Retaliation in camp
|Resource Bank Contents|
Click here for the text of this historical document.
Three years after the Civil War began, in May 1864, George W. Hatton and his Union regiment were encamped close to Jamestown, Virginia. Hatton had been a slave, and was now a sergeant in Company C, First Regiment, United States Colored Troops. A month earlier, while stationed in North Carolina, he had written, "Though the Government openly declared that it did not want the negroes in this conflict, I look around me and see hundreds of colored men armed and ready to defend the Government at any moment; and such are my feelings, that I can only say, the fetters have fallen -- our bondage is over."
Now Hatton's unit was encamped near Jamestown, in a region where some of the soldiers had been enslaved. One day a group of African American freedwomen entered the camp. Hatton described the scene he witnessed in the attached article, which appeared in The Christian Recorder on May 28, 1864.
The Civil War and emancipation
Part 4: Narrative | Resource Bank Contents | Teacher's Guide
Africans in America: Home | Resource Bank Index | Search | Shop
WGBH | PBS Online | ©