For Immediate Release
January 5, 2010
New Book on U.S. Colored Troops just released
“The U.S. Colored Troops at Andersonville Prison.”
|Charles Town, WV…..Charles Town West Virginia
national award winning
author Bob O’Connor, a Civil War writer who has given us three historical
novels about the conflict, has changed gears and published a non-fiction
civil war book called “The U.S. Colored Troops at Andersonville Prison.”
The book is a follow up of his fictional account “Catesby: Eyewitness to
the Civil War” in which the main character is captured following the
Battle of Olustee, Florida and taken to Andersonville Prison.
The new book gives the known biographical information on the 103 black
soldiers incarcerated in the famous Confederate Prison at Andersonville,
Georgia. The untold story of the USCT troops in the prison includes
documentation on the origins of the U.S. Colored Troops.
“Of the 179,000 plus black soldiers who fought in the U.S. Army, only 776
are documented as having been in a Confederate prison,” O’Connor claims.
“One hundred three of those were in Andersonville, including more than
half from either the 8th USCT (Pennsylvania) or the 54th Massachusetts,
mostly captured at the February 20, 1864 battle at Olustee (also called
O’Connor say the colored soldiers were often shot and killed or even taken
back to the South and sold into slavery. In several instances, the black
soldiers were killed even while surrendering, with the reports of the
Battle of Fort Pillow being amongst the worst instances of that happening.
The 103 prisoners include two white officers of the USCT who should have
been taken to an officers prison. They held instead with the enlisted men
because they were USCT officers. As such, they were also denied medical
help at the prison.
Of the 103 prisoners, thirty-four died at the prison. Another 12 survived
the prison and were transferred to Florence, South Carolina only to die
within thirty days after their arrival.
The new book contains photographs of each headstone at the cemetery for 33
of the 34. The other is in an unmarked grave. The book is well documented
O’Connor says it is remarkable that for soldiers who were starving, had no
clean water, and were denied medical attention, they all have marked
graves at Andersonville. By comparison, none of the twelve transferred to
Florence have marked graves.
O’Connor, who has done programs on both slavery and the USCT at schools,
libraries, historical societies, Civil War Round Tables, and museums
throughout the U.S., has been named finalist twice in the national Book
Awards by USA Book News and was named runner up in the National Indie
Excellence Book Awards competition.
His other books include “The Perfect Steel Trap Harpers Ferry 1859” an
account of John Brown’s raid, trial, execution and the seven raiders who
got away; “Catesby: Eyewitness to the Civil War” about a colored
blacksmith and his attempts to become a free man; and “The Virginia Who
Might Have Saved Lincoln” an account of Ward Hill Lamon, Abraham Lincoln’s personal bodyguard.
For additional information on the author or the books, please visit
"The Perfect Steel Trap Harpers Ferry 1859"
Finalist Best Book Awards 2006 by USA Book News
"The Virginian Who Might Have Saved Lincoln" also available unabridged as
an Audio Book
Finalist 2008 Indie Excellence Awards
Finalist 2008 Best Book Awards
"Catesby: Eyewitness to the Civil War"
"The US Colored Troops at Andersonville Prison"