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James Montgomery (Hardback)

Abolitionist Warrior

Military > Pre-WWI > American History > American Civil War World History > The Americas > USA

By Robert C. Conner
Imprint: Casemate Publishers
Pages: 240
Illustrations: 20 illustrations and photographs
ISBN: 9781636241425
Published: 15th February 2022



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James Montgomery was a leader of the free-state movement in pre-Civil War Kansas and Missouri, associated with its direct-action military wing. He then joined the Union Army and fought through most of the war.


A close associate and ally of other abolitionists including John Brown, Harriet Tubman, Colonels Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Robert G. Shaw, Montgomery led his African-American regiment along with Tubman and other civilians in the 1863 Combahee River raid, which freed almost 800 slaves from South Carolina plantations. He then commanded a brigade in the siege of Fort Wagner, near Charleston.


In 1864, still in brigade command, he fought at the Battle of Olustee in Florida, helping prevent the collapse and disintegration of Union General Truman Seymour's army. Later that year he returned home and played a significant role in defeating Confederate General Sterling Price's great raid, especially at the Battle of Westport.


This is the first published biography of Montgomery, who was and remains a controversial figure. It uncovers and deals honestly with his serious flaws, while debunking some wilder charges, and also bringing to light his considerable attributes and achievements. Montgomery's life, from birth to death, is seen in the necessary perspective and clear delineation of the complex racial, political and military history of the Civil War era.

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