On the altar of freedom: a black soldier's Civil War letters by James Henry Gooding

By James Henry Gooding

Here's a bright, unforgettable portrait of the Civil battle as obvious during the eloquent letters written by means of a black soldier within the Massachusetts 54th Regiment--the well known regiment featured within the highly-acclaimed motion picture Glory. Gooding's wise, witty and opinionated observations of army existence and the behavior of battle is impossible to resist.

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In the year between March 3, 1863, and February 22, 1864, the newspaper published one of his letters almost every week. It seems probable that the arrangements were made before Gooding left New Bedford; perhaps after leaving the sea he had found employment there. Founded in 1807, the Mercury had a venerable history, although it had not always held abolitionist sentiments. After the tumultuous 51. The New York State Census lists a James Gooding at Bristol in 1830, at Barre in 1840, and at Otsego in 1850, as well as a Sarah Gooding at Cortland in 1850.

29 This may have been better than average. Elmo P. Hohman, in his classic economic study of the whaling industry, compared the results for three vessels that made a total of twenty-three voyages between 1836 and 1879. 20. 30 Gooding stayed ashore little more than a month before signing on as steward for a whaling voyage to the eastern Arctic in the bark Black Eagle. Apparently there was hope that a new field for right whales was opening up, and ten vessels cleared for Davis Strait and Cumberland Inlet that spring.

Army.  United StatesHistoryCivil War, 18611865 Participation, Afro-American.  MassachusettsHistoryCivil War, 18611865Participation, Afro-American.  Adams, Virginia M.  7'415'092dc20 [B]9139 [92]CIP British Library Cataloguing in Publication data are available. Page v For honor, duty, and liberty. James Henry Gooding April 18, 1863 Page vii Contents Illustrations ix Foreword by James M. McPherson xi Introduction by Virginia Matzke Adams xv 1 Looking Quite Like Soldiers 3 2 A First Class Regiment 25 3 Something Stirring to Record 34 4 Yankee Pandemonium 44 5 A Monotonous State of Affairs 59 6 Sumter Still Holds Out 76 7 Waiting Till Something Turns Up 87 8 I Am Pained to Inform You 108 Appendix A Correspondence on the Issue of Equal Pay 117 Appendix B Six Poems Composed at Sea by Henry Gooding 125 Index 133 Page ix Illustrations Illustrations follow page 96 View of New Bedford from the Harbor Map of Southeastern Massachusetts Recruiting Advertisement for Massachusetts 54th Regiment Map of the Seacoast of South Carolina Map of Charleston and Vicinity Bird's eye view of Charleston Storming Fort Wagner "The Morning after the Assault on Fort Wagner" In the Trenches before Wagner Mortar Schooners and Wooden Gun-Boats The Seige of Charleston Interior of Fort Sumter after Bombardment Ordnance Depot, Morris Island, Charleston Harbor Letter from Gooding in New Bedford Mercury Attempt to Blow Up Ironsides The "Segar Steamer" Sinking of Weehawken Charleston Fired by Explosive Shells Battle of Olustee, Fla.

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