Civil War1 | Slavery In The United States | Abraham Lincoln

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Slavery during the Civil War

COSA ANCA-LREI April,3rd ,2012

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In United States history. slaves.This war was a war of epic proportion. Thus. Economical differences and political differences also led to the tension between the two sided which resulted in a war. and psychological elements so complex that historians still do not agree on its basic causes. On the other hand. social. One reason is about economic and social differences between the North and the South. With Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin in 1793. this war is known as the conflict (1861-1865) between the Northern states (the Union) and the Southern states that seceded from the Union and formed the Confederacy. It is generally known in the South as the War between the States and is also called the War of the Rebellion (the official Union designation). the War of Secession. There were several reasons the Civil War began. The following facts will show explanations of how the Civil War occurred. the southern economy became a one crop economy. However. Many are convinced that there was no other way to solve the tension between the North and the South. The American Civil War is thought to be an inevitable war. and the North would not let the South separate from the Union. This machine was able to reduce the time it took to separate seeds from the cotton. The name Civil War is misleading because the war was not a class struggle. but a sectional combat having its roots in political.The American Civil War was truly tragic in terms of human life.The American Civil War The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the events surrounding the American Civil War. although much criticized as inexact. the northern economy was based more on industry than agriculture. Never before and not since have so many Americans died in battle. In fact. cotton became very profitable. The difference in thinking of slavery of both sides was one of the reasons for the build up of the tension between the two sides but it was not the only reason as some may think. depending on cotton and therefore on slavery. Also reference will be made to the causes leading to the war.Some wars are inevitable and some are not. at the same time the increase in the number of plantations willing to move from other crops to cotton meant the greater need for a large amount of cheap labor. economic. The war was considered inevitable because the South would not give up slavery.In this paper I will speak mainly about the slavery during the Civil War Era. The name Civil War. It all depends on its cause. is most widely accepted. and the War for Southern Independence. the northern .

On the other hand. first with the lands gained from the Louisiana Purchase and later with the Mexican War. conflict started about what would happen with the new territories that the United States expected to gain upon victory. The Missouri Compromise passed in 1820 made a rule that prohibited slavery in states from the former Louisiana Purchase the latitude 36 degrees 30 minutes north except in Missouri. they moved towards secession. Another cause of the war would be States versus Federal rights. proponents such as John C. The federal government denied states this right. the weakness of this form of government caused the leaders of the time to come together at the Constitutional Convention and create. whereby the states would have the right to rule federal acts unconstitutional. Calhoun fought vehemently for nullification. when problems arose. Many felt that the new constitution ignored the rights of states to continue to act independently. As America began to expand. The thirteen states formed a loose confederation with a very weak federal government. The South was based on the plantation system while the North was focused on city life. This disparity between the two set up a major difference in economic attitudes. During the Mexican War. When nullification would not work and states felt that they were no longer respected. the question of whether new states admitted to the union would be slave or free. Another cause would be the fight between Slave and Non-Slave State Proponents. However. However. Strong proponents of states rights like Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry were not present at this meeting. in secret. This resulted in the idea of nullification.industries were purchasing the raw cotton and turning it into finished goods. The first organized government in the United States after the American Revolution was under the Articles of Confederation. This change in the North meant that society evolved as people of different cultures and classes had to work together. They felt that the states should still have the right to decide if they were willing to accept certain federal acts. the United States Constitution. Since the time of the Revolution. the South continued to hold onto an antiquated social order. two camps emerged: those arguing for greater states rights and those arguing that the federal government needed to have more control. David Wilmot proposed the Wilmot Proviso in 1846 which would ban slavery in .

John Brown's Raid. . The growth of the abolition movement had also importance. South Carolina issued its "Declaration of the Causes of Secession. It created two new territories that would allow the states to use popular sovereignty to determine whether they would be free or slave. Mississippi. Here are the most important battles of the war. However. The real issue occurred in Kansas where proslavery Missourians began to pour into the state to help force it to be slave. Confederate forces led by General P. the Dred Scott Case. Louisiana. Increasingly. This began the American Civil War. and the passage of the fugitive slave act that held individuals responsible for harboring fugitive slaves even if they were located in non-slave states. The fighting that occurred caused it to be called "Bleeding Kansas. Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated as president in March. and Texas. this was shot down to much debate. Florida. the northerners became more polarized against slavery. One of the provisions was the fugitive slave act that was discussed in number one above." The fight even erupted on the floor of the senate when antislavery proponent Charles Sumner was beat over the head by South Carolina's Senator Preston Brooks. Georgia.T. On April 12." They believed that Lincoln was anti-slavery and in favor of Northern interests. This occurred especially after some major events including: the publishing of Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin. Alabama.the new lands. Beauregard opened fire on Fort Sumter which was a federally held fort in South Carolina. They were called "Border Ruffians. Even though things were already coming to a head. 1861." Problems came to a head in violence at Lawrence Kansas. seven states had seceded from the Union: South Carolina. when Lincoln was elected in 1860. So. The Compromise of 1850 was created by Henry Clay and others to deal with the balance between slave and free states. Before Lincoln was even president. The election of Abraham Lincoln was too much. Sympathies began to grow for abolitionists and against slavery and slaveholders. northern and southern interests. Another issue that further increased tensions was the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854. organized as a timeline. this were the main causes which lead to the Civil War.

