Remembering the Black Soldiers That Won the Civil War, click to hear Episode 5


Alex speaks with four experts on the black Civil War experience from emancipation to the post-war years. We’re celebrating Juneteenth with a comprehensive look at the history of the battles, the struggles and the ultimate triumph of the United States Colored Troops (USCT), as they were known during the Civil War. From the battle of Fort Wagner to the disaster of the Battle of the Crater and the Union victory at Fort Fisher that accelerated the end of the Confederacy. Alex analyzes the too often overlooked contributions of black soldiers that helped win the Civl War..

We sit down with Doug Egerton, author of the definitive book about the black soldiers in the Civil War, Thunder at the Gates (2016). Doug speaks to us about the pioneering 54th and 55th Massachusetts regiments, the first two all-black regiments in the Union Army. We look at the life and service of Ohioan, James Monroe Trotter in the 55th and his rise to being one of the first African American army officers in US History. Doug takes us through the importance of the Battle of Fort Wagner in 1863 and how it shatters the racist image of the black soldier. Buy Thunder at the Gates here…

We look at the experiences and bravery of the 5th and 27th USCT, the all-black Ohio USCT regiments. We’re joined by authors and historians, Kelly Mezurek of Walsh University and Verb Washington from the University of Dayton. Both scholars take us inside the life of an all-black Civil War infantry regiment. The inequalities they faced when compared to the their white counterparts and their thrilling achievements on the battlefield from 1863-65. Both share the stories of two black Medal of Honor winners from Ohio, Robert Pinn and Milton Holland. As well as the black soldiers struggles and their impact on the broader civil rights battles of the 19th century.

Buy Verb’s book, Eagles On Their Buttons here…

Buy Kelly’s book For Their Own Cause here

We also welcome Emmanuel Dabney, museum curator of the Petersburg National Battlefield Park in Virginia, to tell us about the catastrophic Battle of the Crater on July 30, 1864. This infamous battle is one of the most fascinating and disastrous days in the Union Army’s history. Emmanuel looks at how the change of the battle plan involving black troops may have affected the outcome of the battle.

Ohio v. the World: An American History podcast is now part of the Evergreen Podcast Network. Go to to check out all our past episodes and dozens of other great podcasts. Don’t forget to rate and review our show and we’ll read your reviews on the air in a future episode. Also you can email Alex at

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