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32. black Tom.

Hunted by his rebel master
     Over many a hill and glade,
Black Tom, with his wife and children,
     Found his way to our brigade.

Tom had sense and truth and courage,
     Often tried where danger rose--
Once our flag his strong arm rescued
     From the grasp of rebel foes.

One day Tom was marching with us
     Through the forest as our guide,
When a, ball from traitor's rifle
     Broke his arm and pierced his side.

On a litter white men bore him,
     Through the forest drear and damp,
Laid him, dying, where our banners
     Brightly fluttered o'er our camp.

Pointing to his wife and children,
     While he suffered racking pain,
Said he to our soldiers round him,
     “Don't let them be slaves again!”

“No! by Heaven!” outspoke a soldier,
     And that oath was not profane--
“Our brigade will still protect them--
     They shall ne'er be slaves again.”

Over Old Tom's dusky features
     Came and staid a joyous ray;
And with saddened friends around him,
     His free spirit passed away.

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