A History of the Negro Troops in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865 (originally published in 1888) by pioneer African American historian George Washington Williams remains a classic text in African American literature and Civil War history. In this powerful narrative, Williams, who served in the U.S. Colored Troops, tells the battle experiences of the almost 200,000 black men who fought for the Union cause. Determined to document the contributions of his fellow black soldiers and to underscore the valor and manhood of his race, Williams gathered his material from the official records of U.S. and foreign governments and from the orderly books and personal recollections of officers commanding Negro troops during the American Civil War.
The new edition of this important text includes an introductory essay by the award-winning historian John David Smith. In his essay, Smith narrates and evaluates the book's contents, analyzes its reception by contemporary critics, and evaluates Williams's work within the context of its day and its place in current historiography.
George Washington Williams (1849-1891) was a Pennsylvania-born soldier, legislator, and historian whose History of the Negro Race in America, 1619-1880 (1882) became the first work of serious scholarship by an African American. Dr. John David Smith is the Charles H. Stone Distinguished Professor of American History at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. His many books and editions include Black Soldiers in Blue: African American Troops in the Civil War Era (2002).
Introduction Preface 1: Introductory: Negro Soldiers in Ancient Times 2: Negro Soldiers in Modern Times 3: Antecedent Facts--Foreshadowing Events 4: Military Rendition of Slaves 5: The Negro Volunteer--Military Employment of Negros 6: Military Status of Negro Troops 7: Negro Idiosyncracies 8: The Outlook 9: Negro Troops in Battle--Department of the Southr (1862--1865) 10: In the Mississippi Valley (1863) 11: The Army of the Potomac (1865) 12: The Fort Pillow Massacre (1864) 13: In the Army of the Cumberland (1864) 14: The Army of the James (1865) 15: As Prisoners of War 16: The Cloud of Witnesses Index