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South Carolina (South Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
s very rueful, and it did indeed seem a pathetic reversal of fortunes for the two races. To be sure, the youth was a scion of one of the foremost families of South Carolina, and when I considered the wrongs which the black race had encountered from those of his blood, first and last, it seemed as if the most scrupulous Recording we were safe, with the low rice-fields on each side of us; and the scene was so peaceful, it seemed as if all danger were done. For the first time, we saw in South Carolina blossoming river-banks and low emerald meadows, that seemed like New England. Everywhere there were the same rectangular fields, smooth canals, and bushy dikual casualties. Then all faded into safety and sleep; and we reached Beaufort in the morning, after thirty-six hours of absence. A kind friend, who acted in South Carolina a nobler part amid tragedies than in any of her early stage triumphs, met us with an ambulance at the wharf, and the prisoners, the wounded, and the dead were
Connecticut (Connecticut, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
he could. Short was his triumph. Gliding round the point, he found himself instantly engaged with a light battery of four or six guns, doubtless the same we had seen in the distance. The Milton was within two hundred and fifty yards. The Connecticut men fought their guns well, aided by the blacks, and it was exasperating for us to hear the shots, while we could see nothing and do nothing. The scanty ammunition of our bow gun was exhausted, and the gun in the stern was useless, from the pile to seek them. I was by this time so far exhausted that everything seemed to pass by me as by one in a dream; but I got into a boat, pushed up stream, met presently the John Adams returning, and was informed by the officer in charge of the Connecticut battery that he had abandoned the tug, and — worse news yet — that his guns had been thrown overboard. It seemed to me then, and has always seemed, that this sacrifice was utterly needless, because, although the captain of the John Adams had
Cuba, N. Y. (New York, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
, already mentioned. I wrote it down in tent, long after, while the old man recited the tale, with much gesticulation, at the door; and it is by far the best glimpse I have ever had, through a negro's eyes, at these wonderful birthdays of freedom. De people was all a hoein‘, mas'r, said the old man. Dey was a hoein‘ in the rice-field, when de gunboats come. Den ebry man drap dem hoe, and leff de rice. De mas'r he stand and call, Run to de wood for hide! Yankee come, sell you to Cuba! run for hide! Ebry man he run, and, my God! run all toder way! Mas'r stand in de wood, peep, peep, faid for truss [afraid to trust]. He say, Run to de wood! and ebry man run by him, straight to de boat. De brack sojer so presumptions, dey come right ashore, hold up dere head. Fus' ting I know, dere was a barn, ten tousand bushel rough rice, all in a blaze, den mas'r's great house, all cracklin‘ up de roof. Did n't I keer for see 'em blaze? Lor, mas'r, did n't care notin‘ at a
Saint Helena Island, S.C. (South Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
ded, and the dead were duly attended. The reader will not care for any personal record of convalescence; though, among the general military laudations of whiskey, it is. worth while to say that one life was saved, in the opinion of my surgeons, by an habitual abstinence from it, leaving no food for peritoneal inflammation to feed upon. The able-bodied men who had joined us were sent to aid General Gillmore in the trenches, while their families were established in huts and tents on St. Helena Island. A year after, greatly to the delight of the regiment, in taking possession of a battery which they had helped to capture on James Isle and, they found in their hands the selfsame guns which they had seen thrown overboard from the Governor Milton. They then felt that their account with the enemy was squared, and could proceed to further operations. Before the war, how great a thing seemed the rescue of even one man from slavery; and since the war has emancipated all, how little
Noddle's Island (Massachusetts, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
nown strength, at Wiltown Bluff, a commanding and defensible situation. The obstructions consisted of a row of strong wooden piles across the river; but we convinced ourselves that these must now be much decayed, and that Captain Trowbridge, an excellent engineer officer, could remove them by the proper apparatus. Our proposition was to man the John Adams, an armed ferry-boat, which had before done us much service,--and which has now reverted to the pursuits of peace, it is said, on the East Boston line,--to ascend in this to Wiltown Bluff, silence the battery, and clear a passage through the obstructions. Leaving the John Adams to protect this point, we could then ascend the smaller stream with two light-draft boats, and perhaps burn the bridge, which was ten miles higher, before the enemy could bring sufficient force to make our position at Wiltown Bluff untenable. The expedition was organized essentially upon this plan. The smaller boats were the Enoch Dean,--a river steamb
