THE BLACK INFANTRY IN THE WEST, 1869-1891, by Arlen Fowler.
This is story of how black soldiers were recruited and served in the U.S. Army after the Civil War in Texas, the Indian Territory, the Dakotas, Montana, and Arizona in the Armys Twenty Fourth and Twenty Fifth Infantry Regiments.
After nearly 200,000 African-American soldiers fought in the Civil War, Congress enacted legislation to authorize regiments of cavalry and infantry for service in the West. The Ninth and Tenth cavalries won fame as "buffalo soldiers" in the Indian wars, nearly overshadowing the critical support role of the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth infantries. Now Arlen L. Fowler brings to light the story of African-American infantry service from 1869 to 1891 in Texas, Indian Territory, the Dakotas, Montana, and Arizona.
At first the infantry's primary role was to escort trains and stagecoaches, build roads and telegraph lines, and guard supply lines, with only an occasional battle against raiding Indians and outlaws. This eventually changed as the units crossed into Mexico to battle with raiding Kickapoos. Other campaigns included forcing the Apache leader Victorio across the border, never to raid in Texas again.
Two NCO's of the black infantry received the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery in combat. Prejudice and discrimination remained active at the Army posts. Nevertheless the black infantry regiments emerged as tough, disciplined units with the lowest desertion rates in the Army and high levels of regimental pride and morale. These infantry regiments were eventually absorbed into the all black Tenth Cavalry, widely known as the Buffalo Soldiers. Softcover. 167 pages. Some b/w photos. Excellent bibliography.
Click cover to enlarge