Brothers to the Buffalo Soldiers
Perspectives on the African American Militia and Volunteers, 1865-1917
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: University of Missouri Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
Introduction: Black Citizen-Soldiers, 1865–1917
During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, black Americans sought to serve their country despite opposition from whites in both the military and the civilian population. They served as soldiers and sailors during wartime, and in times of peace, in a few segregated militia units. The Civil War precipitated a change in their status. After the war, even though peace prevailed, blacks served in the regular army as well as ...
I. Black Participation in the Militia
The African American Militia during Radical Reconstruction
One of the strangest experiments in American military history occurred in the South during the Reconstruction period. In order to implement their plan for a Republican South, the Radicals realized the necessity of furnishing their newly created state governments with sufficient force to perpetuate their existence amidst the undisguised hostility of a potentially destructive local opposition. In an attempt to provide such ...
“They Are as Proud of Their Uniform as Any Who Serve Virginia”: African American Participation in the Virginia Volunteers, 1872–1899
Although African Americans fought in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, their participation in the nineteenth- century militia was prevented by the Militia Act of 1792, which limited membership to “each and every free able-bodied white male citizen” between the ages of eighteen and forty-five. Most states interpreted this statute as legally preventing them from enrolling black militiamen. Before the Civil War, a ...
The Black Militia of the New South: Texas as a Case Study
The existence and significance of black militia units in the New South have proved elusive for historians, although black citizen soldiers attained considerable importance during Reconstruction. African Americans had been recruited in nine of the eleven former Confederate states to protect Republicans from white Democratic violence. White Democrats, who opposed the black militia as a challenge to white domination, ultimately ...
A Place in the Parade: Citizenship, Manhood, and African American Men in the Illinois National Guard, 1870-1917
Between the end of the Civil War and the onset of United States involvement in World War I, African American men overcame great difficulties to maintain their military presence in the Illinois National Guard (ING). African American men in Illinois, acting on the strength of and faith in the ability of military service to confirm and preserve their claims to equality, citizenship, and manhood, created military companies whenever ...
The Last March: The Demise of the Black Militia in Alabama
Late on Sunday Afternoon, August 20, 1905, the Capital City Guards marched jubilantly homeward toward their armory on Dexter Avenue, Montgomery’s principal thoroughfare. The nearly one hundred black members of the Alabama National Guard were returning from a successful five-day encampment that had been held on the outskirts of the city. As the uniformed Guardsmen swung up the street leading to the capitol, ...
II. Black Volunteer Units in the War with Spain
The Black Volunteers in the Spanish-American War
The Spanish-American War occurred during a period of increasing discrimination, segregation, and despair for black Americans. Blacks saw the war as an opportunity to fight for their country and as a chance to regain some of their recently lost rights. However, their efforts to join the volunteer units were impeded by the changing plans of the federal government and the virulent racial prejudice of the late 1890s. In the end, ...
North Carolina’s African American Regiment in the Spanish-American War
From the beginning of the insurrection in Cuba in 1895, African Americans were sympathetic with the Cubans’ struggle against Spanish rule. The black press not only praised the exploits of the “black he-roes” of the rebel cause but also emphasized the “racial affinity” between black Americans and the “colored population” of Cuba. Yet, as an armed conflict between the United States and Spain appeared more likely following ...
No Officers, No Fight! The Sixth Virginia Volunteers in the Spanish-American War
When war with Spain threatened in the spring of 1898, the men of the First Battalion, Richmond’s black militia, were among the first Virginians to volunteer. They were stirred by the same patriotic feelings as other Americans, but war had special meaning for black soldiers at the end of the century, when violence and oppression marked race relations and white prejudice seemed intractable. Throughout the South, ...
Black Kansans and the Spanish-American War
The role of black Americans in the imperialistic ventures of the United States at the end of the nineteenth century dramatized the irony and incongruities bred by their anomalous position in American society. During the Spanish-American War African Americans were called upon to render military service outside the United States, and as soldiers in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines, they became representatives abroad ...
“A Lot of Fine, Sturdy Black Warriors”: Texas’s African American “Immunes” in the Spanish-American War
After the United States declared war on Spain in April 1898, America’s martial spirits soared. Across the country, patriotic men prepared to enlist for military service in the conflict that would liber-ate Cubans, Filipinos, and Puerto Ricans from Spanish rule and avenge the sinking of the battleship USS Maine. Congress more than doubled the size of the small 28,000-man regular army and authorized a much larger volunteer ...
A Flag for the Tenth Immunes
In July 1898 a regiment of African American volunteers for Spanish-American War service was organized at Camp Dyer near Augusta, Georgia. The unit was officially known as the Tenth U.S. Volunteer Infantry (USVI), but the men were popularly known as “Immunes” and the regiment was called the Tenth Immunes. The name came from the mistaken belief that the men were of such constitution, heritage or previous exposure that they ...
About the Contributors
Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2011
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