240 Pages, 6 x 9 in, 20 illustrations and photographs
- April 2022
- In Stock
James Montgomery was a leader of the free-state movement in pre-Civil War Kansas and Missouri, associated with its direct-action military wing. He then joined the Union Army and fought through most of the war.
A close associate and ally of other abolitionists including John Brown, Harriet Tubman, Colonels Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Robert G. Shaw, Montgomery led his African-American regiment along with Tubman and other civilians in the 1863 Combahee River raid, which freed almost 800 slaves from South Carolina plantations. He then commanded a brigade in the siege of Fort Wagner, near Charleston.
In 1864, still in brigade command, he fought at the Battle of Olustee in Florida, helping prevent the collapse and disintegration of Union General Truman Seymour’s army. Later that year he returned home and played a significant role in defeating Confederate General Sterling Price’s great raid, especially at the Battle of Westport.
This is the first published biography of Montgomery, who was and remains a controversial figure. It uncovers and deals honestly with his serious flaws, while debunking some wilder charges, and also bringing to light his considerable attributes and achievements. Montgomery’s life, from birth to death, is seen in the necessary perspective and clear delineation of the complex racial, political and military history of the Civil War era.
Introduction: From Guerrilla Outlaw to American Soldier
Chapter 1: Westward Bound
Chapter 2: Bleeding Kansas and John Brown
Chapter 3: Civil War
Chapter 4: With Tubman in the South
Chapter 5: Olustee and After
Chapter 6: The Westport Campaign
Chapter 7: Back to the Land and the Lord
“James Montgomery… is as informatively detailed and it is inherently fascinating.” ~Midwest Book Review
“Connor’s writing is concise, and his study is wide-ranging. [T]his a good biography of a man whom Conner paints as a flawed hero, sincere in his convictions but often heavy handed in his method, with a deserved reputation for making “Old Testament” style warfare. Recommended for anyone with an interest in abolitionism or the Civil War.” ~NYMAS Review
“…Conner offers only the second full-length biography of Montgomery, the least known or written about of those inconvenient heroes. Conner’s stated mission in this more broadly focused work is to help the reader understand rather than forgive. In this he succeeds.” ~Civil War Book Review
“His biography is well-written and ably weaves together primary and secondary sources. In Conner, Montgomery has a solid defender… Conner’s book reminds us that in the cause of freedom and democracy, men like James Montgomery are sometimes needed.” ~The Civil War Monitor
“…an excellent read for military and civilian readers alike. This book would serve as an excellent reading for classes on just war theory, racial justice, and the historical context that led to and existed throughout the Civil War.” ~Military Review
“If the historian wishes to read a biography of a radical abolitionist who placed his own views above morality and decency, this book will be appealing. It is well researched, readable, and historically accurate.” ~Civil War News
“The author shows James Montgomery to have been a brave leader, who labored in the fringe areas of the war to defeat the Confederacy and to end the scourge of slavery… Civil War buffs will still find a lot to enjoy in reading about this abolitionist warrior.” ~The Journal of America’s Military Past
“[Connor’s] superlative narration offers us the first full-length biography of the Civil War general who saved the Union army from catastrophic defeat at the Battle of Chickamauga and went on to play major roles in the Chattanooga and Mobile campaigns.” ~ARGunners.com