the field to avenge his “daddy.”
, of the Alabama
battalion that bore his name, had a negro servant who risked his life to bear off his master's body from the field when he was shot down, and after the funeral he took his master's horse and effects, and rode home with them, over a thousand miles, to the old plantation.
A Florida negress illustrated the principle of “family” pride which is characteristic of the race, in a quaint and touching way. Her young masters, both lads, were conscripted and ordered to Pensacola
As they were taking tearful leave of friends and home, the old “mammy” said: “Now, young marsters, stop dis hyar cryin‘; go and fight fer yo‘ country like men, and mind, don't disgrace de family nor me
I could accumulate columns of this sort of anecdotes, all well authenticated, but what I have given will more than suffice.
The Confederates found by experience that the negroes, as a rule, were faithful and well behaved, and they trusted them in some things a great deal.
This was especially the case with the slave owners.
Between the poor whites, however, and the negroes, there was no sort of sympathy nor confidence, and this circumstance alone would have prevented the Confederate Government from originally putting the negroes in the field, if it had ever entertained such an idea.
But, indeed, no such idea was entertained.
They were willing to use the negroes for teamsters, cooks, etc., and did so use them to a considerable extent from the first.
Later on, as men grew scarcer, it became the custom to make requisitions upon communities for slaves to work upon fortifications and upon government farms, in the salt-works, powder factories, nitre bureaus, etc., but there was no thought of putting them in the field until long after they had been extensively enlisted in the Federal
army, and the phrase, “the colored troops fought bravely,” had passed into a proverb.
In fact, the Confederates
had no sort of opinion of the bravery of the colored troops, and even at the last nothing but sheer necessity drove them to think of the race as food for powder.
In the Richmond Examiner
, in 1863, at the time the colored troops began to be sent to the field in the Federal
forces, there was a very bumptious burlesque of the negro soldiers' bill, the favorite measure of Thad. Stevens
The editor said, in that high and mighty style which was peculiar (happily) to this sheet alone:
Enlightened Europe may turn from the sickening horrors of a servile insurrection, invoked by the madmen at Washington, to a phase of this war, as it will be waged next summer, which, when depicted with historical accuracy and physiological fidelity, can scarcely fail to relieve its fears as to the future of the white race