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My dissertation focuses on returning Union soldiers and Northern relief organizations. I explore the programs and institutions set up by private charities and state and local governments during and immediately after the Civil War to support discharged soldiers and their families. I have also studied and published on the conflict in Massachusetts between antislavery activists and anti-abolitionists.

Recent blog posts…

Arriving at Camp Misery

The inexperienced recruits of the 11th Rhode Island Infantry marched along a road slick with wet, red clay as they left their camp on Miner’s Hill near Arlington, Virginia on January 14, 1863. They had been posted on that hill since their arrival in Virginia about two months before. Some felt a bit sentimental about…

Rainsford Island Hospital and Marginalized Veterans

My dissertation focuses on the improvised, decentralized network of relief organizations and programs that formed to aid the Civil War veteran during and in the years immediately after the war. I argue that these forms of support were, contrary to some interpretations, generally successful. However, one cannot turn a blind eye to the failures. And…


Patrick T.J. Browne

PhD candidate, History, Boston University
pbrowne@bu.edu