Bibliography: Civil War and Reconstruction

New Orleans in many ways was at the center of Civil War and Reconstruction conflict. Captured by Union forces in 1862, the city provided the Union army with some of its first black recruits, organized as separate companies of former slaves and free men of color, the Louisiana Native Guard (later Corps d’Afrique). Events critical to understanding the larger story of Reconstruction unfolded in New Orleans, including the early experiments with Presidential Reconstruction; the 1866 race riot that precipitated Congressional Reconstruction; and the 1874 “Battle of Liberty Place,” which presaged the end of formal Reconstruction. The only black Reconstruction governor and three lieutenant governors were elected from the city’s black population and were among the nation’s first black elected public officials. Research on this period of New Orleans history has broadened to include a variety of groups and the ways they influenced and were impacted by these events.

Ames, John Crehore. Letter to his sister. “Camp Kearney, Carrollton, La,” January 28, 1863.

Blassingame, John W. Black New Orleans, 1860-1880. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1973.  

Broyard, Bliss. One Drop: My Father’s Hidden Life – A Story of Race and Family Secrets. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2007.  

Chase, S.P. “Letter from Chief Justice Chase to a committee of colored men. New Orleans, June 6, 1865.,” New Orleans 1865. Printed Ephemera Collection. Library of Congress Catalog.

Dethloff, Henry C., and Robert R. Jones. “Race Relations in Louisiana, 1877-98.” Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association 9, no. 4 (Autumn 1968): 301-323.  

Frey, Sylvia R. From Slavery to Emancipation in the Atlantic World. Illustrated edition. Routledge, 1999.

Chapter 7: Lawrence Powell, “Reinventing Tradition: Liberty Place, Historical Memory, and Silk-Stocking Vigilantism in New Orleans Politics.”


Hennessey, Melinda Meek. “Race and Violence in Reconstruction New Orleans: The 1868 Riot.” Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association 20, no. 1 (Winter 1979): 77-91.  

Hogue, James Keith. Uncivil War: Five New Orleans Street Battles And the Rise And Fall of Radical Reconstruction. Louisiana State University Press, 2006.  

Hollandsworth, James G. An Absolute Massacre: The New Orleans Race Riot of July 30, 1866. Baton Rouge [La.]: Louisiana State University Press, 2001.  

Hollandsworth, James G. The Louisiana Native Guards: The Black Military Experience During the Civil War. Louisiana State University Press, 1998.  

Ochs, Stephen J. A Black Patriot and a White Priest: Andre Cailloux and Claude Paschal Maistre in Civil War New Orleans. Illustrated edition. Louisiana State University Press, 2000.  

Rankin, David C. “The Impact of of the Civil War on the Free Colored Community of New Orleans.” Perspectives in American History 11 (to 1978 1977): 379-416.  

———. “The Politics of Caste: Free Colored Leadership in New Orleans during the Civil War.” In Louisiana’s Black Heritage, edited by Robert R. MacDonald, John R. Kemp, and Edward F. Haas, 107-146. New Orleans: Louisiana State Museum, 1979.  

Reed, Germaine A. “Race Legislation in Louisiana, 1864-1920.” Louisiana History: The Journal of the Louisiana Historical Association 6, no. 4 (Autumn 1965): 379-392.  

Scott, Rebecca J. “Defining the Boundaries of Freedom in the World of Cane: Cuba, Brazil, and Louisiana after Emancipation.” American Historical Review 99, no. 1 (n.d.): 70-102.  

———. Degrees of Freedom: Louisiana and Cuba after Slavery. Enlarged Edition. Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2005.  

Taylor, Joe Gray. Louisiana Reconstructed, 1863-1877. Louisiana State University Press, 1974.  

Tunnell, Ted. Crucible of Reconstruction: War, Radicalism, and Race in Louisiana 1862-1877. Louisiana State University Press, 1992.  

Vandal, Gilles. Rethinking Southern Violence: Homicides In Post-Civil War Louisiana. 1st ed. Ohio State University Press, 2000.  

Vincent, Charles. Black Legislators in Louisiana During Reconstruction. Louisiana State University Press, 1976.