Tag Archives: African Americans

13 July 1862: “Noble Vicksburg, I am proud of her, she still holds out, though the large Yankee fleet before the city is constantly bombarding her”

Item description: From the diary of Sarah Lois Wadley, 13 July 1862. In this entry, Wadley talks about the battle of Vicksburg and about hearing reports of formerly enslaved African Americans in Union camps that want to return to their … Continue reading

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12 June 1862: “1. When slaves are taken from the possession of their legal masters, by violence offered by armed men and negroes, what redress shall be afforded to the owners and what protection for the future?”

Item description: This letter was written by Edward Stanly, Military Governor of North Carolina, in response to a request for information from Edwin Stanton, United States Secretary of War. In it Stanly asks for guidance on governing the relationships between … Continue reading

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31 May 1862: “That fifteen lashes be inflicted upon any colored man or woman, who, for the sake of convenience, and unaccompanied by any white person, may walk on forbidden ground…”

Item description: At the 31 May 1862 meeting of the Philanthropic Society, a committee recommended passage of the following law: “That fifteen lashes be inflicted upon any colored man or woman, who, for the sake of convenience, and unaccompanied by … Continue reading

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10 May 1862: “when our troops first landed here they were attacked by a party of negroes and a number of us slashed up with nives and had their throats cut.”

Item description: Letter, dated 10 May 1862, from William Ray Wells, private in the 12th New York Infantry Regiment (“Onondaga Regiment”), to his family in New York. Wells makes mention of a secondhand report of an attack by “a party of … Continue reading

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4 April 1862: “they told hir that may be the yankys would not pay hir she said she did not care if they did not she would wash for them gest as soon as the rhumaties was out of hir arm pay or no pay…”

Item description: Letter written from New Bern, N.C., by Union soldier Jeremiah Stetson to his wife, Abbie F. Stetson. Stetson references his son Edwin Leforrest Stetson (“E”), who was serving with his father, and describes a “negro woman” who did washing for … Continue reading

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2 January 1862: “…yesterday was New Year down here in Dixie and one I shall never forget…”

Item description: Letter, 2 January 1862, from Emmett Cole, a Union soldier in Company F, 8th Michigan Infantry Regiment, encamped at Port Royal Island, S.C., to his sister describing the Battle of Port Royal Ferry, fought on New Year’s Day … Continue reading

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22 September 1861: “I cannot explain what my place is exactly because I don’t know but one man I can trust and because this letter might get in the wrong hands…”

Item description: Letter, dated 22 September 1861, addressed to Union General George McClellan from an unnamed correspondent. According to a note penciled at the bottom of the letter, this letter was in fact a piece of counterintelligence employed by Confederate … Continue reading

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14 July 1861: “The Communion was administered to the white members and then to the negroes; I thought the Communion of the negroes was very affecting…”

Item description: Sarah Lois Wadley was the daughter of William Morrill Wadley (1812?-1882) and Rebecca Barnard Everingham Wadley (fl. 1840-1884) and lived with her family in homes near Amite in Tangipahoa Parish, Monroe and Oakland in Ouachita Parish, La., and … Continue reading

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25 June 1861: “I can’t say anything about the people for are but the Negroes left on our landing here. Men that had property to the amount of $100,000 left all and went to Richmond and Yorktown.”

Item description: Letter from J. M. Drake of Company A, 4th Massachusetts Regiment, at Camp Butler, Newport News, Va., to his father, telling of his hopes that his company will be discharged soon; detailing the wrongs done by U.S. Army … Continue reading

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