Edward A. Wild and the African Brigade in the Civil War

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McFarland, Apr 1, 2003 - History - 335 pages
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Edward Wild, the controversial Union general who headed the all-black African Brigade in the Civil War, was one of the most loved and most hated figures of the 19th century. The man was neither understood nor appreciated by military or civilian, black or white, Northerner or Southerner. After enlisting at the outbreak of the war, Wild was promoted to Brigadier General and placed in charge of the United States Colored Troops. In fulfilling his assignment to free slaves and gain recruits, he took three women as hostages and ordered a great deal of property destruction. He freed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of slaves and settled them safely on Roanoke Island. Wild then not only recruited the newly freed blacks but trained them and gave them the opportunity to prove their worth in battle. Nobody, it seems, was happy about serving with them, but the African Brigade performed courageously in several battles. Wild did some inexplicable things. Were his actions typical of the 19th century or did he act outside the norm? Was the criticism he suffered from his fellow Union officers valid--or was it due to personality conflicts? Did he deserve to be arrested, court-martialed, and even wiped from the history books--or was he the victim of discrimination? This work draws its answers from extensive research and includes many rare letters to and from Wild, including one from one of the North Carolinian hostages.
  

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Contents

Introduction
1
Family History and Early Life of Edward Augustus Wild
5
Captain Wild United States Army 86
19
Colonel Wild 35th Regiment United States Army 862
34
Brigadier General Wild United States Volunteers Colored
55
Charleston South Carolina 863
73
Wilds Raid on Northeastern North Carolina and Its Results
93
Retaliation and Repercussion
117
The Clopton Whipping and Other Civilian Incidents
146
Fort Powhatan Wilsons Wharf Fort Pocahontas and Other Battles in Virginia
161
CourtMartial of General Wild
183
The Final Months of the War July 864 to May 865
194
The Freedmens Bureau in Georgia and the Chennault Aair
211
The Search for Silver
245
Epilogue
264
Bibliography
311

Miss Nancy White and the WeadDraper Dispute
127

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About the author (2003)

The late Frances H. Casstevens wrote frequently about the American Civil War and North Carolina history. She was retired from Wake Forest University and lived in Yadkinville, North Carolina.

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