My recollection is that there were thirteen negroes who spent the dreadful winter of 1863-4 with us at Johnson's Island, and not one of them deserted or accepted freedom, though it was urged upon them time and again. You remember that Port Hudson was compelled to surrender after Vicksburg had fallen. The officers were notified they would not be paroled as those at Vicksburg had been . They were told, however, they could retain their personal property. Some of the officers claimed their negro servants as personal property, and took them along to prison with them. Arriving at Johnson's Island, the Federal authorities assured the negroes they were as free as their masters had been, and were not prisoners of war; that they would give them no rations
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