For black soldiers, the wound goes that far back

The photo is of Sgt. Major Lewis H. Douglass, survivor of the battle of Fort Wagner, who never complained about  his pension but did observe,long before he became outspoken against the next war, that the supposed unity of the “Grand Army of the Republic” —given the differing treatment of black and white veterans groups — existed only on paper. I thought of him when he read this:

A pension system established to support Civil War soldiers did not provide equally for black and white veterans. A newly published study from Brigham Young University concludes discrimination faced by black soldiers during the war was in part to blame for the discrimination they suffered for decades afterward.

You almost don’t want to read the next paragraph, which goes on to say that essentially, that was just the beginning. Good on the BYU researchers for finding it, and the Salt Lake Trib for including it on its military site.  I guess past really is prologue.

Published by chrislombardi

Journalist, novelist, educator.

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