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 of Hampton all these black people were obliged to break up their homes and flee across the creek within his new lines for safety and support. He described it as a most distressing sight to see these poor creatures who had trusted to the arms of the United States, and who had aided the troops, thus obliged to flee from their houses, and the homes of their masters who had early deserted them. They had become fugitives from fear of the return of the Confederate soldiery who had threatened to shoot the men who had wrought for us, and to carry off the women again into bondage. General Butler further argues: “When I adopted the theory of treating the able-bodied negro, fit to work in the trenches, as property liable to be used in the aid of the rebellion and so contraband of war, that condition of things was so far met, as I then believed and still believe, on a legal and constitutional basis. But now, several new questions arise. Passing by women, the children certainly cannot be treated on that basis; if property they must be considered the incumbrance rather than the auxiliary of an army, and of course in no possible legal relation could be treated as contraband. Are they property? If they were so they have been left by their masters and owners, deserted, thrown away, abandoned like the wrecked vessel upon the ocean.” He draws this conclusion: “I confess that my own mind is compelled by this reasoning to look upon them as men and women. My duty as a humane man is very plain. I should take the same care of these men, women, and children-houseless, homeless, and unprovided for-as I would for the same number of men, women, and children, who, for their attachment to the Union, have ”
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