RFP: Historic Resource Study of Civil War and Reconstruction on African Americans at Monocacy Junction

The following RFP is not limited to CESU partners; however, we were asked to share by our partners at the National Park Service, as it may be of interest to some CHWA CESU partners. 

Request for Proposals:
Historic Resource Study of Civil War and Reconstruction on African Americans at Monocacy Junction
September 24, 2022

The National Park Service (NPS) through a cooperative agreement with the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, Inc., (ASALH) is seeking the services of a Principal Investigator or Investigators (PIs) who will perform research and writing of a Historic Resource Study (HRS) that will provide baseline data on African Americans who live, fought, or enlisted on or near Monocacy National Battlefield and in associated African American communities.

The contract is administered by ASALH and the work prepared for and completed in coordination with the National Park Service. All work accomplished by this research project will be credited to ASALH but becomes the property of the National Park Service and will be made publicly available.

Interested parties should submit a proposal in response to this RFP to ASALH no later than 5:00 pm EST on November 4, 2022. Electronic copies may be directed to ASALH at nps@asalh.org with the subject line “Monocacy Junction HRS.”

Project Background

Monocacy National Battlefield is a national park in Frederick County, Maryland, established to commemorate the “battle that saved Washington.” The park preserves the landscapes and tells the stories of the July 9, 1864, Civil War battle that delayed the Confederate attack on Washington, DC; while the Confederates won, the battle arguably provided enough time for the U.S. Army to prepare and prevent the capture of the capital city. The Battle of Monocacy unfolded in the rural landscapes surrounding Monocacy Junction, where the historic B&O Railroad and Georgetown Pike and the Monocacy River shaped troop movements before and during the battle.

Monocacy National Battlefield preserves over 1,600 acres of battlefield land across six historic farmsteads, which convey the Civil War landscape character. Congress first recognized the battlefield in March 1, 1929, with legislation for a commemorative marker, and then established a national military park in 1934. However, this initial legislation did not provide funding for land acquisition. In 1973, around concerns about highway expansion and urban development around the battlefield, it was listed as a National Historic Landmark. National Park Service land acquisition began in the 1980s, and Monocacy received its own superintendency in 2003.

One of the park’s core interpretive themes is that “the farmsteads within the park provide connections to the lives of enslaved people who lived and worked there, and fought for their freedom before, during, and after the Civil War” (Foundation Document 2015).

Long before the Civil War, white refugees from the Saint-Domingue (Haitian) rebellion settled at L’Hermitage, also known as the Best Farm, and held one of the largest enslaved populations in Maryland in bondage; this site’s history remains the subject of archeological and ethnographic research. On the smaller farms more typical of western Maryland, between 1780 and the Civil War, from one to seven enslaved people lived and worked at the Thomas, Baker, and Worthington farms, which are part of today’s battlefield; much more research is needed to understand the lives and experiences of these people before and after emancipation.

While Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the Union Army began standing up regiments of the United States Colored Troops (USCT), for the enslaved residents who lived on the battlefield and in the state of Maryland, the Emancipation Proclamation did not confer freedom. Maryland was a border state that did not secede. It would take a new state constitution in 1864 to free enslaved people in Maryland.

Maryland’s liminal status, as a slave state loyal to the Union, where Black soldiers could help win freedom on the battlefield that their own families might not enjoy, is an important topic for this Historic Resource Study to explore: what did the Emancipation Proclamation mean for enslaved people in Maryland? What was African American life like in the almost two years between January 1863 and November 1864? Did any of the around 540 men from Frederick County who joined the USCT have connections to the families or farms at Monocacy, and where did they serve?

With freedom came change, mobility, and migration. During the decades of 1860-1890, the farms of Monocacy Junction transitioned from enslaved laborers to paid laborers and tenant farmers. Previous research has focused primarily on the white landowners; this study will explore the impact of the transition on the free and enslaved African Americans who lived and worked around the battlefield. Slave schedules and census data indicate that with rare exceptions, newly freed people were not working for their enslavers in 1870, but evidence suggests that some formerly enslaved individuals like John Ephraim Tyler Butler, Thomas Palm, and David Butler continued to maintain relationships with white landowners.

