Book Review: Brothers to the Buffalo Soldiers: Perspectives on the African-American Militia and Volunteers, 1865-1917


by Bruce A. Glasrud, editor

Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2011. Pp. viii, 246. Notes, biblio., index. $39.95. ISBN: 0826219047

In Brothers to the Buffalo Soldiers Prof. Glasrud (emeritus, Sul Ross State), author of a number of works on in African-American history and culture, particularly in Texas and the West, has brought together a dozen essays by various scholars on black service in the militia and volunteers between the Civil War and the Great War. 

About half the essays look at African American participation in the militia, primarily, though perhaps counter-intuitively, in the South, from the end of the Civil War until the American entry into World War I.  The other half of the book is devoted to the service of black volunteers in the Spanish-American and Philippine Wars.  As these are largely overlooked subjects, the essays are often ground breaking.  Of particular interest are several which examine, in part, why ‘Jim Crow’ would permit the existence of African Americans in the militia.  All the essays also help throw light on how the African American  community strove to secure recognition of their Americanism through service in the militia and the volunteers. 

A good read for anyone interested in the black military experience in America, the militia, or the army in the period, as well as those more broadly interested in American military institutions.


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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