appliances – in this instance, the writer is referring to people making an application for assistance.
benevolent - organized for the purpose of doing good.
causeway – raised road through a swamp.
commissary - a store for equipment and provisions.
contrabands - slaves who either escaped to or were brought within Union army lines.
Cooper head – in this instance, the author meant "Copperhead" - a person in the northern states who sympathized with the South during the Civil War.
depredation – the state of being laid to waste or plundered.
eradicate - to do away with completely, such as pulling up by the roots.
evangelical - of, relating to, or being in agreement with the Christian religion, especially as it is presented in the four Gospels; marked by militant or crusading zeal.
exigency - a state of affairs that makes urgent demands.
garrison – a military post and/or the troops stationed at a military installation.
implements - devices used in the performance of a task; tools or equipment.
insular - dwelling or situated on an island.
metamorphose – to change strikingly the appearance or character of a person or people; to transform.
minutia – the small or minor details.
Mosquito Fleet – name given to North Carolina's small navy, made up of small boats that were converted to gunboats to operate in the sounds for the protection of the Outer Banks.
philanthropy - an act done or gift made for humanitarian purposes.
recreant - unfaithful to duty or allegiance.
redoubt – a small temporary, enclosed defensive position.
remunerative – profitable.
rive - to split with force or violence; to rend or rip apart.