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Enduring The War

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It will not bo deaied that our civil war tried the courage and fortitude of soldiers in the field on both sides. It is eqnally as true that to Southern noncombatants who remaincd at home it waa a trial of endurance, and when a negro saya (as tbey all do say) "endurin' the waw," he unwittingly inakes use of an expression that vividly recalls the bardships and privations of those four Ion? yearg of strife. It was a matter of endaring to slaves as wel} as masters, and it is but just to say that, though severely tried and tempted, a very large majority of the former continued faithful to the women and children of the dominant race ronderod helpless by the absence of their natural protectors. One of the humble héroes of those tryin times is '-Únele Cudjo." His form is dow bent with the weight of yearg; he has outlived his usefulness as a laborer, but ia supported and cherished for the good he has done by those upon whose gratitude he makes an indisputable claim. "I'm one o' do has-beens," saysüncle Cudjo, alluding to his former greatness and present obsoleteness. "I been a man in my times. Shoo! I could stan' mos' anything. You talk 'bout hard times and tribilation! You don' know nothin'. De reason you talks dat war, you warn't yer endurin' de waw. Yon warn't bom den, bless gracious! an' ef you had a-been you wouldn't a-been yer now, becase ittuck a man to stan' dem times an' come out 'live. "Wen I was a young man I didn' have no more sense'n you got, I didn' know what waw was, 'cep'n hit mean iightin' de Injins way down in Klurridy. But de eomie hit 'pcar in de iliments, an' de ole folks 'low dat was a sign o' waw. Some say de niggers was gwine to rise, an' dey ris, too, honey; dey vis ever mornin' w'en de obesseer toot his hom. "Sho nuff, atter while de news come dat de folks was a iightin' in the waw, an' ever'body 'low 'Let urn fight, dey ain'tnokin.' Ole man C rake 'low ho gwine to drink all de blood wliat git spill in dat waw, becase dem jugmouf Yankees dey wouldn' fight. Ole man Crake he was a big man. He been to Congress up yanuer in Washington, Georgy, Whar Mass Tom Toom's stay, an' he had de name o' bein' de smartes' man in de county - an' he was, too, mon, because w'en all de yuther men was in a big hurry to go to de waw an' git kill, he stay 'homo an' make niore'n two bushels o money on salt. "My ole missis she was a wider 'oman. She ncver had no son cep'n Mass Tom, an' he 'low he was gwine to git de fus' shoot at de Yankees. Ho was mighty 'feard de waw was gwine to stop 'fo' he could git dar. But hit las' Mass Tom he went, he did. He was a Eow'íul sorry-lookin' chance, because e never weigh mor'n ahuudred weight, and his han's was sof an' w'ite. But he had de golwhoppiness' bowie-knife, made out'n ole Miss cyarvin'-knife file. Hit reteh down to his knees, an' hit keep on stick'n in de top o' his boot ever' time he lif' his lef' foot. "Ole Miss an' de voung ladics dey cried an' dey cried w'en Mass Tom lef . "Ole Miss 'low: 'Well, Cudjo,' says she, 'I ain' got nobody to 'pen' on now but you. '1 ou got to be my oberseer an' 'ten' to all my business,' pays she. 'You got to make de niggers wuck an' make me sump'n t' eat,' says she, 'because my po' boy he's gone to the waw,' sayg she, 'an' Iknow he'll git kill,' says shc. "I laid down my axe, I did, which I was des gwine to cut down a tree to make some bodes, and I says, says I; 'Misses,' saj"s I, 'look at me,' says I. "She says, says she, 'I seesyou,' says Bhe. " 'How long you been knowin' me?' says I. " 'Ever since de fus' time you was bom in dis wul,' says she. "I says, says I, 'Well,' says I; an' I piek up my axe an' went on to de tvoodd, an' froin dat time on I was de boss o' dat plantation" Ole Miss trus' me with everything. I toted do keys and medger out de 'lowance to de niggers. Wen she want anything f'om xwn she sont me atter it. She mos'ly ;rade at Mr. Meadorses sto . beem ke I don' never see no sto's dese days ike Mr. Meadorses sto' was 'fo' de waw. Hit look mighty small w'en dey tar it down las' year to buil'a brick sto' in de place of if, but dat was because de waw swunk it up so. Hit was a sho' nuffbigsto' 'fo' de waw. Shoo! Hit could a swallowed 'bout a dozen sto's ike dey has dese days, and den hit'd een hnngry. wnrn't nuthin' you couldn't buy dar. "Atter de waw was gwine on a w'ile ole Miss sent me atter teu pound o' coffee. I went into Mr. Aleadorses' 8to', an' bit's de God's trnth, dey warn't athingin dar cept one box o' 'backer an' fo' sack o' salt. De price o' dat 'backer was five dollars a plug, an1 'fo' de een' o' de waw hit was twenty dollars a plug, an' ei a po' nigger want to pit red he halter bite his tonguo. Es for dat salt, ef you want any o' hit, go an sell two likely nigger feller, an' may bc Mr. Meadorses let you have a poun' for what dey fetch. "Salt was 'bout de scarces' thing endurin' de waw. Folks had to dig up the naichel dirt out'n de sraoke-houses, whar de meat drip, an' bile dat to make salt. "Leather was mighty scarce 'ceptin' jou tan ft at home. Doy made it out'n j horse-hide an' hog-skin an' squir'1-skio, i an' ef a stray dog come 'long, an' he was ] toler'ble fat, hè stand a mighty slim I chance to tote his hide back home. i Ven we quit plantin' cotton we cut up de