Equal Treatment for Black Prisoners Of War

Six months after black troops began enlisting in the Union army, Lincoln faced the problem of the Confederacy committing atrocities against them. In this startling executive order, Lincoln reacts with vehemence invoking the law of nations. He orders that for every black soldier killed by the Confederacy “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.”