Part 11 (1/2)

Col. Third N.C. Vol. Inf. Com'd'g. Brigade.

THIRD ENDORs.e.m.e.nT.

Headquarters Second Division, First Army Corps,

Camp Poland, Knoxville, Tenn., Oct. 31, 1898.

Respectfully returned to the Commanding General, Third Brigade.

The enclosed communication is in form and substance so contrary to all military practice and traditions that it is returned for file at Regimental Headquarters, 6th Va. Vol. Infantry.

By command of Colonel KUERT.


a.s.sistant Adjutant-General.

FOURTH ENDORs.e.m.e.nT. Headquarters Third Brigade, Second Division, First Army Corps.

Respectfully transmitted to C.O., 6th Virginia, inviting attention to preceding Inst.

By order of Colonel YOUNG.

(Signed) A.B. COLLIER,

Captain a.s.sistant Adjutant-General.


October 31st, 1898, the monthly muster was in progress. There appeared in the camp a new Lieutenant--Lieut. Jno. W. Healey--formerly Sergeant-Major in the regular army. This was the first positive evidence that white officers would be a.s.signed to this regiment. This was about 9 o'clock in the morning, and at Knoxville later in the day, there were more arrivals. Then it was published that the following changes and appointments were made:

Company ”D,” First Battalion, was transferred to the Second Battalion; Company ”F,” of the Second Battalion, transferred to the First Battalion. Major E.E. Cobell, commanding Second Battalion. Captain R.L.E. Masurier, commanding Company ”D.” Captain W. S. Faulkner, commanding Company ”E.” Captain J. W. Bentley, commanding Company ”G.”

Captain S.T. Moore, commanding Company ”H.” First Lieutenant Jno. W.

Healey to Company ”H.” First Lieutenant A.L. Moncure to Company ”G.”

Second Lieutenant Geo. W. Richardson, Company ”G.” First Lieutenant Edwin T. Walker transferred to Company ”C.” November 1st officers attempted to take charge of the men who offered no violence at all, but by their manner and conduct it appeared too unpleasant and unsafe for these officers to remain, so tendered their resignations, but they were withheld for a day.

The next day, November 2, 1898, it was thought best that the colored Captains and Lieutenants would drill the companies at the 9 o'clock drill. While on the field ”recall” was sounded and the companies were brought to the headquarters and formed a street column. General Bates, commanding the Corps and his staff; Col. Kuert, commanding the Brigade and Brigade staff; Maj. Louis V. Caziarc, a.s.sistant Adjutant-General: Lieut. Col. Croxton and Maj. Johnson were all there and spoke to the men. Colonel Kuert said: ”Gentlemen, as commanding officer of the Brigade, I appear before you to-day asking you to do your duty; to be good soldiers, to remember your oath of enlistment, and to be careful as to the step you take, for it might cost you your life; that there are enough soldiers at my command to force you into submission should you resist. No, if you intend to accept the situation and submit to these officers placed over you, at my command, you come to a right shoulder, and if you have any grievance imaginary or otherwise present through proper military channels, and if they are proper, your wrongs will be adjusted.”

”Right shoulder, Arms.” Did not a man move. He then ordered them to be taken back to their company street and to ”stack arms.”

Before going to the company streets Major Caziarc spoke to the men as follows: ”Forty years ago no Negro could bear arms or wear the blue.

You cannot disgrace the blue, but can make yourselves unworthy to wear it.”

Then Maj. J.B. Johnson spoke to the men and urged upon them to keep in mind the oath of enlistment (which he read to them), in which they swore that they would ”obey all officers placed over them;” that since the appointments had been made there was nothing for them to do but to accept the situation. At the conclusion of Maj. Johnson's talk to the men, Private Badger, Regimental Tailor, stepped to the front and gave the ”rifle salute” and asked permission to say a word. It was granted.