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The Richmond Daily Dispatch: may 20, 1861

A character.

--There is an old colored drummer in one of the Roanoke companies, now here, who served in the same capacity during the war of 1812. He still looks hale and healthy, and upon being asked whether he could go through the present war, remarked, "yes, massa, I expect to live to git old Linkum's skull." This is characteristic of the general feeling amongst all the blacks who are now serving in the ranks.--Lynchburg Virginian.


The Richmond Daily Dispatch: August 1, 1861.

Old "Uncle Dick."

--On Tuesday afternoon last a considerable crowd collected on Main street, near 12th, to listen to many interesting incidents of the battle at Manassas, which were being related by an old colored hero named "Dick," who was an active participant in the eventful engagement at that memorable place. His age, he said, was over sixty years, and every one who saw the venerable, silvery locks which covered the old patriot's head, readily credited the statement. Having enlisted as a drummer, on the day of the battle he marched out into the field at the head of his company, performing in his best manner on that soul-inspiring instrument. Soon the balls began whizzing thick and fast around his head, when, thinking his time could be better employed, without waiting for orders, old uncle Dick swung the instrument on which he was playing over his shoulder, and picking up the gun of a defunct Hessian, participated in the popular amusement of the day of pulling down the enemy at long taw. He seems certain of having made more than one of them bite the dust.

The capture of a live Yankee by this old negro, was related by him in the most enthusiastic manner. He espied one of them somewhat separated from the rest, in the act of cutting stick for Washington, and immediately started in pursuit of him. On coming up with the braveLincoln soldier, he brought his gun to bear on uncle "Dick; " but this, he said, he had no fear of, and did not halt until he had a fast hold on the Yankee's collar, and lost no time in conducting him where the prisoners had been confined.
On asking the old negro if he intended returning to his army, he promptly answered that he should do so as soon as he transacted his business in this city, and that he expected in a short time to beat on his drum in the streets of Washington that good old tune, "Dixie." "Our pickets," he said, "were in two miles of Alexandria, and Mas. Beauregard would not be long in driving the d — d Yankees from Arlington."

David Upton

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