1863: “If I Were To Describe This Hospital”

Contraband Hospital, Washington.

November 15, 1863.

I shall depict our wants in true but ardent words, hoping to affect you to some action. Here are gathered the sick from the contraband camps in the northern part of Washington. If I were describe this hospital it would not be believed. North of Washington, in an open muddy mire, are gathered all the people who have been made free by the progress of our Army. Continue reading

1861: “The Slavery Question In This Camp”

Gazette665 Blog Series 1861: In Their WordsJune 2, 1861

Yesterday morning three negroes came to the picket-guard and gave themselves up. Upon a separate examination of these men it satisfactorily appeared that they were field hands, owned by one Colonel Mallory, a resident of this neighborhood, heretofore a lawyer, and now engaged in the defence [defense] of the soil of Virginia – that’s what they call it – as the commandant of the active militia of this immediate district; that Mallory proposed to take them to Carolina, to be employed in military operations there; that one of them had a wife – a free woman – and several children in the neighborhood; and that they all objected to having anything to do with the fighting. Under these circumstances, General Butler concluded that the property was contraband of war, seized upon it, and turned it over to the Quartermaster’s Department, where labor is much wanted. He proposed to receipt to Colonel Mallory for the men, if desired, as he would for the same number of beeves [beef-cattle] coming into this inclosure under like circumstances… Continue reading