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Scripto | Transcribe Page
Record of action of the convention held at Poughkeepsie, N.Y., July 15th and 16th, 1863, for the purpose of facilitating the introduction of colored troops into the service of the United States.
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of honor more brilliant or illustrious than those of Hannibal and Touissant L'Overture. Give to those Americans who claim as their fatherland the continent that gave birth to the conqueror of Rome, the arms and the discipline of the well trained soldier, and they will give back to the cause of the country all the elements of military power. Such is the teaching of history; such the testimony of experience.
What has the Africo-American to fight for? He fights for that land which, now about to be freed from the curse of slavery, will be to him "his country." In rallying round the flag of the Union, he adds strength and support to the noble armies of the West and of the East, who, on the fields of Vicksburg and Gettysburg, have added fresh laurels to their imperishable fame.
Not alone for his country's honor, not for empire, not for conquest, not alone for the crushing of Rebellion is the African's blade unsheathed. He fights for the honor and manhood of his race, for justice, humanity and freedom. When love of country and of fame, when thirst for justice and a sense of wrongs yet unavenged, shall nerve the arm and fire the blood already kindled by the flames of freedom, how is it possible that the soldier can be otherwise than brave and terrible in battle, when slavery and death are behind him, and life and liberty lie only in the path to victory? Let history answer this question. Read your answer in the bloody battles of the Revolution, where negro soldiers bore a part so noble that
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