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[184] spasmodically issued, but were met most kindly by various volunteer societies of the North-societies which gathered their means from churches and individuals at home and abroad.

During the spring of 1863, many different groups and crowds of freedmen and refugees, regular and irregular, were located near the long and broken line of division between the armies of the North and South, ranging from Maryland to the Kansas border and along the coast from Norfolk, Va., to New Orleans, La. They were similar in character and condition to those already described. Their virtues, their vices, their poverty, their sicknesses, their labors, their idleness, their excess of joy, and their extremes of suffering were told to our home people by every returning soldier or agent, or by the missionaries who were soliciting the means of relief. Soon in the North an extraordinary zeal for humanity, quite universal, sprang up, and a Christian spirit which was never before exceeded began to prevail. The result was the organizing of numerous new bodies of associated workers, whose influence kept our country free from the ills attending emancipation elsewhere; it saved us from negro insurrection, anarchy, and bloody massacre, with which the proslavery men and even the conservative readers of history had threatened the land.

The Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase, always anxious for successful emancipation, had had brought to his attention early in 1862 the accumulations of the best cotton on abandoned sea-island plantations; there was the opportunity to raise more; and the many slaves in the vicinity practically set free and under governmental control, could be worked to advantage.

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