Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Booknotes: The Fifth Massachusetts Colored Cavalry in the Civil War

New Arrival:
The Fifth Massachusetts Colored Cavalry in the Civil War
by Steven M. LaBarre (McFarland, 2016).

Even after accounting for the inherent source limitations, it remains a bit surprising that the Sesquicentennial produced so few regimental histories of black regiments. The 5th Massachusetts Colored Cavalry was organized at Camp Meigs between the fall of 1863 and spring 1864 and would be led by Colonel Henry Sturgis Russell (previously an infantry officer with the 2nd Massachusetts). At a glance, this book's bibliography appears fairly substantial. "Drawing on letters, diaries, memoirs and official reports, [LeBarre's The Fifth Massachusetts Colored Cavalry in the Civil War] provides the first full-length regimental history of the Fifth Massachusetts Cavalry--its organization, participation in the Petersburg campaign and the guarding of prisoners at Point Lookout, Maryland, and its triumphant ride into Richmond. Accounts of the postwar lives of many of the men are included."

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