Sunday, July 14, 2013
WE ARE WILLING TO AID VIRGINIA'S CAUSE...
On April 25, 1861 over three hundred free Blacks, and a few slaves "volunteered" by their owners, left Petersburg by train for labor service on the fortifications of Norfolk with their own Confederate flag, and leader."
"We are willing to aid Virginia's cause to the utmost of our ability. There is not an unwilling heart among us, not a hand but will tell in the work before us, and we promise unhesitating obedience to all orders that may be given us."
-- Charles Tinsley, Free Black, Pocahontas, Petersburg, Va.
"Realizing that many free Black households would be in want following the departure of their husbands on voluntary work, the Petersburg City Council voted family assistance funds for wives and children left behind. Such assistance continued for the length of the war."
Mayor Dodson presented them with a Confederate flag and promised the men that they would "...reap a rich reward of praise and merit from a thankful people.