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NEGRO DEVOTIONS.

269

in de other cabin, who fiddle and whirl on de bombastic toe, while dy servant fulminates words to dee. May dey rise above the anthratory things of dis world, and fly like massa Linkum's balloom heavenward. Ruler of all humans on dis earth, wilt dou bress de Generals in de field dis night, if it be circumspection in dy eye. Bress de Colonels in de field dis knight, if it be circumspection in dy discreet eye, and also bress de Union soldiers who carry de musket and chew de cartridge, fightin for de Union and de Stars and Stripes. Dey fight in a scientific cause, and be de bestest of men, but good. Lord, mey dey swear less and pray more. And finally bress dy humble servant now supplicating dee in behalf of dese benighted darkies. It behoves dee to dig deep, and sound to de very bottom of his heart. May dere be nary blimmage between myself and my Saviour.

In de language of de mighty Washington, dis world is all a fleetin show. To-day we are alive and hoppin around like grass-hoppers, to-morrow the sickle of death cuts us down, and spreads us out like grass in hay time. On every side dou knowest, oh Lord, is de evidences of de general dislocation and distruction of de human family. Dere be fightin among one another, and natural disease. But we die to live again, either as saints or evil spirits. Dere be discushions on doctrines. Elecshion, Beforeordination, Perfection, and sich like, confuse de intellects of both black men and white. But good Lord, dou knowest dat dese are vain allusions, splittin an

270

ORIGINAL IIYMNS.

dividin dy creatures into sexes without mercy. Whoever will can go to glory. Many dare will be with sleek countenances, white collars and fine clothes, who will find de gates shut against dem, while de blind old woman hobbling on crutches, she go straight in, Amen.

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Slave Quarters. The hearty burst of amens which followed from the hearers, indicated that they were no less satisfied with his gifts” than the leader himself, whose serene and placid countenance was turned upon us in a most knowing manner, as much as to say, "any white man beat that?”

Several now joined in singing a “hymn," of which the chorus was

“ Lord, wē are flowin to de fountain,

And it is so sweet;
Didn't my Jesus turn him in de coffin ?
Didn't my Jesus turn him in de coffin ?
Sister Mary she loved Jesus,

And so do I.

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FREEDOM FROM SICKNESS IN THE ARMY.

273

Lord, we are flowin to de fountain,
Flowin to de fountain,

And it is so sweet."

While this was being sung, a young member of the band, with sleeves rolled up and a bandana wrapped about his head, stood in the centre of the cabin, and kept time. He continued beating with the feet and patting with the hands, at the same time twisting himself into every conceivable shape the human body will admit of, until the perspiration rolled off in large drops from his forehead. An exhortation was next listened to, after which they sang a variety of tunes, the following being a sample

Jesus 'll git us out o' dis,
Jesus 'll git us out o' dis,
An' will go home to Canean,
An' will go home to Canean.

In describing this strange scene, we have no intention of throwing ridicule upon these unfortunates, or their devotions, but merely to give the reader an idea of the manner in which slave worship is frequently conducted.

The health of the troops continued to be remarkably good, only five per cent. of the entire army being on the sick list. Indeed, when we compare the sanitary condition of the Army of the Potomac from its origin up to the present time with that of other military organizations, there is abundant occasion for thanksgiving. Nearly one half of

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