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 “ But why should you act upon a different rule from other men?” “Becase different men sot different values upon their lives: mine is not in de market.” “ But if you lost it, you would have the satisfaction of knowing that you died for your country.” “ What satisfaction would dat be to me when de power ob feelina was gone?” “Then patriotism and honor are nothing to you?” “Nuffin whatever, saa — I regard dem as among de wanities.” “If our soldiers were like you, traitors might have broken up the Government without resistance.” “Yes, sa, dar would hab been no help for it. I wouldn't put my life in de scale 'ginst any gobernment dat ever existed, for no gobernment could replace de loss to me.” “Do you think any of your company would have missed you if you had been killed?” “Maybe not, saa — a dead white man aint much to dese sojers-let alone a dead nigga-but I'd a missed myself, and dat was de pint wid me.”
That was an admirable retort of a Union officer, a colonel in the Union army, who having been taken prisoner by a rebel officer of the same rank, was taken by his captor in a railroad car to prison. While seated besides his captive, the rebel, for a long time, insulted him in the most cowardly and contemptible manner; but finding that his abuse produced no effect beyond a contemptuous silence, he went out and returned with a
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