“Freedom, A Shared Sacrifice!” by Marjory Allen Perez tells the stories of western New York’s African-American soldiers and their families in the Civil War.
“The Civil War was a defining event in the history of the U.S. and left no family in New York state untouched,” Perez said. “The story of the sacrifices made by the African-American community of New York has not been fully explored and I hope this book begins to remedy the deficit.”
“Freedom” focuses on soldiers from western New York who joined black regiments between 1863 and 1865. Starting with the men who traveled from New York in the spring of 1863 to enlist in the 54th Massachusetts, made famous in the movie “Glory,” Perez documents the history of black regiments raised in the North, as well the soldiers who took part in the battle.
Perez said she was drawn to the stories of families who sent multiple members to war.
“One family from Walworth sent six sons to war,” she said. “One died in battle, one died of sickness and the youngest came home so ill that he died within three months of his return.”
The book includes the story of Pvt. James Potter, 40, of Sodus, who died on April 9, 1865, the same day that Gen. Lee surrendered to Gen. Grant at Appomattox. He left at home a wife and five children younger than the age of 12.
By combining genealogical research with traditional study of the regimental and military history of the Civil War, Perez shares intimate stories of the men and their families as they navigate camp and home life during and after the war years. The stories cite information from military service records and pension application files.
“Freedom, A Shared Sacrifice!” retails for $24.95, and can be found on Amazon.com or by contacting Perez. Discounts are available for libraries, schools, museums, retail shops and bookstores.
Call (315) 946-4562 or email marjory.perez1944@gmail.com for information.