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[170] such orders, some slaves for a while were refettered after they had come within the Union lines, but in time press and people, officers and soldiers, with meager exceptions were united and with one voice said: “The slaves of men in arms against the Government shall be forever free.”

General Butler in a letter to Simon Cameron, then Secretary of War, dated July 20, 1861, showed that he was in the advance. In this letter he afforded glimpses into camps and workshops where the implements of emancipation were being forged. These glimpses, next to those of the premature bivouac of John Brown, were the most fruitful sources yet put forth of agitation north and south, and later became the cause of remedial legislation.

It appears that several regiments, by a sudden call of service, were taken away from Butler's command. In consequence, the general's outlying troops had to be called in toward Fort Monroe, and the village of Hampton abandoned. With evident feeling he wrote that in that village there were large numbers of negroes, composed in a great measure of men, women, and children who had fled within his lines for protection; they had escaped from marauding parties of Confederates who had been gathering up able-bodied blacks to aid them in constructing their batteries. He had employed the men in Hampton in throwing up intrenchments, and they were working zealously and efficiently at that duty, saving his soldiers from that labor under the midday sun. The women were earning substantially their own subsistence in washing, marketing, and taking care of the clothes of the soldiers; and rations for the support of the children were being served out to the men who worked. But by the evacuation

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