A History of the
NEGRO SOLDIERS OF THE UNITED STATES
in the Wars of
Joseph T. Wilson
Late of the 2nd Reg't. La. Native Guard Vols. 54th Mass. Vols.
Aide-De-camp to the Commander-In-Chief G. A. R.
"Emancipation," "Voice of a New Race," "Twenty-Two Years of
Freedom," etc., etc.
American Publishing Company
CHAPTER XI. -
THE PHALANX IN VIRGINIA.
pg. 377 - 462
The laurels won by the
Phalanx in the Southern States, notwithstanding the "no quarter"
policy, was proof of its devoiton to the cause of liberty and the
old flag, which latter, until within a short period had been but a
symbol of oppression to the black man; Cailloux has reddened
it with his life's blood, and Carney in a seething fire had
planted it on the ramparts of Wagner. The audacious bravery of
the Phalanx had wrung form Generals Banks and Gillmore
congratulatory orders, while the looyal people of the nation poured
out unstinted praises. Not a breach of discipline marred the
negro soldier's record; not one cowardly act tarnished their fame.
Grant pronounced them gallant and reliable, and Weitzel
was willing to command them.
In New York City, where negroes had been hung to lamp
posts, and where a colored orphan asylum had been sacked adn burned,
crowds gathered in Broadway and cheered Phalanx regiments on their
way to the front. General Logan, author of the
Illinois Black Code, greeted them as comrades, and Jefferson
Davis finally accorded to them the rights due captured
soldiers as prisoners of war. Congress at last took up the
question of pay, and placed the black on an equal footing with the
white soldiers. Their valor, excelled by no troops in the
field, had finally won full recognition from every quarter, and
henceforth they were to share the full glory as well as the toils of
their white comrades-in-arms. Not until those just
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In the Trenches
[Page 423] - BLANK PAGE
Before Petersburg, Burying Dead Under Flag of Truce
Govrnt. Blacksmiths Shop
"YOU MUST THROW AWAY THAT CIGAR, SIR!"
A Phalanx guard refusing to allow General U. S. Grant to pass by the
commissary store-house till he had thrown away his cigar.
[Page 448] - BLANK PAGE
RECEIVING THE PRESIDENT
Abraham Lincoln riding through Richmond, April 4th, 1865, after the
evacuation of the city by the Confederates
On the 24th
of May the 25th Corps began embarking for Texas by way of Mobile
Bay. The troops, however, occupied Texas but a short time, the
confederate forces there surrendering upon the same terms as those
of General Lee. All fears having been dissipated, the
troops were slowly mustered out of the United States service.
The men returned to their wonted fields of labor to provide for
their long-neglected families, upon a new career of peace and
happiness, rising, Phoenix like, from the ashes of slavery to join
the Phalanx of industry in upbuilding the greatness of their
country, which they had aided in saving from desolation and ruin.
Such is the history of the negro in the wars of the
United States. Coming to its shores in the condition of
slavery, it required more than two centuries for the entire race to
reach the estate of freedom. But the imperishable records of
their deeds show that however humble and despised they have been in
all political and social relations they have never been wanting in
patriotism at periods of public peril. Their devotion has been
not only unappreciated, but it has failed to receive a fitting
commemoration in pages of national history. It has been the
purpose of the writer of this volume to relate herein the patriotic
career of the negro race in this country in an authentic and
connected form. In the time to come the race will take care of
itself. Slavery is ended, and now they are striking off link
by link the chains of ignorance which the servitude of some and the
humility of all imposed upon them. If the past is the story of
an oppressed race, the future will reveal that of one uprisen to
great opportunities, which they will improve from generation to
generation, and guard with the same vigilance that they will the
liberties and boundaries of the land.