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1864 January 30: Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation Sold, General Wild and North Carolina Black Troops, and Other News

February 4, 2014

Following are the smaller news items from The Polk County Press of January 30, 1864.

— Massachusetts is to have a State military school of her own.

— Indiana lacks between two and three thousand men of having filled her quota.

— The Arkansas delegation, now at Washington, say that in four months Arkansas will come into the Union as a free State.

— A young officer scoffed at the parade of study to which clergymen assigned their right to remuneration for labor, and offered to take a bet he would preach half an hour upon any verse or section of a verse in the Old or New Testament.  The clergyman took the bet and pointed out, “And the ass opened his mouth, and he spake.”

— The original draft of the President’s Emancipation Proclamation has been sold to Thomas B. Byron, of Chicago, for $3,000.  Lithograph copies will be immediately issued.

—Of the whole number of men to service under the first draft, about one-seventh served in person, two-sevenths served by substitute, and four-sevenths paid the commutation money.

—Gen. Wilder,¹ who commands a negro brigade in North Carolina, knows how to tame the rebels.  Two of his black soldiers were recently captured by them, whereupon he seized the wife and family of the Colonel who took them, and notified him that the fate of the negroes would be that of the women and children.— The negroes were restored.

RESTORING THE UNION.— A Murfreesboro correspondent writing from the 22d Wisconsin, says that “numerous instances are occurring of our men finding partners among the Southern women, and the Union is being cemented by intermarriage from choice, as was the alliance of the Romans and Sabines by force in ancient days.”

— Jeff. Davis’ message does not suit our English cousins.  The “Illustrated London News,” which has hitherto been in the interests of the secessionist and rebels, says that Jeff. Davis is as bitter against England, if not as vulgar, as the New York “Herald.”  [Jefferson Davis]

— The Southern Confederacy is not satisfied with the bible “as it is.”  A commission, with Bishop General Polk [Leonidas Polk] at the head, has been appointed by the Episcopal Council to revise and get up a version to suit rebeldom and slavery.

1.  Probably Edward Augustus Wild (1825-1891), a homeopathic physician and abolitionist who joined the Union cause and served as captain of Company A, 1st Massachusetts Infantry from May 1861 to July 1862. He fought in First Battle of Bull Run and again in the Peninsula Campaign, where he was wounded at the Battle of Seven Pines. In August he was appointed Colonel of the 35th Massachusetts Infantry and assigned to the Army of the Potomac, where he led his troops during the Maryland Campaign. At the Battle of South Mountain, Wild suffered another severe wound, losing his left arm. He was promoted to brigadier general in 1863 and assigned to recruiting duties. Being a fervent abolitionist, he aggressively recruited black soldiers for the United States Colored Troops. When Wild was able to resume his field duties, he freed hundreds of slaves in North Carolina and recruited many of them to join the military. Wild’s brigade of black infantry became known as “Wild’s African Brigade,” and consisted of the 55th Massachusetts Infantry, and the 2nd and 3rd North Carolina Colored Volunteers (which later became renumbered as the 36th and 37th U.S. Colored Troops respectively).

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