A Letter From General Ballou: Joshua Lowery

This piece is from one General Ballou. He seemed to be in charge of a “colored” training camp. He argued constantly for a non-provocative almost turn the other cheek mentality. He wanted win the approval of “white” officers and troops through, as he said “by forbearance rather than by force.”

General Ballou used very first person “I” and “We” pronouns trying to identify with other troops. I assume that the General himself was African-American so it would “seem” that he is trying to keep his troops from reacting harshly to discrimination. He also used the word “experiment” quite a bit. The letter, at the end of the day, tried to assure the reader that his methods and ideas of “admonishing” and “advice” were working well. The language feels a lot “nicer” than that of a “The New Freeman.” But this is in a specific letter that is painting a picture of how the experiment succeeded.


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