Book Review: Israelites in the Civil War


This is a picture of my most recent book buy.

This book is called African American Faces of the Civil War: An Album. I first saw this book last year. I almost bought it but decided not to because I thought it would be yet another book purchase with the same information sprinkled with 2 or 3 pictures. Then a few of months ago after Shabbat class was over, I was surfing with the TV remote and landed on a channel called C-SPAN2 or the book TV show. I sometimes watch this channel because they have history professors lecturing. On this particular evening, the author of this book Ronald S. Coddington was lecturing on this book. He talked about the various lives of the people in the book. What blew me away was all the pictures in the book, seventy-seven pictures he said. I got the book Monday and thumbed through it. I saw  pictures of  Israelite soldiers with guns, daggers and swords in their hands!! The only Israelite I recognized in the book was Robert Smalls who  was also from South Carolina. If I’m not mistaken, the author said he left out pictures from two infantry divisions because they were already all over the internet and history books. He focused on pictures from private collections that not many people have viewed. About 200,000 Israelites served in the army and navy during the war.

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