16 THE BLACK BRIGADE.
might be useful. This offer was accepted; but before any ar-
rangement had been made for their employment; before any
order had been given them, or request made of them, on the
morning of the 3d of September, 1862 the police, acting in con-
cert, and in obedience to some common order, in a rude and
violent manner, arrested the colored men wherever found-in
the streets, at their places of business, in their homes-and hur-
ried them to a mule-pen on Plum Street, and thence across the
river to the fortifications, giving them no explanation of this
conduct, and no opportunity to prepare for camp-life. This
unwonted and cruel procedure filled their minds, and the minds
of their families, with alarm and terror, and called forth for
them the sympathy of the citizens who witnessed it. Some of
these informed General Wallace of this conduct, and remon-
strated against it. He condemned it, and, for the purpose of
protecting the colored men, and organizing them for their work,
requested me to take command of them, publishing the follow-
"HEAD-QUARTERS UNITED STATES FORCES,
"CINCINNATI, September 4, 1862.
"William M. Dickson is hereby assigned to the command of the negro
forces from Cincinnati, working on the fortifications near Newport and Cov-
ington, and will be obeyed accordingly.
"By order of Major-General LEW. WALLACE.
"J. C. ELSTON, JR., A. D. C."
Upon assuming command, September 4, I organized my staff
Timothy C. Day, A. A. G.
J. Stacey Hill, Quartermaster.
William Woods, Commissary.
James Lupton, Volunteer Aid and Camp Commandant.
Volunteer Aids--Jacob Resor, jr., James W. Canfield, John W
Hartwell, William J. Dickson, William H. Chatfield, Alexander
Neave, David A. James.
I then proceeded to the fortifications, where the colored forces
were. I found them at work on the rifle-pits and trenches
about Fort Mitchel, on the Lexington Road, in the rear of Cov-
ington. They had been faithfully laboring during the previous