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