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[192] themselves for more than six months as in permanent possession of these abandoned lands.

The immediate effect was good. Idle masses were sent from cities and villages and from the various army columns to find relief and to set out upon a course of thrifty industry which was hopeful and helpful to their future.

There were plenty of friendly hands to give aid where it was needed. Zealous, self-denying Christian teachers followed up the distribution to inaugurate primary schools. In one instance, on an island far from any white settlement, three maiden ladies of wealth who had come from New England started a school with all the appliances of object teaching and all the neatness of a Northern academy. Officers of the army of high rank and their friends, and immigrants with their wives and daughters from the Northern States took an active interest in this humane work. This part of the field came under my earliest personal observation. Here I found fairly good schools in January, 1865, and visited several of them.

At that time when with the advance of Sherman's Army I came to Beaufort, South Carolina, moving that way to the North from Savannah, many plantations near at hand and on the different sea islands, deserted by their owners, had been sold by the United States tax commissioners and tax titles given to white immigrants from the North, to loyal white refugees, and to promising freedmen. Numbers of farms so obtained were occupied and under cultivation. One proprietor, Mr. C. F. P. Bancroft, had bought in at public auctions, held on the sea islands in March, 1863, thirteen plantations. He then employed 400 laborers, all being old men, women, and children. The average

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