Second Battle of Bull Run – August 28-30. Location: Maryland. During this time. Confederate victory. 1862. 1861. Both the north and the south experienced major victories and defeats. Union victory. 1862. 1863. Location: Mississippi. 1862. Sherman’s March to the Sea (Savannah Campaign) – Late 1864. Location: Tennessee. Location: Georgia. the battle did give the North a strategic victory. However. Location: Virginia. Union Victory Battle of Appomattox Courthouse – April 9. 1865. 1862.Major Battles of the Civil War              First Battle of Bull Run – July 21. Siege of Vicksburg – May 18-July 4. Confederate victory. 1862. by September 1864 with the taking of Atlanta the North had gained the upper hand and the war would officially end on April 9. Confederate victory. Location: Pennsylvania. Location: Virginia. Location: Virginia. Location: Atlanta to Savannah. 1863. Battle of Antietam – September 16-18.000 soldiers representing both sides were killed either by battle deaths or disease. 1865. Location: Virginia. 1863. Battle of Gettysburg – July 1-3. Battle of Fredericksburg – December 11-15. . Confederate victory. 1864. Union victory. Battle of Shiloh – April 6-7. Final Major Union Victory. 1863. Union victory. Battle of Chickamauga – September 18-20. Location: Virginia. many more were wounded with estimates of more than 1/10th of all soldiers being wounded. Confederate victory. over 600. Location: Virginia. Location: Tennessee. Battle of Fort Donelson – February 11-16. The Civil War lasted from 1861 until 1865. Confederate victory. Battle of Spotsylvania – May 8-21. Many. Union victory. While the result was not an obvious victory for either side. Battle of Chancellorsville – April 30-May 6.

By 1820 there were only about 3. the main demand for abolition of slavery came not from those who found it morally wrong but from white working-class men who did not want slaves as rivals for their jobs. Some of it accurate. Although slavery was at the heart of the sectional impasse between North and South in 1860. The following attempts to give a brief picture of what it was like. almost all of them working on large farms in New Jersey. or any place subject to their jurisdiction. which discusses the "peculiar institution" before and during the war. Lincoln won because of . With the arrival of independence. it was the multitude of differences arising from the slavery issue that impelled the Southern states to secede. At that time colonial courts made clear that Africans served their masters for life and that their slave status would be inherited by their children. slavery existed in all the American colonies and therefore was not an issue of sectional debate. shall exist within the United States. Abraham Lincoln of Illinois. however. It consists of two parts: Antebellum Slavery and Slavery During the Civil War. it declared: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude.” Prior to independence. Pennsylvania.000 slaves in the North. In fact. The presidential election of 1860 had resulted in the selection of a Republican. some of it fantasy. the new Northern states--those of New England along with New York. except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted. Rather. There were plenty of free white men to do the sort of labor slaves performed. Slavery could be abolished more easily in the North because there were far fewer slaves in those states. as president of the United States. and New Jersey--came to see slavery as contradictory to the ideals of the Revolution and instituted programs of gradual emancipation.But what about the slavery during the Civil War Era? Over the years there has been a wealth of information written about the "peculiar institution" (as it was called then) of slavery in the Civil War era. and they were not a vital part of Northern economies. it was not the singular cause of the Civil War. The enslavement of African Americans in what became the United States formally began during the 1630s and 164Os. The legal end to slavery in the nation came in December 1865 when the Thirteenth Amendment was ratified.

