Friday, June 24, 2011

Back of the Bus !


THE design on page 273, from a sketch by Mr. Theodore R. Davis, illustrates the

With the sketch Mr. Davis sends us the following letter:


Monday Night, March 30, 1863. "General T. E. G. Ransom, one of the youngest Brigadiers in the army, and an excellent and a gallant officer, who has been severely wounded several times, having learned some weeks ago that a large amount of cotton, pledged to the British Government at seven cents per pound, by the soidisant Confederacy, was hidden near the American Bend, determined to make an effort to rescue it, and at once set about forming an expedition for the purpose. "Rapid as were the General's movements, he did not succeed in reaching the place before more than half of the staple was burned by the guerrillas; but the remainder, something over three thousand bales, he has secured to our Government, and has been engaged for some days past in hauling it in, and putting it on board of the transports, as is seen in the sketch.

"The cotton was marked "C. S. A.," and with the rebel and British flags, as is shown in the upper centre of the picture. The left corner represents a huge pile of the staple covered at the top with boards, to protect it from the inclemency of the weather. The right corner reveals the negroes hauling the "fleecy monarch" from the swamps and cane-brakes where it was concealed; and the main sketch exposes the shipping of the floculent fibre on board the David Tatum and other steamers lying at the shore.

"The poor contrabands toiled most energetically to bring in the cotton, and were very instrumental in discovering it, hoping by their fidelity and labor to obtain their freedom, for which they manifest a most ardent longing. "Alas for their vain hopes! After all the service they had rendered they were not allowed to go aboard of the boats, General Grant having issued a special order prohibiting their removal, because no provision has been made for them at Young's Point.

"The disappointment and distress of the negroes were painfully apparent when they made this unwelcome discovery, and as they stood in crowds—men, women, and children—along the levee, with sorrow-stamped faces, their grief was pitiful to witness—all the more so because they did not murmur or complain. "Seneca was right: Small griefs are loud; great woes are dumb.

President Abraham Lincoln issued the
Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863.

Now a full 3 months later, Free Blacks who had disclosed the location of Rebel Cotton,& loaded the cotton on to ships, were denied passage off the plantation!

This was not " Move to the back of the bus" --They couldn't even get on the bus!

A fine way to say "Thank You"!