African Americans and the Gettysburg Campaign
The Sesquicentennial edition of African Americans and the Gettysburg Campaign, expands the range of research beyond its original 2006 edition. With a foreword from chief historian emeritus of the National Park Service, Edwin C. Bearss, Paradis sets the stage by introducing readers to the important and colorful members of the black community in and around the town of Gettysburg, including descriptions of Underground Railroad activity in the area.
With the outbreak of the Civil War, black volunteers for the Union army were initially rejected. But that did not stop them from assuming non-combatant roles, such as their role as teamsters. Paradis also includes overviews of the African American contribution to the Confederate army and finally the authorization of black troops in the North, with their early action in combat before and during the Gettysburg Campaign. Paradis searingly describes, among other matters, the Invasion of Pennsylvania by the Confederate Army in July, 1863, which would turn into a massive slave hunt with the abduction of free Pennsylvania blacks, precipitating a boom in black resident volunteers in defense of the state. From there, Paradis dives into the fighting in Gettysburg and other Pennsylvania towns, with a focus on black contributions and casualties. Paradis’ work then turns its attention to the aftermath of the battle, including the labor of African Americans in the disinterring of bodies for the National Cemetery.
This new edition of African Americans and the Gettysburg Campaign includes appendices on such matters as black residents and points of interest in the town of Gettysburg, an updated tour of Gettysburg highlighting the roles of African Americans, and finally a list of black veterans who attended the 75th Anniversary reunion in Gettysburg. This work includes over 40 images and several maps.
This title is ideal for students, teachers, and scholars of the American Civil War and African American history. Visitors to national parks and anyone who loves American history will find this work a rewarding study of this critical moment in American history and the African American contribution to it.