Saturday, February 28, 2015

Buffallo Soldiers

The big reason I love History, and the reason I am a History teacher is because of Grandpa.  He was a college History professor for many years.  Growing up he would always discuss History with us, and it must have stuck.  I love HISTORY!!!  I am so proud to post that my grandfather is the author of this book above.  He was inspired by this subjuect matter because he served in one of the last all black infantries during the Korean War.  This was before they desegragated the US Military.  Of course he served as a white officier, but he saw first hand how they were treated by the US and civilians.  So when he was done with his duty, he went back for his Phd.  He had to write about something, and he had the perfect topic!  Here is a review of his book:

The Black Infantry in the West, 1869-1891, by Arlen L. Fowler, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, 1996, $12.95 paperback.
Arlen Fowler's interest in the "buffalo soldiers" grew out of his 1952 assignment as a white officer in the 25th Armored Infantry Battalion, the last remnant of the all black 25th Infantry Regiment. Fowler became a firsthand witness to the prejudices and outright discrimination that still existed; his research showed that such attitudes and practices could be traced back to the organization of the first six black regiments (two cavalry and four infantry) between the summers of 1866 and 1867.
Fowler meticulously documents the black infantry's service through military records, personal letters and newspaper accounts from the 1860s through 1890s. Black regiments served in the harshest environments, fought Indians throughout the West and drew the most monotonous duties. Even so, their alcoholism and desertion rates ranked among the lowest. (At times white truancy reached 20 to 50 percent higher than black truancy.) Commanders, reporters and other eyewitnesses noted the black units' valor in battle, but most officers continued to consider it a blot on their record to serve with blacks or took a lower rank in order to serve in a white outfit, George Armstrong Custer among them.
This book offers fascinating insights into the struggles and pride of the black regiments. As William H. Leckie, author of The Buffalo Soldiers, states in the new foreword to this 1996 edition (hardcover edition printed by Greenwood Publishing Group, 1971), "Fowler's book is still essential reading for a comprehensive understanding of the role of the black infantry on the expanding western frontier."
Sierra Adare

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