Special Studies - The Employment of Negro Troops by U. Lee

By U. Lee

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Ent plan seemed fair and impartial, but in actual operation it created the very preferential treatment which the War Department had disavowed: It is the conception of this Association that non-preferential treatment for white and colored soldiers, if adhered to by the War Department, would result in the Tenth Cavalry being kept together at one post; in Negroes being enlisted in the Air Corps and every other service of the Army; in full armament equipment being distributed to Negro combat units, that is, trench mortars, howitzers, machine guns, etc; in full staffs of colored noncommissioned officers in existing colored units; in free and unobstructed admission of Negro cadets to the United States Military Academy at West Point; and eventually in colored officers being promoted and assigned to commands on the basis of their ability and not their color.

Winans, CG Eighth listed. 14 Corps Area, 17 Aug 31; Ltr, Frederick H. , on Ltr, TAG to Actg SW, to Walter White, Secy NAACP, 11 Aug CG's, 2 Jul 31, cited in note 13, above. 15 31. 2 (6-17-31) (1) sec. 1. See Ltr, Walter White to President Hoover, 29 Jul also letters in AG 620 (4-23-41) (1) sec. 2. 1. 26 THE EMPLOYMENT OF NEGRO TROOPS The fact that the directive was to receive no publicity added a note of deep and dark mystery. Within a few weeks the Negro press was carrying articles suggesting that the Negro regiments were being gradually disbanded.

As fighting troops, General Bullard concluded, Negroes were simply failures. He declared: "If you need combat soldiers, and especially if you need them in a hurry, don't put your time upon Negroes. The task of making soldiers of them and fighting with them, if there are any white people near, will be swamped in the race question. 31 Negroes believed that an impartial account would reverse these reports. They suspected that all the unfavorable narratives about Negro participation in World War I were the result of a planned attack aimed at discrediting their courage.

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