O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XL/3 [S# 82]
CONFEDERATE CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA, FROM JULY 5, 1864, TO JULY 31, 1864.--#1,
RICHMOND, VA., July 5, 1864.
Maj. T. O. CHESTNEY, Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters:
MAJOR: I have the honor to report that about the 13th of June last a regiment of negroes, commanded by Colonel Draper, of Massachusetts, arrived at Pope's
Creek, in Westmoreland County, Va., accompanied by about fifty regular U.S. Cavalry.(*) They marched to Union Wharf Richmond County, in divided commands,
taking negroes, horses, cattle, bacon, wagons, farming utensils, &c., all of which were either carried away or burned. About the 14th, at a place called Hutt's
Store, near the center of Westmoreland County, some of the negro troops went to the house of Private George, of Ninth Virginia Cavalry, and committed a rape
upon his wife, who had just been confined with a babe only six weeks old. She is now almost a maniac, and begs that some one will kill her. This atrocious
crime can be verified by a number of witnesses who are personally cognizant of the fact. In Warsaw, Richmond County, the negro troops attempted to ravish
white ladies, but were foiled by the assistance of the female slaves of the households. In the case of Mrs. Belfield, she escaped by flight to the woods.
Many other instances could be mentioned of like atrocities if desired....
JNO. S. BRAXTON, , Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XXXIX/2 [S# 78]
UNION CORRESPONDENCE…., U.S. S. MOOSE, Smithland, Ky., June 11, 1864.
Rear-Admiral DAVID D. PORTER,
Commanding Mississippi Squadron:
SIR: .... I am told, in consequence of some gross outrages that was said to have been committed in that neighborhood by a Colonel Cunningham, from Paducah. It
is reported that he went up in that section of country with a lot of negro soldiers, and sent them on shore to conscript every negro they could find. These
negroes, it is reported, were sent on shore armed and without an officer with them, entered private houses, broke open the doors, and entered ladies'
bedrooms before they were up, insulted women, and plundered and searched generally. If this be as bad as reported, it is certainly a gross outrage and
disgrace to our cause. I will, on my way up, stop and see if I can ascertain the truth of the matter. It was said that gun-boat convoyed them up. None of
our gun-boats convoyed them or would countenance such disgraceful proceedings; on the contrary, they would have forced respect to women. On my way down I
found the people so frightened and excited that to set them aright I thought it only justice to ourselves to send them a communication, of which the inclosed
is a copy.(*)
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
LE ROY FITCH, Lieutenant-Commander.
“The Day Dixie Died, Southern Occupation,” By Thomas and Debra Goodrich Page 155
“Maj. J.R. Cook and his family lived about seven miles from Vicksburg, not far from the railroad line. Despite numerous murders in their community, the Cooks
felt some sense of security. General Grant himself had guaranteed that Hardtimes Plantation would not be subject to further searches or depredations, The
family had retired for the retired for the evening when a party of 25 black soldiers, armed with muskets and carbines, burst into the house. During the
confrontation, gunfire erupted and Minerva was struck in the chest. When the major rushed to her aid, he too was shot. Before leaving, the intruders
plundered the house and grounds, taking not only valuables, but also every chicken on the farm.”
Page 226 - Near Chattanooga, black troops entered the home of an old man, robbed him, beat him nearly to death, then raped his wife and daughter.
Page 155 - “A company of black soldiers drove off the family’s hogs, Eudora Inez Moore reported from Texas, and when her father tried to stop them, the
troops picked up sticks and threatened to “beat his brains out” if he came any closer. ….”
Pages 226–227 - In Augusta, a regular battle ensued when black soldiers were chased from a woman’s home by her son, who wielded a pistol. More troops
returned, broke down the door, and stormed upstairs. When it was over, and an officer had finally forced them out, four blacks were dead. (footnote 17)
Pages 226–227 - In Beaufort North Carolina, a squad of black soldiers entered a home near the fort and, reported a Charlotte editor, “while the man of
the house and his wife were held, they ravished their daughter, a girl of 15 year of age. ………..“Another squad went to another house and attempted a rape on
a child of 10 years of age” At almost the same time, 4 black troops from fort Macon were brought to Raleigh in chains on charges of raping a 13 year old.
In Texas, a band of several hundred black soldiers went on a rampage, raiding, robbing and raping…
“Dixie After the War,” Myrta Lockett Avary
Page 22 – “In Raymond Mississippi, Negro troops strung a flag across the street and drove the white children under it.”
