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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.  The Library of the World’s Best Literature.
An Anthology in Thirty Volumes.  1917.
H. R. Keller.  The Reader’s Digest of Books.
 
Army Life in a Black Regiment
Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1823–1911)
 
Army Life in a Black Regiment, by Thomas Wentworth Higginson (1870). The First South Carolina Volunteers was the first slave regiment mustered into the service of the United States during the late Civil War. It was viewed in the beginning more in the light of an experiment than as an actual factor in the war, and Colonel Higginson, who left a company of his own raising to take command, tells the story of this experiment in the form of a diary, the first entry being dated Camp Saxton, Beaufort, South Carolina, November 24th, 1862; the last, February 29th, 1864. While the regiment did not engage in any great battles, it made many minor expeditions, was on picket duty, engaged in constructing forts, etc., all these duties being described in detail. The diary is valuable, in the first place, for the account of camp life, its privations and pleasures, work and recreation; secondly, for the description of the colored man as a soldier, and the amusing accounts of his peculiarities before freedom had made him “more like white men, less naïve, less grotesque.” Many quaint negro songs are given, and stories told in dialect. The diary displays great moderation and good taste,—merits never absent from Colonel Higginson’s work; and had it no other merit, it would be delightful reading, from its vivid description of Southern scenes and its atmosphere of Southern life.  1
 
 
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