Reminiscences of the Civil War

By John B. Gordon | Go to book overview

CHAPTER IX
WAR BY THE BRAVE AGAINST THE BRAVE

The spirit of good-fellowship between Union and Confederate soldiers -- Disappearance of personal hatred as the war progressed -- The Union officer who attended a Confederate dance -- American chivalry at Vicksburg -- Trading between pickets on the Rappahannock -- Inci- dents of the bravery of color-bearers on both sides -- General Curtis's kindness -- A dash for life cheered by the enemy.

THAT inimitable story-teller, Governor Robert Taylor, of Tennessee, delights his hearers by telling in charming style of a faithful colored man, Allen, a slave of his father's. Both Allen and his owner were preachers, and Allen was in the habit each Saturday afternoon of going to his master and learning from him what his text for the following day's sermon would be. On this occasion the Rev. Dr. Taylor informed the Rev. Allen that his text for the morrow would be the words, "And he healed them of divers diseases.""Yes, sir," said Allen; dat's a mighty good tex', and hit will be mine for my Sunday sarmon." Sunday came and Allen was ready. He announced his "tex'" in these words: "And he healed 'em of all sorts of diseases, and even of dat wust of complaints called de divers." Proceeding to an elucidation of his text, he described with much particularity the different kinds of diseases that earthly doctors could cure, and then, with deepest unction, said: "But, my congregation, if de divers ever gits one of you, jest make up your mind you's a gone nigger, 'cep'in' de Lord save you."

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