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African American Soldier in the Civil War: USCT 1862-66 (Warrior) Paperback – December 26, 2006
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“This excellent new military history is a recommended pick for any specialty collection strong in in-depth coverage.” ―Library Bookwatch (July 2007)
“This brief study examines the USCT experience, from recruiting and training to camp life and the troops' performance in battle. The presentation is largely in the form of the troops' own words, in the form of extracts from their memoirs and oral histories, many of which are from the 'Slave Narratives' collected by the Federal Writers' Project in the 1930s...For those interested in pursuing the topic, there is a helpful list of further reading and a summary of museum and web site resources.” ―Doug C. Bister, Military Trader Magazine
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Top Customer Reviews
I found this book to be well-written and well-researched, describing the troops of the USCT at every level of their careers, from recruitment until the end of the war. Many of the colored troops were `contraband', slaves who had been captured or run away during campaigns against the South, though some were free Northern blacks who had enlisted - or even been forcibly conscripted - for service.
By 1865 ten percent of the Union's soldiers were of African descent, and these regiments found themselves in possession of some of the smartest uniforms and highest quality weapons in the Army. Their reputations were equally excellent - they were just as capable of acts of bravery and self-sacrifice as their white comrades, but were also more dutiful, compliant, and well-behaved in camp. Time that many troops of European descent spent making drunken nuisances of themselves Colored troops spent learning to read and listening to preachers.
Overall, this is a good resource on the African American soldiers of the US Army during the Civil War and its immediate aftermath - for those who can stand to look past the cover without being offended.
The book might well serve young readers. It has a section of color illustrations that might appeal particularly to young people who are just beginning to learn about the Civil War. The book may also appeal to youthful students who are looking for facts for a school report.
Other options that give more detail and more insights into the emotions involved among African Americans and the nation as a whole include Dudley Taylor Cornish's classic "The Sable Arm," and Ira Berlin's books on the subject.