Midpoint of the War: May to July 1863

Gettysburg: The Third Day

What was the oddest or strangest incident that Colonel Fremantle recalled?

There were many strange and wondrous scenes during the three days of the Battle of Gettysburg, but when one reads Colonel Fremantle’s book, one is most struck by his encounter with a black civilian and a Northern prisoner. Fremantle records that the black man was dressed in a magnificent blue uniform, and that the Union man was dressed in civilian clothing: clearly, they had exchanged their clothes. The black man was driving the other as a prisoner to the back of the lines, and when he was questioned by some of the white Confederate officers, he replied that the white men assigned to guard this prisoner had been lax, and he had taken it upon himself to set matters right. Fremantle records that it was impossible to exaggerate the scorn and contempt which the African American showed toward his white prisoner and concluded that the Confederacy would do well to use the blacks as soldiers wherever they could.


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