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[183] of forgiveness on his tongue and hope in his face the lad died. The murderer could not be found. His comrades covered him and his crime. The death of this colored youth made a deep impression in our camp. Evidently on account of his color he was slain. Friendly voices murmured against the crime, and with set teeth echoed the settled thought: “Slavery must go!”

On January 1, 1863, Mr. Lincoln's promised proclamation was issued. It exceeded the preliminary one in intrinsic force and immediate positive effect.

On the coast of South Carolina our officers, under the Confiscation Act, had already enrolled large numbers of able-bodied fugitives as soldiers. Near one encampment were standing, scattered here and there, immense live oaks. Their lateral branches often covered a circuit of from seventy-five to a hundred feet, and innumerable birds lived and sang among the restless leaves. Not far from Beaufort under the shade of these magnificent trees the first tidings of the grand proclamation were read to a regiment of negroes. Their joy and enthusiasm were unbounded.

Even before the close of 1862 many thousands of blacks of all ages, clad in rags, with no possessions except the nondescript bundles of all sizes which the adults carried on their backs, had come together at Norfolk, Hampton, Alexandria, and Washington. Sickness, want of food and shelter, sometimes resulting in crime, appealed to the sympathies of every feeling heart. Landless, homeless, helpless families in multitudes, including a proportion of wretched white people, were flocking northward from Tennessee and Kentucky, Arkansas and Missouri. They were, it is true, for a time not only relieved by army rations,

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