Download Men of Color to Arms!: Black Soldiers, Indian Wars, and the by Elizabeth D. Leonard PDF

By Elizabeth D. Leonard

In 1863, on the top of the Civil conflict, Frederick Douglass promised African americans that serving within the army provided a certain route to freedom. as soon as a black guy grew to become a soldier, Douglass declared, “there isn't any energy on the earth or below the earth that may deny that he has earned the correct to citizenship within the United States.” greater than 180,000 black males heeded his name to safeguard the Union—only to discover the trail to equality wouldn't be so straightforward.

In this sharply drawn heritage, Professor Elizabeth D. Leonard finds the aspirations and achievements in addition to the setbacks and disappointments of African American squaddies. Drawing on eye-opening firsthand bills, she restores black squaddies to their position within the arc of yank background, from the Civil warfare and its promise of freedom until eventually the sunrise of the 20 th century and the total retrenchment of Jim Crow.

Along the way in which, Leonard bargains a nuanced account of black soldiers’ involvement within the Indian Wars, their makes an attempt to desegregate West aspect and achieve right acceptance for his or her provider, and their event of Reconstruction nationally, as blacks labored to safe their position in an ever-changing state. With ample basic study, enlivened by means of memorable characters and brilliant descriptions of military existence, Men of colour to Arms! is an illuminating portrait of a bunch of fellows whose contributions to American heritage have to be additional famous.

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Additional info for Men of Color to Arms!: Black Soldiers, Indian Wars, and the Quest for Equality

Sample text

Suddenly, the boys’ great summer adventure turned dark—the men were cold, wearing disintegrating clothing, wet, and hungry. An influx of sick soldiers quickly overwhelmed the medical staff. Every available dry space was filled with suffering men wracked by pneumonia and dysentery. There was little the surgeons and hospital stewards could do but rely on their patients’ tough constitutions. Most of these young Tennesseans were resilient, but some struggled vainly. As the conditions worsened Colonel Hatton observed, “Where we are, is so flooded with water, and so muddy, as to make it impossible for us to stand it [much] longer.

My father’s people came to the United States in the 1850s—Italians and Austrians—bent on escaping Europe’s wars. They settled in northern Wisconsin and wanted no part of America’s conflict. My mother’s family—German immigrants—arrived in the 1880s and immediately headed for America’s Great Plains. So, as the old saying goes, I didn’t have a dog in the fight. But I’ve always been fascinated by our nation’s past. In fact, even today, fifty years later, I can still recall the first time I became conscious of the Battle of Gettysburg.

61 As of yet the war remained nothing other than an extended camping trip and the soldiers struggled to understand its seriousness. Private Ferguson Harris (Co. H) wrote, “[It] was my first night’s experience on guard duty. I walked two hours incessantly on a steep hill, almost worn to a frazzle, when Joe Hamilton (Co. F) asked me why I did not come and sit down. When I went to him I found him with his back against a tree and he told me to watch out for the officer of the guard. We became careless and the officer of the guard, Capt.

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