Book Review: The Black Infantry in the West, 1869-1891

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by Areln L. Fowler

Norman, Ok.: University of Oklahoma Press, 1996. Pp. xvii, 167. Illus., notes, biblio., index. $12.95. ISBN:0806128836

Although there still are some important and interesting areas that have yet to be explored, books the black military experience in America are no longer rare. But some works on the subject are better than others, and some of the worst can perpetuate as many myths as the purport to refute. Originally published in 1977, The Black Infantry in the West, here reissued with a new foreword by William H. Leckie, deals with what is still a very neglected topic, the black footsoldier on the frontier.” Like most of his equally ill-studied white counterparts, the African-American infantryman in the west had something of a dull time, years – often decades – of routine garrison duty, with never a hostile shot being heard. In fact, to a great extent Fowler’s book tells not just the story of the black footsoldier in the West, but also that of most of the white ones too.
Reviewer: A. A. Nofi   


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