How to Be a Black Man in the Civil War Union Army: An Interview with Verb Washington – American History

What was it like for Black men who fought in the American Civil War? Why did they fight for a racist country, and what did this act mean for their sense of manhood? Here today to help us understand the perspective of these Black soldiers is military scholar Versalle F. Washington, who prefers to go by “Verb.” His book Eagles On Their Buttons, tells the story of the 5th Ohio Regiment of Black soldiers in the Civil War, and dwells repeatedly on themes of masculinity and what service meant to these men.

Don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. Support the show on Patreon at www.patreon.com/btnewberg and get a hand-drawn portrait. Research, writing, editing, and production by B. T. Newberg. Logo Design by Rachel Westhoff. Animation by Maxeem Konrardy. Additional credits, references, and more at www.historyofsexpod.com.

Verb Washington

Verb Washington

5th Ohio Regiment, USCT (United States Colored Troops)

5th Ohio Regiment, USCT (United States Colored Troops), from John L. Nau III Center for Civil War History

Verb Washington as Civil War Soldier 5th Regiment USCT

Verb Washington as Civil War Soldier 5th Regiment USCT, portrait by B. T. Newberg

References

Washington, Versalle F. Eagles on Their Buttons: A Black Infantry Regiment in the Civil War. Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri Press, 1999.

Audio Credits

The History of Sex podcast theme music mixed from “Gregorian Chant”, “Mystery Sax”, and “There It Is” by Kevin MacLeod.

Additional music and audio from: “Free Sound FX’s Background Civil War” from Estigia Pro, “African American Spirituals of the Civil War: Concert” from Library of Congress, and “Oyster River Medley” performed by California Consolidated Drum Band from MichaelJCaboose98.

Image Credits

Union Soldier from HBARSCI.

One thought on “How to Be a Black Man in the Civil War Union Army: An Interview with Verb Washington – American History

  1. I must say When I knew Captain Washington the way I remember him during my time serving with him in Germany with the 38th Engineer Company in Luddendorf Kassern and during the Persian Gulf War he was the best commanding officer i served with and i served with many of them after all these years i would say thank you Sir it was a great Honor and God bless 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

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