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General Horace Porter, Campaigning with Grant, Chapter 8 (search)
etches from the hands of the old masters. Bill was of a genuine burnt-cork hue, and no white blood contaminated the purity of his lineage. He at once set himself to work without orders, taking care of one of the aides, and by dint of his force of character resisted all efforts of that officer to discharge him. When any waiter was absent, or even when all were present, he would turn up in the headquarters mess-tent and insist on helping the general at table. Then he attached himself to Colonel Boomer, and forced that officer in spite of himself to submit to his services. After the colonel had been killed in the assault on Vicksburg, Bill suddenly put in an appearance again at headquarters, and was found making himself useful to the general, notwithstanding the protests of the other servants, and before long he had himself regularly entered upon the general's private pay-roll. When his chief came East, Bill followed, and gradually took entire charge of the general's personal comfort