I was saddened to learn recently that Dr. Edwin S. Redkey died on June 10th at the age of 79.
Dr. Redkey was the editor of the classic work A Grand Army of Black Men: Letters from African-American Soldiers in the Union Army, 1861-1865 (1992), a book which inspired Noah Andre Trudeau to write his book Like Men of War: Black Troops in the Civil War, 1862-1865 (1998). Trudeau called Redkey’s book “a revelation in every sense of the word” and used it as one of the starting points for his research.
Redkey also contributed an excellent essay entitled “Henry McNeal Turner: Black Chaplain in the Union Army” in Black Soldiers in Blue: African American Troops in the Civil War Era (2002) edited by John David Smith.
His obituary states that, “having specialized in American History and Race Relations, Ed helped found the field of African American Studies and made significant scholarly and popular contributions to it.”
He will be missed.