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Abstract

On December 2, 1862, just eleven days before the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia, Jeremiah Mickly said goodbye to his wife and two children and reported for duty with the 177th Pennsylvania Infantry to become a Civil War chaplain. The only known photograph ofMickly shows him dressed in the standard chaplain's uniform of the day: a plain black frock coat with a standing collar and black buttons with plain black pantaloons. Like many other Civil War soldiers, Mickly re-enlisted for service after his stint with the 177th ended, becoming chaplain of the 43rd Regiment, United States Colored Troops. Impressed with the educational progress and courage of the black soldiers he served with, Mickly wrote a history of the 43rd Regiment. The 88-page booklet was published in 1866 in Gettysburg by J. E. Wible, Printer. Mickly's book and correspondence prove that his Civil War experience shaped his belief that black people are entitled to equal rights. [excerpt]

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