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[301] criminal, and went back with a guard to bring him to the place of execution. When informed that he had but a few minutes to live, and was counselled to improve this time in making his peace with God, he dropped upon his knees in the road and prayed: “O merciful Father! look down upon me! O merciful Father! look down upon me!” These words alone he repeated a hundred times, until the acting chaplain stopped him. He then rose to his feet, walked up the inclined board with a firm step, at the point of the bayonets of the colored guard, advanced quickly to the head of the cider-barrel, and stood under the noose. This being placed around his neck, Colonel Shurtliff invoked the throne of grace in behalf of the guilty wretch. As the word “Amen” dropped from his lips, the General, who had taken charge of the drop, pulled the wedge — the barrel tipped, the guerrilla dropped. He was a man of about thirty, a rough, stout fellow, was dressed in butternut homespun, and looked the very ideal of a guerrilla. He died of strangulation, his heart not ceasing to beat for twenty minutes. Then a slip of paper was pinned to his back, on which the General had previously written: “This guerrilla hanged by order of Brigadier-General Wild. Daniel Bright, of Pasquotank County.” And the body was left hanging there, a warning to all passing bushwhackers.

Encamping that night near River Bridge, the next morning the prisoners and the long contraband train, with the cavalry and artillery, were sent forward to Norfolk, when General Wild started with the remainder of his brigade for Indiantown, fifteen miles distant, in Camden County, at which point Colonel Draper had been ordered to join him. At first, the country was poor, and the houses were mean and far apart. But about noon we struck another road, and entered a region of great beauty and fertility, reminding one of the scenery of Indiana. Vast fields of corn, often a mile in extent, stretched away into tall, green forests — the fences were in good repair, and the houses large, with numerous out-buildings. In no portion of the South had I seen more magnificent plantations. Here the work of “canvassing” began in earnest, and the march of the colored troops was that of an army of liberation. The first plantation to which we came belonged to a man named Ferrebee. Fourteen slaves were found in the negro quarters. “Would they go with us?” “Yes.” A squad of men, detailed for the purpose, found a cart under the shed, to which a horse, caught in the pasture, was harnessed; the furniture belonging to the slaves was piled into it, the women and children were placed on the top, and the first team of the contraband train took its place in the procession. Meanwhile, detachments were sent ahead to every visible farmhouse to repeat this operation, and have the slaves ready to fall in by the time the rear-guard should come along. Once a soldier came running to the General in breathless haste. He belonged in the neighborhood, and wished permission to go to the house of his former master, a half a mile from the road, and get his son. The General sent a lieutenant and twenty men along with him. A number of horses were seen feeding in a corn-field. A squad of men were sent to take two or three of them. A horse and a mule stood looking over the fence by the roadside. The horse “fell in,” when the mule leaped the rails and also came along. Wherever a team could be found, it was borrowed or taken for the benefit of such slaves as should not be fortunate enough to have masters owning any. Sometimes, to save their teams, the planters would volunteer to bring their slaves along, which proposition the General invariably accepted. While this was going on, the farms were foraged to some extent. Geese, chickens, and turkeys everywhere abounded, and the inhabitants being all “secesh,” the men were permitted to help themselves. On arriving at a house, the front-windows and doors would invariably be found closed, when the men would rush at once to the rear, and overrun the premises like so many ants, bringing away canteens full of milk, bridles for the spare horses, and a few similar articles. Thus the march continued, the train of contrabands growing in length continually, when an incident occurred worthy of a special paragraph.

Toward the middle of the afternoon, our road skirting a densely wooded swamp, two horsemen suddenly appeared ahead in the distance, slowly approaching us. Some of the General's staff, riding forward to overhaul them, they wheeled their horses and retreated at full speed. Upon this all the mounted men, including the General, put spurs to their horses, and an exciting chase commenced. Along the road fast and furious dashed the pursued and the pursuers, the mud and water flying as if a hurricane were sweeping along. At length the two men, still some distance ahead, turned into the forest and disappeared, when the chase was abandoned. We soon came upon the house of one of these bandits, which was given to the flames.

A mile ahead we encountered a party of Colonel Draper's men, which had been sent out to meet us. The Colonel had just reached Indiantown, after a severe skirmish with the guerrillas, in which he had lost several men. In a few minutes we reached the stately mansion of Dr. McIntosh, of which alone the village now consists, the rest of the houses having been burned. For convenience as well as security, Colonel Draper had encamped his men on the Doctor's premises, which, in addition to the large dwelling-house, comprised a spacious farm-yard and twenty or thirty outbuildings. Into the grounds our columns soon poured, and a scene at once novel and picturesque presented itself. The garden fences were speedily demolished, and fires sprang up in all directions under the trees, while a large fire of fence-rails was burning in the road. A hundred horses were tied to every available post and tree; a maze of carts, with their loads of contrabands, inclosed the stables and extended out into the adjoining corn-field; officers were riding to and fro; squads of men were marching


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