Firebrand of Liberty: The Story of Two Black Regiments That Changed the Course of the Civil War

By Stephen V. Ash

A approximately forgotten Civil battle episode is restored to heritage during this masterful account.

In March 1863, 9 hundred black Union infantrymen, led by way of white officials, invaded Florida and seized the city of Jacksonville. They have been one of the first African American troops within the Northern military, and their day trip into enemy territory was once like no different within the Civil struggle. It was once meant as an attack on slavery wherein millions will be freed. on the heart of the tale is widespread abolitionist Colonel Thomas Wentworth Higginson, who led one of many regiments. After waging conflict for 3 weeks, Higginson and his males have been mysteriously ordered to withdraw, their challenge a seeming failure. but their successes in resisting the Confederates and participating with white Union forces persuaded President Abraham Lincoln to commence full-scale recruitment of black troops, a momentous choice that helped grew to become the tide of the struggle. utilizing long-neglected basic resources, historian Stephen V. Ash’s stirring narrative re-creates this occasion with perception, brilliant characterizations, and a willing feel of drama.

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If this is the case, he will be comfortable to come back to Fernandina with one of many transports and notice if Hawley may retain his observe. 31 Higginson was once torn: The Fernandina troops will be a great addition to his strength—he may perhaps put up them on the town, therefore releasing that lots of his personal males for an upriver venture—but Hawley’s troops have been after all white. Higginson had regularly antagonistic having his regiment serve along whites, fearing racial friction, and he had specially adverse together with any white troops in this day trip, for he didn't want his black males to need to percentage the dignity. Now, besides the fact that, it used to be obvious that the excursion may get nowhere with no reinforcements and that the one ones available have been white. Reluctantly he approved Stickney to take a delivery to Fernandina and entice Hawley for aid. at the morning of the 13th Stickney headed downriver aboard the Boston. 32 Stickney can have been mendacity to Higginson. That Hawley might have made such a suggestion throughout the direct tax commissioner on my own instead of to Higginson or any of the expedition’s different officials, together with Montgomery, who had spent a lot time with Hawley whereas looking forward to the remainder of the convoy to arrive Fernandina, used to be not likely, but not anyone yet Stickney looked as if it would be aware of of it. no matter if the tax commissioner was once telling the reality, besides the fact that, his willingness to come back to Fernandina had much less to do with deciding to buy reinforcements than with paying for item for his shop in Jacksonville. the shop used to be already up and working; quickly after the touchdown Stickney had gotten Higginson’s permission to occupy the deserted development on Bay road that had as soon as been the mercantile institution of his present enterprise accomplice, Calvin Robinson. This, acknowledged Stickney, may function either the workplace of the Direct Tax fee and the shop that Stickney had promised to aid Robinson organize. The colonel, nonetheless unaware that Stickney used to be splitting gains with Robinson, gave this shop little idea. He purely informed Provost Marshal Rogers to maintain an eye fixed on it and particularly to ensure no liquor was once bought there. Stickney placed his assistant, Herbert Stoddard, answerable for where for now, till Robinson may possibly come from Fernandina. there has been rarely any item to place out at the cabinets, despite the fact that, simply no matter what odds and ends Stickney were capable of carry with him or collect in Jacksonville because the touchdown. yet that might switch. even if the Boston again with troop reinforcements, Stickney was resolute that it'll go back together with his company associate and a large load of products for the shop. If anyone requested, he might declare that the products have been for the Tax Commission’s use. He had no goal of reimbursing the govt for transportation expenditures. 33 within the days following the stand of Montgomery’s troops west of city there have been not more insurgent assaults other than occasional sorties by means of small our bodies of cavalrymen, which have been simply repulsed. Higginson despatched the wood line out a bit farther each one morning. Squads of squaddies, sporting axes and combustibles, the pickets; one after the other they curb each tree and burned each constitution which could offer conceal for an outstanding miles from city.

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