(This edition has been expanded and annotated with updated...)
This edition has been expanded and annotated with updated information. Suzie King Taylor made a remarkable journey from slavery to freedom through service with the first black Civil War regiment to fight for freedom in America's history. Written toward the end of her life, her memories are not those of a battle veteran, though she helped care for plenty of shattered bodies, heard the guns, and saw rebel soldiers at close range. At risk to her life and freedom, she served throughout the war as a teenaged nurse. Assigned as a laundress, she actually did very little laundering but instead played an important role in the care and spirits of black soldiers and their white commanders. Her depth of feeling about the past and her passionate hopes for the future bring her writing to life. This is an important contribution to American history that is made available in this volume for the first time for e-readers. Susie King Taylor (1848-1912) was an African American army nurse with the first black Union troops during the Civil War. She wrote the only memoir of an African-American woman who had experience with combat troops. She was also the first African American to teach in a school for former slaves in Georgia. There is great beauty in some of the small details of Suzie King's recollections. She briefly ponders in amazement her ability to acclimate to the horrors of war. "It seems strange how our aversion to seeing suffering is overcome in war, how we are able to see the most sickening sights, such as men with their limbs blown off and mangled by the deadly shells, without a shudder; and instead of turning away, how we hurry to assist in alleviating their pain, bind up their wounds, and press the cool water to their parched lips, with feelings only of sympathy and pity." She also writes of her delight in becoming proficient at field-stripping, cleaning, and shooting a musket. Her final chapter is an eloquent plea for civil rights and a recognition that emancipation's promise was still a distant goal. Every memoir of the American Civil War provides us with another view of the catastrophe that changed the country forever.
(This volume contains the memoirs of a black woman around ...)
This volume contains the memoirs of a black woman around the time of the Civil War, caught up with the 33rd United States coloured troops late 1st S.C volunteers.
She learned to read and write, although slaves were prohibited from doing so.
During the Civil War she and her uncle escaped from slavery by fleeing to a Union army in Georgia. She joined the all-black 16t South Carolina Volunteers (which later became the 33d U. S. Colored Infantry) as a nurse, teacher, and laundress. She and her husband participated in the 1865 capture of Charleston. She bravely attended to the needs of both black and white soldiers. Though King frequently encountered combat, she always remained brave, and her courage and cheerfulness were a source of inspiration to soldiers of both races. She also taught many illiterate Union soldiers to read and write. Mustered out of the army in February 1866, King and her husband returned to Savannah. She opened a school for free blacks but closed it after her husband died at the end of 1866. She operated a school in Liberty Country, Ga. , in 1867-1868 but returned to Savannah in late 1868 to open a night school. With the opening of new public schools for freedmen, King closed her school and worked for a wealthy family. She was interested in the plight of Civil War veterans, both black and white, and in 1886 helped organize Corps 67 of the Women's Relief Corps auxiliary to the Grand Army of the Republic. She served as guard, secretary, treasurer, and president (1893) of the Corps. During the Spanish-American War she furnished and packed boxes for wounded men in hospitals. Taylor's well-written autobiography, Reminiscences of My Life in Camp (1902), detailed her wartime experiences and the contributions of blacks to the Union cause. It also criticized racial discrimination in the United States, particularly in the South. Taylor noted that blacks had contributed greatly to the preservation of the nation and were entitled to full equality. Susie King Taylor died on October 6, 1912.
In 1863 she married Sgt. Edward King, also a former slave, and served with him in the South Carolina Sea Islands. Edward King died in September 1866, a few months before the birth of their first child. Moving to Boston, King married Russel L. Taylor, a former Union soldier, in 1879.