Slaves weren't just waiting around to be freed; many took advantage of the dislocation caused by the war to set themselves free. From the September 14, 1863 edition of Richmond's Daily Dispatch.
Two hundred and fifty Dollars reward.
--Ranaway from the subscriber on Wednesday, the 9th inst, one negro man named Henry, aged about 30 years, medium height, dark copper color, weighs about 165 pounds, and came from Chester District, S. C. He may attempt to get back to that State. He was supposed to have been caught on the same day, but broke and ran from his captor. I will give two hundred and fifty dollars reward for his apprehension and delivery to Messrs Hill, Dickinson & Co, or confined in any jail so I get him.
R H Davis. se 14--ts
from my service, on the night of the 10th inst, negro girl Sally. She is about 18 or 20 years of age; color nearly black; of medium stature and genteel appearance. I will give $25 for her apprehension, it taken in or about the city, or $50 if taken more than ten miles out.
Grace st, bet 3d and 4th. se 14--3t*
Fifty Dollars reward
--Will be paid for the apprehension of Ann and her child Eliza, who left my farm, near Powhatan depot, on the 20th ult. Ann is a good looking black woman, about 40 years old, of medium size, and responds quickly and intelligently when spoken to. The girl is about seven years old, very intelligent, and a little limber jawed. They were purchased of Mr. D R Williams, of Lynchburg, on the 15th of August, and are supposed to be making their way, by Petersburg, to Warrenton, N C, having been sold in Richmond by Mr. Quincy, agent for Mrs. B J Hays; of Warren county, last May, I will pay the above reward of fifty dollars if placed in jail so that I can get them.
R N Hudson,
Genito, Va. se 12--3t*
Richmond and Danville Railroad,
Richmond, Sept. 10, 1863.
Ran Away from near Powhatan Station, Richmond and Danville Railroad, Abner, a slave boy hired of Dr. Dorsett. He is about 6 feet high, ginger-bread color, and when spoken to speaks very slow, and is quite an intelligent looking boy. The usual reward will be paid for his apprehension.
Chas G Talcott,
Sup't R -- D R R. se 12--5t
from Camp Winder Hospital, on the 31st day of August, 1863, my servant man Paul. He is about 21 years of age, black, smooth skin, about 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high, thick set, quick spoken, limps slightly, owing to an affection of one of the little toes, commonly known as "cow itch." He was formerly from Jefferson county, where he may aim to go, or to Charlottesville, where he was hired last year. I will give $100 reward if delivered to me at said Hospital, or secured in some jail, so that I get him again.
E Lee Wager, M D,
1st Div'n, Camp Winder Hosp'l. se 11--3t*