"ONE OF THE BEST ACCOUNTS TO BE FOUND ANYWHERE OF THE BRAVE BLACK REGIMENTS": FIRST EDITION OF THE BLACK PHALANX, 1888
(CIVIL WAR) WILSON, Joseph Thomas. The Black Phalanx; A History of the Negro Soldiers of the United States in the Wars of 1775-1812, 1861-'65. Hartford: American Publishing, 1888. Octavo, original gilt-stamped red and black pictorial cloth, decorative endpapers. $1350.
First edition, of one of the earliest and most compelling histories of African American soldiers, "must reading for students of the Civil War era" (John Hope Franklin), featuring 57 full-page engraved illustrations, in original gilt-stamped cloth.
Written by Joseph Wilson, a former Union soldier, The Black Phalanx is "one of the best accounts to be found anywhere of the brave black regiments. Must reading for students of the Civil War era" (John Hope Franklin). It traces the heroic record of African American soldiers from the Revolution to the Civil War. Wilson's Black Phalanx is "a significant work… full of official dispatches and lengthy essays" (Nevins I:216), drawing upon eyewitness narratives, overlooked military reports, correspondence, anecdotes and reportage such as this Civil War account from the New York Tribune: "The more I see of our colored regiments, and the more I converse with our soldiers, the more convinced I am that upon them we must ultimately rely as the principle source of our strength in these latitudes. It is perfect nonsense for any one to attempt to talk away the broad fact, evident as the sun at noonday, that these men are capable not only of making good soldiers, but the very best of soldiers." The 180,000 former slaves who fought for the Union "crippled a crucial Southern resource for waging war and added a powerful resource to the Northern strategic effort" (Foner & Garraty, 188). With frontispiece portrait of Wilson and 56 full-page illustrations. Dornbusch III:332. Blockson 2403. Nicholson, 936. See Work, 397.
Interior very fresh with lightest occasional edge-wear, bright gilt-stamped cloth. A handsome about-fine copy.