previous next
[543] at the South, and conduce, in no small degree, to the alleviation of any epigastric uneasiness that Exeter Hall may experience in regard to the corporeal welfare of the colored brethren. The fate of the negro, of the white population at the South, and of the Northern army, respectively, will be decided in a brief contest, which will occur about the middle of next June, and which we will describe as gravely and succinctly as possible. On the 1st of April, fifty thousand negroes, who have been previously drilled in various camps of instruction, will be debarked at Acquia creek. But it will require at least six weeks of incessant toil to perform this simple feat. It is at last accomplished. The skirmishers of the grand colored division are thrown out. They deploy.

The voice of an overseer calling hogs is heard in a distant field. They rally in the reserve. No rebels being visible, they are again thrown forward. They feel for the enemy, but he is not to be felt. They fire at nothing, fifty feet in the air, and hit it every time. The rebels being thus driven to their earthworks, the grand colored division advances at the pas de charge, singing a Methodist refrain, to storm the enemy's position, and to carry the crest at all hazards. Of a sudden, the artillery of A. P. Hill's command belches forth a hurricane of shell and shrapnell. There is a rising of wool, as of quills upon the fretful porcupine, under the caps of dusky brigadiers and sooty major generals; there is a simultaneous effusion of mellifluous perspiration from fifty thousand tarry hides; there is a display of ivory like fifty thousand flashes of lightning; fifty thousand pairs of charcoal knees are knocking together ... at the self-same moment a scattering, as if all the blackbirds, crows, and buzzards in creation had taken wings at once. To a man the Northern army lies prostrate in the field, asphyxiated by the insufferable odor bequeathed to the atmosphere by the dead, departed host. For a like cause, the rebel army is in full retreat to Richmond. Solitary and alone, with his nose in his hand, A. P. Hill surveys the silent scene.

The Examiner to the contrary, notwithstanding, the negroes stood fire pretty well, and made tolerably good subsidiary troops in the Federal army-much better than ordinary militia-and they did most valuable work by enabling the veterans to be concentrated for important services. The Confederates found this out, and, after being made very angry at being confronted with their own slaves, and being shot down by them, they fell to thinking the matter over very seriously.

I cannot discover exactly when it was that the idea of enlisting negro soldiers in the Confederacy was first broached, but I find the Mobile Register, before the middle of October, 1864, claiming that “a year ago” it had referred to the important reserve power of resistance which the Confederacy would be able to call upon in the last extremity, in the persons of its slaves. The Register says the subject “is now actively discussed.” It does not consider that the time has yet arrived for such a step, and, anyhow, it was too late in the season to undertake such a thing then. But the policy of the government ought to be settled in regard to the matter, and preparations made for the next campaign. And from the date of this article the matter came to be generally discussed, and there was a rapid

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Aquia Creek (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
A. P. Hill (2)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
October, 1864 AD (1)
June (1)
April 1st (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: