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enemy are driving at them fiercely, as is to be expected. It is important to the enemy that such a force shall not take shape and grow and thrive in the South, and in precisely the same proportion it is important to us that it shall. Our part was faithfully carried through, and no disaster occurred, though I had to defend the town with a force so small that every resource had to be taxed to mislead the enemy into thinking us far more numerous than we were; this so far succeeding that General Finnegan-afterwards the victor at Olustee — quadrupled our real numbers in his reports. We fortified the approaches to the town, drove back the enemy's outposts, and made reconnoissances into the interior; and Colonel Rust with his white troops had actually appeared, when General Hunter, with one of his impulsive changes of purpose, altered his whole plan, and decided to abandon Jacksonville. Once again, after the arrival of General Gillmore, we were sent up a Southern river. A night was ch
James Montgomery (search for this): chapter 10
red upon, the storm burst and the whole community awaked. One of the first things thought of by all was the unprotected condition of Washington. It seemed to me that there was one simple measure to be undertaken for its defense, in case of danger; so I went, on the very day when the news reached us, to several leading men in Worcester, who gave me a letter of recommendation to Governor Andrew, that I might ask him to appropriate a sum from his contingent fund, and to let me again summon Montgomery and his men from Kansas; going with them into the mountains of Virginia, there to kindle a back fire of alarm and draw any rebel force away from Washington. Governor Andrew approved the project, but had no contingent fund; Dr. S. G. Howe entered warmly into it, and took me on State Street to raise money, as did Mr. S. G. Ward, afterwards, on Wall Street in New York. One or two thousand dollars were pledged, and I went to Harrisburg to see Governor Curtin, of Pennsylvania. He said that h
Dorothea L. Dix (search for this): chapter 10
ral Lander, and well known in earlier days on the dramatic stage; a woman much respected and beloved by all who knew her fine qualities. She had tried to establish hospitals, but had always been met by the somewhat whimsical opposition of Miss Dorothea L. Dix, the national superintendent of nurses, a lady who had something of the habitual despotism of the saints, and who had somewhat exasperated the soldiers by making anything like youth or good looks an absolute bar to hospital employment; the soldiers naturally reasoning that it assisted recovery to have pleasant faces to look upon. One of Miss Dix's circulars read thus: No woman under thirty years need apply to serve in government hospitals. All nurses are required to be very plain-looking women. Their dresses must be brown or black, with no bows, no curls or jewelry, and no hoopskirts. Undaunted by this well-meant prohibition, Mrs. Lander, who was then a little more than thirty, but irreclaimably good looking, came down to Be
wn cushions and furniture from the galleries, which it had already begun to do. The speakers at this session were Phillips, Emerson, Clarke, and myself, and it was on this occasion that Phillips uttered a remark which became historic. Turning from the mob, which made him inaudible, he addressed himself wholly to the reporters, and said: When I speak to these pencils, I speak to a million of men. . . . My voice is beaten by theirs [those of the mob], but they cannot beat types. All honor to Faust, for he made mobs impossible. At last the mayor promised the chairman, Edmund Quincy, to protect the evening session with fifty policemen; but instead of this he finally prohibited it, and when I came, expecting to attend it, I found the doors closed by police, while numerous assailants, under their leader, Jonas H. French, were in possession of the outer halls. A portion of these, bent on mischief, soon set off in search of it among the quarters of the negroes near Charles Street, and I
J. M. Goodhue (search for this): chapter 10
r consideration, when the rapid progress of events strengthened the government enough to make any such irregular proceeding quite undesirable. Coming back to Worcester, I was offered the majorship of the Fourth Battalion of Infantry, then hastily called into the United States service; and when I declined this, the position was offered to my old schoolmate, Charles Devens, who, though almost wholly ignorant of military drill, accepted it on condition that our best local drill-master, Captain Goodhue, should go with him as adjutant. My reasons for not accepting were various: first, that I doubted my competency; secondly, that my wife, always an invalid, was just at that time especially dependent on me; and lastly, that it was then wholly uncertain whether the government would take the anti-slavery attitude, without which a military commission would have been for me intolerable, since I might have been ordered to deliver up fugitive slaves to their masters,--as had already happened
