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by: Oswald Garrison Villard
When the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts Regiment stormed Fort Wagner
July 18, 1863, only to be driven back with the loss of its
colonel, Robert Gould Shaw, and many of its rank and file, it
established for all time the fact that the colored soldier would
fight and fight well. This had already been demonstrated in
Louisiana by colored regiments under the command of General
Godfrey Weitzel in the attack upon Port Hudson on May 27 of the
same year. On that occasion regiments composed for the greater
part of raw recruits, plantation hands with centuries of servitude
under the lash behind them, stormed trenches and dashed upon cold
steel in the hands of their former masters and oppressors. After
that there was no more talk in the portion of the country of the
"natural cowardice" of the negro. But the heroic qualities of
Colonel Shaw, his social prominence and that of his officers, and
the comparative nearness of their battlefield to the North,
attracted greater and more lasting attention to the daring and
bravery of their exploit, until it finally became fixed in many
minds as the first real baptism of fire of colored American

After Wagner the recruiting of colored regiments, originally
opposed by both North and South, went on apace, particularly under
the Federal government, which organized no less than one hundred
and fifty-four, designated as "United States Colored Troops."
Colonel Shaw's raising of a colored regiment aroused quite as much
comment in the North because of the race prejudice it defied, as
because of the novelty of the new organization. General Weitzel
tendered his resignation the instant General B. F. Butler assigned
black soldiers to his brigade, and was with difficulty induced to
serve on. His change of mind was a wise one, and not only because
these colored soldiers covered him with glory at Port Hudson. It
was his good fortune to be the central figure in one of the
dramatic incidents of a war that must ever rank among the most
thrilling and tragic the world has seen. The black cavalrymen who
rode into Richmond, the first of the Northern troops to enter the
Southern capital, went in waving their sabres and crying to the
negroes on the sidewalks, "We have come to set you free!" They
were from the division of Godfrey Weitzel, and American history
has no more stirring moment.

In the South, notwithstanding the raising in 1861 of a colored
Confederate regiment by Governor Moore of Louisiana (a magnificent
body of educated colored men which afterwards became the First
Louisiana National Guards of General Weitzel's brigade and the
first colored regiment in the Federal Army), the feeling against
negro troops was insurmountable until the last days of the
struggle. Then no straw could be overlooked. When, in December,
1863, Major-General Patrick R. Cleburne, who commanded a division
of Hardee's Corps of the Confederate Army of the Tennessee, sent
in a paper in which the employment of the slaves as soldiers of
the South was vigorously advocated, Jefferson Davis indorsed it
with the statement, "I deem it inexpedient at this time to give
publicity to this paper, and request that it be suppressed."
General Cleburne urged that "freedom within a reasonable time" be
granted to every slave remaining true to the Confederacy, and was
moved to this action by the valor of the Fifty-fourth
Massachusetts, saying, "If they [the negroes] can be made to face
and fight bravely against their former masters, how much more
probable is it that with the allurement of a higher reward, and
led by those masters, they would submit to discipline and face

With the ending of the civil war the regular army of the United
States was reorganized upon a peace footing by an act of Congress
dated July 28, 1866. In just recognition of the bravery of the
colored volunteers six regiments, the Ninth and Tenth Cavalry and
the Thirty-eighth, Thirty-ninth, Fortieth, and Forth-first
Infantry, were designated as colored regiments. When the army was
again reduced in 1869, the Thirty-eighth and Forty-first became
the Twenty-fourth Infantry, and the Thirty-ninth and Fortieth
became the Twenty-fifth. This left four colored regiments in the
regular army as it was constituted from 1870 until 1901. There
has never been a colored artillery organization in the regular

