| American History Stories, Volume IV|
|by Mara L. Pratt|
|Stories of the great conflict from the time Lincoln became president and the southern states seceded, through the battles of Bull Run, Shiloh, Antietam, Vicksburg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, until the close of the war. Includes poems, songs, and illustrations commemorating the events. Ages 8-12 |
A NEGRO'S ANSWER
 While the Union soldiers were in the slave States, the
negroes, although most of them were at heart with the Union
cause, had to be very careful what they said.
The answers, these negroes would make when asked
which side they were on, were often very laughable. You
see, there were so many spies around, that the poor negro
never could be sure whether it was a Unionist or a
Confederate that was talking with him. And he knew well
enough that if he should make a mistake, and tell a Confederate
he was a Unionist or if he should tell a Unionist he
was a Confederate, he might be shot down.
One day, a gray-haired negro was seen perched on the top
of a rail fence watching the soldiers with great interest.
One soldier, thinking to have some fun, called out to him:
"Well, uncle, are you for the Confederates or the Yankees?"
A smile lit up his weather-beaten face, as he replied:
"Why, you see, massa, 'taint for an old nigger like me
to know anything 'bout politics."
The soldier said rather sternly: "Well, sir, let me know
which side you are on, any way."
The old man kept up his smile for a moment, and then
putting on a grave look, which was, quite laughable,
"I'm on de Lord's side, massa, and he'll work out his
salvation; bress de Lord."
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