Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Contrabands’

A gentleman from one of the eastern counties within the lines of the enemy, informs us on the authority of a Yankee Official, that the negroes which are held in Newbern by the Federals are dying at the rate of 25 to 50 per day. In addition to being entirely without shelter, they are suffering from small-pox, and some other very malignant disease, the name of which our informant could not recollect. Such being the case, if the Yankees continue to steal the slaves from their comfortable and healthful homes, their guilt can hardly be estimated to its full extent.

The gentleman who brings this intelligence is known to be worthy of all credit, and he thinks that there will surely be an abandonment of negro stealing in our eastern borders for the time to come. We forgot to add that the contrabands in Newbern are also in a naked and starving condition.

Source: Greensborough Patriot, December 24, 1863 as found on www.ncecho.org

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

May 10 1862 (part 2)

I went yesterday to see Mrs Hines—Peggie Norfleet.  I have not seen her since her marriage, and now she is a widow! with two children.  Poor thing—my heart bled for her!  Her desolation and isolation of heart is terrible, & were it not for her children to absorb & occupy her, draw her out of her grief as it were, I know not what would become of her.  So affectionate & capable of loving as she is, homeless, a widow, and a Refugee.  And all because of these wicked Yankees!—for Mr Hines met his death at their hands as surely as tho they had shot him, for his sickness was the result of exposure in the Peninsula.  She has many friends & kind friends, but what are they when one suffers from loneliness of heart?  She tells me that Alethea Collins servants whom she left in charge of her house have plundered her shamefully—old servants, too, in whom she had every confidence.  They have taken what they wanted.  Miss Blount’s new servants have gone to the Yankees.  Alethea’s are riding in Edenton.  The low white population, wonderful to say, commit few excesses even in the presence of the enemy, upon whom they could lay the blame, but the indulged negroes, servants of widows & single Ladies who have not been kept in proper subordination, are terribly insolent.  As a general rule the “favourite” servants, who have had more liberty than their fellows, are worse.  Where ever the Yankees are they encourage the negroes to join them & tell them they are free, but they are beginning to be disgusted with them themselves.  The negro thinks he is as good as a Yankee & is insolent in proportion.

About Fortress Monroe they have proclaimed emancipation & allowed the negro to appropriate the houses & property of their masters.  Near Hampton an officer entering one of the houses was, to his great indignation, asked for “his pass” by the negro occupant.  So we go.  I wish they would give them even more trouble than they do.  Mrs Daves servant walks about New Berne with a Lease of his mistress’ house in his pocket!  He has actually leased it to a Yankee official; & yet our government releases negroes taken prisoners, gives to what is our own property the priveleges of prisoners of War!  I suppose it is done for fear of retaliation on our own men in their hands, but I think they surrender a principle when it does so.

The attitude ofNew Orleansis a noble one.  Left defenceless by the withdrawal of the troops they yet offer a proud & defiant aspect to the enemy & refuse all intercourse with them or even to lower their Flag.  I append the correspondence of the Mayor and Com Farragut on the subject.  The Mayor’s letter is written in a noble spirit of patriotic defiance.  GallantNew Orleans, persevere in your tacit resistance; the day of your deliverance will yet come.  InNashville, too, they meet with a dignified yet manifest repugnance from all classes, from the ladies particularly.  So will it be with us all!  We will never hold intercourse with you more, ye vile money worshipers!  You understand neither the instincts of a gentleman nor the impulses of a freeman.

Source: Edmondston, Catherine Ann Devereux, 1823-1875, Journal of a Secesh Lady: The Diary of Catherine Ann Devereux Edmondston 1860-1866. Crabtree, Beth G and Patton, James W., (Raleigh, NC: North Carolina Division of Archives and History, 1979). http://nc-historical-publications.stores.yahoo.net/478.html

Read Full Post »

March 1st [1862] (continued from an earlier letter to family in NY)

The month has come in like a Lion; it blows very hard. The white capes are all over the Sound, and the waves very high, but the sun is clear & bright – it is one of Roanoke’s Winter days – Last evening about 7 ½ the General handed me a note & Said: “ Mr Larned can you get that on board the Commodore’s vessel & bring me an answer to night” – I promptly replied “Yes Sir” – but how to do it I did not know – it was dark and blowing hard – but out I went – the Flag Ship lay some 3 miles down the harbor. I went down to the wharf out to the end. Some 500 feet from the Shore & Shouted “Phoenix  a hoy” till I was hoarse. (the Generals boat & crew was on the Phoenix) but no reply; no one could see me, neither could I see the boats any where – at last I got a “cunner” or canoe & pushed off to the Phoenix got the boat & went down, delivered my message & back safely. The Generals “Thank you Mr Larned I am very much obliged to you” was ample reward – we have been for several days trying to go round to “Oregon Inlet, “ but the wind is too fresh, to accomplish anything if we went – Your letters 18th with that of Ed Townsend came safely to hand day before yesterday – letters from Providence say my letters are in great demand – I have written Mrs. Burnside that if my letters become general I can not write freely – but you must not show my journal, save to family friends – I am glad to have Mr Fellows and Mr Nicholson see them, because it interests them for the time, and will make no lasting impression like Rosalie [Starrs] books — but I can’t bear to have them read & criticized.  While I write a “rebel” is talking with the General, not a rebel but a native – and such queer talk I never heard.  “tuk” for took “Coona” for couldn’t “right smart” for great deal &c. A man came to me the second time inquiring for some person & says “Well Sir I never knowed him no more arter you showed him to me agin” The other day I took some papers out to some contrabands, and said I to the mother of some dozen little nigs “can you read at all” – “Why bress de Lor Massa, I dun no B. from Bulls feet; I’se wish to God I did”  About ten o’clock this morning, Mr French and I went out ot walk, we went into the woods, and though the wind was blowing very fresh here at the house, there the sun came down as warm as July – we passed several houses, and talked with the people – they are all ignorant persons, and the children look like crazy beings – no [manners] ragged, uncombed & dirty.  The houses are all poor, but large – nothing but clapboards & shingles – if I can I will draw a plan of this house which is a fair sample of all – the best place I have seen yet, and one that comes the nearest to civilization was in the middle of the woods. It was a two story house, two room on each floor, & no walls or lathing – only the rough beams – every window had over half of the panes broken out. A man with three children lived there. There were the strangest looking beings I ever saw – I tried to talk with them, but they giggled & ran away – I saw two or three doves – some poor cattle, but the whole places looked like Israel [Ellis] fine house in its worst states of decay – Yet this man is considered a rich man. Evening I have been looking over that book “John” or “is a Cousin the hand” & c., how many recollections it brings up -on one page is written in H.D.W.’s hand “April 5 1854 Daniel” who thought that would come out to North Carolina

