In the first part of the book, John Weaver, gives background information, which leads up to the event. Weaver talks about how the Texans felt when it came to the 25th Infantrymen arriving at Fort Brown. Instead of being rather accepting of the arrival of a US battalion, the townspeople were racist stating, “ The colored fellows will have to behave themselves or we will get rid of them.”(22) Weaver goes on to explain other racial prejudices the soldiers faced at Fort Brown.
The town’s bars, which were ran by white men, set up certain Jim Crow laws banning the soldiers from drinking there. Despite this a few Mexican bars allowed the soldiers to make business. Weaver notes that these bars were packed on payday, but fights or incidents were rarely reported. Weaver next goes on to explain the events which occurred on the night of August 13,1906.
Weaver goes into great detail about the events of the night and the days to follow. A major point brought out is the fact that every man in the 25th was present and accounted for during the shooting. Despite this information a white man was killed and another injured, someone had to take the blame. Weaver then goes into detail about the trial, which took place along with the investigation of the night’s events. President Roosevelt, it is explained, seemingly sided with the town’s men in placing the blame on the 25th without sufficient evidence to produce a rightful convincement of the crime. He signed an order, which dishonorably discharged 167 men of the 25th.
The most prevalent theme in this book is clearly pointed out all through out the book. Racial prejudice of not just the town’s men, but also of President Roosevelt is made evident through Weaver’s writings. Despite serving in the U.S. Military the men of the 25th were denied the right of a trial. They had no way to defend themselves against their accusations. The people of Brownsville despised the fact that a black regiment was coming to town long before the...
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