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Resumed the March.

We took up our march in single file, the guide in advance. We were to cross the Pasquotank river half a mile from where we entered a road from the swamp. The guide then left us, taking a few men with him to fish up a boat from the bottom of the river, where it was kept concealed from the Yankees. The breakfast promised by the good woman, though late, soon followed, which we enjoyed as only men who had marched and toiled as we, could enjoy a square meal. We had no difficulty of getting all the rations we wanted after that, although we were dodging about the swamp and on its skirts for several days. Four regiments of cavalry had been sent out from Norfolk for the purpose of our recapture, but, by the aid of the loyal people of the Southern cause, and the utter impossibility of cavalry penetrating the swamp, we succeeded in eluding all efforts at our recapture.

One evening, when near Camden Courthouse, N. C., we lay not far from the road, waiting for rations and the approach of night. We were surprised to see twelve or fifteen carts make their way to us, loaded in part with provisions, but in much larger part by women, both maids and matrons, who had come, they said, to look at a Confederate uniform once more. It had been more than a year since they had seen one. We met and talked with all the freedom of old friends who had met after a long separation. A dance was proposed, and, but for the lack of a fiddle, our company would have taken all the chances of capture for one hour's dance in Dismal Swamp with the Camden girls. Knowing that we would go through their town by night, they stayed and made the night's march with us, insisting that we should ride and they walk, but no man was found so ungallant as to accede to such a proposition. The captain of the guerrillas lived in the neighborhood of Camden, had heard of our escape and landing, and had hurried immediately to our help. He was a handsome young man, of about thirty yeas of age, unmistakably a gentleman, as was easily to be seen by his deportment; a man of considerable culture, a lawyer by profession; had been a member of the State [170] Legislature of North Carolina; knew the swamp and its surroundings, and seemed to be possessed of all knowledge that could be of use to us in our situation. We turned over all authority to him, and began our march around the swamp instead of across it. We crossed five rivers low down near their mouths, where they widened out near the sea. The Chowan was crossed much higher up. The captain had boats of his own sunk in all of these rivers except the Chowan, and they were brought up from the bottom for our accommodation.



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