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A Good Samaritan in the Civil War

On the wall of what my grandmother called the "sitting room" of her antebellum home in South Carolina, was a constellation of family portraits—old pictures of my uncles and aunts, my cousins, grandparents and great-grandparents, a genealogy in photographs. In the very middle of the cluster, in the place of honor, was the portrait of someone I did not recognize. It was a sepia-toned, Civil War-era photograph of a striking ...

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