On November 3rd, 1898, the Rough Riders' and the Red Shirts, both White regiments of United States Army, marched through and took control over Wilmington, North Carolina. The procession, which was nearly a mile long, was lead by the best riders in Wilmington followed by the red shirts on horseback. The White Government Union' sponsored a barbeque, parade, and public meeting to celebrate the event. White schools in the area gave children the day off in order to allow more people to cheer on the procession. A Confederate veteran, by the name of Carter, followed the procession on a mule chanting the lyrics of song which went: The white man went to college, The Negro to the field; The white man gathered knowledge, The Negro learned to steal.' The lyrics that he chanted not only provided amusement to the crowd that had gathered, but also sent a demoralizing message to the African-Americans who lived in the community. After the procession had paraded through the entire city, Norwood, an African American who was running for the register of deeds in Wilmington, announced that he would no loner run for office. He reasoned that, the demonstration convinced him that the whites [were] determined to rule of kill the Negroes.' Ultimately, the march through Wilmington sent a depressing message to African-Americans not only residing in Wilmington, but to the vast African American population living in the South in general. In was becoming clear that Whites refused to allow African-Americans to infiltrate their communities.
"Great Day at Wilmington; Rough Riders and Red Shirts in Possession-A Negro Register of Deeds Declines to Run for Office," Baltimore (MD) Sun, November 4, 1898.