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Validating a bankers draft

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The blue-coated soldiers of the Army of the Potomac were hot on his trail.When they got to Danville, they didn’t find the fugitive rebel.

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And many writers and students were hired to interview older Americans—like Lorenzo Ivy, the man painfully shuffling across the pine board floor to answer Anderson’s knock.Fortress Monroe stood on Old Point Comfort, a narrow triangle of land that divided the Chesapeake Bay from the James River.Long before the fort was built, in April 1607, the had sailed past the point with a boatload of English settlers.Eventually the Union Army began to welcome formerly enslaved men into its ranks, turning refugee camps into recruiting stations—and those African-American soldiers would make the difference between victory and defeat for the North, which by late 1863 was exhausted and uncertain.After the war, Union officer Samuel Armstrong organized literacy programs that had sprung up in the refugee camp at Old Point Comfort to form Hampton Institute.On the porch of number 513, he rearranges the notepads under his arm.

Releasing his breath in a rush of decision, he steps up to the door of the handmade house and knocks.

Pouring into the streets around them, dancing and singing, came thousands of African Americans. In the decades after the jubilee year of 1865, Danville, like many other southern villages, had become a cotton factory town.

Anderson, an African-American master’s student from Hampton University, would not have been able to work at the segregated mill.

By the time a dark night came in late May 1861, the moon had waxed and waned three thousand times over slavery in the South.

To protect slavery, Virginia had just seceded from the United States, choosing a side at last after six months of indecision in the wake of South Carolina’s rude exit from the Union.

Fortress Monroe, built to protect the James River from ocean-borne invaders, became the Union’s last toehold in eastern Virginia.