men at the commencement of the war, became a truth.
was carried into the war;’ the black man made a soldier, with a musket in his hand, and on his body the uniform of a loyal volunteer.
The colored men were to fight side by side with the whites for the unity of the nation, and the flag, which for the first time, but now for all time, symbolized liberty for all men.
The proclamation of liberty, and the employment of freedmen as soldiers in the Union
army, were the practical embodiment of intelligent Massachusetts
The plan was favored from the beginning, and looked forward to with fond hopes, by Governor Andrew
and prominent public men in the Commonwealth
They saw in this the certainty of a successful issue of the war. Upon the appearance of the President
's proclamation, the Governor
caused a hundred thousand copies of it to be printed, which, together with a circular addressed to the commanding officers
regiments, he forwarded to the front, with the expectation and hope that opportunities would occur to have them distributed within the enemy's lines; a thousand copies he also forwarded to General Rufus Saxton
, commanding the Union
forces in South Carolina
The proclamation was to take effect on the 1st of January, 1863.
On the 2d, General Order No. 1
was issued by the Governor
, which had reference to the proclamation; the opening paragraph of which was in these words:—
With the new year, America commences a new era of national life, in which we invoke the blessing of Heaven upon our country and its armies with renewed faith in the favor of Almighty God.
The order recapitulated the substance of the proclamation, and presented an argument for the blessings expected to flow from it, and concluded in these words:—
In honor of the proclamation, and as an official recognition of its justice and necessity by Massachusetts, which was the first of the United States to secure equal rights to all its citizens, it is ordered that a salute of one hundred guns be fired on Boston Common at noon the next day, Jan. 3.
Before the end of the year, Massachusetts
had recruited two