NASHVILLE DAILY UNION, February 19, 1863, p. 4, c. 1
Negroes Fighting in the Ranks of
The following letter containing facts of much interest to the public, is printed by the author’s permission in the Washington Republican of yesterday:”Washington, D. C. Feb. 2, 1863.
“Hon. William Whiting, Solicitor of the War Department”
“Dear Sir: While at Yorktown, soon after its evacuation by the rebels, I was informed that during the siege the guns in those fortifications were manned and served by negroes, who were recognized as soldiers in the rebel army.
“A few days subsequently at West Point, the day after the fight at that place, I was informed by some of our officers and men engaged in that fight that during the engagement our forces encountered a full company of negroes, armed and equipped, serving in the rebel army; that said negro soldiers drove a portion of our forces into a swamp and deliberately cut the throats of our officers and men, and that our troops caught one of these negroes with a commission in his pocket for a lieutenancy in the rebel army signed by Jeff. Davis.
“At Mechanicsville a full regiment of blacks was seen under drill, in full view of our lines, for several days.
“The above facts are well known and often spoken of. All this, if true, shows conclusively that there does not seem to be any nice question with Davis as to the equality of blacks, such at least as is now raised in Congress by his friends on the same question.
“Thos. W. Beardslee.”
We have evidence also that negroes are enlisted in the rebel army, and paid as white soldiers are, and the man who gives this evidence is a captain in the rebel army. Read the following advertisement from the Georgia Constitutionalist:
Deserted from Company A, 29th Georgia Regiment, stationed at Dawton Battery, on Savannah River, John Rose, 22 years of age, about 5 feet 7 inches in height, complexion a brown black. He is a free negro and an excellent drummer. Was enlisted October 16th, 1861, and deserted November 13th, 1862. He is at present concealed in Savannah.
W. H. Billapp,
Captain Commanding Dawton Battery.