Protection of Colored Troops

August 7, 1863

Here is an order by President Lincoln, insuring that there should be “no distinction as to color in the treatment of prisoners of war as public enemies”.  It indicates that “if the enemy shall sell or enslave any one because of his color, the offense shall be punished by retaliation between the enemy 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……”