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Black Brigade of Cincinnati: Being a Report of Its Labors and a Muster-Roll of Its Members; Together with Various Orders, Speeches, Etc. Relating to It.
			
                     THE BLACK BRIGADE.                    15

  This brigade was not formed under the authority of the
State; but its labors were in the defense of her soil, and it
seems but proper that some memory of it should be preserved
in her records. The enrollment is not complete. It has seven
hundred and six names. The brigade numbered about one
thousand. Some three hundred of these, in the beginning of
the service, and before an enrollment had been made, were as-
signed to various duties in camps, on gun-boats, and in the city,
separate from the rest of the brigade, and their names were
never obtained. But the enrollment is complete as to the body
of the brigade, who for three weeks, as a separate and distinct
force, labored upon the fortifications in the rear of Covington
and Newport, opposite Cincinnati. The rank and file, and all
the company officers except three, were colored men.
  There was no complete military formation: the nominal
brigade, regimental, and company organization had reference
to the convenience of the service to which they were assigned.
The requirements of the occasion, and the prejudices of the
time, limited this to duty as a fatigue force. The colored men
did not shrink from this duty; they gladly performed it; but
they desired the privilege of defending themselves, and the
works their hands had made, with arms. Organized companies
of them, armed and equipped at their own expense, tendered
their services to aid in the defense of the city. But this privi-
lege was denied them, and they cheerfully performed the duty
assigned.
  The defeat of the national forces at Richmond, Kentucky,
August 30, 1862, opened the way for rebel invasion of that
State to the Ohio River. There was no organized force to re-
sist this-none to protect Cincinnati.
  Major-General Lewis Wallace, at that time in command of
the city, promptly commenced the organization of a citizen
force for the protection of the city. In the morning papers of
September 2, there appeared an order from him declaring mar-
tial law, suspending business, and directing the "citizens" to as-
semble at designated places in each ward, for military organiza-
tion.  It was well understood that this order was not intended
to, and did not, include colored citizens. Numbers of these,
however, offered themselves for any service in which they




			
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OHS Archives/Library Pamphlet Collection

Black Brigade of Cincinnati: Being a Report of Its Labors and a Muster-Roll of Its Members; Together with Various Orders, Speeches, Etc. Relating to It.

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