April 5, 1864: Glee over the death of black soldiers

Sometimes the Richmond Daily Dispatch is hard to believe, even allowing for the different attitudes of the time.

The negroes at the Olustee battle

–A correspondent of the Savannah New, who was at the battle of Olustee, Florida, says of the spot held by a negro regiment that the dead negroes were strewed about in little companies of seven or eight together. He says:

Here one sat erect against a tree, his eyes staring, and his legs and arms stiffened out before him Here a negro had crawled into some brush to die; his back was bowed up like a hoop, his face to the ground, and he resting entirely on the points of his extended fingers and toes. The eyes of all were wide open, and the whites of those of “Cuffee,”as well as his teeth, were displayed with a peculiar grimace. The wounded negroes were all very humble — the slaves dejected in the extreme. The Northern negroes, at first, spoke as to their equals, but soon found it would not do. Said one of a group to a Confederate soldier standing by, “I say, my friend, just let me put my arm around your neck, and raise me up a little.” Confederate soldier–“Don’t call me your friend, d — n you. I’d just as soon blow your brains out as not, and I would’nt touch you with a ten foot pole.”

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