USCT At Petersburg, " A Man, A Soldier, a Hero "

JPK Huson 1863

Colonel
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
17,368
Location
Central Pennsylvania
#1
usct petersburg.jpg

From a stereo view which enlarged surprisingly well, USCT at Petersburg. Image packs an awful lot of story into one frame.

usct news 1.jpg

Easy enough to find these articles. Don't get me wrong, easy to find articles ' da*mming with faint praise ' too, like finding excuses why troops would behave so incredibly well was necessary and those are from Northern papers.

Accounts from there are chilling. Losses immense, they did it anyway and planted regimental colors all the way from Maine to Petersburg. Just did a thread on who shouldn't be here at CWT, with ancestors living through carnage. USCT troops at Petersburg? Makes the question even more striking. 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th USCT left more future generations behind than we'll ever know.


usct news 2.jpg


usct news 3.jpg

Where's Hollywood when a story needs to be filmed?

usct news 4.jpg


usct news 5.jpg


usct news 6.jpg


So I don't care if ' in those days ' it was acceptable to print slurs, they've seen their last airing here. You get the idea without it.
usct news 7.jpg
 

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)

JPK Huson 1863

Colonel
Forum Host
Joined
Feb 14, 2012
Messages
17,368
Location
Central Pennsylvania
#4
Read an account from Petersburg's USCT fight I can't find again. One officer recorded his part of the battle based solely on USCT actions- it was hair raising stuff, like the color guard described in this article. The thing is it was really long, same descriptions over and over. If it was a movie your adrenaline would be exhausted.
 

AndyHall

Colonel
Forum Host
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
Messages
13,205
#7
In 1898, when African American solders were again going into combat under the Stars and Stripes, Ambrose Bierce wrote a column for the San Francisco Examiner in which he explained that "I was at one time a doubter."

nashville.png
A skeptical correspondent asks me for an opinion of the fighting qualities of our colored regiments. Really I had thought the question settled long ago. The Negro will fight and fight well. From the time when we began to use him in civil war, through all his service against Indians on the frontier, to this day he has not failed to acquit himself acceptably to his White officers. I the more cheerfully testify to this because I was at one time a doubter. Under a general order from the headquarters of the Army, or possibly from the War Department, I once in a burst of ambition applied for rank as a field officer of colored troops, being then a line officer of white troops. Before my application was acted on I had repented and persuaded myself that the darkies would not fight; so when ordered to report to the proper board of officers, with a view to gratification of my wish, I “backed out” and secured “influence” which enabled me to remain in my humbler station.
But at the battle of Nashville it was borne in upon me that I had made a fool of myself. During the two days of that memorable engagement the only reverse sustained by our arms was in an assault upon Overton Hill, a fortified salient of the Confederate line on the second day. The troops repulsed were a brigade of Beatty’s division and a colored brigade of raw troops which had been brought up from a camp of instruction at Chattanooga. I was serving on Gen. Beatty’s staff, but was not doing duty that day, being disabled by a wound — just sitting in the saddle and looking on. Seeing the darkies going in on our left I was naturally interested and observed them closely. Better fighting was never done. The front of the enemy’s earthworks was protected by an intricate abatis of felled trees denuded of their foliage and twigs. Through this obstacle a cat would have made slow progress; its passage by troops under fire was hopeless from the first — even the inexperienced black chaps must have known that. They did not hesitate a moment: their long lines swept into that fatal obstruction in perfect order and remained there as long as those of the white veterans on their right. And as many of them in proportion remained until borne away and buried after the action. It was as pretty an example of courage and discipline as one could wish to see. In order that my discomfiture and humiliation might lack nothing of completeness I was told afterward that one of their field officers succeeded in forcing his horse through a break in the abatis and was shot to rags on the slope on the parapet. But for my abjuration of faith in the Negroes’ fighting qualities I might perhaps have been so fortunate as to be that man!
_____
San Francisco Examiner, June 5, 1898. From Russell Duncan and David Klooster, Phantoms of a Blood-Stained Period: The Complete Civil War Writings of Ambrose Bierce. Image: “Battle of Nashville,” Kutz & Allison Lithograph, Library of Congress.
 



(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Top