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Historical Document
Retaliation in camp

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Three years after the Civil War began, in May 1864, George W. Hatton and his Union regiment were encamped close to Jamestown, Virginia. Hatton had been a slave, and was now a sergeant in Company C, First Regiment, United States Colored Troops. A month earlier, while stationed in North Carolina, he had written, "Though the Government openly declared that it did not want the negroes in this conflict, I look around me and see hundreds of colored men armed and ready to defend the Government at any moment; and such are my feelings, that I can only say, the fetters have fallen -- our bondage is over."

Now Hatton's unit was encamped near Jamestown, in a region where some of the soldiers had been enslaved. One day a group of African American freedwomen entered the camp. Hatton described the scene he witnessed in the attached article, which appeared in The Christian Recorder on May 28, 1864.

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