Manuscripts/Mixed Material [Andrew Johnson]
One day, about three o'clock in the afternoon, nearly the entire company was watching a ball game when someone shouted “Tenshun.” In the Army when an officer came around enlisted men, the first person to observe the officer called out “Tenshun,” and we stood at attention until the officer said “At ease” or departed.
We looked around and saw Captain Queen striding toward us. “Why aren't you men on the parade ground?”
We looked around at each other, startled by the question. Nobody answered.
“Didn't you see the notice for regimental review and parade posted on the bulletin board?”
One brash follow spoke up. “I was down there this morning and didn't see any notice. It must have just been tacked up.”
Captain Queen, a former Regular [Armyman?] with the 24th infantry, sputtered, “Just put up! Why that notice has been on the bulletin board ever since George Washington was on the police force.”
We found out the notice hadn't been up quite that long but it had been up for a week. And we were supposed to be reviewed by a major-general. The major General, with his staff, had come from another camp, our camp commander, a band, and quite a number of officers, were assembled on the parade ground for a review and inspection which never came off.
Our Captain Queen had just completed a course of instruction at a fort at Des Moines, Iowa, along with a thousand other colored men, all of whom were given commissions as captain, or lieutenant, signed by the President, Woodrow Wilson, and which said that they were 'officers and gentlemen'.