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[127] resulted. John Markee was hospital attendant for Dr. Grimke, until the old man allowed a rather cruel experiment to be tried by one of the men on a rooster which he owned, and then the Doctor fell out with him, and he was made hostler and cart driver for the post.

We could frequently hear the guns of the Federal gunboats, as they went up the rivers and inlets among the islands south of our post. They frequently amused themselves shelling the plantations and deserted villages. One of these villages, Legareville, was just opposite us on John's Island. It was easily approached after crossing the river. There was nobody, either white or black, in the town. The furniture, or at least a considerable portion of it, had been left in some of the houses in the hurry of the owners to get away. The soldiers were not permitted to remove anything of value. I think now that it would have been as well if we had been permitted to use such things as had been abandoned by the owners, and could have added to our comfort. Later in the war, Confederate soldiers lost some of their respect for the rights of private owners.

The salt question began to trouble us about this time, and those of us whose families at home were endeavoring to cure their own bacon felt great uneasiness. The supply in Charleston was exhausted. The last sack had been sold for twenty-five dollars. Confederate money had not then suffered much depreciation. We saw it first on Cole's Island, and it was preferred, when we were first paid off in it, to any other currency, and would have sold for its face in gold coin. The price of salt continued to rise till, a few months after the time of which I am now writing, it reached seventy-five dollars a sack. Salt works were established all along the coast. The salt that was made at first was not good, but the art of boiling it was soon learnt, and the country was independent of the supply from abroad.

On the 10th of January, four of Lucas battalion, who had the confidence of their officers, received permission to go in a boat to gather oysters in the Stono river. As soon as they thought they were out of reach of the guns on Cole's Island, they pulled for the blockading fleet, one of the vessels of which was lying off the mouth of the river. A boat, with an officer and a detachment of men, was sent in pursuit, but they had too far the start to be caught. The pursuers only got near enough to see them go aboard the blockader. The report which these deserters carried to the commanding general of the Federal forces must have satisfied him that we were in condition to give him a warm reception, or he would probably have come in and tried our strength. These deserters were not South Carolinians.

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