Choosing a Topic and 3 Research Questions- New Market Heights

A. Briefly describe the library research that you did towards choosing a topic. Include at least two reference books that you used and three library card catalog subject headings that you found useful: When I went to the library, I went to the 3rd floor, American history. There, I found the Civil War Era section. Within the Civil War, there is a good deal of space with just African American involvement in the war. Two books I used were Like Men of War: Black Soldiers in the Civil War and A Regiment of Slaves: The 4th U.S.C.T.

B. Briefly describe the internet research that you did. What words did you google successfully? Name at least one useful website. Do not include web based library card catalogs in this section: When I went online, I researched- “New Market Heights,” “Chaffin’s Bluff,” “Charles Paine,” “5th Offensive at Petersburg”, and others. They are battle names, and Charles Paine was the division commander inĀ  charge of the black soldiers. A good website was, a blog devoted to the United States Colored Troops

C. You should talk to at least one member of this history department about your topic, or at least an expert in your field. Name that expert and briefly describe his/her comments: I talked to Doctor McClurken, the head of the History Department, and the expert on early American military history. We discussed my topic, and he gave me some avenues of research to explore.

D. You must have a primary source for this paper. Provide any pertinent information on that primary source including website and/or call number: I have Christian Fleetwood’s diary, which has been addressed in another blog entry.

E. Are enough secondary sources available on this topic? Tell me a bit about what you found: I have plenty of secondary sources. I have a book on just New Market Heights, a book on the entire 5th Offensive, a source detailing the trenches around New Market Heights, and others discussing the Confederate forces that the black soldiers fought against.

Research Questions:

1) What were the circumstances of the battle that led to 14 Medal of Honors being awarded to black soldiers?

2) Did those actions deserve the Medal of Honor?

3) What role did the Congressional Review of 1917 have in legitimizing the Medals of Honor awarded for New Market Heights?

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