Contraband of War; Volunteer Sappers and Miners from the F.F.V.'s
Illustrated Civil War envelopes with patriotic symbols, slogans and cartoons, mostly Northern, including a few Southern ones.
Freedmen with construction tools are volunteering to join the Union Army. One of the men is saying Massa Butler, we's jest seceded from Harper's Ferry, where we larnt de trade of making Trenches and Fortifications, we's de niggers to call upon in dat ar line. We borrowed des yer tools at de Ferry, and ef des isent Contraban, we's gwine to carry em back at de close of horsetilities." General Butler and another soldier are listening to him. A Union flag is flying to the left of the general. The image is a reference to General Benjamin Butler's "contraband" policy, by which escaping slaves reaching Union lines would not be returned to slavery. Butler, a trained attorney, used Virginia's secession to argue that under international law that escaped slaves were "contraband of war" and he was not required to return them to their former owners."
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United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865; United States -- Politics and government -- 1861-1865; Covers (Philately) -- United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865; Envelopes (Stationary); Cachets (Philately); Patriotism -- United States; Butler, Benjamin F. (Benjamin Franklin) 1818-1893; Flag; United States Civil War; US Civil War; Patriotic envelopes; Freedmen; Contraband of war; Union flag; Wheelbarrow; Shovels; Horse; Pickax;
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