AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive
Tell it on the Mountain
As many of you know, I am working on several Black Military history projects-the largest of which is the book I am currently finishing on the history of the USCT. (From PRIMARY sources-not secondary book references, rumors and author's opinions.)It is composed virtually entirely of direct references and quotes-my only input is in putting things together and keeping them sorted. The project has become so involved, that it is going to spin off into at least two others-a second volume that starts with the end of the Civil War and addresses service in the Regular Army-from the initial six regiments, to the final four. The third is area specific, to Texas.
This is why, a few postings ago, I requested that anyone who had USCT or Regular Army (Indian Wars period) family history they would be willing to share for possible inclusion, to contact me. This is about the participants-not someone's view from the distance of a hundred and forty years-but the story of those who were there.
My reason for writing this is an appeal to all readers of this message board. There is a MOUNTAIN of information out there, on all aspects of Black Military history that needs to be made public. On a daily basis, I come across things that deserve lots more time than I can give them. Some of these are terrible-riots or alleged riots in reaction to mistreatment-executions, courtmartials and life imprisonment for soldiers with little evidence. Lynchings-a huge piece all of itself-even if you only research what happened to returning WWI soldiers. The virtual exclusion in the Navy of Black sailors after the Civil War. Others are wonderful-true heroes that should be as famous and familiar to all America as Dr. King. Pioneers, cowboys,military heroes, founders of towns and businesses-the "Black Wall Street" of Tulsa, it is truly a vast well to draw from.
My request is this-when, in your personal research, you come across such threads-look at researching them further-and make your findings known; whether through published material, talks, reenactment, however you can. If each one of us did that for only a small piece of the mountain-think of how many other people who would be inspired to do the same...and how much more knowledge would be available...
If all you do is research one ancestor, and flesh out that person's involvement with battle history, current affairs, vital records-and share it with a family reunion, or a school group-it will all snowball. Each of us is only one-but together we are an unstoppable force.