Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Gen. Mitchell And The Contrabands

The correspondent of the Cincinnati Commercial, writing from General Mitchell’s division at Murfreesboro, Tenn., says:

Yesterday morning I was in the quarters of a Colonel of one of our Ohio regiments.  A slave holder, clad in the inevitable butternut colored stuff, with a black cloth overcoat, entered the tent.

“What is your business, sir?” queried the Colonel.

“Why I’ve lost a boy.  I understand he is in your regiment, and I want to look for him.”

“Have you a pass?” demanded the officer.

“No, I was told it wasn’t necessary to have a pass.”

“We want nothing more to do with you here,” replied the Colonel.  “Adjutant, conduct this man over the lines.”

My lips remained closed, by my heart said, “God bless you, Colonel, for a soldier and a man.”  I have seen officers cringe in similar cases, as though they supposed that only the most disgusting servility would save their backs from the slave holder’s lash.  But those officers did not belong to General Mitchell’s division.

– Published in The Burlington Weekly Hawk-Eye, Burlington, Iowa, Saturday, April 12, 1862, p. 1

No comments: