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Like men of war : Black troops in the Civil War, 1862-1865
Trudeau, Noah Andre
Adult Nonfiction E540.N3T78 1998

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From Publishers' Weekly:

In The Sable Arm (1956), Dudley Cornish presented a pathbreaking social and political survey of the creation of black Civil War regiments, and in Forged in Battle (1990), Joseph Glatthaar focused on the complex relationship between these troops and their white officers. The story of black troops in combat during the Civil War is told comprehensively for the first time, however, in this remarkable history by Trudeau (Bloody Roads South, etc.), who takes readers into battle with the U.S. Colored Troops. Over a hundred regiments of these troops took part in at least 449 engagements. Ever since, their performance has been shrouded in myths, both negative and positive. Trudeau and his research assistants combed archives and libraries to find the stories of the men, educated or illiterate, born free or whip-scarred, who confronted the racism of their white fellow soldiers in order to face an enemy that regularly denied quarter to black men with rifles. Trudeau eschews the triumphalism often marring current treatments of blacks in the Civil War. Not every African American soldier was a principled volunteer, he explains. Some were cajoled and cozened into uniform from "contraband camps" of fugitive slaves. Some donned blue at gunpoint. The USCT saw a disproportionate amount of service as labor and garrison troops, and when committed in the front lines their successes seldom matched their valor. But in an era when standards of manhood were as high as in any other, few whites who saw black troops in action ever again questioned their courage. The legacy was long obscured, but it never disappeared, and its compelling recovery makes this book a major addition to Civil War literature. Eight pages of photos and 60 maps. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

At last, the service of black soldiers in the Union Army during the Civil War is receiving the recognition it deserves. Building on Dudley T. Cornish's pioneering work in The Sable Arm (1956; Univ. Pr. of Kansas, 1987. reprint) and the detailed discussion of officer-soldier relations in Joseph T. Glatthaar's Forged in Battle (LJ 10/1/89), Trudeau, the author of a trilogy covering military operations during the last year of the war (e.g., Out of the Storm, LJ 3/1/94), presents the fullest study of the battlefield experiences of black Union regiments. Some 60 maps help the reader make sense of famous engagements (Fort Wagner and the Crater) and notorious incidents (Fort Pillow) in which black soldiers fought, as well as scores of lesser-known clashes. Rich archival research is integrated into a lively narrative that places the raising and deployment of black regiments in broader contexts. This book will become a basic source of information on the subject. Recommended for public and academic collections.‘Brooks D. Simpson, Arizona State Univ., Tempe (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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