Most people know that I am a history buff. An extreme history buff. I more interested in slave history and readings on the American Civil War. Why? Because it’s the only war that’s really mattered in this country. If anyone else tells you anything else different…it’s a lie! The Civil War and slavery has had a world wide effect on the way we view race, geographic location, and in some measuring intelligence. It’s amazing when I drive through certain parts of the country I am treated differently here and totally different there.
Throughout my historical academic career I have never heard anything about African American soldiers and the great part that they played in the CW; both Union and Confederate sides. So outside of all of the classroom stuff I researched ferociously for work that was relevant to the property that was the cause of the war…the African American slave. The institution that is responsible for tearing families apart, rape, the taking of language, reasons for illegal loitering amongst too many African Americans at one time, and why most African Americans can’t trace their families trees any further than their great-great-great grandfathers. So during my quest for this gold mine I came across a book furnished by the Army Center for Military History. Also known as CMH. I couldn’t believe the wealth of information that I came across with the writings on Native Americans in the Civil War, etc.
Finally, I came across a monstrous volume written by William Dobak entitled, “Freedom by the Sword.” This work is by far the most well researched piece of work that I have ever had come across regarding African Americans struggling to fight for this country and the new found land that they had the right to claim. The book has over 500 pages of research and has not disappointed with any pixel of ink. Every note is well documented and the operations are well supported with extensive documentation that I took the liberty of researching myself after reading it in the book. Most of the findings were found in the Original Records; better known as the OR. The OR is literally the Bible for the American Civil War. It is full of primary sources that cease to stop and it would cost a serious historian a pretty penny. The cost is high, but so is the gain. In my mind the whole collection is priceless. If I ever found an extra 2 grand to shovel out, it would immediately be in my library for endless use. I would create more than a few thousand fictional accounts .
Overall, I think this is the most fascinating piece of work that could ever be purchased. There is no way that a primary source like this could ever be topped. I also hear that Ira Berlin is very extensive in slave research as well.