To these new regiments came a motley mixture of veterans of
volunteer organizations, newly released slaves, and some freedmen
of several years' standing but without military experience. They
were eager to learn, and soon showed the same traits which
distinguish the black regiments to-day,--loyalty to their officers
and to their colors, sobriety and courage, and a notable pride in
the efficiency of their corps. But if ever officers had to
"father and mother" their soldiers they were the company officers
of these regiments. The captains in particular had to be bankers,
secretaries, advisers, and judges for their men. As Lieutenant
Grote Hutcheson has stated it, "The men knew nothing, and the non-
commissioned officers but little more. From the very
circumstances of their preceding life it could not be otherwise.
They had no independence, no self-reliance, not a thought except
for the present, and were filled with superstition." Yet the
officers were determined to prove the wisdom of the experiment.
To do this they were forced to give their own attention to the
minutest details of military administration, and to act as non-
commissioned officers. The total lack of education among the men
necessitated an enormous amount of writing by the officers. In
the Ninth Cavalry only one man was found able to write well enough
to be sergeant-major, and not for several years was it possible to
obtain troop clerks. When the Tenth Cavalry was being recruited
an officer was sent to Philadelphia with the express purpose of
picking up educated colored men for the non-commissioned
positions. Difficult as the tasks of the officers thus were, most
of them felt well repaid for their unusual labors by the
affectionate regard in which they were held by their soldiers, and
by the never-failing good humor with which the latter went about
their duties.

As the years passed the character of the colored soldiers
naturally changed. In place of the war veterans, and of the men
whose chains of servitude had just been struck off, came young men
from the North and East with more education and more self-
reliance. They depended less upon their officers, both in the
barracks and in the field, yet they reverenced and cared for them
as much as did their predecessors. Their greatest faults then as
now were gambling and quarreling. On the other hand, the negro
regiments speedily became favorably known because of greater
sobriety and of fewer desertions than among the white soldiers.
It was the Ninth Cavalry which a few years ago astonished the army
by reporting not a single desertion in twelve months, an unheard-
of and perhaps undreamed-of record. In all that goes to make a
good soldier, in drill, fidelity, and smartness, the negro regular
from the first took front rank.

Nor was there ever any lack of the fighting quality which had
gratified the nation at Fort Wagner, or at Fort Blakely, Ala.,
where the Seventy-third Colored Infantry, under Colonel Henry C.
Merriam, stormed the enemy's works, in advance of orders, in one
of the last actions of the war. It soon fell to the lot of the
Ninth and Tenth Cavalry to prove that the negroes could do as well
under fire in the Indian wars as they had when fighting for the
freedom of their race. While the Twenty-fourth and Twenty-fifth
Infantry had merely garrison work to do, the Ninth and Tenth
Cavalry scouted for years against hostile Indians in Texas, New
Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas, always acquitting themselves
honorably. In September, 1868, a little over two years after
their organization, three troops of the Ninth Cavalry did well in
an action against Indians at Horsehead Hills, Texas. When General
George A. Forsyth and his detachment of fifty scouts were
surrounded and "corralled" by seven hundred Indians on an island
in the Republican River, it was the troop of Captain Louis H.
Carpenter, of the Tenth Cavalry, which first came to their rescue.
Similarly when Major T. T. Thornburg's command was nearly wiped
out by Utes in 1879, it was Captain F. S. Dodge's Troop D of the
Ninth which succeeded in reaching it in time, losing all its
horses in so doing. This regiment alone took part in sixty Indian
fights between 1868 and 1890, during which time it lost three
officers and twenty-seven men killed, and had three officers and
thirty-four men wounded. The Tenth Cavalry's casualties were also
heavy during this same period, and it fought for many years over a
most difficult country in New Mexico and Arizona, taking a
conspicuous part in running to earth Geronimo's and Victoria's
bands of Apaches.

On one of these campaigns Lieutenant Powhatan H. Clarke gave
effective proof of the affection which the officers of colored
regiments have for their men. In the fight in the Pineto
Mountains with a portion of Geronimo's forces this young
Southerner risked his life to save a colored sergeant who had
fallen wounded in an open space where both he and his rescuer were
easy marks for the Apaches. For this gallant act Lieutenant
Clarke rightly received a medal of honor. The Twenty-fourth
Infantry, on the other hand, has contributed a striking instance
of the devotion of colored soldiers to their officers. When Major
Joseph W. Wham, paymaster, was attacked by robbers on May 11,
1889, his colored escort fought with such gallantry that every one
of the soldiers was awarded a medal of honor or a certificate of
merit. Some of them stood their ground although badly wounded,
notably Sergeant Benjamin Brown, who continued to fight and to
encourage his men until shot through both arms. In a fight
against Apaches in the Cuchilo Negro Mountains of New Mexico on
August 16, 1881, Moses Williams, First Sergeant of Troop I, Ninth
Cavalry, displayed such gallantry that he was given a medal of
honor by common consent. When the only officer with the
detachment, Lieutenant Gustavus Valois, had his horse shot under
him, and was cut off from his men, Sergeant Williams promptly
rallied the detachment, and conducted the right flank in a running
fight for several hours with such coolness, bravery, and
unflinching devotion to duty that he undoubtedly saved the lives
of at least three comrades. His action in standing by and
rescuing Lieutenant Valois was the more noteworthy because he and
his men were subjected, in an exposed position, to a heavy fire
from a large number of Indians. For splendid gallantry against
Indians, while serving as sergeant of Troop K, Ninth Cavalry, on
May 14, 1880, and August 12, 1881, George Jordan was also given a
medal of honor. Five of the medal of honor men now in the service
are colored soldiers, while fifteen others have "certificates of
merit" also awarded for conspicuous deeds of bravery.

