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[96] black soldiers had been captured. Under the acts of the Confederate Congress they were outlaws, to be delivered to the State authorities when captured, for trial; and the penalty of servile insurrection was death.

The fate of Captains Russel and Simpkins was also unknown. It was thought possible that they too were captured. Governor Andrew and the friends of the regiment therefore exerted themselves to have the Government throw out its protecting hand over its colored soldiers and their officers in the enemy's hands.

Two sections were at once added to General Orders No. 100 of the War Department, relating to such prisoners, a copy of which was transmitted to the Confederate commissioner, Robert Ould. The first set forth that once a soldier no man was responsible individually for warlike acts; the second, that the law of nations recognized no distinctions of color, and that if the enemy enslaved or sold the captured soldier, as the United States could not enslave, death would be the penalty in retaliation. The President also met the case in point involving the Fifty-fourth prisoners, by issuing the following proclamation:

Executive mansion, Washington, July 30, 1863.
It is the duty of every government to give protection to its citizens of whatever class, color, or condition, and especially to those who are duly organized as soldiers in the public service. The law of nations and the usages and customs of war, as carried on by civilized powers, permit no distinction as to color in the treatment of prisoners of war as public enemies. To sell or enslave any captured person on account of his color, and for no offence against the laws of war, is a relapse into barbarism and a crime against the civilization of the age. The Government of the United States will give the same protection

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