it is typical of american history that much has been written about robert shaw -- a brave and capable man 96 but hardly a word about his soldiers who some how made the transition from the deepest obscurity to sudden heroism. what did the smithsonian board of editors' reviewer edward parks say about the book and the author in "journey to honey hill," the first organization of black troops to be established by the union?
"recruited from among the free blacks of the state, the regiment was trained, presented with colors and finally made the move south into battle. it was blooded at honey hill, a heavily defended rebel position near beaufort, south carolina, as sherman was approaching nearby savannah won the lasting respect of its fellow regiments for a display of blazing courage and stubbornness in the face of a hail of bullets.
luck a former government employee in washington, has researched his subject carefully, following the path of the 55th physically from its training site in readville, massachusetts' to the border country between south carolina and georgia where the final testing came. he has also traced the story of the regiment's - founding the unease with which northern leaders regarded the formation of colored regiments, the selection of norman p. hallowell as commanding officer, the inequality in pay that the men first suffered, the abiding determination to show the white world what colored men could do in battle.
this book is a labor of love. it fills a sad gap in our knowledge of the civil war. it is time it was written."