It was not until the battle of Santiago, however, that the bulk of
the American people realized that the standing army comprised
regiments composed wholly of black men. Up to that time only one
company of colored soldiers had served at a post east of the
Mississippi. Even Major, later Brigadier-General, Guy V. Henry's
gallop to the rescue of the Seventh Cavalry on December 30, 1890,
with four troops of the Ninth Cavalry, attracted but little
attention. This feat was the more remarkable because Major
Henry's command had just completed a march of more than one
hundred miles in twenty-four hours. But in the battle at
Santiago, the four colored regiments won praise from all sides,
particularly for their advance upon Kettle Hill, in which the
Rough Riders also figured. From the very beginning of the
movement of the army after its landing, the negro troops were in
the front of the fighting, and contributed largely to the
successful result. Although they suffered heavy losses,
especially in officers, the men fought with the same gallantry
they had displayed on the plains, as is attested by the honors
awarded. In every company there were instances of personal
gallantry. The first sergeants especially lived up to the
responsibilities placed upon them. The color sergeant of the
Tenth Cavalry, Adam Houston, bore to the front not only his own
flags, but those of the Third Cavalry when the latter's color
sergeant was shot down. In several emergencies where troops or
companies lost their white officers, the senior sergeants took
command and handled their men in a faultless manner, notably in
the Tenth Cavalry.

Indeed, the conduct of these men has done much to dispel the old
belief that colored soldiers will fight only when they have
efficient white officers. This may well have been true at one
period of the civil war when the colored race as a whole had never
even had the responsibilities attaching to free men. It is
growing less and less true as time passes and better educated men
enter the ranks. in recognition of their achievements at Santiago
a number of these black non-commissioned officers were made
commissioned officers in several of the so-called "immune"
regiments of United States Volunteers raised in July, 1898. None
of these organizations were in service long enough to become
really efficient, and a few were never properly disciplined.
Nevertheless, a majority of the officers promoted from the colored
regulars bore themselves well under exceedingly trying
circumstances. Some of them, and a number of regular sergeants
and corporals who had succeeded to their former places, were made
lieutenants and captains in the Forty-eighth and Forty-ninth
Volunteer Infantry, which served in the Philippines for two years,
and to which we shall recur later.

At Santiago the characteristic cheerfulness of the negro soldiers
was as striking as their bravery. In his little book called The
Nth Foot In War, Lieutenant M. B. Stewart says of them:--

"The negro troops were in a high good humor. They had made the
charge of the day; they had fought with a dash and vigor which
forever established their reputation as fighters, and which would
carry them down in the pages of history. To have heard them that
night no one would have ever thought that they had lived for
twelve mortal hours under a galling fire. They were laughing and
joking over the events of the day, in the same manner they would
have done had they been returning from a picnic.

"'Golly,' laughed a six-foot sergeant, 'dere was music in de air
sho' nuff. Dat lead was flying around in sheets, I tell you. I
seen a buzzard flying around in front of our line, and I says to
myself, "Buzzard, you is in a mighty dangerous position. You
better git out uf dat, 'cause dey ain't room out dar for a
muskeeter."' Another remarked, 'Say, did you see dat man Brown;
pity dat man been killed. He'd a been a corporal, sho.'

