The First Contact Between Union Slaves And Troops Essays

1252 Words May 26th, 2016 null Page
The first contact between Union slaves and troops was rather lackluster than its significance in American history would suggest. As the four million slaves of the South were liberated, slave owners often tried to portray Yankees as men with, “long horns on their heads and [pointed teeth] in their mouths.” (Davidson 171) This image supposedly cast a shadow of fear through slave populations, one said to his master, “Wen I see dem coming I shall run like all possess.” However, once the whites left the picture the slaves jumped ship, saying, “We’s gwine to run sure enough … and we runs that way [to the Yankees].” (Davidson 172) This double faced attitude reveals a lot about the relationship between slave and master, showing how slaves are all too often made to feel one way or another in a social situation, though there are some exceptions, complicating projects to record their experiences. Sometimes slaves backed their masters when Union troops arrived, “hiding silver, persuading Yankees that their masters were Union sympathizers, or pretending they had a deadly illness to scare marauding soldiers.” (Davidson 172) This camp held to their master’s because they “feared alternatives” In a middle group, slaves felt they must restrain themselves with a lack of interest; a Georgia slave couple is one example. They tried to put on a straight face and remain behind despite the slaves “flocking” away with Union regiments; however, it was abundantly clear that they desired freedom. The…

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