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Edward A. Wild and the African Brigade in the Civil War

Edward A. Wild and the African Brigade in the Civil War by Frances H. Casstevens
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Edward Wild, the controversial Union general who headed the all-black African Brigade in the Civil War, was one of the most loved and most hated figures of the 19th century. The man was neither understood nor appreciated by military or civilian, black or white, Northerner or Southerner. After enlisting at the outbreak of the war, Wild was promoted to Brigadier General and placed in charge of the United States Colored Troops. In fulfilling his assignment to free slaves and gain recruits, he took three women as hostages and ordered a great deal of property destruction. He freed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of slaves and settled them safely on Roanoke Island. Wild then not only recruited the newly freed blacks but trained them and gave them the opportunity to prove their worth in battle. Nobody, it seems, was happy about serving with them, but the African Brigade performed courageously in several battles. Wild did some inexplicable things. Were his actions typical of the 19th century or did he act outside the norm? Was the criticism he suffered from his fellow Union officers valid--or was it due to personality conflicts? Did he deserve to be arrested, court-martialed, and even wiped from the history books--or was he the victim of discrimination? This work draws its answers from extensive research and includes many rare letters to and from Wild, including one from one of the North Carolinian hostages.
McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers; August 2005
336 pages; ISBN 9781476607047
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Title: Edward A. Wild and the African Brigade in the Civil War
Author: Frances H. Casstevens