"In the utter exhaustion of the moment all race and social
distinctions were forgotten. Officers lay down among their men
and slept like logs. The negro troops sought out soft places
along the sides of the road and lay down with their white
comrades. There was a little commotion among the latter, and an
officer was heard to yell: 'Here, you man, take your feet off my
stomach. Well, I'll be damned if it ain't a nigger. Get out, you
black rascal.' As the commotion subsided, the negro was heard to
remark, 'Well, if dat ain't de mos' particler man I ever see.'"

Characteristic also is a story of the negro cavalryman who,
returning to the rear, said to some troops anxious to get to the
front: "Dat's all right, gemmen; don't git in a sweat; dere's lots
of it lef' for you. You wants to look out for dese yere
sharpshooters, for dey is mighty careless with dere weapons, and
dey is specially careless when dey is officers aroun'."

As soon as the army settled down in the trenches before Santiago,
smuggled musical instruments--guitars, banjos, mouth organs, and
what not--appeared among the negro troops as if by magic, and they
were ever in use. It was at once a scene of cheerfulness and
gayety, and the officers had their usual trouble in making the men
go to sleep instead of spending the night in talking, singing, and
gaming. In the peaceful camp of the Third Alabama, in that state,
the scenes were similar. There was always "a steady hum of
laughter and talk, dance, song, shout, and the twang of musical
instruments." It was "a scene full of life and fun, of jostling,
scuffling, and racing, of clown performances and cake-walks, of
impromptu minstrelsy, speech-making, and preaching, of deviling,
guying, and fighting, both real and mimic." The colonel found
great difficulty in getting men to work alone. Two would
volunteer for any service. "Colonel," said a visitor to the camp,
"your sentinels are sociable fellows. I saw No. 5 over at the end
of his beat entertaining No. 6 with some fancy manual of arms.
Afterwards, with equal amiability, No. 6 executed a most artistic
cake-walk for his friend." It must be remembered here that this
colonel's men were typical Southern negroes, literate and
illiterate, and all new to military life.

In addition to the Forty-eighth and Forty-ninth Volunteers, the
four regular colored regiments have served in the Philippines.
Here the work was particularly trying and the temptations to
misconduct many. The Filipino women were especially attractive to
the men because of their color, and it is on record that several
soldiers were tempted from their allegiance to the United States.
Two of these, whose sympathy and liking for the Filipinos overcame
their judgment, paid the full penalty of desertion, being hanged
by their former comrades. Both belonged to the Ninth Cavalry. On
the other hand, in a remarkable order issued by General A. S. Burt
in relinquishing command of the Twenty-fifth Infantry, on April
17, 1902, on his promotion to brigadier-general, he was able to
quote the Inspector-General of the army as saying: "The Twenty-
fifth Infantry is the best regiment I have seen in the
Philippines." General Burt praised highly the excellent conduct
of the enlisted men while in the Archipelago, which proved to his
mind that the American negroes are "as law-abiding as any race in
the world."

Three of General Burt's sergeants, Russell, McBryar, and Hoffman,
were promoted to the Forty-eighth and Forty-ninth Volunteers, and
served, as lieutenants, for several months with their old
regiment, the Twenty-fifth, until the arrival of their new
regiments in Manila. During this time they were frequently under
fire. General Burt bore high testimony to their soldierly
bearing, their capacity and ability, and expressed great regret
when he was forced to let them go. McBryar had won a medal of
honor for gallantry against Indians in Arizona in 1890. In the
Forty-ninth Volunteers, Company L, composed wholly of colored men,
and commanded by Captain Edward L. Baker, a colored veteran of
Santiago, who had served for seventeen years in the Ninth and
Tenth Cavalry and in the Tenth "Immunes," made a wonderful record.
According to a statement which was widely published at the time
and never denied, this company had on its rolls during a period of
twelve months one hundred and six men who were fit for duty at all
times and never lost a day on account of sickness. No white
company remotely approached this record. More extraordinary still
is the fact that during this same period not one of these men ever
went before a court-martial. This is surely a striking
illustration of what can be done by colored officers. It is
noticeable, too, that neither the officers nor the men of any
colored regiment have figured in the charges and counter-charges
arising out of the use of the water-torture, except one man who at
the time of his offense was not with his regiment. The Forty-
ninth Volunteers was a very unhappy regiment during its brief
life, but its troubles were largely due to its white officers.
One of these, a major, was dismissed for misconduct, and his place
was filled by the senior captain, a colored man. Several other
white officers and one colored captain got into serious trouble,
the last being dismissed. The Forty-eighth was, on the contrary,
a contented organization in which the colored officers were
treated in a kindly and courteous manner by their white associates
and superiors. The two regiments afford a striking illustration
of Napoleon's saying, "There are no such things as poor
regiments,--only poor colonels."

