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.

In this book, the military antiquarian Frank N. Schubert challenged the famous current impression of the troopers. His contention showed plenty of new aspects. For forty years, the writer has been expounding the African American regiments that served in the United States of America. He discovered their captivating history and studied it critically on the grounds that they were pioneers in post-servitude America. The primary, not very bright officers were permitted to minister in the standard armed forces. The main aim was to serve their country and perform accordingly. Inside, it was a pervasive supremacist association that ranged their statement accordingly, embarrassing and occasionally threatening black soldiers. While previous history studies explored their duties and lives, myths and disarrays rose and provided affirmation to such an extent that it focused on the beginning and basics of their moniker “Buffalo Soldiers”, which – showed sensitivity they felt towards their Indian foes. Moreover, myths and inaccurate judgments strengthened a comprehensively held conviction that their battle record far surpassed that of Caucasian units, although it did not in reality and the viewpoint that their facilities, mounts, and outfits, were more dreadful than those aimed at the enemies. The segments of the buffalo trooper myth coincided with the spread of notoriety of unskilled regiments. William and Shirley Leckies’ book is, fundamentally, a description of the historical campaign of the Tenth and Ninth Cavalry, which progressed from the organization of these units to the standard thought and advanced the declaration of “wild bull troopers.” Leckies recommended that the Indians gave the name to the unintelligent contenders of the Tenth Cavalry on the grounds that they saw some comparability between the bison and the man.

They described occasions as they occurred, without favoritism. The authors meticulously studied both sides in order to allow the reader to make his/her own decisions. There is a part dedicated to the portrayal of happenings connected with bias and malignancy. They just brought up examples where special treatment was apparent. They additionally represented exercises that were frequently confused, for instance, extreme dissemination of contraptions. The description helped to recognize errors that fairness was methodical at all levels of the administration. This book is the investigation of the essential information from diverse chronicles. Utilization of essential records contributes to the excellent quality of this work. These essential records are not controlled and are represent great wellsprings of data.

Certain military activities of the Soldiers of Buffalo were printed, yet regular soldiering was normally dreary, comprising unremarkable undertakings coupled with steady carefulness. Once in a while, the Ninth and Tenth regiments got credit for triumphs. Their living conditions were less attractive than their white companion’s in-arms. They got less Medal of Honour than every other regiment of the white troops. Presumably, the Buffalo Soldiers were not, in general, as welcomed by the common people like the white fighters. Leckies described these issues in every chapter of their book. In the introduction to the second edition, Leckies noted that they were blamed for not covering the Twenty-Fifth and Twenty-Fourth Infantry Divisions. They indicated that these units got their due in Arlen Fowler’s The Black Infantry in the West in 1869-1891 (1971). As a result, Leckies were accused of giving too much attention to dark Medal of Honour victors, or not sufficiently distributing photos of Buffalo Soldiers. From both points of view, the second edition is more finished than the initial one, as about forty years separate the two versions. There was time to cull extra composition and photographic materials from archival and private accumulations as they got to b