It was 1862, the second year of the Civil War, though Kansans and Missourians had been fighting over slavery for almost a decade. For the 250 Union soldiers facing down Rebel irregulars on Enoch Toothman's farm in Butler, Missouri, this was no battle over abstract principles. These were men of the First Kansas Colored Infantry, and they were fighting for their own freedom and that of their families. They belonged to the first black regiment raised in a northern state, and the first black unit to see combat during the Civil War. [This book] is the first published account of this largely forgotten regiment, in particular, its contribution to Union victory in the trans-Mississippi theater of the Civil War. As such, it restores the First Kansas Colored Infantry to its rightful place in American history. -- from dust jacket.