Following the American Civil War Sesquicentennial with day by day writings of the time, currently 1863.

Post image for Cruise of the U.S. Flag-Ship Hartford – From the Personal Journal of Wm. C. Holton.

Cruise of the U.S. Flag-Ship Hartford – From the Personal Journal of Wm. C. Holton.

April 11, 2013

Cruise of the U.S. Flag-Ship Hartford–Wm. C. Holton

April 11th. Everything quiet to-day. During the afternoon, the Albatross (our chicken, as the boys now call her) returned from a reconnoitering expedition up to Fort Adams, for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not the rebels were fortifying that place. I understand she ascertained that they were not, although contrabands coming on board of us from that vicinity, inform us that they were. This is not the first instance that these negroes have told similar lies to us, and made us a good deal of trouble for nothing. Every day we receive reinforcements to the already large number of contrabands we now have to feed, and soon I expect we will be able to form a regiment, composed of these runaways, and send them wherever their services may be required. They are more an encumbrance than an article of use on board a man-of-war, and for my part I wish we were rid of them. In other words, they are a nuisance not to be tolerated (I hope) long in the U. S. Navy. We have some specimens of dark ebony who have been on board the ship a few seconds over a week or ten days, and a white man cannot speak to one of them and receive a civil answer. One cause, and the principal one, of all this is, if my experience teaches me anything, that every officer and man on board any of our vessels, do not all treat them alike. But enough has been said by me about this race of benighted beings. I will leave them here, after remarking that I pity them because they have not good sense, for if they had they would never leave a plantation (a good home during their whole life, and a kind master,) to cast themselves adrift upon strangers and a cold, unfeeling world. I know many will, and I dare say do now, wish themselves back from whence they were foolish enough to run away.

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