Journeys of Hope

The slaves pouring into Fortress Monroe were men and women, young and old; children; even infants. Entire families escaped their owners and trekked for miles, making their way to the Union base. By early June 1861, less than two months after Major General Butler's contraband decision, there were five hundred fugitives at the fort; by July, almost a thousand, with more arriving daily.

Why would slaves make such a difficult and risky journey? 

contrabands coming into union camp leslie's loc

Image: Library of Congress

© Susan VanHecke 2022