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Ladies Island (South Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
ranks, and who said, after watching the astonishment of some white soldiers, De buckra sojers look like a man who been-a-steal a sheep, --that is, I suppose, sheepish. After passing and repassing through the town, we marched to the parade-ground, and went through an hour's drill, forming squares and reducing them, and doing other things which look hard on paper, and are perfectly easy in fact; and we were to have been reviewed by General Saxton, but he had been unexpectedly called to Ladies Island, and did not see us at all, which was the only thing to mar the men's enjoyment. Then we marched back to camp (three miles), the men singing the John Brown song, and all manner of things,--as happy creatures as one can well conceive. It is worth mentioning, before I close, that we have just received an article about Negro troops, from the London Spectator, which is so admirably true to our experience that it seems as if written by one of us. I am confident that there never has been,
loose kind of way which, like average militia training, is a doubtful advantage. I notice that some companies, too, look darker than others, though all are purer African than I expected. This is said to be partly a geographical difference between the South Carolina and Florida men. When the Rebels evacuated this region they proba-meeting, which they know only as a shout. These fires are usually enclosed in a little booth, made neatly of palm-leaves and covered in at top, a regular native African hut, in short, such as is pictured in books, and such as I once got up from dried palm-leaves for a fair at home. This hut is now crammed with men, singing at thmpressive. I tried persuasion, orthography, threats, tobacco, all in vain. I could not pass in. Of course my pride was up; for was I to defer to an untutored African on a point of pronunciation? Classic shades of Harvard, forbid! Affecting scornful indifference, I tried to edge away, proposing to myself to enter the camp at
South Carolina (South Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
thers, though all are purer African than I expected. This is said to be partly a geographical difference between the South Carolina and Florida men. When the Rebels evacuated this region they probably took with them the house-servants, including moseen companies would in some regiments lead to real ones, and there is a latent jealousy here between the Florida and South Carolina men, which sometimes makes me anxious. The officers are more kind and patient with the men than I should expect, plantation to Charleston, I believe. They tell me that he was once allowed to present a petition to the Governor of South Carolina in behalf of slaves, for the redress of certain grievances; and that a placard, offering two thousand dollars for his of such marked ability. He makes Toussaint perfectly intelligible; and if there should ever be a black monarchy in South Carolina, he will be its king. January 15, 1863. This morning is like May. Yesterday I saw bluebirds and a butterfly; so t
Fernandina, Fla. (Florida, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
this region they probably took with them the house-servants, including most of the mixed blood, so that the residuum seems very black. But the men brought from Fernandina the other day average lighter in complexion, and look more intelligent, and they certainly take wonderfully to the drill. It needs but a few days to show the freedom from such unfavorable influences which makes the Florida men seem more bold and manly, as they undoubtedly do. To-day General Saxton has returned from Fernandina with seventy-six recruits, and the eagerness of the captains to secure them was a sight to see. Yet they cannot deny that some of the very best men in the regiminded slaves in Among the Pines seemed rather fictitious and literary in comparison. The most eloquent, perhaps, was Corporal Prince Lambkin, just arrived from Fernandina, who evidently had a previous reputation among them. His historical references were very interesting. He reminded them that he had predicted this war ever sin
Vicksburg (Mississippi, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
nd, simply giving the countersign to the challenging sentinel, undertook to pass within the lines. Halt! exclaimed this dusky man and brother, bringing down his bayonet, de countersign not correck. Now the magic word, in this case, was Vicksburg, in honor of a rumored victory. But as I knew that these hard names became quite transformed upon their lips, Carthage being familiarized into Cartridge, and Concord into Corn-cob, how could I possibly tell what shade of pronunciation my friend might prefer for this particular proper name? Vicksburg, I repeated, blandly, but authoritatively, endeavoring, as zealously as one of Christy's Minstrels, to assimilate my speech to any supposed predilection of the Ethiop vocal organs. Halt dar! Countersign not correck, was the only answer. The bayonet still maintained a position which, in a military point of view, was impressive. I tried persuasion, orthography, threats, tobacco, all in vain. I could not pass in. Of course
