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Soldiers in the Army of Freedom: The 1st Kansas Colored, the Civil War's First African American Combat Unit (Campaigns and Commanders Series) Hardcover – October 2, 2014

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Soldiers in the Army of Freedom: The 1st Kansas Colored, the Civil War's First African American Combat Unit (Campaigns and Commanders Series) + Soldiering for Freedom: How the Union Army Recruited, Trained, and Deployed the U.S. Colored Troops (How Things Worked)
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Editorial Reviews


Ian Michael Spurgeon’s Soldiers in the Army of Freedom is a sparkling and most welcome addition to the growing list of works on African Americans in the age of emancipation. He rescues from relative oblivion the First Kansas Colored Infantry, the first black regiment organized in a northern state, the fourth black regiment to be mustered into federal service, and the first such unit to enter combat in the Civil War. Fair, balanced, and realistic in his assessment of the men of the First Kansas Colored, Spurgeon underscores the black troops’ humanity, their dedicated service, and their determination to prove their manhood in the crucible of slavery’s demise.—John David Smith, author of Lincoln and the U.S. Colored Troops

This thoroughly researched and well-written book recounts the previously little-known story of the first black Civil War regiment recruited in the North and the first to see combat. The First Kansas Colored Infantry suffered more battle deaths than any other black regiment and was the victim of one of the worst Confederate atrocities, the murder of the regiment’s wounded and captured men after the battle of Poison Springs. This important study sheds new light on the Civil War in Missouri, Arkansas, and Indian Territory.—James M. McPherson, author of and Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era

About the Author

Ian Michael Spurgeon holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Southern Mississippi. He is currently a historian in the World War II Division of the Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office in Washington, D.C. He has written numerous articles on U.S. political, military, and African American history and is the author of Man of Douglas, Man of Lincoln: The Political Odyssey of James Henry Lane.

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