Charles T. Trowbridge reminiscences, [ca. 1892].


Charles T. Trowbridge reminiscences, [ca. 1892].

Manuscript reminiscences mainly concern Trowbridge's experiences (1865-1866) in the Freedmen's Bureau and as Lieutenant Colonel of the 33rd Regiment of U.S. Colored Troops in South Carolina, accompanied by his commission as lieutenant colonel, dated 11 Nov. 1864. Trowbridge begins with an account of his command of a sub-district of the Freedmen's Bureau in the South Carolina districts of Pickens and Anderson immediately after the war. At Anderson he is met by a committee of citizens imploring him not to bring his colored troops into the town. Other incidents illustrate relations between white citizens and freedmen. In administering the oath of allegiance to Confederate soldiers, Trowbridge meets with Capt. John C. Calhoun ("grandson of the great Nullifier"), and later, James L. Orr, whom he advises to run for the governorship of the state. Trowbridge describes the murder of one of his officers on a detachment sent to Walhalla, and the pursuit of the killer, a local man named Manse Jolly. Orr warns Col. Trowbridge that his troops are in danger, and shortly afterwards, while on a train bound for Newberry, the regiment's car is separated from the engine, stranded on a trestle bridge, and fired upon. They are rescued when one of Trowbridge's men, a Sgt. Brown (there were two Sgt. Browns in the 33rd Colored Infantry, a Frederick Brown and an Isaiah Brown), forces the engineer to go back for the car. The regiment undergoes a difficult march from Newberry to Orangeburg, and from there is transported by train to Charleston, where they are stationed at several harbor forts. In Charleston Trowbridge meets with the new governor, James L. Orr, and receives a visit from General Grant. The reminiscences include a transcription of Trowbridge's letter of farewell, commendation, and advice to his soldiers as freedmen. Finally, Trowbridge recounts two reunions with Sgt. Brown, the first an accidental meeting in 1884, and the second, six years later, during a trip to Beaufort, S.C. His reminiscences end with a brief report on the fate of Manse Jolly.

32 p.

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