gin ban' to make shoe soles, and saddles what had skearts on urn was out'n de fashion. Todes de las' dey made shoes out'n cloth, wid a piece o' plank for asolé, an' w'en a man walkhe masl de eround same es a tree f all on it. "Ole Miss 'low she couldn't do 'dout coffee. She 'bleeged to have sump'n what look like it, an' she made it out'n parch w'eat an' parch okry and goobers. Hit was sweeten wid sloggum 'lassos what turn yo' teeth righc black. "Lamps an' can'les played out toler'ble soon, but ole mins got up sump'n in de place oí nm. Hit warn't nothin' but a cotton string 'bout es big 'roun' es my little finger, an' hit was soak in grease an' wax an' den bit was wrop roun' an' roun' a co'n-cob an' sot up in de middle o' de supper table. Hit never give no light what hurt yo' eyes like deseyerchanticleers in de w'ite fo'lks chu'ch, but nobody never growl because dey couldn' tine do way to aey mouf; dey mos'ly growl because dey never had nothin' to put in it. ¦ "W'en ole miss want to write a letter she make me clam a oak tree n. git a ball to make ink out'n; den I cotch a goose an' pull out a featherfor a pen; de oio Miss writ on a leaf tore out'n the fus' part of a book, an' turn a ole embelope wrong-sidod out'd to put de letter ia. Mass Tom he writ homo mos' ever' week, an' ever' time he writ ole miss 'low he was comin' nigher an.' nigher todes home. "I says, Tm mighty glad to hear it,' says I. "Ole Miss says, says she, 'I aint' says she, ' because he'a bringing do Yankees on behine him.' "Sho' nuff, de Yankees kep' a comin' closer, and closer, teil one day de newa come dat dey was right dar at us wid a calbry comp'ny "Ule Miss cali me. "She 'low, 'Cudjo is you yearned de news?' "I says, says I: 'Yes'm.' says L " 'Well, she says, 'does you know de Yankees gwine to be yer 'fo nightP' "I says, says I: 'Dat"a de way de news read.' " 'Well, she says, 'what you gwine to do?' "I says, savs I: 'Dey ain' no shot yer,' says I, 'but dey is some powder; an' I'm gwine to load up Mass Tom's gun wid rocks, an' de fus' Yankee what bodder you, I'm gwine to caddymize his stomache,' says I. " 'Dat ain' gwine to do no good.'says she. 'Ef you wants to do sump'n some account,' says ahe, 'you take my mul es an' hido urn in de swamp, whar de Yankees can't line um, 'Dey ain' gwine bodder me,' says she; 'but dey'Ü sho take my mules.' "I tuck two niggers to he'p me, an cyawed de mules off 'bout two mile an' hid m in de big canebrake. I tuck Mass Tom's gun long, becase I didn't kuow what dem two nlsgers had in dey haids. I tole um, says I: " -I want to be f ree bad es anyof yon, but oíd Miss' mules got tobe pertect,' says I, 'an' de fus' man bat his eye like he gwine to de Yankees I'm gwine to pull dis trigger an' lef you right dar,' says I. "De Yankees come, sho nuff, but dey never got nar huff of a mulé fom oíd Miss. "She was a spunky w'ite 'ornan. Dey ax her whar her mules, an' she 'low 'Ef you wants my mulrs you go an' fine um,' says she, 'an I'm hopes Cudjo'll fill yo' bidés full o' lead.' "Ulo Miss knowed dey warn't nothin' but rocks in de gun, but she talk sorter biggity to scare de Yankees. "Dey 'low dóy warn't 'feardo' Cudjo, but dey tuck mighty good keer not to come whar Cudjo was. "Dey went on to town, an' dey broke open Mr. Meadors's sto', but dey didn' stay dar long 'fo' un come a Fedrick jigadier-ginal wid flyin' artificiáis an' throwed shells at um; den dey vaccinate de town in a hurry. "Seem like atterde Yankees wasgone de debil Lot iu the country. Dey was rao' stealin' dan de law 'lovvs. Patterolers gwine 'long ever' road. Ever' nigger had to tote a pass, cep'n' he want fifty lashes. "Well. sah, w'en fthings got sorter straight ag'in, 'long come de gubment men pressin' horses an' cows an' nigjjers. Dey tuck ole Miss' gentle buggy horse an' de likelies' steer on de hul. Dey tuek little Pete to wuck on, d bresswucks. "Folks say little Pete was a eejot, but he had sense nuiïto git 'way fom dem tellen, an' dey ain never cotch him iell yit. Some folks knowed whar he imle, but 'twan't dem Gubment men. "Ole Miss 'low: "We can't hole out much lonjrer, Cudjo. Hit's a gitten to i mighty fine p'int,' said she. My nigjers lookin' po' and skinny,' says she, in' ever'thing on the hill's gwine to ttarre,' says she. "De Gubment took de tent' o' ever'thing do farmers made. W'en you uedjer nine ba'ls o' co'n for yo'se'f you ' rot to medjer one for de Gubment. De ame way 'bout meat, eben to de irvtoViilil "De Gubmentbuilta nice house in do aidge o' town. Hit was mighty nigh es big as Mr. Meadorses sto' was f(y de waw. Dey keep all de 'visions what dey tuk f'om de fanners, ín dar. Hit mako a man mouf water to look at um. "De man what stay in dar take care o' dem 'visions, he was de onliest rale fat man I seed enduriu' de waw." - Milton Burlón, in Continent. ? ?¦? - The pólice of Stamford, Ct., arrested Mr. wimékef and his three boys whum he was bringing up to be thieves. They had just been released from States Prison where the genial family had served a terra of eight years for burglary, but they had gone at it again, and were captured in the loft of a school house which they had in a week's operations lilled wlth plunder.- Hartford Post. - Sorghum sugar, reported by experts to t)e of good llavor and qumlity, has been made this year for the firsl time in the neighborbood of Phoenix, A. T.


Ann Arbor Courier
Old News