Doc. 49.-proclamation of the Union commanders.
Roanoke Island, N. C., February 18, 1862.The mission of our joint expedition is not to invade any of your rights, but to assert the authority  of the United States, and to close with you the desolating war brought upon your State by comparatively a few bad men in your midst. Influenced infinitely more by the worst passions of human nature than by any show of elevated reason, they are still urging you astray to gratify their unholy purpose. They impose upon your credulity by telling you of wicked and even diabolical intentions on our part — of our desire to destroy your freedom, demolish your property, liberate your slaves, injure your women, and such like enormities — all of which, we assure you, is not only ridiculous, but utterly and wilfully false. We are Christians as well as yourselves, and we profess to know full well, and to feel profoundly the sacred obligations of that character. No apprehension need be entertained that the demands of humanity or justice will be disregarded. We shall inflict no injury, unless forced to do so by your own acts, and upon this you may confidently rely. Those men are your worst enemies. They, in truth, have drawn you into your present condition, and are the real disturbers of your peace and the happiness of your firesides. We invite you in the name of the Constitution, and in that of virtuous loyalty and civilisation, to separate yourselves at once from their malign influence, to return to your allegiance, and not compel us to resort further to the force under our control. The Government asks only that its authority may be recognised, and, we repeat, in no manner or way does it desire to interfere with your laws constitutionally established, your institutions of any kind whatever, your property of any sort, your usages in any respect.