Jacob. The records of the U.S. colored troops as a historical source: An exploratory examination. Historical Methods.14, (3), 123-132.1981.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Metzer, Jacob; Margo, Robert A. (1991): Union Army Recruits in Black Regiments in the United States, 1862-1865. Archival Version. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.