Buffalo Soldiers in the West: A Black Soldiers Anthology edited by Bruce A. Glasrud and Michael N. Searles. In the decades following the Civil War, scores of African Americans served in the U.S. Army in the West. The Plains Indians dubbed them buffalo soldiers, and their record in the infantry and cavalry, a record full of dignity and pride, provides one of the most fascinating chapters in the history of the era.
This anthology focuses on the careers and accomplishments of black soldiers, the lives they developed for themselves, their relationships to their officers (most of whom were white), their specialized roles (such as that of the Black Seminoles), and the discrimination they faced from the very whites they were trying to protect. In short, this volume offers important insights into the social, cultural, and communal lives of the buffalo soldiers.
The selections are written by prominent scholars who have delved into the history of black soldiers in the West. Previously published in scattered journals, the articles are gathered here for the first time in a single volume, providing a rich and accessible resource for students, scholars, and interested general readers. Additionally, the readings in this volume serve in some ways as commentaries on each other, offering in this collected format a cumulative mosaic that was only fragmentary before.
Volume editors Glasrud and Searles provide introductions to the volume and to each of its four parts, surveying recent scholarship and offering an interpretive framework. The bibliography that closes the book will also commend itself as a valuable tool for further research.
Texas A&M Press, 2009. 6" x 9" paperback, 328 pages.
"Buffalo Soldiers in the West stands alongside these influential books by making some of the best scholarly articles on the subject more accessible to modern readers. . . editor have done well. . . An excellent bibliography of secondary materials on the black military experience in the American West rounds out this most fitting tribute to the soldiers themselves, as well as to the historians who have sought to better understand their roles in shaping our nation."-Southwestern Historical Quarterly