AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum
Services by freed people to US Army, NC-1864
I came across a fascinating book online which details some of the activities of what life was like for the slaves and former slaves as reported to by officers and other officials in North Carolina in a 1864 report for Congress. It can be read in a couple of different formats and is entitled:
By VINCENT COLYER
The beginning of the report:
I commenced my work with the freed people of color, in North Carolina, at Roanoke Island, soon after the battle of the 8th of February, 1862, which resulted so gloriously for our country.
A party of fifteen or twenty of these loyal blacks, men, women and children, arrived on a “Dingy” in front of the General's Head Quarters, where my tent was located. They came from up the Chowan River, and as they were passing they had been shot at by their rebel masters from the banks of the river, but escaped uninjured.
They were a happy party, rejoicing at their escape from slavery and danger, and at the hearty welcome which was at once extended to them, by the officers and men of the New England regiments, which chiefly made up the corps under Gen. Burnside's command. It rained hard that night, and shelter being rather scarce on that Island, I gave up my tent to the women and children, and found quarters for myself with a neighbor.
The calm trustful faith with which these poor people came over from the enemy, to our shores; the unbounded joy which they manifested when they found themselves within our lines, and Free; made an impression on my mind not easily effaced. Many of the officers, notwithstanding the rain, gathered around the tent to hear them sing the hymn, “The precious Lamb, Christ Jesus, was crucified for me.”
Link to the book is below.