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“Yes honey, I ’members dat Yankee raid lack it was jes’ yistiddy. I’se
settin’ dere in de loom room, an’ Mr. Thad Watts’ lil’ gal, Louise,
she’s standin’ at the winder. She say: ’O-o-oh! Nannie! Jes’ look down
yonder!’ ’Baby, what is dat?’ I says. ’Dem’s de Yankees comin’!’ ’Gawd
hep us!’ I says, an’ befo’ I kin ketch my bref, de place is kivvered.
You couldn’t stir ’em up wid a stick. Feets sounded lack mutterin’
thunder. Dem bayonets stick up lack dey jes’ setting on de mouf of dey
guns. Dey swords hangin’ on dey sides singin’ a chune whilst dey walk. A
chicken better not pass by. Iffen he do, off come his head!

“When dey pass on by me, dey put’ nigh shuck me outa my skin. ’Where’s
de men’s?’ dey say an’ shake me up. ’Where’s de arms?’ Dey shake me
twell my eye balls loosen up. ’Where’s de silver?’ Lawd! Was my teefs
drappin’ out? Dey didn’t give me time to ketch my bref. All de time,
Miss Mary jes’ look ’em in de eye an’ say nothin’!

“Dey tuck dem enfield rifles, half as long as dat door, an’ bus’ in de
smoke house winder. Dey jack me up off’n my feet an’ drag me up de
ladder an’ say: ’Git dat meat out.’ I kep’ on th’owin’ out Miss Mary’s
hams an’ sawsidges, twell dey holler ’stop’. I come backin’ down dat
ladder lack a squirrel, an’ I ain’t stop backin’ twell I retch Miss
Mary.

“Yes, Lawd! Dem Yankees loaded up a waggin full of meat an’ tuck de
whole barrel of ’lasses! Takin’ dat ’lasses kilt us chillun! Our mainest
‘musement was makin’ ’lasses candy. Den us cake walk ’roun’ it. Now dat
was all gone. Look lack dem sojers had to sharpen dey swords on
ever’thing in sight. De big crepe mullen bush by de parlor winder was
bloomin’ so pink an’ pretty, an’ dey jes’ stood dere an’ whack off dem
blooms lack folkses heads drappin’ on de groun’.

“I seed de sargeant when he run his bayonet clean th’ew Miss Mary’s
bestest feather bed an’ rip it slam open! Wid dat, a win’ blowed up an’
tuck dem feathers ever’ which away for Sunday. You couldn’t see where
you’s at. De sargeant, he jes’ th’owed his head back an’ laugh fit to
kill hisse’f. Den fust thing next, he done suck a feather down his
win’pipe! Lawd, honey, dat white man sho’ struggled. Dem sojers th’owed
water in his face. Dey shuck’m an’ beat’m an’ roll’m over, an’ all de
time he’s gettin’ limberer an’ bluerer. Den dey jack him up by his feets
an’ stan’m on his haid. Den dey pump him up an’ down. Den dey shuck’m
twell he spit. Den he come to.

“Dey didn’t cut no mo’ mattrusses. An’ dey didn’t cut nothin’ much up in
de parlor, ’cause dat’s where de lieutenant an’ de sargeant slep’. But
dey lef’ de nex’ day, de whole place was strewed wid mutilation.

“I ’members well back dere in jewin’ de war how ever’ oncet a month that
come ’roun’ a big box, longer’n I is an’ wider too, was tuck to our
sojer boys on de battle fiel’. You never seed de lack of sawsidges dat
went in dat box! Wid cake an’ chicken an’ pies, an’ Lawd! de butter all
rolled up in corn shucks to keep it fresh. Ever’body from ever’where
come to fix dat box an’ he’p pile in de stuff. Den you hear ’em say:
‘Poor sojers! Put it in here!’ Den ever’thing look sorta misty, an’ dey
haids droop over, lack. Den you see a mother’s bres’ heave wid her
silent prayer.

“Directly atter de surrender, de Ku Kluxes sho’ was bad atter de
Yankees. Dey do all sorts of things to aggivate ’em. Dey’s continual’
tyin’ grape vines crost de road, to git ’em tangled up an’ make ’em trip
up an’ break dey own necks. Dat was bad too, ’cause dem poor Yankees
never s’picioned no better’n dat dem vines jes’ blowed down or somepin.

http://archive.org/stream/slavenarrativesa36020gut/36020-0.txt

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