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Reminiscences of two years with the colored troops Personal Narratives of events in the War of the Rebellion, being papers read before the Rhode Island Soldiers and Sailors Historical Society. No. 7, Second Series   By: (1840-1930)

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Transcriber's Note: This e book contains archaic spelling which has not been modernized. To avoid confusion a list has been provided at the end of this document.

PERSONAL NARRATIVES

OF EVENTS IN THE

WAR OF THE REBELLION,

BEING PAPERS READ BEFORE THE

RHODE ISLAND SOLDIERS AND SAILORS

HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

NO. 7.... SECOND SERIES.

[Illustration]

PROVIDENCE: N. BANGS WILLIAMS & CO. 1880.

Copyrighted by N. BANGS WILLIAMS. 1880.

REMINISCENCES

OF

TWO YEARS WITH THE COLORED TROOPS.

BY

J.M. ADDEMAN, [LATE CAPTAIN FOURTEENTH R.I. HEAVY ARTILLERY, COLORED.]

PROVIDENCE: N. BANGS WILLIAMS & CO. 1880.

Copyrighted by N. BANGS WILLIAMS. 1880.

PRINTED BY E.L. FREEMAN & CO.

REMINISCENCES OF TWO YEARS

WITH THE

COLORED TROOPS.

The circumstances attending the organizing of a colored regiment in this State are well remembered. In the summer of 1863, white men were no longer eager to enlist for a war the end of which none could foresee; but nevertheless the war must be prosecuted with vigor; another draft was impending and the State's quota must be filled. With difficulty Governor Smith obtained permission to organize a company, and, as this rapidly filled, then a battalion, and finally a full regiment of twelve companies of colored men for heavy artillery duty. In common with many others I did not at the outset look with particular favor upon the scheme. But with some hesitation I accepted an appointment from the State as a second lieutenant and reported for duty at Camp Smith, on the Dexter Training Ground, in this city. After serving here for some weeks in the fall of 1863, in the organizing of companies and forwarding them to Dutch Island, where the regiment was in camp, I successfully passed an examination before what was known as "Casey's Board," and after some preliminary service with a company of the third battalion, was assigned to the command of Company H of the second battalion, with whose fortunes my lot was cast till the close of our term of service. On the turtle backed crown of Dutch Island we remained amid fierce storms and the howling winds that swept with keen edge over the waters of the Narragansett, until the 20th of January, 1864, when, as I was about to make a visit home, the transport, Daniel Webster, appeared in the harbor and orders were issued to prepare for embarking on the following day. At the time appointed, we were on board, but the sutler's arrangements were not completed until early the next morning, when we got up steam and were soon out of sight of our familiar camp.

The incidents of the voyage it is not necessary to recite to any comrade whose chance it was to make a trip in an army transport, which had long since seen its better days, and which had been practically condemned before Uncle Sam found for it such profitable use. The men packed like sheep in the hold, the officers, though far better off as to quarters, yet crowded too much for convenience and comfort, the inevitable sea sickness, the scanty rations, and what was worse, the extreme scarcity of water, were annoyances but the counterpart of those endured by many brave men who preceded and followed us to the scene of duty. But in the main the weather favored us, and on the hurricane deck we spent the hours off duty, gazing far across the illimitable waste of waters, as day after day we approached a warmer clime with its glowing sunshine and glittering waves and the deep blue sky bending down in unbroken circle around us. The rebel cruisers were then in the midst of their destructive work and it was natural, as we caught sight of a distant vessel, to speculate whether it was a friendly or a hostile craft... Continue reading book >>




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