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[164] a living for themselves and for those who were dependent on them for support.

These ex-Confederate soldiers were, however, but a small part of the entire population of the Southern States. Four millions of negro slaves, who had been hitherto bound to labor in both the cotton and border States, had been set free: First, by the successive operations of the great war; second, by the proclamation of the President; and third, indirectly, from the effects of statute and constitutional law. Generally these millions had left their places of work and abode and had become indeed nomadic, wandering wherever want drove or untutored inclination enticed them. They had drifted into nooks and corners like debris into sloughs and eddies; and were very soon to be found in varied, ill-conditioned masses, all the way from Maryland to Mexico, and from the Gulf to the Ohio River. An awful calamitous breaking — up of a thoroughly organized society; dark desolation lay in its wake.

It was not the negroes alone who were so thoroughly shaken up and driven hither and thither by the storms of war. Those named in the South the “poor whites,” especially of the mountain regions of Georgia, Tennessee, North and South Carolina, were included.

These had all along been greatly divided in their allegiance — some for the Union, and some for the Confederacy. Family and neighborhood feuds, always indigenous and contagious there, naturally took on new fire during the war and its resulting conflicts, so that these people were sooner or later scattered to the four winds. To these two classes, negroes and whites, were usually given the names of freedmen and refugees.

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