West Point (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
r points, that I noticed at first in my own officers. The best regiments in the Department are represented among my captains and lieutenants, and very well represented too; yet it has cost much labor to bring them to any uniformity in their drill. There is no need of this; for the prescribed Tactics approach perfection; it is never left discretionary in what place an officer shall stand, or in what words he shall give his order. All variation . would seem to imply negligence. Yet even West Point occasionally varies from the Tactics, --as, for instance, in requiring the line officers to face down the line, when each is giving the order to his company. In our strictest Massachusetts regiments this is not done. It needs an artist's eye to make a perfect drill-master. Yet the small points are not merely a matter of punctilio; for, the more perfectly a battalion is drilled on the parade-ground, the more quietly it can be handled in action. Moreover, the great need of uniformity
Waterloo (South Carolina, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
blue trousers. Moreover, he has graciously consented that we should go on an expedition along the coast, to pick up cotton, lumber, and, above all, recruits. I declined an offer like this just after my arrival, because the regiment was not drilled or disciplined, not even the officers; but it is all we wish for now. What care I how black I be? Forty pounds will marry me, quoth Mother Goose. Forty rounds will marry us to the American Army, past divorcing, if we can only use them well. Our successor failure may make or mar the prospects of colored troops. But it is well to remember in advance that military success is really less satisfactory than any other, because it may depend on a moment's turn of events, and that may be determined by some trivial thing, neither to be anticipated nor controlled. Napoleon ought to have won at Waterloo by all reasonable calculations; but who cares? All that one can expect is, to do one's best, and to take with equanimity the fortune of war.
Florida (Florida, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
I expected. This is said to be partly a geographical difference between the South Carolina and Florida men. When the Rebels evacuated this region they probably took with them the house-servants, incter material for soldiers than I had dared to hope. There is one company in particular, all Florida men, which I certainly think the finest-looking company I ever saw, white or black; they range Presidential campaign, and then described most impressively the secret anxiety of the slaves in Florida to know all about President Lincoln's election, and told how they all refused to work on the foday a young recruit appeared here, who had been the slave of Colonel Sammis, one of the leading Florida refugees. Two white companions came with him, who also appeared to be retainers of the Colonel manly way, and Mrs. Francis D. Gage spoke very sensibly to the women, and Judge Stickney, from Florida, added something; then some gentlemen sang an ode, and the regiment the John Brown song, and th
Hungary (Hungary) (search for this): chapter 2
of governing; it is as easy to govern a regiment as a school or a factory, and needs like qualities,--system, promptness, patience, tact; moreover, in a regiment one has the aid of the admirable machinery of the army, so that I see very ordinary men who succeed very tolerably. Reports of a six months armistice are rife here, and the thought is deplored by all. I cannot believe it yet sometimes one feels very anxious about the ultimate fate of these poor people. After the experience of Hungary, one sees that revolutions may go backward; and the habit of injustice seems so deeply impressed upon the whites, that it is hard to believe in the possibility of anything better. I dare not yet hope that the promise of the President's Proclamation will be kept. For myself I can be indifferent, for the experience here has been its own daily and hourly reward; and the adaptedness of the freed slaves for drill and discipline is now thoroughly demonstrated, and must soon be universally ackno
Springfield, Mo. (Missouri, United States) (search for this): chapter 2
neral Saxton spoke to them afterwards, and said that fifty thousand-muskets were on their way for colored troops. The men cheered both the generals lustily; and they were complimentary afterwards, though I knew that the regiment could not have appeared nearly so well as on its visit to Beaufort. I suppose I felt like some anxious mamma whose children have accidentally appeared at dancing-school in their old clothes. General Hunter promises us all we want,--pay when the funds arrive, Springfield rifled muskets, and blue trousers. Moreover, he has graciously consented that we should go on an expedition along the coast, to pick up cotton, lumber, and, above all, recruits. I declined an offer like this just after my arrival, because the regiment was not drilled or disciplined, not even the officers; but it is all we wish for now. What care I how black I be? Forty pounds will marry me, quoth Mother Goose. Forty rounds will marry us to the American Army, past divorcing, if we
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