Interviewer: Mrs. Bernice Bowden
Person interviewed: Louise Prayer
3401 Short West Third, Pine Bluff, Arkansas
"I can member seein' the Yankees. My mother died when I was a baby and
my grandmother raised me. I'se goin' on eighty.
"When the Yankees come we piled boxes and trunks in front of the doors
and windows. She'd say, 'You chillun get in the house; the Yankees are
comin'.' I didn't know what 'twas about--I sure didn't.
"I'm honest in mind. You know the Yankees used to come in and whip the
folks. I know they come in and whipped my grandma and when they come in
we chillun went under the bed. Didn't know no better. Why did they whip
her? Oh my God, I don't know bout dat. You know when we chillun saw em
ridin' in a hurry we went in the house and under the bed. I specks
they'd a killed me if they come up to me cause they'd a scared me to
"We lived on the Williams' place. All belonged to the same people. They
give us plenty to eat such as 'twas. But in them days they fed the
chillun mostly on bread and syrup. Sometimes we had greens and
dumplin's. Jus' scald some meal and roll up in a ball and drop in with
the greens. Just a very few chickens we had. I don't love chicken
though. If I can jus' get the liver I'm through with the chicken.
"When I got big enough my grandmother had me in the field. I went to
school a little bit but I didn't learn nothin'. Didn't go long enough.
That I didn't cause the old man had us in the field.
"If we chillun in them days had had the sense these got now, I could
remember more bout things.
"I was a young missy when I married.
"I told you the best I could--that's all I know. I been treated pretty
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