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On the Altar of Freedom: A Black Soldier's Civil War Letters from the Front.

In On The Altar of Freedom: A Black Soldier's Civil War Letters From The Front, the impressionist letters of Cpl. James Henry Gooding remind one of how much American history is still buried or lost. This soldier and "war correspondent," who was among the first volunteers for the Massachusetts 54th colored regiment, was both a keen observer and a rather gifted writer.

"It really makes one's heart pulsate with pride," Gooding writes during combat training in 1863," ... to feel that these noble men are practically refuting the base assertions reiterated by copperheads and traitors that the black race are incapable of patriotism, valor or ambition."

These letters moving portray black gallantry and determination to set the record straight.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Author:Boyd, Herb
Publication:Black Enterprise
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jun 1, 1992
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