Category: Review

The Buffalo Soldiers: A Narrative of Black Soldiers in the West is a unique book. The majority of the content can be found in the first version distributed in 1967 under the title The Buffalo Soldiers: A Narrative of the Negro Cavalry in the West. Leckies` first version was a groundbreaker due to certain facts. It opened another part of the military history of the Western wilderness. Also, it accentuated the role of the dark officers informing the current West. The principal version sold 75,000 copies. This implies that the book may have been found turgid; although it contained a lot of references and had a catalog. There is a number of references on the last pages. An issue of the book, printed with the reference index can be acquired with difficulties. The maps are given in the content with a list at the end of the book. The genuine value of both versions is a simple and fascinating stream of Leckies` exposition.

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Historical Contest

The history of the United States has been divided by residence of two races (black and white), the whole nineteens and the first half of the twentieth century occupied its large part. The legal separation of the two races was constantly changed. However, the segregation continued in parts of the army where, at the time of large-scale military campaigns, African Americans had to serve. Until the 1860s, the reason for segregation was the non-free (slave) state, in which there were four million people. Almost all the states had developed regulations to limit or completely prohibit the entry of African Americans into their territory. The North universally banned interracial marriages. People were provided with separate learning facilities, churches, etc. As a result, the free North maintained a system known as racial segregation.

In their book, Leckies (2012) stated that the service in the army did not fully provide African Americans with civil rights. The regular army in peacetime was small, until 1861, when the state’s population was over 31 million. The army numbered only 15,304 soldiers and 1098 officers. After the start of the rebellion in the South, those who lived in Washington, DC, for example, Jacob Dodson, a free African American man, turned to the Minister of War Simon Cameron, offering to do the military service along with other 300 reliable colored free citizens. However, He received the answer that at the present time Ministry did not intend to call in colored soldiers to take public service.

An important aspect was that the segregation in the army of the North, according to Leckies, was fairly consistent. The African Americans were discriminated by the federal armed forces. African Americans were subjected to discrimination in the assignment of officers and non-commissioned officer ranks. Only about 80 blacks, out of more than 200,000 who served in the federal armed forces, received officer positions before the end of the Civil War.

It should be added that during the Civil War African Americans, slave and free, fought in the Confederate ranks. In 1862, it was recorded that there was organized a large, -up to several thousand, group of armed blacks in the parts of the Confederation. According to the contemporary historian John Stauffer, the number of blacks who served in the army of the South, was from 3 to 10 thousand, in addition to nearly 20 or 30 thousand of auxiliary workers. It was less than 1% of blacks in the South. It is known that 125 thousand, or approximately 60% of black Union soldiers were fugitives from the Southern States.

Racial Segregation Vs Equal Recruitment

Leckies recognized that cases of racial confinement were shown in a few operations. Nonetheless, it could not contradict suspicions that segregation was orderly and deliberate. The documentation demonstrated that both white and dark officers got gear very comparable in quality. This contention is upheld by clear portrayals of occasions that are regularly cited by different authors outside of any relevant connection to this issue. They showed that quality gear was supplied to all military gatherings in equal measure. To stay impartial, the authors represented cases where separation occurred. Black officers experienced bias due to dislike and individual impressions of some of their seniors. The book singles out commanders, for example, Captain Ambrose Hooker who differentiated between dark officers and leaders. Likewise, there were different objections to officers at all levels.

The procedure that marked equal interest in distinctive racial gatherings in the military started with the presentation of the charge that proposed to transform the army into a limitless battle bunch. The representative Henry Wilson gallantly proposed administrative changes, which demanded to broaden exercises of the armed forces on a day-to-day basis. In spite of the vulnerability among lieutenants, for example, Ulysses Grant, the enlistment of black officers commenced in July 1866 after the bill became law (Field & Bielakowski, 2008). Variables that added to equal selection incorporated the high rate of paperwork performed by whites and the way African American behaved in the past war exercise.


The book also described dreams connected with the proficiency of black people. It contradicted the misrepresentation that high enrollment of African American officers was due to education. African American individuals experienced a long period of separation that denied them an inclination to instruction. A low level of education among the blacks showed that proficiency was extremely rare among them during that period. The enlistment methodology was for the most part concerned with physical qualities instead of mental characteristics. The behavioral dissimilarity of enlisted people demonstrated high contrast and it did not mean that one gathering had superior training than the other.