John P. Langellier
Fighting for Uncle Sam
Blacks in the Frontier Army
New Books in African American StudiesNew Books in American StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Military HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in the American WestNew Books Network June 8, 2017 James Stancil
From the American Revolution to the present day, African Americans have stepped forward in their nation’s defense. Fighting for Uncle Sam: Buffalo Solders in the Frontier Army (Schiffer, 2016) breathes new vitality into a stirring subject, emphasizing the role men who have come to be known as “buffalo soldiers” played in opening the Trans-Mississippi West. This concise overview reveals a cast of characters as big as the land they served. Over 150 images painstakingly gathered nearly a half century from public and private collections enhance the written word as windows to the past. Now 150 years after Congress authorized blacks to serve in the Regular Army, the reader literally can peer into the eyes of formerly enslaved men who bravely bought their freedom on the bloody battlefields of the Civil War, then trekked westward, carried the “Stars and Stripes” to the Caribbean, and pursued Pancho Villa into Mexico with John “Black Jack” Pershing.
Growing up in Tucson, Arizona, historian and author John P. Langellier spent four decades working in public history after earning a B.A. and M.A. in history from the University of San Diego and his Ph.D. in military history from Kansas State University. He spent a dozen years with the U.S. Army, helped found California’s Autry Museum of the American West, and served as director for Wyoming State Museum, deputy director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, executive director of Arizona’s Sharlot Hall Museum, and director of Arizona Historical Society’s Central Division. He was also awarded an honorary membership into the 9th and 10th U.S. Horse Calvary Association. He has written dozens of published books, served as a Hollywood film consultant, a Smithsonian Institution fellow, and produced history documentaries for television networks A&E, History, and PBS.
Langellier officially “retired” to Tucson in 2015, but still continues his work as one of the preeminent military historians in the United States. After Fighting for Uncle Sam: Blacks in the Frontier Army, one of his current research projects is a book-length work on the connections between the Western art of Frederic Remington and the U.S. Army 10th Calvary (Buffalo Soldiers) in Arizona.
James Stancil is an independent scholar, freelance journalist, and the President and CEO of Intellect U Well, Inc. a Houston-area non-profit dedicated to increasing the joy of reading and media literacy in young people.