The negro regiment unquestionably calls for different treatment
from that which would be accorded to white troops, just as the
Indian troops of King Edward's army require different handling
from that called for in the case of the King's Royal Rifles. Yet
as fighting machines, the Indian soldiers may be the equals if not
the superiors of the Englishmen. Major Robert L. Bullard, Twenty-
eighth United States Infantry who commanded the colored Third
Alabama Volunteers, already referred to, during the war with
Spain, discusses in a remarkable paper published in the United
Service Magazine for July, 1901, the differences between negro and
white soldiers. They are so great, he says, as to require the
military commander to treat the negro as a different species. He
must fit his methods of instruction and discipline to the
characteristics of the race. Major Bullard adds that "mistakes,
injustices, and failures would result from his making the same
rules and methods apply to the two races without regard to how far
apart set by nature or separated by evolution." But Major Bullard
would unquestionably concede that these differences in no way
require a treatment of the negro soldier which implies that he is
an inferior being and which ever impresses upon him his
inferiority. Yet this seems to have been the case in the Forty-
ninth United States Volunteers.

In the regular army, as well as in the volunteers, officers have
frequently appealed with success to the negroes' pride of race,
and have urged them on to greater efficiency and better behavior
by reminding them that they have the honor of their people in
their hands. To such appeals there is ever a prompt response.
One of the most effective ways of disciplining an offender is by
holding him up to the ridicule of his fellows. The desire of the
colored soldiers to amuse and to be amused gives the officers an
easy way of obtaining a hold upon them and their affections. The
regimental rifle team, the baseball nine, the minstrel troupe, and
the regimental band offer positions of importance for which the
competition is much keener than in the white regiments. There is
also a friendly rivalry between companies, which is much missed
elsewhere in the service. The negroes are natural horsemen and
riders. It is a pleasure to them to take care of their mounts,
and a matter of pride to keep their animals in good condition.
Personally they are clean and neat, and they take the greatest
possible pride in their uniforms. In no white regiment is there a
similar feeling. With the negroes the canteen question is of
comparatively slight importance, not only because the men can be
more easily amused within their barracks, but because their
appetite for drink is by no means as strong as that of the white
men. Their sociability is astonishing. They would rather sit up
and tell stories and crack jokes than go to bed, no matter how
hard the day has been.

The dark sides are, that the negro soldiers easily turn merited
punishment into martyrdom, that their gambling propensities are
almost beyond control, that their habit of carrying concealed
weapons is incurable, and that there is danger of serious fighting
when they fall out with one another. Frequent failure to act
honorably toward a comrade in some trifling matter is apt to cause
scuffling and fighting until the men are well disciplined. Women
are another cause of quarrels, and are at all times a potent
temptation to misconduct and neglect of duty. It is very
difficult to impress upon the men the value of government
property, and duty which requires memorizing of orders is always
the most difficult to teach. For the study of guard duty manuals
or of tactics they have no natural aptitude. The non-commissioned
officers are of very great importance, and in the regulars they
are looked up to and obeyed implicitly, much more so than is the
case with white troops. It is necessary, however, for the
officers to back up the sergeants and corporals very vigorously,
even when they are slightly in the wrong. Then colored men are
more easily "rattled" by poor officers than are their white
comrades. There was a striking instance of this two or three
years ago when a newly appointed and wholly untrained white
officer lost his head at a post in Texas. His black subordinates,
largely recruits, followed suit, and in carrying out his
hysterical orders imperiled many lives in the neighboring town.
Selections for service with colored troops should therefore be
most carefully made. Major Bullard declares that the officer of
negro troops "must not only be an officer and a gentleman, but he
must be considerate, patient, laborious, self-sacrificing, a man
of affairs, and he must have knowledge and wisdom in a great lot
of things not really military."

