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Chapter 4: up the St. John's. There was not much stirring in the Department of the South early in 1863, and the St. Mary's expedition had afforded a new sensation. Of course the few officers of colored troops, and a larger number who wished to become such, were urgent for further experiments in the same line; and the Florida tax-commissioners were urgent likewise. I well remember the morning when, after some preliminary correspondence, I steamed down from Beaufort, S. C., to Hilton Head, with General Saxton, Judge S., and one or two others, to have an interview on the matter with Major-General Hunter, then commanding the Department. Hilton Head, in those days, seemed always like some foreign military station in the tropics. The long, low, white buildings, with piazzas and verandas on the waterside; the general impression of heat and lassitude, existence appearing to pulsate only with the sea-breeze; the sandy, almost impassable streets; and the firm, level beach, on which