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[291] About noon of the 11th they met several negroes, who gave them information as to the whereabouts of the rebel pickets, and furnished them with food.

Acting under the advice of these friendly negroes, they remained quietly in the woods until darkness had set in, when they were furnished with a comfortable supper by the negroes, and after dark proceeded on their way, the negroes (who everywhere showed their friendship to the fugitives) having first directed them how to avoid the rebel pickets. That night they passed a camp of rebels, and could plainly see the smoke and camp fires. But their wearied feet gave out, and they were compelled to stop and rest, having only marched five miles that day.

They started again at daylight on the 13th, and after moving awhile through the woods they saw a negro woman working in a field and called her to them. From her they received directions and were told that the rebel pickets had been about there looking for the fugitives from Libby. Here they laid down again, and resumed their journey when darkness set in, and marched five miles, but halted till the morning of the 14th, when the journey was resumed.

At one point they met a negress in a field, and she told them that her mistress was a secesh woman, and that she had a son in the rebel army. The party, however, were exceedingly hungry, and they determined to secure some food. This they did by boldly approaching the house and, informing the mistress that they were fugitives from Norfolk, who had been driven out by Butler; and the secesh sympathies of the woman were at once aroused, and she gave th-m of her substance, and started

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