We were in doubt what to do, as Sherman
, not coming to Augusta
, had forced us to change our plans, but concluded we had better cross the Savannah River
and try to strike him in Georgia
Our guide turned us over to another, who advised us to remain with him until the next night, which we did.
After supper, in company with the negro, we started for the river.
He knew all the short cuts through the swamps, also the location of creeks, and coming to one he would cross on a log, but we, not knowing in the darkness where to step next, would walk in. Then he would turn around and say “Creek thar, boss,” a fact we had already learned.
In the distance we heard a strange noise, which grew louder as we walked along.
We asked what it was, and were informed that it was the shouters; that they were having a shouting meeting on the plantation where we were going.
Arriving at the plantation, we found it a singular village.
The houses were set on posts some eight feet from the ground, as the river overflows in some seasons of the year.
No white people were there, as it was owned by the man who owned and lived at the place where we found Mr. Packard
, and this swamp plantation was in charge of the driver named Isaac.
Our friend called him out, told him who we were, and what we wanted; he said, “Come right in,” and turning to the meeting, of which he was in charge, said, “Meeting dismissed without prayer.”
All gathered around us. We sat up until morning, talking of the north and of freedom,--subjects they were anxious to hear about, -and they asked many intelligent questions.
The past few days my feet had been bare,--my old boots not being able to stand the rough service required of them.