In the decades following the Civil War, scores of African Americans served in the U.S. Army in the West. The Plains Indians dubbed them buffalo soldiers, and their record in the infantry and cavalry, a record full of dignity and pride, provides one of the most fascinating chapters in the history of the era.
This anthology focuses on the careers and accomplishments of black soldiers, the lives they developed for themselves, their relationships to their officers (most of whom were white), their specialized roles (such as that of the Black Seminoles), and the discrimination they faced from the very whites they were trying to protect. In short, this volume offers important insights into the social, cultural, and communal lives of the buffalo soldiers.
The selections are written by prominent scholars who have delved into the history of black soldiers in the West. Previously published in scattered journals, the articles are gathered here for the first time in a single volume, providing a rich and accessible resource for students, scholars, and interested general readers. Additionally, the readings in this volume serve in some ways as commentaries on each other, offering in this collected format a cumulative mosaic that was only fragmentary before.
Volume editors Glasrud and Searles provide introductions to the volume and to each of its four parts, surveying recent scholarship and offering an interpretive framework. The bibliography that closes the book will also commend itself as a valuable tool for further research.
BRUCE A. GLASRUD, a former dean of arts and sciences and professor of history at Sul Ross State University, now lives in retirement in Seguin, Texas. He is also an emeritus professor of California State University, Hayward, where he did extensive study on the history of African Americans in the West.MICHAEL N. SEARLES teaches history at Augusta (Georgia) State University. Among other article-length publications, he contributed a chapter to Black Texas Cowboys. He has conducted many demonstrations and historic reenactments on the black cowboy, and as “Cowboy Mike” has brought Western history to life for students in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges.
What Readers Are Saying:
"Buffalo Soldiers in the West stands alongside these influential books by making some of the best scholarly articles on the subject more accessible to modern readers. . . editor have done well. . . An excellent bibliography of secondary materials on the black military experience in the American West rounds out this most fitting tribute to the soldiers themselves, as well as to the historians who have sought to better understand their roles in shaping our nation."-Southwestern Historical Quarterly
“An essential reference on the American buffalo soliders. Highly recommended for all university libraries.” --Review of Texas Books
". . . achieves its goal of presenting authoritative, readable, and representative essays that can be appreciated by professional historians and general readers alike. . . even the most demanding of scholars will be pleased with Glasrud's lengthy historiographical essay, which explains how interpretations and emphases have changed over time. . . this anthology will spur additional investigation as well as stimulate long-overdue awareness among the public."-Journal of Arizona History
"This book gives the reader insights into the black soldiers' existences-social, cultural, and communal. . . I can recommend this book as a good addition to any home or professional library."-Permian Historical Annual
“…a splendid book reinforced by an in-depth bibliography, composed of articles gathered here and smoothly presented for the first time in a single volume.” --The Manhattan Merchant
“…this volume offers important insights into the social, cultural, and communal lives of the buffalo soldiers.” --McCormick Messenger
“…this book brings the best of that scholarship together in a readable, comprehensive anthology.” --Choice
“…reading this anthology would give readers a strong sense of the incredible richness of the black military experience in the west following the Civil War.” --Robert Wooster, Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi
“The editors successfully capture the essence of what it meant to be a buffalo soldier and explain in riveting detail the hardships they endured as well as their accomplishments…the articles included in Buffalo Soldiers serve as a rich and assessable resource for students, scholars, and the general reader. . . Glasrud and Searles’ Buffalo Soldiers is ideal for the classroom, especially in courses dealing with the history of the American West, African Americans, and the U.S. military . . . a diverse group of articles that provide meaningful insights into the social, cultural, and communal lives of black troops serving in the U.S. Army.” --Kenneth W.Howell, East Texas Historical Association