I then tried to find work and was finally hired by a man at $7.00 a month. That was my first independent job.
“At the beginning of the Civil War I was still at this place as a slave. It looked at the first of the war as if the south would win, as most of the big battles were won by the South. This was because we slaves stayed at home and tended the farms and kept their families.
“To eliminate this solid support of the South, the Emancipation Act was passed, freeing all slaves. Most of the slaves were so ignorant they did not realize they were free. The planters knew this and as Kentucky never seceeded from the Union, they would send slaves into Kentucky from other states in the south and hire them out to plantations. For these reasons I did not realize that I was free untill 1864. I immediately resolved to run away and join the Union Army and so my brother and I went to Owensburg, Ky. and tried to join. My brother was taken, but I was refused as being too young. I then tried to find work and was finally hired by a man at $7.00 a month. That was my first independent job.. “ (John W. Fields)