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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Unknown Training Negro troops

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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC09229 Author/Creator: Unknown Place Written: Port Hudson, Louisiana Type: Photograph Date: 1863 ca. Pagination: 1 albumen ; 16.4 x 21.6 cm.

Mounted albumen print of the members of the Louisiana Native Guard learning to read at Port Hudson, Louisiana, at a school set up for the soldiers and freedmen. The guard was one of the first all-black units in the Civil War, formed by Benjamin Butler in 1862.

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