An Observation from Richmond, 1863

From The Diary of Robert Garlick Hill Kean, edited by Edward Younger (1957) …

In Alabama, Mr. Anderson who is (Judge Campbell says) one of the ablest and most sensible men in the state, says the people are becoming thoroughly aroused to the issue before them.  Heretofore a negro could not be got for work connected with the army for any price.  Now men are offering them and are proposing to use them as soldiers.  The latter seems to me to be bad policy.  I would make laborers of them to build fortifications–teamsters, cooks, all the menial offices of the army I would discharge by them, thus leaving every white man with a rifle or musket.  But I would not use them [as soldiers], chiefly because if we do so it will counteract the wholesome effect which Port Hudson, Milliken’s Bend, Fort Wagner, and every where existing on them, to make them flee Yankee enlistment.  If we use them in the same way there will be nothing to induce them to remain faithful, the danger being the same and the hope of freedom with the enemy the determining motive.

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