Cover image for Black soldiers in blue : African American troops in the Civil War era
Black soldiers in blue : African American troops in the Civil War era
Smith, John David, 1949-
Publication Information:
Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xxiii, 451 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Let us all be grateful that we have colored troops that will fight / John David Smith -- An ironic route to glory : Louisiana's native guards at Port Hudson / Lawrence Lee Hewitt -- Battle on the levee : the fight at Milliken's Bend / Richard Lowe -- The Battle of Olustee / Arthur W. Bergeron, Jr. -- The Fort Pillow massacre : assessing the evidence / John Cimprich -- From the crater to New Market Heights : a tale of two divisions / William Glenn Robertson -- The Battle of Saltville / Thomas D. Mays -- The USCT in the Confederate heartland, 1864 / Anne J. Bailey -- Lorenzo Thomas and the recruitment of blacks in the Mississippi Valley, 1863-1865 / Michael T. Meier -- Proven themselves in every respect to be men : black cavalry in the Civil War / Noah Andre Trudeau -- In the shadow of John Brown : the military service of colonels Thomas Higginson, James Montgomery, and Robert Shaw in the Department of the South / Keith Wilson -- Henry McNeal Turner : black chaplain in the Union Army / Edwin S. Redkey -- A disturbance in the city : black and white soldiers in postwar Charleston / Robert J. Zalimas, Jr. -- USCT veterans in post-Civil War North Carolina / Richard Reid.
Electronic Access:
Table of contents
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Call Number
Material Type
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E540.N3 B63 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



Inspired and informed by the latest research in African American, military, and social history, the fourteen original essays in this book tell the stories of the African American soldiers who fought for the Union cause.

An introductory essay surveys the history of the U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) from emancipation to the end of the Civil War. Seven essays focus on the role of the USCT in combat, chronicling the contributions of African Americans who fought at Port Hudson, Milliken's Bend, Olustee, Fort Pillow, Petersburg, Saltville, and Nashville. Other essays explore the recruitment of black troops in the Mississippi Valley; the U.S. Colored Cavalry; the military leadership of Colonels Thomas Higginson, James Montgomery, and Robert Shaw; African American chaplain Henry McNeal Turner; the black troops who occupied postwar Charleston; and the experiences of USCT veterans in postwar North Carolina. Collectively, these essays probe the broad military, political, and social significance of black soldiers' armed service, enriching our understanding of the Civil War and African American life during and after the conflict.

The contributors are Anne J. Bailey, Arthur W. Bergeron Jr., John Cimprich, Lawrence Lee Hewitt, Richard Lowe, Thomas D. Mays, Michael T. Meier, Edwin S. Redkey, Richard Reid, William Glenn Robertson, John David Smith, Noah Andre Trudeau, Keith Wilson, and Robert J. Zalimas Jr.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

This important collection provides a wealth of information about the role of black troops in the Civil War. Editor Smith (North Carolina State Univ.) opens with an able and comprehensive essay on Lincoln's progress toward emancipation and the enlistment of black troops. The 13 essays that follow deal with various aspects and incidents of the black military experience. The raising of black regiments met with opposition within the Union armies--from soldiers, officers, and even from some generals of the highest rank. As Anne Bailey points out, even William T. Sherman resisted the process to the point of insubordination. What made the difference for most Union soldiers, though perhaps not for Sherman, was the courage shown by black troops in such battles as Port Hudson, Milliken's Bend, and Nashville, each of which receives extensive treatment. Confederate response to black troops was barbaric and sometimes descended to the level of massacres, such as those at Saltville and Fort Pillow, each the topic of an excellent chapter. Well written and well edited, this book delivers more information and analysis of the black soldier experience than is to be found anywhere else between two covers. Summing Up: Essential. Every public and academic library. S. E. Woodworth Texas Christian University