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Shifting LoyaltiesThe Union Occupation of Eastern North Carolina$
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Judkin Browning

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834688

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877722_browning

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The Effects of Occupation on Union Soldiers

The Effects of Occupation on Union Soldiers

(p.123) Chapter 6 The Effects of Occupation on Union Soldiers
Shifting Loyalties

Judkin Browning

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter retells the story of how Captain William Augustus Walker of the 27th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, an avowed abolitionist, sat inside a house in downtown New Bern and witnessed a “great buck nigger, very black and very fragrant,” with “bare feet, tattered shirt and knotted hair,” fanning the flies away from a lieutenant as he wrote. Though Walker agreed that “the flies are really tormenting and the heat is intolerable,” he declared: “I had rather endure both, than to have one of those confounded dirty niggers anywhere within twenty feet of me.” He believed that “as a class they are lazy, filthy, ragged, dishonest and confounded stupid.” Ironically, Walker had strong convictions against slavery.

Keywords:   William Augustus Walker, Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, abolitionist, New Bern

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