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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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General Washington publicly, and at the head of his army, acknowledged their gallantry. Remember the honor paid by General Jackson to the heroic regiment of colored men who aided in the defense of New Orleans. Let the battles on the Atlantic coast and the storming of forts on the Mississippi answer. Their bravery recalls the memory of the world-renowned battle of Marathon, in which one-tenth of those who fought and won imperishable honor were slaves "unchained from the doorposts of their masters."
Will the colored men respond to the invitation of the Government?
They are now springing up, like dragon's teeth, from the soil into which they have been crushed. Masters of the ground they tread upon, they are sweeping forward in steady solid legions. Forty thousand strong, are already in the service. They are destined to wield the sword of just retribution; to teach their former masters, on many a bloody battle field by many a rout and swift pursuit, which of them is "of the superior race."
The military organization of colored troops, removing all danger of insurrectionary movements, will regulate, control and utilize the physical force of the only "genuine Union men" in the Gulf States. The greatest war power of treason will become the most efficient defense of the Union, and while it will smother rebellion, it will destroy the curse that caused it.
On the 22d of May, the War Department issued a general order (No. 143) establishing a bureau in
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