Quote of the day…

Posted on April 23, 2009 by


… not that I actually do a “quote of the day” on any regular basis… but, what follows below is from David Hunter Strother (aka “The Crayon” or “Porte Crayon”), from June 11, 1864, while in Lexington, Virginia. I have to say that he’s one of my favorite Southern Unionists for a couple of reasons. He wasn’t perfect, but then I rather like imperfections in historical personalities. Just an interesting character. Anyway…

We saw a great deal of smoke in the mountains eastward and were told it came from the camps of the refugees who were hiding from us with their Negroes and cattle. Their campfires had fired the dry leaves and the air was misty with smoke. Our cavalry also burned extensive iron works in that direction. The satisfaction of these people in regard to their Negroes is surprising. They seem to believe firmly that their Negroes are so much attached to them that they will not leave them on any terms. Thus when running off their cattle, horses, and the goods into the mountains, they take their Negroes with them. The Negroes take the first opportunity they find of running into our lines and giving information as to where their masters are hidden and conduct our foragers to their retreats. In this way our supply of cattle has been kept up. Negroes were continually running to us with information of all kinds and they are the only persons upon whose correct truth we can rely. Of course, we cannot always rely upon their reports for lack of judgment and means of obtaining military information. With that obsequiousness of spirit, born of slavery, they have too often a tendency to tell us what they think will be agreeable to us rather than what they know. Still there is no doubt of their good will to us.

Where am I going with this? Hmmm, think about this recent discussion about “Black Confederates.”