Hartwick’s Quinn Authors Book on ‘Black Civil War Soldiers’

Hartwick College Professor of History Dr. Edythe Ann Quinn has seen the publication of her new book, titled FREEDOM JOURNEY: Black Civil War Soldiers and The Hills Community, Westchester County, New York. Quinn’s meticulously-researched manuscript is the story of 36 African American men who drew upon their shared community of The Hills for support as they fought in the Civil War. The work was published by SUNY Press, and released six weeks ahead of schedule due to a large number of pre-orders.

According to the publisher’s website, “Through wonderfully detailed letters, recruit rosters, and pension records, Edythe Ann Quinn shares the story of thirty-five African American Civil War soldiers and the United States Colored Troop (USCT) regiments with which they served. Associated with The Hills community in Westchester County, New York, the soldiers served in three  regiments: the 29th Connecticut Infantry, 14th Rhode Island Heavy Artillery (11th USCT), and the 20th USCT. The thirty-sixth Hills man served in the Navy. Their ties to family, land, church, school, and occupational experiences at home buffered the brutal indifference of boredom and battle, the ravages of illness, the deprivations of unequal pay, and the hostility of some commissioned officers and white troops. At the same time, their service among kith and kin bolstered their determination and pride. They marched together, first as raw recruits, and finally as seasoned veterans, welcomed home by generals, politicians, and above all, their families and friends.”

Quinn is a professor of history and founding member of the United States Colored Troops Institute (USCTI) at the College. She researches and teaches northern African-American community history and Race and Ethnicity in American history, among other areas of interest. She was awarded a prestigious Gilder Lehrman Institute Fellowship for a seminar from Harvard University in 2007, and most recently earned Hartwick’s Margaret Brigham Bunn Award, which honors a faculty member who best exemplifies the centrality of the interaction between teacher and student.

“What distinguishes Freedom Journey from other Civil War books is its combined histories of The Hills community, three regiments, and the experiences of the veterans on their return home,” explained Quinn. “The 14th Rhode Island Heavy Artillery and 29th Connecticut Infantry did not have modern regimental histories, and now they do and from the soldiers’ perspectives.”

Quinn will be promoting her book at area readings/book signings this summer, including:

  • Saturday & Sunday, June 13-14: National Abolition Hall of Fame & Museum, Gerrit Smith Estate National Historic Landmark, 5255 Pleasant Valley Road, Peterboro, NY.  Part of 2015 Civil War Days.
  • Saturday, July 18: Bright Hill Literary Center, 94 Church St., Treadwell, NY. Part of the center’s Annual History Day, which celebrates area history authors.

FREEDOM JOURNEY: Black Civil War Soldiers and The Hills Community, Westchester County, New York, is available at the Hartwick Bookstore and Green Toad Bookstore in Oneonta, or through the publisher’s website or Amazon.com.

For more information on the book, contact Quinn at 607-431-4883 or quinne@hartwick.edu.

Hartwick College is a private liberal arts and sciences college of 1,500 students, located in Oneonta, NY, in the northern foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Hartwick’s expansive curriculum emphasizes an experiential approach to the liberal arts. Through personalized teaching, collaborative research, a distinctive January Term, a wide range of internships, and vast study-abroad opportunities, Hartwick ensures that students are prepared for not just their first jobs, but for the world ahead. A Three-Year Bachelor’s Degree Program and strong financial aid and scholarship offerings keep a Hartwick education affordable.

Contact:     David Lubell
E-mail:       lubelld@hartwick.edu
Phone:        607-431-4031

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