THE BLACK BRIGADE.
AT the request of many members of the Black Brigade, who
desired to have in a convenient form for preservation, the re-
port, muster-roll, orders, and addresses which are here pre-
sented, I have undertaken the compilation of this volume.
The Black Brigade was the first organization of the colored
people of the North actually employed for military purposes.
The conference of the loyal Governors at Altoona, where the
organization of colored regiments in the North was first agreed
upon, had not been held; Massachusets had not yet issued the
call which rallied the noble Fifty-fourth and Fifty-fifth Regi-
ments; colored men of the North were every-where contempt-
uously refused permission to participate in the great struggle
which is opening the prison-doors to their brethren in the
South. In no community was this exclusion more generally
ratified by public sentiment than in Cincinnati.
In the South, General Butler, with that sublimity of common
sense which characterizes all his actions, had employed, as
laborers, the freedmen in the vicinity of Fortress Monroe,
under the name of "Contrabands;" and, in an order dated
August 24, 1862, nine days before the organization of the Black
Brigade, he had called upon the free colored people of Lou-
isiana to rally to the defense of the Union.
The city of Cincinnati always has been, and still is, pro-
slavery. Nowhere has the prejudice against colored people
been more cruelly manifested than here. Further north or
further south the feeling is not so intense; but here it almost
denies him the right of existence. For about thirty years the
city has, at intervals, been disgraced by ferocious outbursts of
mob violence against the colored people and their friends, re-