History of Negro Soldiers in the Spanish American War and Other Items of Interest
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AbeBooks Member Since 1996
About this Item
Title: History of Negro Soldiers in the Spanish ...
Publisher: Johnson Reprint Corp
Publication Date: 1970
Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included
About this title
THE BEGINNING OF HOSTILITIES.
A COLORED HERO IN THE NAVY.
History records the Negro as the first man to fall in three wars of
America--Crispus Attacks in the Boston massacre, March 5, 1770; an
unknown Negro in Baltimore when the Federal troops were mobbed in
that city _en route_ to the front, and Elijah B. Tunnell, of Accomac
county, Virginia, who fell simultaneously with or a second before
Ensign Bagley, of the torpedo boat _Winslow_, in the harbor of
Cardenas May 11, 1898, in the Spanish-American war.
Elijah B. Tunnell was employed as cabin cook on the _Winslow_. The
boat, under a severe fire from masked batteries of the Spanish on
shore, was disabled. The Wilmington came to her rescue, the enemy
meanwhile still pouring on a heavy fire. It was difficult to get the
"line" fastened so that the _Winslow_ could be towed off out of range
of the Spanish guns. Realizing the danger the boat and crew were in,
and anxious to be of service, Tunnell left his regular work and went
on deck to assist in "making fast" the two boats, and while thus
engaged a shell came, which, bursting over the group of workers,
killed him and three others. It has been stated in newspaper reports
of this incident that it was an ill-aimed shell of one of the American
boats that killed Tunnell and Bagley. Tunnell was taken on board the
Wilmington with both legs blown off, and fearfully mutilated. Turning
to those about him he asked, "Did we win in the fight boys?" The reply
He said, "Then I die happy." While others fell at the post of duty it
may be said of this brave Negro that he fell while doing _more_ than
his duty. He might have kept out of harm's way if he had desired, but
seeing the situation he rushed forward to relieve it as best he could,
and died a "volunteer" in service, doing what others ought to have
done. All honor to the memory of Elijah B. Tunnell, who, if not
the first, certainly simultaneous with the first, martyr of the
Spanish-American war. While our white fellow-citizens justly herald
the fame of Ensign Bagley, who was known to the author from his youth,
let our colored patriots proclaim the heroism of Tunnell of Accomac.
While not ranking as an official in the navy, yet he was brave, he was
faithful and we may inscribe over his grave that "he died doing what
he could for his country."....
This is a pre-1923 historical reproduction that was curated for quality. Quality assurance was conducted on each of these books in an attempt to remove books with imperfections introduced by the digitization process. Though we have made best efforts - the books may have occasional errors that do not impede the reading experience. We believe this work is culturally important and have elected to bring the book back into print as part of our continuing commitment to the preservation of printed works worldwide.
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