Kate Masur has an excellent post up at the NYTs Disunion blog on slaves, who were present with the Confederate army at Bull Run.

On the morning of Sunday, July 21, 1861, John Parker and three other men opened fire on Union forces. In the chaos of the Civil War’s first major battle, the group, which was operating a cannon, “couldn’t see the Yankees at all and only fired at random.”

Like so many men on both sides who experienced war for the first time that day, Parker was terrified. “The balls from the Yankee guns fell thick all around,” he later told a reporter. “In one battery a shell burst and killed 20, the rest ran. Thank the Lord! none were killed in our battery. I felt bad all the time, and thought every minute my time would come; I felt so excited that I hardly knew what I was about, and felt worse than dead.”

Read the rest of the NYTs essay here.  It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the comments section to turn into another forum for the standard emotional attacks and personal pleas that have nothing to do with actual history.

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6 comments add yours

  1. I timely contribution by Kate Masur, especially considering my blog entry earlier today. Thanks for bringing it to our attention.

    • Hi Don,

      I really enjoyed your essay. Masur did an excellent job with this essay. It’s nice to see well written essays on this particular topic that will be read by a relatively large number of people. Her recent book on emancipation in Washington is very good.

      • Hi Kevin. Thanks for the kind words, but I got a sinking feeling when I read Kate’s piece, as much as I enjoyed it. I wish I had had it 24 hours ago. I guess that is what follow up posts are for.

        • That’s the beauty of blogging. You can always revise/update.

  2. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for the comments section to turn into another forum for the standard emotional attacks and personal pleas that have nothing to do with actual history.You’d have to get them to read the New York Times first.

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