Wednesday, September 26, 2012

September 23, 1862

September 23, 1862: Pres. Lincoln is alternately praised and attacked in the northern Press for the Emancipation Proclamation.  But the Washington Evening Star pronounces it “void of practical effect.”  Similarly, many Radical Republicans criticize it for not freeing a single slave.  Although some Radicals, such as Sen. Charles Sumner, greet its advent by saying that “the skies are brighter and the air is purer, now that slavery has been handed over to judgment.”

---Pres. Jefferson Davis of the Confederacy condemns in unrestrained terms the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation: that Lincoln’s idea would "debauch the inferior race by promising indulgence of the vilest passions” with what he calls “the most execrable measure recorded in the history of guilty man.”  He authorizes capital punishment for Union officers captured while leading negro troops: “that they may be dealt with in accordance with the laws of those States, providing for the punishment of criminals engaged in exciting servile insurrections.

---Union Army surgeon Alfred L. Casteman writes in his journal:

23rd.—Hung around, and did not get into motion till to 2 P. M. Marched four or five miles down the river and bivouaced. The pain in my finger grows more severe and extends to the scapula. It is a sickening pain and proves to be the result of a scratch by a spiculum of bone, whilst I was examining a gangrenous wound at Antietam (dissecting wound). I cannot say that I apprehend danger from it, but I wish it were well.

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