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Macon (Georgia, United States) (search for this): chapter 11
old man understood the times. His knowledge of the war, with all its recent and important movements, was thorough and accurate, although he was careful and somewhat reticent, even in his communications to us. In order to test his professed knowledge of us, and to ascertain all we could relative to our pursuers, we plied him with various questions. Well, uncle, said we, I suppose you know we are running from the conscript? No, sah, I knows you is the Yankees what broke out oa jail at Macon, dat's what I knows. You're right, uncle. Now what do you know about this war? I doesn't know much about it, sah; only I knows dat dey say, if de Yankees whips, de darkies all be free, but if dese har rebels whips, den we be slaves. Which do you prefer should gain the day? Why, God bless you, massa! does you tink I's a fool? Course, I wants you to whip. You say they are hunting us; how many have they after us? I doesn't know jis zacly; but I knows dat tree men come to m
Darien, Ga. (Georgia, United States) (search for this): chapter 11
dark brow was the mind of a man, and within that slave's bosom beat a brother's heart. I could have embraced him as my father. Now, massa, said he, as we were about to separate until all true friends shall meet in heaven, now do jis as I tells you, and you'll git away. You keep dis pine-ridge straight on through massa's plantation for five mile. Dis ridge goes clean to de coast. It's ‘bout three hundred mile to de coast by de Ocmulgee river. The Ocmulgee flows into de Altamaha, and Darien is at de mouth of de Altamaha, and you'll find lots of de Yankees dar. The old man understood the times. His knowledge of the war, with all its recent and important movements, was thorough and accurate, although he was careful and somewhat reticent, even in his communications to us. In order to test his professed knowledge of us, and to ascertain all we could relative to our pursuers, we plied him with various questions. Well, uncle, said we, I suppose you know we are running from th
Ohio (Ohio, United States) (search for this): chapter 11
pressed, amid the wild voices of the dark cane forest. Our progress was slow. Byand-by, as we came upon a mossy log, we tarried and tried to rest our aching heads. We soon fell asleep, being overcome by fatigue. I dreamed of my loved ones at home — of watchful eyes and praying voices in our behalf. I saw the old familiar hill-slope before my cottage door, the orchard, the fields, and, better than all, the friends of other days, and myself among them-all happy at the old homestead in free Ohio. Some hovering angel must have come and held the picture before my eyes, for I was in raptures of delight! Suddenly I was aroused from my slumbers by the tread of some animal, I knew not what. As I stirred, it hastened into the dark foliage and was gone. I awakened my comrade and told him it was morning. He was surprised to think he had slept so long, and both of us were greatly refreshed. Again we prayed and pressed onward for home and friends, and for a sight of the Stars and Stripes.
Ocmulgee (Georgia, United States) (search for this): chapter 11
eet in heaven, now do jis as I tells you, and you'll git away. You keep dis pine-ridge straight on through massa's plantation for five mile. Dis ridge goes clean to de coast. It's ‘bout three hundred mile to de coast by de Ocmulgee river. The Ocmulgee flows into de Altamaha, and Darien is at de mouth of de Altamaha, and you'll find lots of de Yankees dar. The old man understood the times. His knowledge of the war, with all its recent and important movements, was thorough and accurate, altde them. He told us when the dogs followed us in the cane-brake, in order to prevent them from keeping the trail, we should travel as much as possible in the water; but if we should be closely pursued, to leave the canebrake, and take to the Ocmulgee river. He assured us that the dogs were fearful of the alligators with which that river abounded, and that the slaves were taught that alligators would destroy only negroes and dogs. He didn't believe it himself, although his master thought he di
Shiloh, Tenn. (Tennessee, United States) (search for this): chapter 11
at down, almost in despair, and held a council, when we decided that nothing but the hand of the Lord could deliver us. Again we bowed ourselves before Him, and rose refreshed both in mind and body. Our steps were elastic-our hearts gladdened, and we hurried onward, under the conscious protection of God. Suddenly, I heard the barking of a dog not far distant. We paused and listened. It was not a bloodhound. Collins, being a little deaf from the effects of terrific artillery-firing at Shiloh, did not, at first, catch the sound. Now we knew that help was near. We quickened our pace, and in a few minutes heard the voices of some negro men. A few steps further, and we came in sight of a cotton-field, which we approached by walking in the water of a small brook that flowed in that direction. With great caution, we neared the field, in which there were twenty-five negroes at work ploughing cotton. Most of the men looked old and toil-worn. While we were reconnoitering our ground
