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[152] see how we got through, as ten rebel cavalrymen were sleeping on the piazza. While we were talking a white woman appeared. She was quite good-looking, had long, curly hair, and her dress was clean and becoming. She said, “I will take care of you;” we thanked her, but said we didn't care to trust a white woman. This pleased the negroes, as she was a slave and a field-hand besides.

The story she told us the next day was a sad one. The overseer of the plantation was a brute, but had charge of all the slaves. She was employed in the house and he desired to make her his mistress, but she repelled his advances and was severely whipped; again he urged her, with no better results. He then drove her to the swamps to work, and she was employed carrying heavy logs on her shoulders. This was one of the damnable features of slavery. Her brother, named Pat, was the driver. (I have several times used the word driver, and some may not understand its meaning. The driver is an intelligent, faithful slave, selected by the overseer as foreman. He turns out the slaves in the morning by blowing a horn, gives them their tasks, and has charge of them in the field.) She took us to his house, which was better than the rest, and we slept in the room with Pat and his wife.

We were awakened in the morning by the firing of cannon, and the negroes came rushing in with the news that Sherman was coming. The firing grew nearer and nearer, musketry could be plainly heard, and through the cracks in the logs of the house we could see smoke where barns were burning. The negroes grew more and more excited and reported often. “They are coming, boss, they are coming. Massa Sherman's company will soon be here! They done burn old Sam Jones's ”

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