Published: December 14, 1863
Gorrespondence of the New-York Times:
Port Hudson, La., Wednesday, Nov. 18.
Since the capture of this place the Corps d'Afrique has been stationed within the fortifications, employed in strengthening the works, in erecting a great interior fort, and in clearing the country around from guerrillas. There are twenty regiments, divided into four brigades and two divisions, the whole under command of Brig.-Gen. GEO. L. ANDREWS -- the First division commanded by Brig.-Gen. ULLMANN, of New-York.
On the 15th inst. a very interesting ceremony took place. A beautiful stand of colors had been prepared by Messrs. George Opdyke, A.T. Stewart, A.A. Low, Moses H. Grinnell, Edgar Ketchum and other prominent citizens of New-York, and on the above-mentioned day, were presented to the Seventh regiment by Chaplain CONWAY.
The various regiments were in line, and, after some evolutions, the pesentation was made.
An address from the donors was read by Dr. CONWAY, to which the Colonel made a fitting response.
Short addresses were then made by Brig.-Gen. ANDREWS, after which, Brig.-Gen. ULLMANN, by request of the Colonel commanding the regiment, addressed the regiment as follows:
OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS OF THE SEVENTH REGIMENT:
I accede with pleasure to the request of your Colonel, that I, as the General commanding this division, should address to you a few remarks. This regiment being one of the five constituting the brigade, which, by order of the President, I originally raised and organized in this Department, I shall ever cherish a profound interest in its welfare. Whatever concerns it affects me. It gratifies me to assemble with you on so pleasing an occasion as this.
You cannot but be grateful to those friends who, far away in the great city of the North have presented to you these beautiful banners. It is kind and thoughtful in them thus to give to you, and to us all, a proof that they remember and recognize us as soldiers of the United States, fighting for the glorious cause of freedom, and regulated Constitutional liberty. I know these gentlemen; you may well be proud of a gift from them; they are, each and all, among the most honorable men of New-York -- the peers of any in that Metropolis. You will appreciate and cherish these tokens of their consideration and sympathy, and while you will value them as beyond price, you will not fall to understand that they are presented to you not only for what you have done, but also for what you will do -- not solely as a reward for the past, but as an incentive for the future, as a stimulus that may nerve your arms to strike heavy blows, in the day of battle, for your country and your God.
OFFICERS AND MEN: These flags are the emblem of civil and religious liberty -- the significant symbols of your country's glory and strength; they tell of her history, of her hard-fought battles, and her greatness; around their ample folds cluster the dearest, the sweetest, the richest, the noblest of human affections. Bear them, then, triumphantly through this dreadful contest; never let them be disgraced or dishonored, and when this wicked war shall cease, and peace be again established throughout this reunited and, you will have, throughout the remainder of your lives, leaving it as a rich legacy to your children, the glorious recollections that yours were the hands that dealt the blow which secured the emancipation of a race, and hurled that huge mountain of crime, oppression and suffering, called human Slavery, into the depths of an unfathomable ocean, never to reappear to curse mankind on this American Continent.
The future is full of hope -- the clouds and darkness which rested on our horizon are scattering -- a bright day is dawning. Even while I speak the news comes that burning Charleston is rolling high her flames to be a beacon forever to the world that wickedness will always receive its righteous retribution from the ust God who presides over the destinies of nations.
A few short months ago, and we, who, by the command of the President, came into Louisiana to be the officers of colored troops, were met on all sides with sneers of contempt, and open and covert hostility from those who should have been our chief support; now, their name is Legion who are running a fearful steeple chase to see who, qualified or unqualified, fit or unfit, can first bag a commission in the Corps d'Afrique.
A few short months ago, and you privates were slaves, bowed in the dust of oppression and cruelty. Now, you are freedmen, soldiers of the United States, clothed in the uniform of the Union, armed with the weapons of freedom, organized under the banner of freedom, and eager to fight for your own liberties, and the salvation of this land which is alike your and our home.