It seems that all the ‘Contrabands’ in South Carolina are not as loyal as Wilson Small and his associates. A correspondent of one of the Northern papers recites the following incident as a trait of manners developed by the war in South Carolina. A small detachment of confederates crossed Broad river at night at Port Royal ferry in a large flat, adopting a very clever expedient to prevent discovery until the proper time. They placed a number of contrabands in the front of the scow and obliged them to pull them across, while they lay out of sight of our pickets in the boat. The boat was discovered by the pickets, hailed, and allowed to approach the shore, as the negroes answered that they were “niggers on the way to freedom — press de Lord for dat Massa.” The pickets did not discover the ruse until they had received a hot fire from the Confederates, who rose at the command and fired over the negroes’ heads. The fire was feebly returned, and the pickets fell back and continued to fall back until they had arrived at a safe distance. — Nat. Int.
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by Ben Mathis-Lilley
After nine black Americans were murdered at a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina, last June by a white supremacist, a number of states removed the Confederate flag or images thereof from official display. Many official tributes to the Confederacy persist, though, and Monday government offices in Alabama and Mississippi are closed as those states celebrate “Confederate Memorial Day.” Several other Southern states hold the same celebration on different dates; state offices in Georgia are closed Monday as well, but per an order signed last year by Gov. Nathan Deal the occasion is now only identified in generic terms as a “State Holiday.”
A new Southern Poverty Law Center report identifies “at least 1,500 symbols of the Confederacy” — monuments, statues, schools named after Jefferson Davis, etc. — in public spaces across the country. Contra the common argument that Confederate tributes are a celebration of ‘heritage’ rather than white supremacy, the SPLC’s press release notes that “the creation of Confederate displays spiked at the beginning of the Jim Crow era and again in response to the civil rights movement.”
Of particular note: 10 United States military bases are named after Confederates, including a fort named after a general named John Brown Gordon who is believed to have gone on to lead the Georgia KKK. Heritage, not hate!
“511. That every white person, being a commissioned officer, or acting as such, who, during the present war, shall command negroes or mulattoes in arms against the Confederate states, or who shall arm, train, organize, or prepare negroes or mulattoes for military service against the Confederate states, or who shall voluntarily aid negroes or mulattoes in any military enterprise, attack, or conflict in such service, shall be deemed as inciting servile insurrection, and shall, if captured, be put to death, or be otherwise punished, at the discretion of the court.”
July 30, 1863
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. The law of nations and the usages and customs of war as carried on by civilized powers, permit no distinction as to color in the treatment of prisoners of war as public enemies. To sell or enslave any captured person, on account of his color, and for no offense against the laws of war, is a relapse into barbarism and a crime against the civilization of the age.
The government of the United States will give the same protection to all its soldiers, and if the enemy shall sell or enslave anyone because of his color, the offense shall be punished by retaliations upon the enemy’s prisoners in our possession.
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 a prisoner of war.