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 “The question is simply whether they shall be used for or against the Government of the United States. I shall hold these negroes as contraband of war.” After that action the slaves northward bound who crossed our lines, were denominated “contrabands.” They were in many places organized into camps and the able-bodied employed in army work. Our armies, made up mostly of volunteers, could not help at any time being participants, more or less pronounced, in the controversies that appeared in the press and the country. Some proslavery officers on various occasions denounced Mr. Lincoln, applying to him all sorts of epithets as, “mountebank,” “old ape,” and “a consummate tyrant.” Extreme abolitionists also impugned his conduct with equal violence on account df his apparent hesitation and slowness. While General Geo. B. McClellan annoyed him by public promises “to suppress all servile insurrection by force,” and General Don Carlos Buel, in Kentucky, continued to allow slave holders to come within his lines and recover their property, and General Halleck, in Missouri, forbade slaves to enter the lines; other commanders, especially in the West, grew wiser, and before long maintained a sounder war doctrine, viz.; “God means us to free all the slaves. We will not succeed in putting down the rebellion till we set every slave free.” It was not a brazen attempt to interpret the divine will, but, somehow, a settled conviction of such men's souls. Touching slaves and slave property, before long the Eastern, the Middle and the Western armies with little reasoning or open discussion caught the fire of vigorous and unsparing war measures. True, under
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