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1862 Runaways list from Commissioner of Revenue

1862 Runaways Louisa County.pdf

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1862 Runaways list from Commissioner of Revenue


Slaves who escaped to the Union Army


In 1862 Union forces made raids into Louisa County and were camped nearby making it worth the risk for many slaves to runaway and take refuge behind Union lines.

The index and original images available here show the sizable number of slaves who escaped, many from owners living along the North Anna River. The lists were compiled for the Commissioner of the Revenue in Louisa County to reduce the personal property tax due from owners whose enslaved individuals had self-emancipated in the prior year.

General Clayton Coleman is one individual of note. He had several large properties in Louisa just south of the North Anna River. 30 of his adult slaves escaped enslavement in 1862. Although he was one of the largest slaveholders during the war, this number likely represented about half of his workforce.


Louisa County Commissioner of the Revenue


Library of Virginia online holdings



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