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.
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Washington, Versalle F. Eagles on Their Buttons: A Black Infantry Regiment in the Civil War. Columbia, Missouri: University of Missouri Press, 1999.
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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.
Union Soldier from HBARSCI.
One thought on “How to Be a Black Man in the Civil War Union Army: An Interview with Verb Washington”
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 🙏
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