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Warning- sanitized history

"From Gideon Welles to Abraham Lincoln, May 5, 1864

Navy Department,

May 5th 1864.


I have not seen or heard the evidence which has been taken in regard to the -------- of our soldiers at Fort Pillow after they had ----------. It being an admitted fact, however, that there was such -------, prompt and decisive measures should be taken to prevent its recurrence. It is difficult to say how this is to be done.

We hear in various ways that the rebels intend to give --------- to the colored soldiers in the Union ranks, but that an indiscriminate --------- of them shall take place whenever a victory is obtained by the rebels, as at Fort Pillow. Such a ---------- warfare towards a whole race, will unavoidably provoke ----------- by the race proscribed. The persecuted will become equally ------------ towards their persecutors and if not checked a war of ---------- will be the consequence. No human effort will be wholly able to restrain the ---------- ------------ of the blacks on the one hand and rebels on the other after it shall have been once inaugurated. It must, therefore, be prevented at the outset. If not stopped the consequences will be --------- ------------ on those who introduced it, as well as ------ to the negroes.

The government should, therefore, interpose, and spare no exertions to prevent a repetition of the ---------. The officer in command and such others as are known to have participated with him should be held accountable for the ----------- and punished accordingly. We cannot rely upon the rebel authorities doing this; still it should be required of them and also a disavowal of the ----------- policy. The rebel leaders will hardly assume the responsibility of justifying these ---------. In the absence of definite information as to whether the policy of granting no -------- to the colored soldiers in the Union armies is recognized and approved by the rebel authorities, it is advisable to proceed deliberately but decisively. Opportunity should be given to the rebels to disavow and disclaim the --------- at Fort Pillow. This disavowal should be promptly made. In the event of neglect or refusal no remedy presents itself to my mind but that of placing in close custody one or more of the rebel officers to be held accountable, and if necessary, to be punished for this -----------. It is the duty of the government to protect its soldiers from ---------- when captured, no matter what may be their color, or where their residence. In interposing its authority to shield the negro who surrenders and in striving to restrain the rebels within the limits of ------- --------, the Union armies, whites as well as blacks may become involved in this ---------- conflict, though I trust by a wise, firm and judicious policy such a result may be avoided and a repetition of the ---------- at Fort Pillow be prevented.

I would therefore suggest--

1. That the rebel authorities be called upon to avow or disavow the policy of ------- the negro soldiers in the Union army after they shall have -----------.

2. That they be required to bring to ----------- the officers in command of the rebel forces at Fort Pillow at the time of the -----------.

3. In the event of refusal to -------- the officer who was in command or a disavowal of the policy of --------- Union soldiers after they have ----------, that rebel officers be taken into close custody and held accountable for the -------- -- --- --- by the rebels on humane and civilised principles.

These crude and immatured suggestions -- unsatisfactory to myself for a question of such grave importance -- are submitted without having yet seen the evidence taken by the committee or heard the explanations of the rebels -- both of which are necessary -- as well as more deliberate reflection before coming to a final conclusion on a subject of such responsibility.

Very Respectfully,

Your obdt servt.

Gideon Welles

Secretary of the Navy."


Doesn't mean as much without the actual words no does it?

David Upton

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