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The Galvanized Yankees (1963)

by Dee Brown

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1113192,656 (3.83)11
Here is the fascinating and little-known story of the Galvanized Yankees, who stood watch over a nation that they had once sought to destroy. They were Confederate soldiers who were recruited from Union prison camps in the North to serve in the West. On the condition they would not be sent south to fight their former comrades, they exchanged gray for blue uniforms. From 1864 to 1866 six regiments of Galvanized Yankees fought Indians, escorted supply trains along the Oregon and Sante Fe trails, accompanied expeditions, guarded surveying parties for the Union Pacific Railroad, and manned lonely outposts on the frontier. Dee Brown, the author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, tells what happened to a lost legion, unhonored and unsung.… (more)
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Galvanized Yankees were Confederate prisoners of war who joined the Union Army and went west to fight Indians. Brown mentioned them several times in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee and this book, written in 1963, was the first book length examination of the Galvanized Yankees. There has not been much written since then so this remains the primary source of information.

The vast majority of former Confederates made up the 1st -6th U.S. Volunteer Regiments and Brown discusses the actions and activities of each in turn. He also explains how and why this happened. He then goes on to discuss other former Confederates who served in units outside of the USV regiments, the most notable being Henry Morgan Stanley, who served in the Confederate Army, the Union Army, and the Union Navy.

An interesting and well-documented book about a little known group. Recommended if you have an interest in the U.S. Civil War or the Indian Wars. ( )
  sgtbigg | May 27, 2011 |
The Galvanized Yankees is an interesting book about US Civil War Confederate soldiers who were offered a chance to take an oath of loyalty to the Union if they would enlist in the army and serve on the western frontier. About six thousand eventually did so, serving between 1864 and 1866. Brown's narrative history mostly follows them by recalling the history of a unit or units grouped together, with a couple of chapters about individuals. Recommended for most interested in military or American history, although the book does tend to get repetitious at times. Mine is the 1963 mass market paperback version and while it does have some photos there are no maps at all. ( )
  jztemple | Dec 3, 2010 |
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Here is the fascinating and little-known story of the Galvanized Yankees, who stood watch over a nation that they had once sought to destroy. They were Confederate soldiers who were recruited from Union prison camps in the North to serve in the West. On the condition they would not be sent south to fight their former comrades, they exchanged gray for blue uniforms. From 1864 to 1866 six regiments of Galvanized Yankees fought Indians, escorted supply trains along the Oregon and Sante Fe trails, accompanied expeditions, guarded surveying parties for the Union Pacific Railroad, and manned lonely outposts on the frontier. Dee Brown, the author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, tells what happened to a lost legion, unhonored and unsung.

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