The fact is indisputable, that in all the localities of the Confederacy where the enemy had obtained a foothold, the negroes had been reduced by mortality during the war to not more than one-half their previous number… In the winter of 1863-64, the Governor of Louisiana, in his official message, published to the world the appalling fact, that more negroes had perished in Louisiana from the cruelty and brutality of the public enemy than the combined number of white men, in both armies, from the casualties of war… The condition of the negroes at the various contraband camps in the Mississippi valley furnishes a terrible volume of human misery, which may someday be written in the frightful characters of truth. Congregated at these depots, without employment, deprived of the food to which they had been accustomed, and often without shelter or medical care, these helpless creatures perished, swept off by pestilence or the cruelties of the Yankees.
Take up the White Man’s burden –
Ye dare not stoop to less –
Nor call too loud on Freedom
To cloak your weariness;
By all ye cry or whisper,
By all ye leave or do,
The silent, sullen peoples
Shall weigh your Gods and you…
– Rudyard Kipling, from The White Man’s Burden (1)
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