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Dream come true

“After supper I sat on a chair astride, with my back to a good fire, musing, and became conscious that an old negro, with a tallow-candle in his hand, was scanning my face closely.  I inquired, ‘What do you want, old man?’  He answered, ‘Dey say you is Massa Sherman.’  I answered that such was the case, and inquired what he wanted.  He only wanted to look at me, and kept muttering, ‘Dis nigger can’t sleep dis night.’  I asked him why he trembled so, and he said that he wanted to be sure that we were in fact ‘Yankees,’ for on a former occasion some rebel cavalry had put on light-blue overcoats, personating Yankee troops, and many of the negroes were deceived thereby, himself among the number—had shown them sympathy, and had in consequence been unmercifully beaten therefor.  This time he wanted to be certain before committing himself; so I told him to go out on the porch, from which he could see the whole horizon lit up with camp-fires, and he could then judge whether he had ever seen any thing like it before.  The old man became convinced that the ‘Yankees’ had come at last, about whom he had been dreaming all his life.” – William Tecumseh Sherman, Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman

Published inAmerican Civil WarLit & CritWilliam Tecumseh Sherman

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