TIPHC Bookshelf

Published scholarship on black history in Texas is growing and we’d like to share with you some suggested readings, both current and past, from some of the preeminent history scholars in Texas and beyond. Each week, we will offer a featured selection. Check back regularly as our list grows. We welcome suggestions and reviews.

Oct. 13-19, 2019

Buffalo Soldiers in the West, A Black Soldiers Anthology

Edited by Bruce A. Glasrud and Michael N. Searles

Buffalo Soldiers in the West

In the decades following the Civil War, scores of African Americans served in the U.S. Army in the West. The Plains Indians dubbed them buffalo soldiers, and their record in the infantry and cavalry, a record full of dignity and pride, provides one of the most fascinating chapters in the history of the era.

This anthology focuses on the careers and accomplishments of black soldiers, the lives they developed for themselves, their relationships to their officers (most of whom were white), their specialized roles (such as that of the Black Seminoles), and the discrimination they faced from the very whites they were trying to protect. In short, this volume offers important insights into the social, cultural, and communal lives of the buffalo soldiers.

The selections are written by prominent scholars who have delved into the history of black soldiers in the West. Previously published in scattered journals, the articles are gathered here for the first time in a single volume, providing a rich and accessible resource for students, scholars, and interested general readers. Additionally, the readings in this volume serve in some ways as commentaries on each other, offering in this collected format a cumulative mosaic that was only fragmentary before.

Volume editors Glasrud and Searles provide introductions to the volume and to each of its four parts, surveying recent scholarship and offering an interpretive framework. The bibliography that closes the book will also commend itself as a valuable tool for further research.

About the editors

Bruce A. Glasrud, a former dean of arts and sciences and professor of history at Sul Ross State University, now lives in retirement in Seguin, Texas. He is also an emeritus professor of California State University, Hayward, where he did extensive study on the history of African Americans in the West.

Michael N. Searles teaches history at Augusta (Georgia) State University. Among other article-length publications, he contributed a chapter to Black Texas Cowboys. He has conducted many demonstrations and historic reenactments on the black cowboy, and as “Cowboy Mike” has brought Western history to life for students in elementary schools, middle schools, high schools, and colleges.

TIPHC List of Suggested Reading