Thursday, June 28, 2012

Just "David", Massachusetts.

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David is just like the hundreds of escape slaves and freemen and women of color who came to the Union regiments looking for work, many were turn away.  The luckly ones found work as servants for some of the Officers.  Some would cook for a company, others would drive wagons and some would do laundry work.  Some came as run aways and were looking for protection from their masters.  Many of the free colored were trying to earn as much money as the could to feed their family.  Most all felt it was their duty to help the union to free them from slavery.  These people of color were not soldies nor citizzens, but faced the many dangers along with the soldiers.  Some men of color would become friends with a white soldier which would last a life time.  It was not all dangerous, there was time for humor too, take this humorous story told by C. H. Masury, about David.

David, the "little contraband", came to us in 1862 at Ft. Cass as a servant. He scalded his arms in a camp kettle, having them badly blistered. When they healed, they came out white. He came to me and said : "If I scalded me all over, would I be a white man?"

David was of the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, formerly the Fourteenth Infantry.  No known last name nor what company he was servant in.

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