Book Review: Black Valor: Buffalo Soldiers and the Medal of Honor, 1870-1898


by Frank N. Schubert

Lanham, MD.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2009. Pp. xi, 231. Maps, notes, biblio., index. $19.95 paper. ISBN: 1442201932

In Black Valor Schubert, author of Buffalo Soldiers, Braves And The Brass, gives us an account of the black military experience from the end of the Civil War to the onset of the twentieth century.

Schubert uses the interesting approach of exploring the story of African American service in the Frontier Army through the lives and service of the 23 African-Americans and Black Seminole Indian Scouts who were awarded the Medal Honor during the Indian Wars or the Spanish-American War.   He examines how the prevailing racism of the era influenced the service of black soldiers and the often strong bonds they forged with their white officers and, at times, even with white comrades.  Nor does Schubert neglect the non-military aspects of the lives of these 23, some of whom prospered in civilian life, and a few even attained commissioned status during or after the war with Spain.  He also notes that, whether black or white, the troops shared many common experiences, from the dull routine of garrison life to arduous long distance patrolling, and the occasional often terrifying Indian fight.

A good read for anyone interested in the frontier army.

Reviewer: A.A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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