Raynors HCA 2018-10
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General Order, No. 252, 1pp., Washington, July 31, 1863, signed in type by Abraham Lincoln. In part, “It is the duty of every government to give protection to its citizens, of whatever class, color, or condition, and especially to those who are duly organized as soldiers in the public service. ... It is therefore ordered, That for every soldier of the United States killed in violation of the laws of war a rebel soldier shall be executed, and for every one enslaved by the enemy or sold into slavery a rebel soldier shall be placed at hard labor on the public works and continued at such labor until the other shall be released and receive the treatment due to a prisoner of war.” Black Union soldiers faced harsh consequences when captured as POWs, with Confederate policy initially holding that they could be tried as criminal insurrectionists in state courts, and executed as such. The Confederate Congress also threatened to enslave black POWs—even those who had lived as free men in the North before the war.
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Lincoln Issues A Retallitory General Order To Protect Black Soldiers

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