VIII. Civil War Black faces in the camp Where moved those peerless brows and eyes of old. Browning's Luria. From the time of my Kansas visit I never had doubted that a farther conflict of some sort was impending. The absolute and increasing difference between the two sections of the nation had been most deeply impressed upon me by my first and only visit to a slave-mart. On one of my trips to St. Louis I had sought John Lynch's slave-dealing establishment, following an advertisement in a newspaper, and had found a yard full of men and women strolling listlessly about and waiting to be sold. The proprietor, looking like a slovenly horse-dealer, readily explained to me their condition and value. Presently a planter came in, having been sent on an errand to buy a little girl to wait on his wife; stating this as easily and naturally as if he had been sent for a skein of yarn. Mr. Lynch called in three sisters, the oldest perhaps eleven or twelve,--nice little mulatto girl
Francis W. Bird (search for this): chapter 10
sunionists, but the pressure of events seemed, for the moment, to be driving us all in their direction. I find that at the jubilant twenty-fifth anniversary of the founding of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society (January 2, 1857) I said, in Faneuil Hall, To-morrow may call us to some work so stern that the joys of this evening will seem years away. To-morrow may make this evening only the revelry by night before Waterloo. Under this conviction I took an active part with the late Francis W. Bird and a few other Republicans and some Garrisonian Abolitionists in calling a state disunion convention at Worcester on January 15, 1857; but the Republican party was by no means ready for a movement so extreme, though some of its leaders admitted frankly that it was well for the North to suggest that freedom was more valuable than even the Union. The Kansas question, it must be remembered, was yet impending, and it was obviously possible that it might result in another Slave State, lea
Rufus Saxton (search for this): chapter 10
ly second in command, the colonel being Captain Rufus Saxton, U. S. A., an officer with whom, by a cr barracks, I opened a letter from Brigadier-General Rufus Saxton, military commander of the Departmspect the situation, and saw promptly that General Saxton was in earnest, and that I could safely lee the seat of war was then most peculiar. General Saxton, who had been an Abolitionist even at Westps there existed a constant jealousy, and General Saxton, in a position requiring superhuman patienneedlessly suspicious; nor was our beloved General Saxton always free from oversensitiveness. Incides being wreaked on our unoffending heads, General Saxton's enemies occasionally striking at him thrtepped into the Court-House door before me; in Saxton's case it came from his participation in the wever in respect to courage or conduct. As General Saxton wrote to a Northern committee of inquiry ahere. A sudden influx of wounded men gave General Saxton, erelong, the opportunity of granting her [1 more...]
Luther Bigelow (search for this): chapter 10
eady left the pulpit for literature before the war, and was so far from stipulating for a colored regiment that I had just been commissioned in a white one; nevertheless the hit was palpable, and deserved its popularity. I had formed even in a short time a strong attachment to my own company, regiment, and regimental commander,--and one day, when the governor of Rhode Island had made his first abortive suggestion of a black regiment, I had notified my young lieutenants, John Goodell and Luther Bigelow, that such an enterprise would be the only thing likely to take me from them. A few days after, as we sat at dinner in the Worcester barracks, I opened a letter from Brigadier-General Rufus Saxton, military commander of the Department of the South, saying that he had at last received authority to recruit a regiment of freed slaves, and wished me to be its colonel. It was an offer that took my breath away, and fulfilled the dream of a lifetime. This was long before Massachusetts took
Elizabeth Whittier (search for this): chapter 10
h such an experience in my mind, and the fact everywhere visible in Kansas of the armed antagonism of the Free State and pro-slavery parties, I readily shared the feeling-then more widely spread than we can now easily recall — of the possible necessity of accepting the disunion forced upon us by the apparently triumphant career of the slave power. It was a period when Banks had said, in a speech in Maine, that it might be needful, in a certain contingency, to let the Union slide; and when Whittier had written in the original form of his poem on Texas,-- Make our Union-bond a chain, We will snap its links in twain We will stand erect again! These men were not Garrisonians or theoretical disunionists, but the pressure of events seemed, for the moment, to be driving us all in their direction. I find that at the jubilant twenty-fifth anniversary of the founding of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society (January 2, 1857) I said, in Faneuil Hall, To-morrow may call us to some work so
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