Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/223
Negroes in Our Army.
[From the Richmond, Va., Dispatch, August 5, 1901.]
NEGROES IN OUR ARMY.
General Pat. Cleburne the First to Advocate their Use.
HIS PLAN WAS TURNED DOWN
But a Similar One was Afterwards Adopted—Some Interesting Reminiscences on the Subject, which Show the Circumstances Prompting the Suggestion.
In the spring of 1897 I had a letter from the War Department at Washington, asking me to authenticate a document in the files of the Confederate Record Office. Considering that paper of the first interest and value, I send, herewith, a copy, and will give your readers the circumstances surrounding it, viz: After the disgraceful defeat of the Confederate army, at Missionary Ridge, in front of Chattanooga, on the 25th of November, 1864, the bulk of it retreated to Dalton, Ga. Cleburne's Division, which was the rear guard, on the 27th made a stand at Ringgold Gap, and without assistance, and single handed, checked and defeated the attempt of the pursuing army under General Hooker to capture the wagon, artillery, and ordnance train of Bragg's army. Holding the position until the safety of these were assured, the division retired, under orders to to Tunnel Hill, some ten miles north of Dalton, where it remained on outpost.