THE BLACK BRIGADE. 5
the defense of the city, should the necessity arise. The blood
boils with indignation at the remembrance of the insults heaped
upon them for this simple offer. The keys of the school-house,
in which a second meeting was proposed, were roughly de-
manded by the police. The proprietor of a place selected as a
recruiting station was compelled to take down an American
flag which he had raised over his door. The proprietors of an-
other place were told by the police: "We want you d----d
niggers to keep out of this; this is a white man's war." The
Commercial reiterated the same advice, shorn of its profanity,
but as needlessly and cruelly insulting. It was even said that
a mob was brewing-that the steamboatmen were organizing
for riotous purposes. Colored men were warned that serious
danger impended. Whether this was true, or merely a pretext
to justify the abuse of the police, is hard to decide. The chair-
man of the meeting was induced to publish a disclaimer, and
the matter ended.
In such a community, appeals to all citizens to organize for
defense fell upon the ears of colored men unheeded. They re-
membered their lesson: "This is a white man's war, and you
d---d niggers must keep out of it."
On Monday evening, September 1, General Lewis Wallace
assumed command of the city, placing it under martial law,
and making in the proclamation the following declaration:
"This labor ought to be that of love. The undersigned trusts and believes
it will be so. Anyhow, it must be done. The willing shall be properly cred-
ited; the unwilling promptly visited. The principle adopted is: Citizens for
the labor; soldiers for battle."
The negro-hating portion of the population rejoiced greatly
that the Black Brigade was assigned to fatigue duty; but it
will be seen, from this extract, that they performed the duty
assigned by the General to all citizens.
The papers of Tuesday morning also contained the following
proclamation from the Mayor of the city:
" MAYOR'S OFFICE, City of Cincinnati.
"In accordance with a resolution passed by the City Council of Cincinnati
on the 1st instant, I hereby request that all business, of every kind or char-
acter, be suspended at ten o'clock of this day, and that all persons, employers
and employees, assemble in their respective wards, at the usual places of