Joshua Rieger

Joshua Rieger
Mentor: Dr. Matt Gallman
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
"The Civil War has been my focus as a history major, and during Professor Gallman's seminar on Florida's experience during the Civil War, I decided I wanted to conduct research in that vein of work, adding to the discourse of how Florida reconstructed itself after one of the bloodiest wars in American history."





Research Interests

  • Civil War
  • Reconstruction
  • American Slavery

Academic Awards

  • University Scholars Program
  • Dean's List




  • After School Gators
  • Motiv-8

Hobbies and Interests

  • Basketball
  • Maps & Graphs
  • Writing Short Stories

Research Description

Florida's Freedmen's Bureau During Reconstruction

The Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands, commonly referred to as the Freedmen's Bureau, faced the uphill battle of assimilating ex-slaves into the American South in the wake of the Civil War. Between 1865-1872, the Freedmen's Bureau succeeded and failed in various efforts as a part of America's Reconstruction, in large part due to political, economic, and social contexts - both past and present; North and South; regional and local. In Florida, like the other southern states, the Bureau faced general and unique challenges in advancing or stunting the agency of the freedmen, women, and children. This research delves into how the Bureau's efforts over this seven-year period partially shaped and was shaped by internal and external forces of Reconstruction and how its policies and enforcement, or lack thereof, affected the future of Florida's citizens, including the antithetical wishes of the ex-slaves population and the planter aristocracy.