why Republicans pledged to protect slavery where it existed. They and their constituencies did not want an influx of ex-slaves into their exclusively white territories.an overwhelming electoral college vote from the Northern states. and it did so in December 1861. the Confederate States of America. close reading of the states secession proclamations and of the new Confederate Constitution reveals that it was primarily one state right that impelled their separation: the right to preserve African American slavery within their borders. South Carolina had declared it would secede from the Union if Lincoln was elected. Lincoln and his Republican party were pledged only to stop the expansion of slavery. its . After the firing on Fort Sumter and Lincoln's call for volunteers to suppress the rebellion. Tennessee. and Arkansas joined the Confederacy. This was. Kentucky. the other slave states of Virginia. Some historians argue that. Not a single Southern slave state voted for him. white Southerners were not persuaded. The election results demonstrated that the South was increasingly a minority region within the nation. North Carolina. Georgia. should slavery end abruptly. In truth. had the South remained within the Union. which they believed should be preserved for white nonslaveholding settlers. hut such sentiment was also strongly anti-Negro. and Texas. in part. There was enormous antislavery sentiment in the North. Maryland. White Northerners did not wish slavery to expand into new areas of the nation. these states formed a new nation. Indeed. or fire-eaters. Mississippi. and Missouri remained--not entirely voluntarily--in the Union. a month before Lincoln was inaugurated. Florida. The border slave states of Delaware. in February 1861. It was followed shortly by the other lower South states of Alabama. The new republic claimed its justification to be the protection of state rights. Soon Northerners and slavery's opponents might accumulate the voting power to overturn the institution. Louisiana. openly hoped for a Republican victory as the only way to force Southern independence. Although they promised to protect slavery where it existed. many Southern radicals. But the white South's decision to secede proved to be the worst possible choice it could have made in order to preserve that right. no matter what white Southerners might desire.

and haul supplies. and the white South went to war for independence so that it might protect slavery. The slave owners. the owners often contrived to send only their most unmanageable and therefore least marketable slaves to the army. Moreover. Moreover. Thus. those sent to work with the Confederate army were usually men in their prime. For the slave impressed into labor on the front-line. yet those with the most to lose hung on tenaciously to their human property. During the war. second. they frequently returned to their homes in very poor physical condition. Despite such subversion by the slaves. dig latrines. threatening to send a slave to the front became the disciplinary equivalent of threatening to sell a slave farther South in antebellum days. Ironically. though convinced of the African Americans inherent inferiority. First. were reluctant to send their bondsmen to the front for two reasons. the North went to war to preserve the Union. slaves at the front were much more closely supervised than on their home farms. as the South's cause became more desperate. but it did press them into labor brigades to build fortifications. they risked the loss of their most valuable property.representatives could have prevented any radical Northern plan for emancipation. Most participants on both sides did not initially realize that the African American slaves might view the conflict as an occasion that they could turn to their own advantage. thereby withholding the one remaining resource . were far less reluctant about putting the slaves to work militarily than were white Northerners. Service with the army denied them their accustomed time with their wife and family. masters were increasingly reluctant to send their slaves to the military. and. Thus. the work frequently was not only harder than that on the plantation but also dangerous. by seceding. By leaving the Union. between eighteen and forty. The Confederate government never used them as soldiers. for their part. the South compelled the North to realize the extent of its allegiance to a united American nation. the Confederacy nevertheless successfully used them to advance its war effort. white Southerners gave up their voice in national councils. Slavery was dying. White Southerners. Because of the possibility of escape through Union lines. because the men were usually overworked and mistreated. Tens of thousands of slaves toiled for the Confederacy in a service both the bondsmen and their owners disliked.

that might have saved their nation--and them. slaves in industry and on the battlefield enabled the South to fight on longer than would have been possible otherwise. Although this was never official policy. many Southerners believed they could provoke European intervention in the war by refusing to grow or export cotton. The Southern proposal was made in February 1865 and approved. Nevertheless. on March 13 of that year. Part of the reason for the drop in their industriousness was the South's ill-advised selfimposed cotton embargo. Although their service was extracted involuntarily. The Union had struck that bargain two years earlier. in part. this labor--especially in extractive industries like the coal mines and salt factories--was harsher than life on the plantation. The region . and slaves resisted it if they could. The shortage of white manpower left the South with no other choice than to put slaves to work in its factories and mines. By then Southerners of both races knew the Confederacy was doomed. The Augusta munitions plants of Georgia likewise were primarily staffed by bondsmen. the Confederacy even considered using blacks as soldiers. however. Many made the long-delayed decision to run away when faced with such dire prospects. thousands of slaves were employed. This decision changed the nature of Southern agriculture. Thousands of others labored in the ultimately futile effort to keep Southern rail lines operating. remained on their plantations in the countryside. offering emancipation as a reward. but they contrived to do considerably less than they had before the war. When given the option. even these slaves in the Southern interior found ways to demonstrate their desire for freedom. The provision was never implemented and no slaves officially served as soldiers in the Confederate Military. slaves made it very clear that they wanted freedom. Their behavior could be described as the first massive labor slowdown in American history. The exigencies of war also finally settled the decades-old debate as to whether slaves could be used safely and efficiently in industry. Richmond fell less than thirty days later. The vast majority of slaves. As with service on the front lines. In the final desperate days of the war. In the Tredegar Iron Works of Richmond alone. They did not cease to work.

