Slaves Freed in the Civil War


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, November 14, 1863

We have been collecting Civil War newspapers for over 20 years. We have now been able to post this extensive collection online to allow students and researchers to access this important source of information and illustrations. Reading these old newspapers will allow you to gain insights not otherwise possible.

(Scroll Down to See Entire Page, or Newspaper Thumbnails below will take you to the page of interest)


Freed Slaves

Freed Slaves

Brady Studio

Mathew Brady Studio


Battle of Bridgeport

Lytle Death

Death of General Lytle

General Lytle

General Lytle

Henry Beecher

Henry Beecher


Medicine Cartoon

Lookout Mountain

Battle of Lookout Mountain

French Fleet

French Fleet

Ship Building

Ship Building




VOL. VII.—No. 359.]




Entered according to Act of Congress, in the Year 1863, by Harper & Brothers, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.


HE pinned to his coat the fiery badge,

Red, like the blood of those who had gone When first our country called for aid,

And he said he would follow on. He would go to the battle-field;

Like them he would proudly meet the foe, Never to falter, never to yield,

Until treason were laid low.

But there are many," he said, " would be

Glad in your place to be enrolled."

But he cried, "When the land asks life from me,

Can I pay the debt with gold? You starry flag in the air

Beneath its folds I could even die!—Who should fight to maintain it there, If you hold back. such as I?"

"Once," he said, "in my school-boy days,

Reading of all our fathers braved, When they dared to face a tyrant's wrath

To set free a Land enslaved,

I wished I had lived just then,

When men had such gallant work to do; And, now the chance has come round again, I must make my dreams come true!"

So he left us all to fulfill his word

The word once uttered in boyish glee—"If foes should threaten my native land, She may look for help to me!"

And he stands in the conscript ranks,

With as lofty a step and bearing high

As becomes a man who has grasped the sword

To maintain his rights or die.

And I thank God one is left us yet,

One honest man, valiant and strong, To stifle down all selfish fear,

And himself try to conquer wrong.

Thank God for one freeman more,

Steadfast, and calm, and resolute,

Who would die in his country's cause before He would call for a "substitute!"


WE illustrate on this page a most interesting scene, namely, the address of Adjutant-General Thomas to the negro troops and the contrabands generally at Goodrich's Landing, Louisiana, on 4th October, 1863. Goodrich's Landing, sixty-five miles north of Vicksburg on the west bank of the river, is the head-quarters of General J. P. Hawkins, commanding the district of Northeast Louisiana and the colored troops there stationed, and of Mr. W. R. Field, President of the Board of Commissioners for the leasing of Government plantations. On Sunday, October 4, Adjutant-General Thomas requested the soldiers, officers, planters, and working hands to the Goodrich House, and addressed them on the various duties devolving upon them. The utmost attention was given by the entire audience ; and it may safely be said that no so singular and impressive scene has ever been enacted during the war as the Adjutant-General of the United States Army addressing negro soldiers, civilians, and women and children, on the duties and responsibilities of freedom, and that in the most southern of all the Slave States. Our artist

has drawn the scene from photographs taken on the spot.

The public will be interested to learn from Secretary Stanton's report, which will be laid before Congress next month, what progress has been made in the equipment and organization of negro troops. It is generally though vaguely understood that not less than 25,000 negroes are already in arms, on the Mississippi, in Louisiana, in South Carolina, and in Virginia. Some weeks since an official connected with the War Department stated that we should have 100,000 negroes in the field by New Year 1864. Now that no one but the most incurable Copperheads objects to the employment of negro soldiers, it is to be hoped that the officers who have the work of recruiting them in hand are prosecuting their task with energy. And it is also to be hoped that the President w ill lose no time in repairing one injustice of which they are the victims. They are not paid as much as white troops. This is all wrong. If they are expected to work and fight as bravely as their white comrades, they deserve to be paid as well. Thus far they have done excellently well. At Port Hudson, Helena, on Morris Island, and in other battle-fields they have proved, what no man of sense ever doubted, that (Next Page)


Freed Slaves in the Civil War




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