Source: Daniel Larned Papers, Library of Congress, Transcribed from original by John Barden for Tryon Palace Historic Site & Gardens

*** Daniel Larned was General Burnside’s Private Secretary for most of the Civil War

 

Read Full Post »

 

Because I have no letters, diaries, or other tidbits written today, 150 years ago, I will “catch” up on some basics related to North Carolina and the national spotlight on her coastline during the early months of 1862.  As part of the overall Union’s Anaconda Plan to strangle the south’s ports, Brigadier General Ambrose Burnside and a Union force of 7,500 men landed on Roanoke Island on February 7, 1862.  Burnside’s forces quickly overwhelmed Confederate forces on the islands and forced the surrender of the Confederate garrison the next day.  During the Battle of Roanoke Island, Confederate forces suffered 23 killed, 58 wounded, 62 missing, and 2,500 captured.

 A month later, Burnside sailed his army from the island and captured the important town of New Bern in Craven County on March 14. From New Bern, he moved thirty-five miles southeast and seized Fort Macon, at Beaufort Inlet in Carteret County. These victories gave Union forces control of the strategically important Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds.

 Thousands of liberated African Americans rejoiced at the appearance of the Union forces and escaped their plantations to seek freedom.  Many of these “contrabands” worked for the Union army and later enlisted to fight in the United States Colored Troops that were organized in 1863.  A Freedmen’s Colony was established at Roanoke Island in 1862 to accommodate these escaped slaves. 

 

For more information on the Burnside Expedition: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burnside’s_North_Carolina_Expedition 

And http://www.nps.gov/fora/historyculture/thecivilwar.htm

Read Full Post »

26 Wednesday [February 26] PM

Hurrah! For the General. He’s a bully boy – We had two of the Navy to dine to day – and they got to discussing war & politics; and the General came out top of the heap – because he had the right on his side – Commander Rowan is for a monarchy, don’t believe the Government can ever be reunited on it presents basis. Capt Case think it will. The General don’t think at all, he knows it   it is what he is fighting for, and what he will fight for to the end – he believes we are in the right, and that an overruling Providence guides the whole affair—“Bully for him” – This morning while we were waiting on the dock for news from the fleet that had been sent to Hatteras to bring up the remainder of our forces, a boat load of boxes, barrels, trunks & c came up along side; as one of the men approached the General I thought he looked like someone I had seen. They proved to be a committee from the Sanitary Commission – with delicacies for the sick & wounded – I noticed the name of “Woolsey” on the Trunk, a lady’s trunk – think I now here comes “Sarah Woolsey” – I went off with the General & thought no more of it, till late in the evening, while I was looking around the camp, I went into their tent & after alking with them, discovered one of the two was a Mr Woolsey, who had come out on his own account, and from pure love & Sympathy for the unfortunate. He is a son of Rev Charles Woolsey & own cousin to Annie & the Wooster St Woolseys, & to the Winthrops – We sat down & talked over our friends; and I hope to find in these two rather more congenial Spirits than in the rest of our company. They are from the Young Mens Christain ass. — & Dr. Tyngs church – We made them very comfortable & they seemed to be surprised to find they were to receive any attention – The General delights in aiding any work of the kind – Yesterday he gave orders for a building to be put up at “Fort Reno” or Camp Burnside,” where all the Contrabands could assemble and be taught by the Chaplains & such of the Soldiers as Should choose to volunteer their Services – There is a Mr. [illeg] on Genl Parkes Staff, a cousin of the [Redmans] of Orange, & ho I think I have seen with them: he is a very pleasant, Gentlemanly fellow, and as I have not yet heard him swear, I hope to cultivate him still more. We have walked & strolled around together a good deal, & I hope he will prove a good fellow –

Source: Daniel Larned Papers, Library of Congress, Transcribed from original by John Barden for Tryon Palace Historic Site & Gardens

*** Daniel Larned was General Burnside’s Private Secretary for most of the Civil War

Read Full Post »