March of 1865, the Union Army attacked Fort Ravare.The battle was fierce with several casualties
on each side.A little more than two
months later, in May 1865, the Union Army took Fort Ravare and declared
victory.A group of about one hundred
Union soldiers took to the roads on horseback and on foot, marching through the
small towns along the way, drinking, stealing cotton and damaging
property.When they reached the town of
Tassin, a line of horse- mounted Tassin residents, armed and ready for battle,
met them at the entrance.
scanned the arriving troops and finding the one with the most stripes she
addressed him directly.
please.Do not come any further.”
command was met with laughter from the soldiers.The Tassin line took a step closer.Now facing each other with only a few feet
between them, the tension was palatable.
is this place?” the striped soldier asked.“And who are these people who do not seem to know what has happened
laughter erupted from the soldiers.
is the Tassin Valley and you have arrived at the town of Tassin.Nothing has happened here.”
Miss Lady, who might you be?”
am Marie Tassin.This is my town.”
town?A female with an entire town?”
kind sir.That is correct.And you and your men look like you could use
a drink and a bath.We are happy to host
you as you make your way home.”
soldier was taken aback by all of what he had just heard.These were not your normal southerners, he
thought.There was something different
here.He was not afraid of it and at the
same time he was not comfortable with it either.But he was intrigued.After the countless battles he had fought and
death he had witnessed, he was more than happy to feel an emotion other than
fear or aggression.He was the first to
dismount.Marie followed.As they walked toward each other striped
soldier removed his hat,
think my men and I would like that very much.”
parties at the Monarch and Kingsland hotels lasted for three days before the soldiers,
clean, fed and happy, prepared to leave Tassin.
soldier mounted his horse and called his men to attention.He thanked Marie and her hotel workers for
their unforgettable hospitality.Before
he turned his horse to leave, he said to Marie,
know, now that we have won the war, you are going to have to free your slaves.”
you mean the colored people at the Monarch?”
they won’t have to work for you anymore.They are going to be freed.This
is a nice town. I am so sorry.”
hesitated as if she wanted to reply, but just then Vanessa came up behind her
and tapped her on the back of her shoulder. She handed her an envelope.So happy to see the ill-mannered, disgusting
soldiers finally leave, and knowing things could have been worse for her and
the town, Marie had almost forgotten.
walked to the striped soldier and handed him the envelope.
opened it to find an invoice addressed to the union army for three days of
expenses in the town of Tassin, due and payable.
striped soldier smiled, tipped his hat to Marie and with his band of men,
slowly road out of town.