torsdag 17 januari 2013

Året var 1863

A dark-haired, bearded, middle-aged man holding documents is seated among seven other men.

---- "And by virtue of the power, and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States, and parts of States, are, and henceforward shall be free; and that the Executive government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

 And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free to abstain from all violence, unless in necessary self-defence; and I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages.

And I further declare and make known, that such persons of suitable condition, will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service. "
Den första januari år 1863 tillkännagav Abraham Lincoln sin "Proclamation of Emancipation"- han bestämde att alla slavar skulle från och med nu vara fria.
I dagarna har filmen "Lincoln" premiär på många svenska biografer och i den ska mycket av handlingen kretsa kring Lincolns arbete med emancipationsproklamationen.
 1863 kom för övrigt att bli ett år fyllt av dramatiska händelser i USA. Under tre dagar i juli kämpade de båda arméerna (konfederationen och unionen) på ett slagfält (i Pennsylvania) som sedan skulle gå till historien som ett av de allra mest blodbestänkta- Gettysburg.
Stormningen av Fort Wagner
Robert Gould Shaw
Några dagar senare stormade 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Fort Wagner i South Carolina. "54:e" var ett av de första regementena med enbart afro-amerikanska soldater- överste Robert Gould Shaw ledde attacken och han stupade tillsammans med hundratals andra. General Johnson Hagood från konfederationen vägrade att återlämna Goulds kropp till föräldrarna och sa: "had he been in command of white troops, I should have given him an honorable burial; as it is, I shall bury him in the common trench with the negroes that fell with him."
"We would not have his body removed from where it lies surrounded by his brave and devoted soldiers....We can imagine no holier place than that in which he lies, among his brave and devoted followers, nor wish for him better company. " Det blev svaret från Robert Gould Shaws far- Frank Shaw.
Sergeant William Harvey Carney tilldelades Medal of Honor för sina insatser vid Fort Wagner.
'Twas the Blue against the Gray, Boys,
And he said to all around,
"I've only done my duty boys,
The old Flag never touch'd the ground.
"I've only done my duty boys,"
He said to all around,
"I've only done my duty boys,
It never touched the ground.
"As our forces retire, Sergeant Carney, who has kept the colors of his regiment flying upon the parapet of Wagner during the entire conflict, is seen creeping along on one knee, still holding up the flag, and only yielding its sacred trust upon finding an officer of his regiment. As he enter the field-hospital, where his wounded comrades are being brought in, they cheer him and the colors. Though nearly exhausted with the loss of blood, he says, "Boys, the old flag never touched the ground."


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