Buffalo Soldiers and Officers of the Ninth Cavalry, 1867-1898

Buffalo Soldiers and Officers of the Ninth Cavalry, 1867-1898

Black & White Together

Book - 1999
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The inclusion of the Ninth Cavalry and three other African American regiments in the post-Civil War army was one of the nation's most problematic social experiments. The first fifteen years following its organization in 1866 were stained by mutinies, slanderous verbal assaults, and sadistic abuses by their officers. Eventually, however, a number of considerate and dedicated officers, including Major Guy Henry, Captain Charles Parker, and Lieutenant Matthais Day, in cooperation with capable noncommissioned officers such as George Mason, Madison Ingoman, and Moses Williams, created an elite and well-disciplined fighting unit that won the respect of all but the most racist whites.

Charles L. Kenner's detailed biographies of officers and enlisted men describe the passions, aspirations, and conflicts that both bound blacks and whites together and pulled them apart. Special attention is given to the ordeals of the three black officers assigned to the Ninth Cavalry, Lieutenants John Alexander and Charles Young and Chaplain Henry Plummer, whose presence directly challenged the doctrine of white supremacy.

The subjects of the biographies, whites and blacks alike, represent every facet of human nature. Heroes, intellectuals, sadists, and poltroons were present in the ranks of both. The best, however, learned that progress could be achieved only by trust and cooperation. Although a resurgency of racism in the 1890s undid much of their progress, they accomplished more than most thought possible and demonstrated that African Americans could be all that soldiers should be.

Publisher: Norman : University of Oklahoma Press, c1999
ISBN: 9780806131580
Branch Call Number: 355.00899 KENNER
Characteristics: x, 384 p. : ill., maps ; 24 cm


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