County: Copiah and Warren
Title: Mississippi Slave Narratives from the WPA Records
Submitter: MSGenWeb Slave Narrative Project
Notice: This file may be downloaded for Personal Use Only, and may not otherwise be printed or copied without prior written consent of the submitter.
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From the WPA Slave Narratives:
Mack Henderson was born in Copiah County and came to Vicksburg to live just before the Civil War "broke out." He was a slave and came here with his "marster" who came here to go in business.
Mack allways liked music. So when he ran away and got with the "Yankees" he was taught to blow the bugle this he played thruout the time he spent with the Union Army. He never carried a gun. Today Mack still looks like a man around seventy five altho he is much older (does not know his age) but for years he has played his horn and taken an active part in the May 30th Memorial Services at the National Cemetary Celebration.
"The reason I ran away to the Yankees says Mack is because I wanted to be free, I wont talk of slavery it is too long past."
"When the war was over we colored men were all called together and told "not to ever talk of the past," we were told this by our Union officers they said "this is a new day forget the past you are free men, but you are black men and you have still a hard way to go." "Since the war I settled in Vicksburg worked hard for my living and now that I get my Soldiers pension I still work my garden and flowers, and I expect to go to the Parade on the 30th, I am not going to ride either unless they make me, why ride? I walk everywhere else over town."
"If any one wants to know what I did in the Army tell them I blew the horn." and I don't talk to nobody about what went on in the Army it was a secret then and to me it is a secret now."
Transcribed by Ann Allen Geoghegan
The Federal Writer’s Project of
The Works Progress Administration
For the State of Mississippi