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It was by the slow and barely visible approaches of the serpent seeking its prey that the aggressions and usurpations of the United States government moved on to the crimes against the law of the Union, the usages of war among civilized nations, the dictates of humanity and the requirements of justice, which have been recited. The performance of this task has been painful, but persistent and widespread misrepresentation of the cause and conduct of the South required the exposure of her slanderer. To unmask the hypocrisy of claiming devotion to the Constitution, while violating its letter and spirit for a purpose palpably hostile to it, was needful for the defense of the South. In the future progress of this work it will be seen how often we have been charged with the very offenses committed by our enemy—offenses of which the South was entirely innocent, and of which a chivalrous people would be incapable. There was in this the old trick of the fugitive thief who cries ‘Stop thief!’ as he runs.

In his message to Congress one year later, on December 8, 1863, the President of the United States thus boasts of his proclamation:

The preliminary emancipation proclamation, issued in September, was running its assigned period to the beginning of the new year. A month later the final proclamation came, including the announcement that colored men of suitable condition would be received into the war service. The policy of emancipation and of employing black soldiers gave to the future a new aspect, about which hope and fear and doubt contended in uncertain conflict. According to our political system, as a matter of civil administration, the General Government had no lawful power to effect emancipation in any State, and for a long time it had been hoped that the rebellion could be suppressed without resorting to it as a military measure. . . . Of those who were slaves at the beginning of the rebellion, full one hundred thousand are now in the United States military service, about onehalf of which number actually bear arms in the ranks, thus giving the double advantage of taking so much labor from the insurgent cause, and supplying the places which otherwise must be filled with so many white men. So far as tested, it is difficult to say they are not as good soldiers as any.

Let the reader pause for a moment and look calmly at the facts presented in this statement. The forefathers of these negro soldiers were gathered from the torrid plains and malarial swamps of inhospitable Africa. Generally they were born the slaves of barbarian masters, untaught in all the useful arts and occupations, reared in heathen darkness, and, sold by heathen masters, they were transferred to shores enlightened by the rays of Christianity. There, put to servitude, they were trained in the gentle arts of peace and order and civilization; they increased from a few unprofitable savages to millions of efficient Christian laborers. Their servile instincts rendered them contented with their

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