Rumley describes the beginning of the Union military occupation and wartime reconstruction in March 1862. He relates the depredations of southern property by Union soldiers, and the de facto emancipation of slaves by the Union troops and the efforts freedmen took to improve their lives. Steeped in his own racism, Rumley discusses the many “abuses” that he feels local white civilians are subjected to at the hands of their oppressive occupiers. He discusses the arrival of deserters in the region and the enlistment of local whites into the Union army, referred to as “buffaloes,” complicating the notion of Unionism.
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