Among the sergeants of my company was one, John H. Offer, by name, who had been a preacher on the eastern shore of Maryland. He exerted great influence over the men, and he deemed the occasion a fitting one to offer some remarks, and, assuming his “Sunday voice,” he began:About the time I got my rifle loaded, Comrade John R. Turner, the esteemed adjutant of our camp, then a member of my company,Now, men, dis am gwine to be a gret fight—de gretest we seen yet; gret things is 'pending on dis fight; if we takes Petersburg, mos' likely we'll take Richmond, and 'stroy Lee's army ana close de wah. Eb'ry man had orter liff up his soul in pra'r for a strong heart. Oh, 'member de pore colored people ober dere in bondage; oh, 'member dat Gineral Grant, and Gineral Burnside, and Gineral Meade, ana all de gret ginerals is right ober yander a watchina ye, and 'member de white soldiers is a watchina ye, ana 'member dat I'se a watchina ye, and any skulker is a gwine to git prod ob dis bayonet; you heah me!
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