3dh漫With a more than mother’s love!I have now reached a period of my life when I can give dates. I left Baltimore, and went to live with Master Thomas Auld, at St. Michael's, in March, 1832. It was now more than seven years since I lived with him in the family of my old master, on Colonel Lloyd's plantation. We of course were now almost entire strangers to each other. He was to me a new master, and I to him a new slave. I was ignorant of his temper and disposition; he was equally so of mine. A very short time, however, brought us into full acquaintance with each other. I was made acquainted with his wife not less than with himself. They were well matched, being equally mean and cruel. I was now, for the first time during a space of more than seven years, made to feel the painful gnawings of hunger—a something which I had not experienced before since I left Colonel Lloyd's plantation. It went hard enough with me then, when I could look back to no period at which I had enjoyed a sufficiency. It was tenfold harder after living in Master Hugh's family, where I had always had enough to eat, and of that which was good. I have said Master Thomas was a mean man. He was so. Not to give a slave enough to eat, is regarded as the most aggravated development of meanness even among slaveholders. The rule is, no matter how coarse the food, only let there be enough of it. This is the theory; and in the part of Maryland from which I came, it is the general practice,—though there are many exceptions. Master Thomas gave us enough of neither coarse nor fine food. There were four slaves of us in the kitchen—my sister Eliza, my aunt Priscilla, Henny, and myself; and we were allowed less than a half of a bushel of corn-meal per week, and very little else, either in the shape of meat or vegetables. It was not enough for us to subsist upon. We were therefore reduced to the wretched necessity of living at the expense of our neighbors. This we did by begging and stealing, whichever came handy in the time of need, the one being considered as legitimate as the other. A great many times have we poor creatures been nearly perishing with hunger, when food in abundance lay mouldering in the safe and smoke-house, and our pious mistress was aware of the fact; and yet that mistress and her husband would kneel every morning, and pray that God would bless them in basket and store!In emerging from the Wilderness, the head of the column reached the cross-roads the left fork of which led back to the Potomac and the right fork to Richmond or to Petersburg. In the previous campaigns, the army of the Potomac, after doing its share of plucky fighting and taking more than its share of discouragement, had at such a point been withdrawn for rest and recuperation. It was not an unnatural expectation that this course would be taken in the present campaign. The road to the right meant further fatigue and further continuous fighting for men who were already exhausted. In the leading brigade it was only the brigade commander and the adjutant who had knowledge of the instructions for the line of march. When, with a wave of the hand of the adjutant, the guidon flag of the brigade was carried to the right and the head of the column was set towards Richmond, a shout went up from the men marching behind the guidon. It was an utterance not of discouragement but of enthusiasm. Exhausting as the campaign had been, the men in the ranks preferred to fight it out then and to get through with it. Old soldiers as they were, they were able to understand the actual issue of the contest. Their plucky opponents were as exhausted as themselves and possibly even more exhausted. It was only through the hammering of Lee's diminishing army out of existence that the War could be brought to a close. The enthusiastic shout of satisfaction rolled through the long column reaching twenty miles back, as the news passed from brigade to brigade that the army was not to be withdrawn but was, as Grant's report to Lincoln was worded, "to fight it out on this line if it took all summer." When this report reached Lincoln, he felt that the selection of Grant as Lieutenant-General had been justified. He said: "We need this man. He fights."3dh漫
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