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Since the publication of On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier in 1995, a wide variety of new material has emerged on the African American men who served in the Army between the Civil War and World War I. On the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier II presents more than 2,000 new and nearly 1,000 revised biographies of black servicemen, giving the researcher not only glimpses of individual lives but also documentation of the variety of African-American experiences within and outside the army. It offers two significant additions: a table containing the names of 61 soldiers who were awarded the Certificate of Merit for valor or bravery, with dates and places of the action recognized, and a revised and updated bibliography. The comprehensive index combines biographical entries in the original (1995) edition and in this Supplement. Additionally it includes cemeteries, Indian tribes, and place names. Cities and towns, counties, forts, and geographic features such as creeks are listed under the current state.
As in the original volume, the entries are arranged in alphabetical order by the soldiers' last names, with sources cited throughout. They range in length from a brief statement documenting an individual's sole appearance in written records to several pages of text on a better-documented figure. Also included are an essay on the sources and the kinds of information they contain, a bibliography of sources used, and a list of abbreviations.
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After more than ten years as a documents and reference librarian in academic libraries, Irene Schubert joined the Congressional Research Service at the Library of Congress. During her 22-year career at the Library, she also managed the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room for four years and served for seven years as chief of the Preservation Reformatting Division in the Preservation Directorate. She retired in 2002.
Frank N. Schubert is the author and editor of four books on buffalo soldiers, including the original volume ofOn the Trail of the Buffalo Soldier (1995). He retired in 2003 after 27 years as a historian in the U.S. Department of Defense.
The term buffalo soldiers refers to the four African American army regiments that served from the Civil War through World War I. The authors have compiled information from military records, books, military and civilian periodicals, letters, journals, family records, and Internet databases on every soldier who served in these regiments. This second edition includes all the information from the first edition (1995) plus new material that has been contributed by readers or gathered from new publications. There are more than 3,000 entries.
Entries are in alphabetical order by last name (spellings are standardized, but variations are used within entries and are cross-referenced), followed by last rank attained and military organization. This is followed by biographical data with sources and dates. Material that appeared in the first edition is marked. Entries vary in length. Most are one or two lines, many are a paragraph, and a few are one or two pages long.
A good bibliography is divided into type of source: books, articles, government documents, unpublished manuscripts and documents, military records, and electronic sources. There are two appendixes: "Battles Involving Buffalo Soldiers and Western Indians, 1867-1890," and "Buffalo Soldier Recipients of the Certificate of Merit, 1881-1914." The index is rather complicated, using several typefaces to distinguish kinds of entries. A separate index for geographical names and features might have been helpful to the user.
This book is recommended for genealogical collections, African American history collections, and other specialized collections in public and academic libraries. Robin Hoelle
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