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Centennial: The American Negro from 1776-1876; Oration Delivered at Avondale, Ohio, 1876
                          [ 17 ]
the standard of the eagle, to defend all which is dear in ex-
    It is not necessary to say that these men responded to
the call. From the parishes of Placquemines, Jefferson, St.
Charles, St. Mary, St. John, St. James, Ascension, Assump-
tion, Terre Bonne, Lafourche, St. Bernard, St. Martin, and
from every town and city in Louisiana, they came to the
defense of the State--of the country.  They were capable
of the severest discipline and the hardiest soldierhood, and
no troops were more valiant and efficient than these negro
soldiers.  I prefer to refer you to Bancroft's chapter on the
Battle of New Orleans, but desire to quote from the report
of General Jackson, and his speech to the colored soldiers
after the war: "Soldiers!  When, on the banks of the
Mobile, I called you to take up arms, inviting you to par-
take of the perils and glory of your white fellow-citizens,
I expected much from you, for I was not ignorant that
you possessed qualities most formidable to an invading
enemy. I knew with what fortitude you could endure
hunger and thirst, and all the fatigues of a campaign.  I
knew well how you loved your native country, and that
you, as well as ourselves, had to defend what man holds
most dear--his parents, wife, children, and property. You
have done more than I expected.  In addition to the pre-
vious qualities I before knew you to possess, I found among
you a noble enthusiasm, which leads to the performance of
great things.
    "Soldiers! The President of the United States shall
hear how praiseworthy was your conduct in the hour of
danger, and the representatives of the American people
will give you the praise your exploits entitle you to. Your
general anticipates them in applauding your noble ardor."
    Praise, in such terms, and from such a source, renders
eulogy superfluous.  It comes not from the pen of a biased


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Centennial: The American Negro from 1776-1876; Oration Delivered at Avondale, Ohio, 1876



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