Beyond individual farms, members of free African American communities began to build their own homes and business prior to the Civil War, and churches, schools, and mutual aid societies followed soon after. The everyday stories of life transformed after the war are a vital part of Monocacy’s history that can be recovered. A recent study (“They Have Erected a Neat Little Church,” The Rural African American Experience, 1865–1900, in the National Capital Area by Edith Wallace) profiles the community building efforts of African Americans in nearby Hope Hill after the war. Larger scale studies have documented the broad historical trends of institution building, activism, and white resistance during the Reconstruction era (“Historic Resource Study: Reconstruction and the Early Civil Rights Movement in the National Capital Area” by Cheryl Janifer Laroche).

Beyond the battlefield, African American communities in Frederick County, including the rural community of Hope Hill and a large community in the city of Frederick, played a significant role in local history before and after the Civil War. Today, Frederick County’s African American Resource, Culture & History (AARCH) organization plays a central role in documenting and preserving African American memory in Frederick County, and is preparing to open a museum downtown; the park hopes to build on its connections with AARCH during this project. Understanding the social and economic connections between these communities and the land now encompassed by Monocacy National Battlefield can reveal significant aspects of the battlefield’s history and relevance for people living today.

Required Principal Investigator Qualifications

The minimum professional qualifications in history are a graduate degree in history or closely-related field plus one of the following:

  1. At least two years of full-time experience in research, writing, teaching, interpretation, or other demonstrable professional activity with an academic institution, historic organization or agency, museum, or other professional institution, or
  2. Substantial contribution through research and publication to the body of scholarly knowledge in the field of history.

Additional Qualifications

Knowledge, skills, and ability in the following:

  • Organize data and analyze and interpret its authenticity and relative significance;
  • Gather historical data from sources such as archives, court records, diaries, news files, and photographs, as well as collect data sources such as books, pamphlets, and periodicals;
  • Conduct historical research as a basis for the identification, conservation, and reconstruction of historic places and materials;
  • Conduct historical research and publish or present findings and theories;
  • Organize information for publication and for means of dissemination;
  • Collect detailed information on individuals for use in the preparation of biographies.


The purpose of this agreement is to produce a Historic Resource Study that will provide baseline data on African Americans who lived, fought, or enlisted on or near Monocacy National Battlefield and in associated African American communities. The goal of the study is to link people, events, and themes in African American history to specific locations and resources within the battlefield. Site-specific and detailed research on the individuals and families who lived on and moved across the lands that make up today’s Monocacy National Battlefield will enhance the NPS’s ability to document, interpret, and preserve sites important to African American history.

The study will address the following thematic issues and topics:

  1. Enslavement and freedom at Monocacy before the Civil War
  2. Recruitment of US Colored Troops at Monocacy Junction, and connections of USCT troops to the park
  3. African American experiences around the Battle of Monocacy
  4. African American experiences of freedom seeking and delayed emancipation, instituted with the Maryland Constitution of 1864
  5. Individual and household lives on the battlefield before and after the war: locations of work and residence, emancipation, movement, land ownership and labor, biographies, and family ties
  6. Communities and institutions of the Reconstruction era, and remaining connections within the region today

The primary goal of this study is to generate new research using primary sources, rather than to synthesize existing NPS documentation, except as necessary to provide context. African American military service and the lives of individuals and families on the battlefield are the highest priority topics for in-depth research. The study should also provide preliminary research and suggestions for the park toward identifying descendant communities, by genealogy or proximity and association, and recommend next steps for expanding research and community engagement.

This study will take a public history approach to research methods. First, it will incorporate substantive primary and secondary source documentary research on the history of the battlefield and research into late nineteenth and twentieth century African American connections to the battlefield. Repositories with relevant material will likely be local (Frederick County and possibly neighboring counties such as Washington and Montgomery), State (Maryland), and national (National Archives). The PI(s) will need to expand research into collections not available online.

Second, the study will seek to engage with the perspectives of African American descendant and community stakeholders, especially those located in and near Frederick County, Maryland. It will not be the Principal Investigator(s)’ responsibility to establish long-term relationships with communities or families on behalf of the park, but rather to inform and include park partners and their networks. Engagement with descendant and community stakeholders may include outreach to or interviews with individuals, visits or presentations to local heritage or community organizations, or other activities that the PI(s) determine appropriate based on research, initial contacts, and discussion with ASALH and NPS.


