WILSON, Joseph T. (1837-1890). The Black Phalanx; A History of the Negro Soldiers of the United States in the Wars of 1775-1812, 1861-’65. Springfield, Massachusetts: Winter & Co.; Hartford: American Publishing Company, 1888 (copyright 1887).
8vo (152 x 228 mm). Publisher's maroon cloth with blindstamp and gilt illustrations. (Previous ownership to front free endpaper dated “March 10th, 1888.” Toned spine with some rubbing to caps. A fine copy).
FIRST EDITION. Wilson served in the Civil War, originally enlisting as a private with the 2nd Louisiana Native Guard later reorganized as the 74th United States Colored Troops. After being discharged for illness, he later reenlisted in Co. C of the famed Massachusetts 54th Infantry composed of African American enlisted men. He was wounded in action at the Battle of Olustee (Florida) and honorably discharged in May 1864. He played a major role in the post-war politics of Virginia as a radical and prominent voice within the Republican party. He wrote extensively as the editor of the True Southerner Unionist newspaper in Norfolk, Virginia and elsewhere, often using the pseudonym “Eskiam.” Additionally, he earned the position of aide-de-camp to the commander in chief in the Grand Army of the Republic and was commissioned by its members to write The Black Phalanx. American Publishing Company publicized it widely and it was met with popular and critical acclaim.
Spine toned with some wear to caps, corners bumped with slight stain to upper edge of front board. Front free endpaper loose. Pages toned, as is typical. Binding tight and pages clean.
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