If the position of a white officer is a difficult one, that of the
colored officer is still more so. He has not the self-assumed
superiority of the white man, naturally feels that he is on trial,
and must worry himself incessantly about his relations to his
white comrades of the shoulder straps. While the United States
Navy has hitherto been closed to negroes who aspire to be
officers, the army has pursued a wiser and more just policy. The
contrast between the two services is really remarkable. On almost
every war vessel white and black sailors sleep and live together
in crowded quarters without protest or friction. But the negro
naval officer is kept out of the service by hook or by crook for
the avowed reason that the cramped quarters of the wardroom would
make association with him intolerable. In the army, on the other
hand, the experiment of mixed regiments has never been tried. A
good colored soldier can nevertheless obtain a commission by going
through West Point, or by rising from the ranks, or by being
appointed directly from civil life.

Since the foundation of the Military Academy there have been
eighteen colored boys appointed to West Point, of whom fifteen
failed in their preliminary examinations, or were discharged after
entering because of deficiency in studies. Three were graduated
and commissioned as second lieutenants of cavalry, Henry Ossian
Flipper, John Hanks Alexander, and Charles Young. Of these,
Lieutenant Flipper was dismissed June 30, 1882, for "conduct
unbecoming an officer and a gentleman." The other two proved
themselves excellent officers, notably Young, who is at this
writing a captain, and a most efficient one, in the Ninth Cavalry,
with which he recently served in the Philippines. Lieutenant
Alexander died suddenly in 1894. In announcing his death in a
regimental order his colonel spoke of him in terms of high praise,
and did not use the customary stereotyped phrases of regret. His
fellow white officers all had good words for him. There never was
more striking testimony to the discipline and spirit of fairness
at West Point than was afforded by the sight of Cadet Charles
Young, who is of very dark complexion, commanding white cadets.
Nothing else has impressed foreign visitors at West Point half so

An equally remarkable happening, and one which speaks even more
for the democratic spirit in the army, was the commissioning in
1901 of Sergeant-Major Benjamin O. Davis, Ninth Cavalry, and of
Corporal John E. Green, Twenty-fourth Infantry. Both these men
were examined by boards of white officers, who might easily have
excluded them because of color prejudice, in which case there
would have been no appeal from their findings. Lieutenant Davis's
former troop commander, a West Pointer, openly rejoiced at his
success, and predicted that he would make an excellent officer.
These are the first two colored men to rise from the ranks, but
there will be many more if the same admirable spirit of fair play
continues to rule in the army and is not altered by outside
prejudice. It was thought that there would be a severe strain
upon discipline when a colored officer rose to the rank of captain
and to the command of white officers. But in Captain Young's case
his white subordinates seem to have realized that it is the
position and rank that they are compelled to salute and obey, and
not the individual. This principle is at the bottom of all
discipline. Only too frequently do subordinates throughout the
army have to remind themselves of this when obeying men for whose
social qualities and character they have neither regard nor
respect. During the war with Spain Captain Young commanded a
negro battalion from Ohio, which was pronounced the best drilled
organization in the large army assembled at Camp Alger near
Washington. In addition to these officers, Captain John R. Lynch,
formerly a Congressman from Mississippi, and four colored
chaplains represent their race on the commissioned rolls of the
army. All of these men are doing well. One colored chaplain was

dismissed for drunkenness in 1894. Beyond this their record is

Despite the fairness shown in these appointments, there has been
considerable very just criticism of the War Department for its
failure to appoint to the regulars any of the colored officers who
did well in the Forty-eighth and Forty-ninth Volunteers. Every
colonel of volunteers was allowed to designate for examination for
appointment to the regular army the best officers in his regiment.
Hundreds of white officers were selected in this way, but not a
single colored officer was given an examination,--not even
Lieutenant McBryar, with his medal of honor, or Captain Baker.
Similarly fault has been found with Secretary Root because no new
colored regiments were established under the law of February 2,
1901, increasing the army by five regiments of infantry, five of
cavalry, and a large number of companies of artillery. The excuse
most often heard is that the negroes already have sufficient
representation in comparison with the percentage of negroes to
white persons within the borders of the United States. But the
sterling characteristics of the colored soldiers, their loyalty to
the service as shown by the statistics of desertion, and, above
all, their splendid service in Cuba, should have entitled them to
additional organizations. To say the least, the decision of the
War Department smacks considerably of ingratitude. Nevertheless,
the negro regiments have come to stay, both in the regulars and in
the volunteers. The hostilities of the last five years have
dispelled any doubt which may have existed upon this point.



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