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Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, XII: the Black regiment (search)
h friends; one [of them] swore worse than all my officers put together and the other never opened her lips and was the most formidable tyrant of the two —Those two brave men whom I had seen stand to their guns in the hottest fire on the St. Mary's were like whipped spaniels before those women. In March, 1863, Colonel Higginson was sent in command of two regiments (1st and 2nd South Carolina Volunteers) to Florida, the objects of this expedition being to occupy Jacksonville, and to carry Lincoln's proclamation of freedom to the enslaved. He wrote to his wife on the 12th that he was quartered in a palatial abode, embowered in tea roses, and that the town had capitulated without a gun. Here more or less light skirmishing went on, but the Colonel reported that his regiment lived in clover and brought in contrabands, horses, and provisions every day. To hold this post with only a garrison of nine hundred men, it having been evacuated twice before by Union troops, made the officers un
Mary Thacher Higginson, Thomas Wentworth Higginson: the story of his life, XVI: the crowning years (search)
corded, My office of Military and Naval Historian expired, much to my satisfaction, after seven years and four months. An extension of a year's time without compensation was however granted at Colonel Higginson's request, and the History was satisfactorily completed. These fragments from the diary after his recovery show the continued activity:— Oct. 20, 1897. Evening presided at Anthony Hope Hawkins's reading. Had him here afterwards. Feb. 12, 1898. Springfield. Spoke at Lincoln dinner after half hour's reception to 100 men. March 9. Spent morning at State House—outrageous bill against Sunday Concerts. May 31, 1900. Evening, Boer meeting and presided. Got through well, though voice not strong. The three Boer envoys unusually fine looking men. This was a meeting at Faneuil Hall where envoys from the Boer Republic presented their side of the South African trouble with England. From a newspaper account of a similar meeting in Worcester at which Colonel