• Thunder at the Gates: The Black Civil War Regiments That Redeemed America
by Douglas Egerton (Basic Books, 2016).
"In Thunder at the Gates, Douglas Egerton chronicles the formation and battlefield triumphs of the 54th and 55th Massachusetts Infantry and the 5th Massachusetts Cavalry—regiments led by whites but composed of black men born free or into slavery. He argues that the most important battles of all were won on the field of public opinion, for in fighting with distinction the regiments realized the long-derided idea of full and equal citizenship for blacks."
The book follows these units to the fighting front, to campaigns around Charleston in South Carolina and the Battle of Olustee in Florida, while also examining their post-war experiences during Reconstruction and beyond.