A Historic Resource Study (HRS), as defined by the National Park Service, “provides a historical overview of a park or region and identifies and evaluates a park’s cultural resources within historic contexts. It synthesizes all available cultural resource information from all disciplines in a narrative designed to serve managers, planners, interpreters, cultural resource specialists, and interested public as a reference for the history of the region and the resources within a park. Entailing both documentary research and field investigations to determine and describe the integrity, authenticity, associative values, and significance of resources, the HRS supplies data for resource management and interpretation.” (National Park Service, Director’s Order No. 28, Cultural Resource Management Guideline)


The PI(s) shall be responsible for producing all submittals in Microsoft Word (2010 or later version) and submitting to the designated NPS project manager. The final approved Historic Resource Study will contain all sections described below and include footnotes.

All citations and formatting will be according to the most recent edition of the Chicago Manual of Style. The PI(s) will be responsible for all sections of the study. To facilitate reviewer comments, all pages will be numbered and provide left margin line numbers for all progress reports and drafts.

In addition to the products listed below, the PI(s) will provide quarterly electronic progress reports to ASALH. These reports will describe what research and writing has been accomplished, any significant findings from the research and any concerns the PI(s) may have regarding locating specific materials or meeting deadlines.

Front Matter

  1. Cover Page
  2. Executive Summary
  3. Table of Contents: The table of contents must list the titles of all major divisions and the first-level (principal) subdivisions in the study and provide page numbers for all major divisions.
  4. List of Illustrations: A list of illustrations must include captions and give page numbers for photographs, figures/illustrations, maps, and other forms of graphics subject matter. If warranted, separate lists for specific types of illustrations may be used.
  1. Acknowledgments: The acknowledgments must include any obligatory or appropriate personal or organizational acknowledgments.
  2. Preface: The preface must contain background information about the scope of the research preparation of the study. It will discuss research methods and summarize major findings.
  3. List of Abbreviations and/or Acronyms: This list must include nonstandard abbreviations and acronyms used in the report. The spelled-out version of a term should be given the first time the term appears within the study.

Text or Main Body of the Report

  1. Introduction: The introduction must include general background information on the geographic location, history, and significance of Monocacy National Battlefield relation to African American history.
  2. Historical Data/Narrative and Analysis: This section represents the main body of the product. This section must address the topics/themes described in the scope of work above and should be split into multiple chapters, logically organized, to address these themes. This narrative must synthesize existing research and provide primary research, as appropriate. Use of primary sources, including oral history interviews, in writing this section is critical. Photographs, maps, charts, and other figures will be used as necessary to enhance the text and placed within the text rather than as a separate section. The overview history must contain footnotes (rather than end notes or reference notes).
  3. Conclusion: The epilogue (or conclusion) must consist of a closing statement that provides further comment, if appropriate, on the interpretation and use of the information found in the study.
  4. Research Recommendations: These recommendations must include a discussion of topics for future study, including an indication of why the author thinks they are relevant to park management and reference to any known sources that might be useful for this future research. In this case, research recommendations should include preliminary research design for further interviews with descendants of community members and other stakeholders with knowledge of African American life at Monocacy and in Frederick County.

Back Matter

  1. Appendices: The appendices should include copies of key documents and data including but not limited to:
    1. Appendix 1. Timeline of major events
    2. Appendix 2. Maps
    3. Other appendices as necessary
  2. Bibliography: The annotated bibliography must list the primary and secondary source materials researched and used for the preparation of the study. The bibliography may be broken into sections by kinds of materials (i.e., primary and secondary sources, etc.) as directed in The Chicago Manual of Style.


A limited number of illustrations should appear at the appropriate place within the relevant chapters. Colored illustrations and maps shall be reproduced in color. After reviewing requests by Recipient, the park will provide reproductions of historic photographs and other illustrations in park collections. Wherever possible Recipient should choose illustrations that are in the public domain. Recipient is responsible for the cost of all reproductions and for securing copyright permission, where applicable. All illustrations should be labeled with captions that fully identify the subject, where published (if published), and provide credit lines identifyingwhere the original can be found. Illustrations should be numbered and referred to by number in the text. A full list of illustrations with captions will be included following the table of contents. Copies of permission agreements, grouped together and clearly labeled, must be included in the research materials that are turned over to the park at the completion of the project.


All electronic documents prepared under this Agreement must meet the requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended. The Act requires that all electronic products prepared for the Federal Government be accessible to persons with disabilities, including those with vision, hearing, cognitive, and mobility impairments. View Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, Standards and Guidelines for detailed information.

The following summarizes some of the requirements for preparing NPS reports in conformance with Section 508 for eventual posting by NPS to an NPS-sponsored website. For specific detailed guidance and checklists for creating accessible digital content, please go to Section 508.gov, Create Accessible Digital Products. All accessible digital content must conform to the requirements and techniques of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 or later, Level AA Success Criteria.

