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[174]

Chapter 17: the exchange and return north.

We left Columbia, but no one knew where we were going. After a slow run of three hours the engine struck a cow; as the cow would not get off the track the engine did, and we were delayed several hours, but we did not mind that. Having no destination, we might as well be in one place as another. After being two days on the cars we arrived at Charlotte, N. C.

It was quite evident that the rebels were near the last ditch. Our South Carolina guard would not go into North Carolina, and we had a new guard from the latter State. We left the cars and marched to camp, where an order was read, signed by Adjutant-General Cooper, that a general exchange of prisoners would begin at once. Many took no stock in the order and escaped, but the guard did little or nothing to prevent them, and the next day the officers commanding in the city requested us to remain in camp, as they had a strong police guard in the city and we might get into trouble.

We had had some fun mixed with our misery. Our band had retained their instruments, and while they. had not played at Camp Sorghum for want of strings, with the money we received they bought new ones, and our glee club was as good as ever. The citizens often came from the city to hear --them sing.

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