South Edisto River (South Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
re now somewhat familiar with such undertakings, half military, half naval, and the thing to be done on the Edisto was precisely what we had proved to be practicable on the St. Mary's and the St. John's,--to drop anchor before the enemy's door some morning at daybreak, without his having dreamed of our approach. Since a raid made by Colonel Montgomery up the Combahee, two months before, the vigilance of the Rebels had increased. But we had information that upon the South Edisto, or Pon-Pon River, the rice plantations were still being actively worked by a large number of negroes, in reliance on obstructions placed at the mouth of that narrow stream, where it joins the main river, some twenty miles from the coast. This point was known to be further protected by a battery of unknown strength, at Wiltown Bluff, a commanding and defensible situation. The obstructions consisted of a row of strong wooden piles across the river; but we convinced ourselves that these must now be much d
Columbus, Ky. (Kentucky, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
sunbeams glowed upon their emerald levels, and on the blossoming hedges along the rectangular dikes. What were those black dots which everywhere appeared? Those moist meadows had become alive with human heads, and along each narrow path came a straggling file of men and women, all on a run for the river-side. I went ashore with a boat-load of troops at once. The landing was difficult and marshy. The astonished negroes tugged us up the bank, and gazed on us as if we had been Cortez and Columbus. They kept arriving by land much faster than we could come by water; every moment increased the crowd, the jostling, the mutual clinging, on that miry foothold. What a scene it was! With the wild faces, eager figures, strange garments, it seemed, as one of the poor things reverently suggested, like notin‘ but de judgment day. Presently they began to come from the houses also, with their little bundles on their heads; then with larger bundles. Old women, trotting on the narrow paths, wo
Combahee (South Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
and all but shaking the poor old thing, in his thirst for information. O mas'r, recommenced in terror the incapacitated witness, I c-c-carpenter! holding up eagerly a little stump of a hatchet, his sole treasure, as if his profession ought to excuse him from all military opinions. I wish that it were possible to present all this scene from the point of view of the slaves themselves. It can be most nearly done, perhaps, by quoting the description given of a similar scene on the Combahee River, by a very aged man, who had been brought down on the previous raid, already mentioned. I wrote it down in tent, long after, while the old man recited the tale, with much gesticulation, at the door; and it is by far the best glimpse I have ever had, through a negro's eyes, at these wonderful birthdays of freedom. De people was all a hoein‘, mas'r, said the old man. Dey was a hoein‘ in the rice-field, when de gunboats come. Den ebry man drap dem hoe, and leff de rice. De mas'
Beaufort, S. C. (South Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
d from my own regiment, under Captain James. The John Adams carried, if I remember rightly, two Parrott guns (of twenty and ten pounds calibre) and a howitzer or two. The whole force of men did not exceed two hundred and fifty. We left Beaufort, S. C., on the afternoon of July 9th, 1863. In former narrations I have sufficiently described the charm of a moonlight ascent into a hostile country, upon an unknown stream, the dark and silent banks, the rippling water, the wail of the reed-birdthe answering throb of our own guns. The kind Quartermaster kept bringing me news of what occurred, like Rebecca in Front-de-Boeuf's castle, but discreetly withholding any actual casualties. Then all faded into safety and sleep; and we reached Beaufort in the morning, after thirty-six hours of absence. A kind friend, who acted in South Carolina a nobler part amid tragedies than in any of her early stage triumphs, met us with an ambulance at the wharf, and the prisoners, the wounded, and the d
Port Royal (South Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 7
hich might follow, while it was very clear that the raid would harass and confuse the enemy, and be the means of bringing away many of the slaves. General Hunter had, therefore, accepted the project mainly as a stroke for freedom and black recruits; and General Gillmore, because anything that looked toward action found favor in his eyes, and because it would be convenient to him at that time to effect a diversion, if nothing more. It must be remembered that, after the first capture of Port Royal, the outlying plantations along the whole Southern coast were abandoned, and the slaves withdrawn into the interior. It was necessary to ascend some river for thirty miles in order to reach the black population at all. This ascent could only be made by night, as it was a slow process, and the smoke of a steamboat could be seen for a great distance. The streams were usually shallow, winding, and muddy, and the difficulties of navigation were such as to require a full moon and a flood tide
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