Kids Library Home

Welcome to the Kids' Library!

Search for books, movies, music, magazines, and more.

Available items only
Print Material
Author Sammons, Jeffrey T. (Jeffrey Thomas), 1949-

Title Harlem's Rattlers and the Great War : the undaunted 369th Regiment and the African American quest for equality / Jeffrey T. Sammons and John H. Morrow, Jr.

Publication Info. Lawrence, Kansas : University Press of Kansas, 2014.


Location Call No. OPAC Message Status
 Axe 2nd Floor Stacks  940.41273 Sa45h 2014    ---  Available
 Axe 2nd Floor Stacks  940.41273 Sa45h 2014 c.2  ---  Available
 FSCC Non-Fiction  940.4127 Sa458h 2014    ---  Available
Description xii, 616 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
text rdacontent
unmediated rdamedia
volume rdacarrier
Series Modern war studies
Modern war studies.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 585-596) and index.
Contents "He has a flag": the relationship of the military to Black identity, community, and citizenship and the origins of the Black regiment movement -- "Positions of honor and trust": Charles Ward Fillmore, the Equity Congress, and the Byzantine politics of the Black regiment movement -- "Second only to ... the Emancipation Proclamation": the trying campaign from authorization to formation -- "Mulligan's Guards": the (re)-birth and growing pains of the 15th New York National Guard -- War and expediency: the politics of federal recognition, regimental training, and the President's call to service -- Race war at home or combat abroad? Tested in the white-hot crucible of camp life -- "Over there": the 15th New York/369th Regiment in France: from the AEF to the French Army, January-April 1918 -- Trial by fire: in combat with the French 16th Infantry Division, mid-April to June 1918 -- "The Battle of Henry Johnson" and Neadom Roberts: the night two ordinary men became war heroes and race symbols -- A midsummer's nightmare: race swirls above the 369th, May-August 1918 -- The big push: offensives in Champagne/Meuse-Argonne and the capture of Séchault, September 7-October 4, 1918 -- War's end: final campaign, first to the Rhine, occupation, and hasty departure -- "War crossed abroad and double crossed at home": triumphant heroes, objects of ridicule, or fearsome trained killers? -- Your services are no longer needed: the War Department's postwar decimation and denigration of Black soldiers and the 369th's fight for survival and recognition -- Winning the battle and losing the war: the renewed fight for a Black commander and the disfiguring transformations of the 369th.
Summary When on May 15, 1918 a French lieutenant warned Henry Johnson of the 369th to move back because of a possible enemy raid, Johnson reportedly replied: "I'm an American, and I never retreat." The story, even if apocryphal, captures the mythic status of the Harlem Rattlers, the African American combat unit who were said to have never lost a man to capture or a foot of ground that had been taken. It also, in its insistence on American identity, points to a truth at the heart of this book, the Black men of the 369th fought to convince America to live up to its democratic promise. It is this aspect of the storied regiment's history, its place within the larger movement of African Americans for full citizenship in the face of virulent racism, that this book brings to the fore. Though discussed in numerous histories and featured in popular culture (most famously the film Stormy Weather and the novel Jazz), the 369th has become more a matter of mythology than accurate history. This book, which eschews the regiment's famous nickname, the "Harlem Hellfighters," a name never embraced by the unit itself, tells the full story of the self-proclaimed Harlem Rattlers. Combining the "fighting focus" of military history with the insights of social commentary, this book reveals the centrality of military service and war to the quest for equality as it details the origins, evolution, combat exploits, and postwar struggles of the 369th. The authors pay particular attention to the environment created by the presence of both Black and White officers in the unit. They also explore the role of women, in particular, the Women's Auxiliary of the 369th, as partners in the struggle for full citizenship. From its beginnings in the 15th New York National Guard through its training in the explosive atmosphere in the South, its singular performance in the French army during World War I, and the pathos of postwar adjustment, this book reveals the details of the Harlem Rattlers' experience, the poignant history of some of its heroes and its place in the story of both World War I and the African American campaign for equality.
Subject United States. Army. Infantry Regiment, 369th.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Regimental histories -- United States.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Participation, African American.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Campaigns -- Western Front.
United States. Army. American Expeditionary Forces -- African American troops.
France. Armée -- African American troops -- History -- 20th century.
African American soldiers -- History -- 20th century.
African Americans -- Social conditions -- To 1964.
Added Author Morrow, John Howard, 1944-
ISBN 9780700619573 (cloth)
0700619577 (cloth)
9780700621385 pbk

Available items only