Page 273 – “In the hill country of South Carolina, a one-armed ex-confederate, a “poor white”, made a scanty living for his large family by hauling. Once,
on a lonely road, when his load was whiskey, he was surrounded by negro soldiers, who killed him, took possession of the whiskey and drank it. Ring leaders
were arrested and lodged in jail; some were spirited away to Columbia and released; a plan was afoot to set the rest free, among them, the negro captain who
had boasted of his crime, and flouted the whites with their powerlessness to punish him….
Page 267 – “A congregation in another county church was thrown into a panic by balls crashing through the boards and windows; a girl of 14 was killed –
negro soldiers marched by.”
Page 267 – “Into a dwelling a squad of black soldiers marched, bound the owner, a prominent aged citizen, pillaged his house, and then before his
eyes, bound his maiden daughter and proceeded to fight among themselves for her possession. “Though”, related my informant, “her neck and face had been
slobbered over, she stood quietly watching the conflict. At last, the victor came to her, caught her in his arms and started into an adjoining room, when
he wavered and fell and she with him. She had driven a knife, of which she had in some way possessed herself, into his heart. The others rushed in and beat
her until she too was lifeless. There was no redress.”
“The Coming of the Glory,” By John S. Tilley
Page 171 - “...Even so, the soldiers’ favorite activity of looting at length reached such excesses as to provoke open condemnation from Northern editors
and clergymen, among the latter being Henry Ward Beecher.” (from the Tuskaloosa Monitor, copied in Montgomery Weekly Mail, May 6, 1868)
Page 213 - “The crowning humiliation came with the arrival of Colonel Shaw’s negro regiment from Massachusetts, a group which went to great pains to vent
its wrath upon the despised slave-holders. A careful student of the period tersely records that the colored soldiers were “lawless, brutish and in not a
few instances, murderers.” They swash-buckled through the streets, elbowed men and women alike off the sidewalks, flaunted their authority in the faces of
the helpless whites, threatened with their guns, any show of opposition.”
“The Tragic Era,” By Claude G. Bowers, P. 53
From every quarter appeals reached Washington for their [the USCT occupying forces in South Carolina during Reconstruction] removal, for the fears of the
whites were not of the imagination. Thus, at Chester they clubbed and bayoneted an old man, at Abbeville white men were ordered from the sidewalks, in
Charleston they forced their way into a house, ordered food, and, after partaking, felled the mistress of the household….
“Jefferson Davis, Private Letters 1823 – 1889”, by Hudson Strode, Page 218
....I thank God on my knees for the cloud which directed me the day I sent my poor little boys away from danger. A quarrel with a negro child caused by
the negro snatching a toy from its hand which the white child’s father reclaimed from the negro, brought to the rescue two negro soldiers, who, finding
that the white man had help, desisted, but came back with 20 more at night and were only prevented from murdering him by his barring his doors and sending
secretly for the police…. (a letter from Varina Davis to Jefferson Davis, December 25, 1865)
“DAILY CONSTITUTIONALIST” [AUGUSTA, GA], July 22, 1864, p. 4, c. 1
”Mrs. Mary Beckham, in a letter published in the Atlanta Appeal, furnishes a lengthy narrative of the treatment of her family by Lincoln ’s murderers….
"On Tuesday morning about 9 o’clock, August 4th, 1863, twelve armed negro soldiers came to the house, there being no one there except my husband, father-in-law,
Benjamin Beckham, and four of my children, and some of our family negroes. They rushed on my husband and tied him, took off his watch and pin, and rifled his
pockets. They then tied my father-in-law, and dragged them to the river, (it being about thirty yards.) They killed my husband on top of the bank by shooting
him in the head. They then cut off his shoulder-blade and rolled his body into the river, his clothes looked as if there had been a great struggle.
They then took the old gentleman, stabbed him three times, once in the heart, and cut one of his ears off. After throwing his body into the river, they
proceeded back to the house, where two of them had been guarding my dear little children. They spoke to my eldest daughter, Laura, aged fourteen years, telling
her to get up and follow her old daddy, at the same time presenting a pistol to her temple. The children then were driven to the waters edge, where their father
and grandfather had been murdered, and then they were put to death in the most cruel manner.
The youngest, Richard aged two and a half years, was thrown into the water alive. Laura jumped in and attempted to rescue him, and whilst in the water,
waist deep, begging for mercy, she was knocked on the head by the butt end of a gun, entirely separating her forehead, and then stabbed in the side. Kate
Ida, eleven years of age, was then disposed of. She was beaten with guns until her head and shoulders were perfectly soft; her body was bruised all over.
Caroline, seven years of age was shot through the head, and so disfigured that she did not look like a human. After they had murdered them all and thrown
their bodies into the river, they returned to the house, taking everything valuable and all the clothing they could carry."”