The dangerous game of tracking fugitive slaves

“For slaves in the tidewater regions of North Carolina and Virginia, the Great Dismal Swamp offered a refuge. In the North Carolina swamp counties of Camden and Currituck, a band of fugitives numbering between 500 and 600 made frequent raids on plantations and Confederate supply depots.

“Frightened planters urged authorities to stop the raiders, but rooting them out of their well-defended hideouts was dangerous work….  In October 1862, a patrol of three armed whites went into the backwoods of Surry County, Virginia, looking for an encampment of about 100 fugitives. They found the camp, but… none were ever seen alive again.”

— From “Bitterly Divided: The South’s Inner Civil War” by David Williams (2008)

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