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Portrayal of Private William Webb, Civil War Soldier of the 29th Connecticut Volunteers

Now, they said to us that Bermuda Hundred was one of the places where the first 100 slaves came into the country. So, we wanted to go down and we wanted to set the captives free.

So there we were, “Fire-Load, Fire-Load, Fire-Load, Fire-Load, Fire-Load, Fire-Load.”  All night we fought. We did well. The Officer who wrote back said that “those men of the 29th fought bravely and gallantly.”

Image of soldiers fighting
Image of soldiers at an encampment

African Americans who were thought of as nothing but yet were fighting brave. But then, the next day we held back a rebel’s attack and the horror of war began to set in.

Some of the men became a little disgruntled:

“I didn’t enlist in this war to see my friends die.” “I don’t want to see anyone die.” “I don’t want to see my friends die.” “I don’t want to see anyone die.”

It became hard; I couldn’t deal with it. “I don’t want to see anyone die.”

But with war comes death. With war there is a price and that price is freedom. So we had to move; we had to endure. We had to gut it up and be a man.

Then, it's August, and we were asked to go to Petersburg, Virginia, at the site of the big crater.

Officers of the 39th Colored Infantry, Petersburg, VA




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