Odd Wisconsin: Soldier’s conscience trumped direct orders

Wisconsin State Journal

Wisconsin Historical Society

Society depends on people obeying rules for the common good, but sometimes conscience is stronger than conformity.

This happened twice in 1862 to Col. Halbert Paine of Wisconsin’s 4th Cavalry, who disobeyed orders to return fugitive slaves to their owners and to burn the city of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. . .

On June 5, 1862, Paine was ordered to send African-American slaves who’d taken refuge among his troops back to their owners. . . [Full text]


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