Lorenzo Thomas Speech

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On May 10, 1863, Major General Lorenzo Thomas, the adjutant general of the army, came to Corinth on a tour of the Mississippi Valley. Thomas was drumming up support for the enlistment of black soldiers and one of his duties was to gauge the support of white troops for the idea.

A large contingent of soldiers were assembled it the yard of the Verandah House, their muskets stacked neatly nearby. General Thomas spoke from a covered platform next to the house and talked for forty-five minutes to the troops lined up in the sun.

Thomas need not have worried; the white soldiers were just fine with the idea of black soldiers wearing the blue uniform. His mission was a resounding success.

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