Virginia (Virginia, United States) (search for this): chapter 11
, before returning across the field, I rapped on a rail, which instantly drew his attention. When I caught his eye, I beheld an intellect and a sympathy languaged there which gave me hope. I approached the old man with trembling step and faltering voice, I know, for there was danger of communicating with some excitable and treacherous slave-although such are rare cases-yet I ventured to speak to my wondering auditor. I approached that cotton-field, half famished as I was, with many of my Virginia prejudices against the negroes, for I had been taught to regard them as unreliable and stupid. But I felt that death was in the swamp, and life might be in the cotton-field. Well, uncle, said I, I am traveling through your country, and I am very ragged, as you see. I don't wish to call on white folks in this condition, and I am very hungry. Could you get me something to eat? Oh, yes, massa! God bless you! all you want; but go back! go back! he continued, waving his hand, as if
A. P. Collins (search for this): chapter 11
ard against all surprises from man or beast, we agreed to sleep and stand sentinel alternately until morning. Thus we relieved and rested each other that memorable night. It was a welcome day-dawn to us. For two hours I had stood guard over Collins, watching the stars mirrored on the smooth waters about our feet, and it was a glorious sunrise to us that chased the shadows and images away, and flooded our gloomy retreat with the light of morning. Again we started onward, taking the sun fored both in mind and body. Our steps were elastic-our hearts gladdened, and we hurried onward, under the conscious protection of God. Suddenly, I heard the barking of a dog not far distant. We paused and listened. It was not a bloodhound. Collins, being a little deaf from the effects of terrific artillery-firing at Shiloh, did not, at first, catch the sound. Now we knew that help was near. We quickened our pace, and in a few minutes heard the voices of some negro men. A few steps furth
unless, hopeless, comfortless, and dark! thy memory haunts me still! But we lost not our confidence in God. We knelt in the black water, and prayed. And down through the still night-down through the deep darknessdown through the dense cane-brake-down to our prostrate souls afar in the solitude, came the Blessed Comforter, and we took courage. We thought of the old Jews, compelled to wander about in sheep-skins and goat-skins. We trusted in Elijah's and Elisha's God, and remembered that Daniel had dwelt safely in the den of lions. We were so completely thrown upon God's mercy, that our faith was stronger than ever. We felt that God was nearer in the shadows than in the sunshine — that in bowing in the water of the swamp to pray, we placed our lips nearer to the Infinite Ear than if we worshipped in temples on the mountain. We spent the entire day, the 21st of June, in this bog. When night came, we tried again to sleep, but were annoyed by a new enemy-a legion strong — the p
swamps pursued by bloodhounds suffering from hunger a dreary night an answered prayer singular noise lost in the cane-brake a dismal journey a dream a surprise Wanderings and Wearyings in the wilderness-a Comforter present hope and cheer a cotton-field a friend in need negro music a feast in the night an intelligent slave advice to fugitives. About two o'clock, we ventured to leave the swamp, and strike out for the low hills, and travel through the pines. It was the 20th of June, and a long day to us. We had scarcely entered the pine forest, when we saw eight men with guns, on the lookout for us, some of whom we had previously seen on the same errand. We instantly retreated to the swamp, yet not before we were discovered. The dogs were instantly put on our track, and in order to break the scent, we again sought the swail, and waded in water to our knees. We passed through the densest portions of the brake, where it stood thick and tall, forming, in places, an
pelled to wander about in sheep-skins and goat-skins. We trusted in Elijah's and Elisha's God, and remembered that Daniel had dwelt safely in the den of lions. We were so completely thrown upon God's mercy, that our faith was stronger than ever. We felt that God was nearer in the shadows than in the sunshine — that in bowing in the water of the swamp to pray, we placed our lips nearer to the Infinite Ear than if we worshipped in temples on the mountain. We spent the entire day, the 21st of June, in this bog. When night came, we tried again to sleep, but were annoyed by a new enemy-a legion strong — the pestiferous musquitoes. During the night, our attention was attracted by a sound like the driving of a stake. We arose and cautiously reconnoitered in the direction from which the noise proceeded, To our surprise, we came upon a small corn-field, containing about two acres, surrounded by a rude fence of pine poles. We trembled at the thought of being so near a human habitation