Research Materials

PI(s) shall submit a compilation of research materials collected by the research team for this project, along with a catalog of titles, authors, sources, etc (e.g. via spreadsheet). Materials of greatest interest to the NPS include copies of primary source documents, photographs, and other images that may be useful in future park research and interpretation; transcriptions and notes from meetings, interviews, and conversations with descendants and other stakeholders; and other research notes and compiled data.

All research material collected in conjunction with this project remains in the public domain and is archived and otherwise managed by the National Park Service, National Capital Area. Such materials may include but are not limited to photographs, maps, microfilm, illustrations, audio cassette, and computer diskettes, thumb drives, CD/DVDs, all digital files, and geospatial data. The author may seek permission from the park superintendent to reproduce any or all of the material not subject to archival restrictions before relinquishment to the National Park Service.

All work to be performed under this agreement will comply with all applicable federal standards including but not limited to as found in CFR 36; the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualification Standards (http://www.nps.gov/history/local- law/arch_stnds_9.htm); the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Archaeology and Historic Preservation (as amended and annotated); the Antiquities Act of 1906 (Pub.L. 59– 209, 34 Stat. 225, 16 U.S.C. § 431–433); the Historic Sites Act of 1935 (49 Stat. 666; 16 U.S.C. 461-467); the Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (as amended–Public Law 89- 665; 16 U.S.C. 470 et seq.); National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (PL 91-190, 83 Stat. 852 42 U.S.C. §4321 et seq. (1969); 1969 Archaeological and Historic Preservation Act of 1972 (AHPA); Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (ARPA); American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978 (AIRFA); Native American Graves and Repatriation Act of 1990 (NAGPRA); and any other applicable laws, standards and/or guidelines. Additional standards include NPS Standards for Oral History Handbook (McDonald, 2004) and standards as published by the Oral History Association.


All work specified shall be completed in accordance with the following schedule, including research milestones and NPS review timelines. The NPS will workwith ASALH and the PI(s) to schedule public events and outreach.



organizational meeting

Schedule a brief call for NPS and ASALH staff to meet, review goals and schedule for project, and plan for RFP and selection process September 2022
PI selection Work with ASALH to develop an RFP for PI(s) and research team, disseminate to networks and on websites, review proposals, and select


September- December 2022
Kick-off meeting Schedule an orientation meeting with park and January 2023
with PIs NPS regional staff, NCPH representatives, and PI(s) and research team to discuss the research plan, public engagement strategy, goals, and schedule, locations and access to source materials. If possible, the NPS will provide a tour to acquaint the research team with the park and resources.


Detailed Outline Conduct sufficient preliminary research to complete a research plan and detailed outline. Address the topics and issues specified in the Statement of Work. The outline should contain all pertinent information necessary for sound decisions to be reached regarding further topical research and content of the final report. It should also include a list of all repositories consulted and summaries of initial or planned community/descendant engagement efforts.

Following NPS review, a meeting or conference call should be scheduled to discuss.


NPS review period: 30 days

July 2023
Draft of Sample Chapters The chapter drafts submitted should be two substantive chapters from the main body of the report. The submitted chapters will adhere to the format for the first draft. NPS and ASALH will organize a conference call with PI(s) within 2 weeks after review if needed.


NPS review period: 30 days

October 2023
First Draft of Study The first draft will consist of a 66% completed report, including draft front matter, footnotes, bibliography, and draft illustrations and maps. NPS and ASALH will review and meet with PI(s) to discuss feedback. The PIs will inform NPS of major questions so that NPS can assist with bringing the project to substantial completion.

NPS and ASALH will organize a conference call with PIs within 2 weeks after review if needed.


NPS and ASALH review period: 60 days

March 2024
Second Draft of Study The second draft will be submitted for peer review in addition to NPS review. ASALH will propose appropriate peer reviewers and coordinate peer review. NPS and ASALH will organize a conference call with PI(s) within 2 weeks after review if needed. September 2024



PI(s) will also be responsible for:

·         obtaining copyright permission and providing appropriate credit line for government printing of all images

·         providing images as digital images in high resolution jpg or tif format suitable for printing – see NCR Formatting Guidelines

·         identifying images by subject, publication information, and location of original


NPS and peer review period: 60 days

Final Study In addition to meeting the requirements for the second draft (except for line numbers), Recipient will select an appropriate illustration for the cover and may provide a descriptive title.



