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From the American Revolution to the present day, African Americans have stepped forward in their nations defense. This book breathes new vitality into a stirring subject, emphasizing the role men who have come to be known as buffalo soldiers played in opening the Trans-Mississippi West. This concise overview reveals a cast of characters as big as the land they served. Over 150 images painstakingly gathered nearly a half century from public and private collections enhance the written word as windows to the past. Now, 150 years after Congress authorized blacks to serve in the Regular Army the reader literally can peer into the eyes of formerly enslaved men who bravely bought their freedom on the bloody battlefields of the Civil War, then trekked westward, carried the "Stars and Stripes" to the Caribbean, and pursued Pancho Villa into Mexico with John Black Jack Pershing.