History of Buchanan County, Iowa 1842 to 1881
Transcribed by Tommy Joe Fulton and Peggy Hoehne
LETTER NO. CXXIV (A).
MOSCOW, TENNESSEE, July 5, 1863.
FRIEND RICH: - Seth Wheaton, corporal of company C, who has been acting as clerk for several months at brigade headquarters, and who has given most excellent satisfaction in that capacity, has been appointed, I learn, sergeant major of the First regiment, west Tennessee infantry, of African descent. It is a good place, but hardly as good as Seth deserves, and he will probably get a commission in a very short time.
Black troops are being rapidly organized in this district. One regiment at La Grange is already full, and the officers announced. Those blacks make most excellent soldiers, and perform their duties with greater precision, though with less judgment, than the whites. They know nothing but to obey orders, and when you are commanded by one of them to halt, you had better, as a matter of safety, obey. They are strong, muscular fellows, and are inured to the climate. As a consequence, the ranks of the black regiments will be kept full, up to the maximum, constantly. A thousand men in each regiment will always be ready to meet the foe - their effective force will always number nine hundred or more. And that they will fight, none but an infamous copperhead will deny. The soldiers know it; the secesh know it. With these facts in view, why may not the blacks ere long take the precedence as troops, and become the regular soldiers of the Union.
Yesterday was the glorious Fourth, and what a day it was. Nothing transpired worthy of note save a National salute at meridian by a battery in the fort.
C. H. L.