|FROM OUR COLORED BOYS -- We
publish the following from one of the colored men of our borough,
who enlisted some time ago, and is now Orderly Sergt. of Co., D, 6th
Regt., U.S. Colored Troops. It is dated Yorktown, Va.,
February 13, inst.
Messrs. Editors -- You have no doubt heard of our "on to Richmond move", and knowing the deep interest you have in the colored soldiers, I will give you a description of our march. I had just woke up from a nice nap on the morning of the 5th, and was strolling around camp, not knowing what to do with myself, the men busy fixing up the camp for Sunday inspection, when the order came -- six days rations in knapsack and seventy rounds of ammunition. I cannot describe the wild enthusiasm of the men on their receipt of the order. There was "mounting in hot haste"; greasy cooks cooking the fattest of bacon; and issuing hardtack sufficient to cause a dentist to shout with joy. We marched to Williamsburg and camped that night on the battlefield rendered famous by the victory over Magruder. The night was intensely cold and fires were prohibited. We left Williamsburg at 11 o'clock a.m., reaching New Kent Courthouse, a distance of 38 miles, at 1:30 a.m. and slept that night without rocking. After a hasty breakfast, we prepared to march, and it would have done you good to have looked down that dark line, and noted the stubborn determination to do or die. We marched within three miles of Bottom's Bridge on the Chickahominy River, where we met our Cavalry returning. Sadly disappointed, I assure you. Our rear guard was attacked by the enemy, but we repulsed them. We captured twenty five or thirty bush whackers and a few horses and carts, are arrived safe at camp on the evening of the 10th, without a straggler.
LEVI R. CHAPLIN
Journal and American (Huntingdon, Pennsylvania), 24 February 1864
Charles Anderson Robinson, E-mail correspondence to the Afrolumens Project, 20 January 2006.
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