5 copies printed and bound. One 508-compliant PDF copy. Original formatted MS word document, images used in the report, and any scanned resource material submitted on external hard drive.


Copies of relevant primary sources and research notes shall be submitted to the NPS, with a spreadsheet or similar key to the primary source image/transcription files and source information. Also, copies of clearly labeled permission agreements must be included.

January 2025
Knowledge sharing event Recipient and NPS will work together to coordinate public sharing of research throughout the project, and to develop a concluding event for the public and professional community (parks, local history organizations, academic and public historians, and others interested in African American history on battlefields) March 2025

Proposal Submissions

For evaluation purposes, proposals should provide sufficient information as to assist ASALH in determining the most qualified Principal Investigator(s) for the project. Interested parties should submit a written proposal that includes the following:

  • Name of the individual(s) that would be working on the project and their proposed area(s) of responsibility.
  • A curriculum vitae.
  • Information on projects of a similar nature and of significant work completed by the Principal Investigator(s) candidate in the past five (5) years. Include specific dates and types of services provided, and highlight success in meeting work schedules, project budgets, and product deadlines.
  • A list of references (at least three (3), but not more than five (5)) that may be contacted. The Principal Investigator(s) candidate must return three (3) reference questionnaires from projects of similar scope within the last five (5) years.
  • A short narrative that responds to the scope of work as described in this RFP, which demonstrates the Principal Investigator(s) candidate’s proposed approach to the project and capability to accomplish the desired goals.
  • Resumes of key personnel (Not to exceed two (2) pages on each resume). This factor will be used to evaluate documented evidence of the candidate’s ability to provide key personnel who meet all contract qualifications requirements. Proposed key personnel must meet all minimum requirements specified in the RFP for the duties/positions they are proposed to perform. Historian specializing in African American history, particularly of Civil War and Civil Rights history, strongly preferred.
  • A proposed project Schedule A.
  • A proposed budget.

All proposals must be received no later than 5:00 pm EST on November 4, 2022.

They should be prepared simply and economically, providing a straight forward, concise description of the Principal Investigator(s) candidate’s qualifications and capabilities to satisfy the requirements of this RFP. Proposals may be submitted via email in electronic format (MS Word or PDF format) to Ms. Kay Phillips, ASALH Project Manager, at nps@asalh.org. ASALH will confirm receipt of submissions. However, if there are any issues (e.g., with the attachments working correctly), the Principal Investigator(s) candidate is responsible for resolving these issues with an alternative submission method acceptable to ASALH and NPS.

Selection Criteria

Submittals will be evaluated and ranked based on the following factors, presented in no particular order:

  • Qualifications of Principal Investigator(s) candidate.
  • The extent to which the proposal addresses the project’s purpose and scope of work.
  • Experience in conducting historical research for historical biographies, publications, and disseminating research using several forms of distribution.
  • Knowledge of use and means of primary resources, searching through digital and hard copy archives, and basic historical interpretation.
  • Demonstrated capability of meeting projected deadlines and successfully completing contracts of this type.
  • Past performance and references.
  • Proposed project schedule.

Available Funding

The stipend for the Principal Investigator of this project is $35,000 (exclusive of expenses such as travel and printing). Funding is available to pay for assistance from an additional PI or researcher.

Terms and Conditions

  1. ASALH reserves the right to reject any and all proposals, and to waive minor irregularities in any proposal.
  2. ASALH reserves the right to request clarification of information submitted, and to request additional information from any Principal Investigator(s) candidate.
  3. ASALH and NPS shall not be responsible for any costs incurred by Principal Investigator(s) candidates in preparing, submitting or presenting its response to this RFP.
  4. All completed nominations and executive summaries must fully comply with Section 508 accessibility standards (https://www.section 508.gov/content/build/create-accessible-documents) for electronic documents.
  5. Any and all rights to work produced through this project will be vested in the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, including any copyrights.
  6. The selected Principal Investigator must also comply with all applicable provisions of OMB Circular A-110 A-110 REVISED 11/19/93 As Further Amended 9/30/99. (https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/omb/circulars_a110/)


Respondents are invited to submit written questions requesting clarifications or explanations of the information contained in this RFP. Please direct all proposal or contract-related questions to Ms. Kay Phillips, ASALH Project Manager, at nps@asalh.org.

PDF: RFP-Monocacy-Junction-HRS-09222022