The following incident illustrates how desirous the volunteers are to obey orders, and the good result of their efforts:
I suppose you will see that I have written mother’s letter with a pencil, and yours with pen and ink. It is because we have just had a lot of pen-holders and pens given us by the government. We have also had a box and a half of shoe-blacking given to each man. You will remember that in my last letter I stated that G. F., one of the privates, had no shoes. When the Colonel gave us the blacking he said he wanted us to look as much alike as possible. So G. F. went to work and blacked his feet and polished them; and when the Colonel came along on dress parade, he asked F. why he did that. He replied, “To look as much alike as possible.”–The Colonel burst out laughing, and went, after parade, to the store and bought him a pair of shoes with his own money
Originally posted 2009-01-31 02:10:16.
The reception accorded to the soldiers of the Republic by the inhabitants of Wilmington, N. C. was a great and pleasing surprise to the officers and men.
The inhabitants, male and female, came from their houses into the streets, waving their hats and handkerchiefs as greetings of welcome. “We have been looking for you for a long time,” said one. “You have got here at last,” exclaimed another. “God bless you.” And many like expressions. American flags were brought out and suspended over doors and from windows. One old lady expressed herself very glad to see Gen. Terry and his staff, for, said the ancient dame, “when I first seed you I thought you were Confederate officers come looking up tobacco.” The colored people seemed beside themselves with joy; they sang and jumped, and shouted for joy.
The sight of the colored troops filled the measure of their ecstatic joy. The men danced in jubilation, the women screamed and went into hysterics, then and there, on the sidewalks. And their sable brethren in arms marched past, proud and erect, singing their “John Brown” hymn, where it was never sung before. Some of the larger houses were closed and abandoned; the people inhabiting these dwellings were affiliated with treason and rebellion. To their imagination, and their guilty consciences prompted the imaginings, our soldiers were not deliverers, but the avenging agents of the government which they had wantonly and without cause outraged and insulted.
Even from some of the finest mansions came forth the inmates with smiles of welcome for the defenders of the Union. What houses were closed or abandoned were of the first class. The middle class are nearly all loyal and four years; experience of secession has convinced even many of the slave-holding aristocracy that they committed a grave mistake, as well as a great crime, when they attempted to sever the bands of our common Union.
Originally posted 2009-01-29 22:41:23.
At every movement of General Sherman’s army, he captured more or less of the confederates, and occasionally a few came forward and voluntarily gave themselves up. One of them being asked what he thought of the Union forces and General Sherman, replied in the following rather extravagant but at the same time truthful style: “Sherman gits on a hill, flops his wings and crows; then yells out, ‘Attention! creation! by kingdoms, right wheel! march!’ and then we git.”
Some of the prisoners, with an air of curiosity worthy of a ‘Yank,” inquire where the boys get those guns which they load on Sunday and fire all the week.
Originally posted 2009-01-28 18:24:09.
CLASH, clash goes the sabre against my steed’s side,
Kling, kling go the rowels as onward I ride;
And all my bright harness is living and speaks,
And under my horse-shoe the frosty ground creaks;
I wave my buff glove to the girl whom I love,
Then join my dark squadron, and forward I move.
The foe all secure, has laid down by his gun;
I’ll open his eyelids before the bright sun;
I burst on his pickets–they scatter, they fly;
Too late they awaken–’tis only to die.
Now the torch to their camp; I’ll make it a lamp,
As back to my quarters so slowly I tramp.
Kiss, kiss me my darling; your lover is here,
Nay, kiss off the smoke-stains; keep back that bright tear;
Keep back that bright tear till the day when I come,
To the low wailing fife and deep muffled drum,
With a bullet half through the bosom so true,
To die, as I ought for my country and you.
GEORGE H. BORER.
Originally posted 2009-01-26 19:33:34.