Added: September 5, 2015 – Last updated: September 5, 2015


Author: Kellie J. Hedgers

Title: Broken Promises

Subtitle: Rape, Race, and the Union Army

Thesis: M.A. Thesis, Central Washington University

Year: Spring 2015


Language: English

Keywords: 19th Century | U.S. History | Types: Interracial Rape, Wartime Rape / American Civil War


Link: ScholarWorks@CWU: Digital Repository of the Central Washington University (Available for download on June 15, 2020)


Abstract: »Through the use of Union courts-martial records, this paper will examine the ways in which black women who had been assaulted by white men were denied justice in military courts. Although the Union Army was often perceived of as an army representing freedom and higher moral purpose, the court martial records reveal a darker side. They reveal that sometimes black women found no safety behind Union lines; rather, they found themselves victims of sexual violence by white men and had little recourse to justice. Although outwardly the Union Army was devoted to abolishing slavery, the inner workings of its courts reveal that black women, supposedly protected by Lincoln’s Lieber Code, were often sexually dehumanized by Union soldiers and military judges.« (Source: ScholarWorks@CWU)

Wikipedia: Wartime sexual violence: American Civil War, Lieber Code, Sex in the American Civil War