Frugal planters cut back on these supplies for their slaves. The war cut off many of the South's antebellum sources of food and other goods in the North and abroad. Bondsmen did not receive their prewar rations of clothes and shoes. and black slave drivers. The law clearly favored slaveholders and drew a storm of protest from white yeomen who owned no slaves yet were called upon to defend the Southern cause. disobeying orders. In some parts of Georgia. and the general population all suffered from increasing deprivation as the war went on. Slaves quickly took advantage of the situation. and salt for the curing of meat. Even those slaves well removed from the front lines throughout the war recalled it later as a time of great privation. the quality of management on the plantations changed. Although these women had often been most resourceful managers of . These shortages had to be replaced by what the slaves could produce at home. a less intensive form of agricultural labor. the soldiers in the field. elderly fathers. In addition to the change in the kinds of crops grown and the increasing scarcity of necessities. All proved less effective taskmasters than the earlier overseers. leather. their masters. there were not enough white men left on the farms and plantations to provide adequate supervision of slave laborers. Especially problematic were shortages of wool. management of agriculture increasingly fell to white women and their youngest children. Southern manpower shortages became acute. As the war progressed. and the efficiency of Southern farm production declined markedly. leaving their farms to visit with friends and relatives. As a result.began to emphasize food production. and they had less meat and vegetables in their diet. But this change did not necessarily reduce the burden on slave laborers. The Confederacy had attempted to defuse this potential problem through the Ten-Slave Law (later. whereby a percentage of white men were exempted from military service in proportion to the number of slaves in a county or on a plantation. since most of these were diverted for military use. Their perceived "impudence" and "laziness" caused enormous frustration for the white women left to oversee them. Once the war intensified in 1862. the Twenty-Slave Law). Their inability to make up the shortfall meant that they. it was reported that there was only one able-bodied white man in a ten-squaremile area. reducing the pace of their labor. One consequence was the rapid escalation of prices for such necessities.

a War Democrat from Massachusetts and a perennial thorn in Lincoln's side. North and South. The process of successful slave escapes began in Virginia. The second of the four questions preoccupying European Americans. One important consequence of this management crisis was the disappearance of even the veneer of paternalism in the master-slave relationship. slaves abandoned their plantations by the hundreds. they stole food and violated curfew with impunity. Of course they did. The Union commander there was Gen. Thinking more about the political advantage to be gained among Northern antislavery advocates . Those accused or suspected of "misconduct" were brutally punished and sometimes murdered. Even more demonstrable evidence was offered by slaves living on the borders of the Confederacy.household economies in the prewar South. Beginning in 1861. was: Did the slaves want freedom. as long as they could attain it without losing their lives in the process. Despite these draconian efforts. More disturbing yet to the whites around them was their outright refusal to obey orders when they could get away with it. and continuing throughout the war. They began to hold religious services more openly and even created schools for their children in violation of state laws. In May 1861. Slave patrols composed of the remaining white men became more energetic and violent in "disciplining" slaves. slaves in the South's interior stepped up their resistance and increasingly worked at a much slower pace. three slaves fled to the fort and claimed sanctuary because their masters were about to take them South to work on Confederate fortifications. whenever the proximity of Union troops made successful escape likely. White women and the few white men left in the countryside viewed the increasingly recalcitrant slaves as a threat. Slaves ran off with greater frequency. Many were unequal to the burden and resentful that they were being forced to shoulder it. they had never been trained or given experience in day-to-day supervision of farming operations. in Union--held territory across the Potomac from Washington and around Fort Monroe at the tip of the Virginia Peninsula in Hampton Roads. Benjamin Butler. The unrest on the plantations clearly indicated their longing for freedom. especially the young males. even the thousands.

They were herded into camps and given tents and rations in exchange for work. also in the spring of 1862. there were over 25. Interestingly. As a consequence. the first task of the Union commanders on the Sea Islands was to stop the ex-slaves from looting and burning their masters mansions. Once they found they would he protected behind Union lines. This designation neatly avoided the question of whether or not the escapees were free and turned the Southerners argument that slaves were property against them. It never reached much of the TransMississippi South until wars end because Union forces did not penetrate deeply there. The Union navy landed troops on the islands and the whites fled. building fortifications. Many of them served in the Union army. over 900 had joined those first three. Butler declared the blacks to be "contraband of war"--enemy property that could he used against the Union. Throughout the South. they returned for their friends and relatives. With the fall of New Orleans.000 escaped slaves in and around Fort Monroe. All they knew was that fugitives had gone to Fort Monroe and found sanctuary." This legal hairsplitting was of no concern to Virginia slaves. The blacks were put to work in much the way Southern troops were using them. As a consequence. It had no plans about how to care for these black refugees.than about the needs of the fugitives. By wars end. Within a month. A more massive instance of slaves defecting occurred the following spring in the Sea Islands off South Carolina. Lincoln reluctantly approved the ruling. They were the people who had the most access to information about Union troop movements (acquired primarily by overhearing their masters indiscreet conversations around them) and those who had the greatest knowledge of the outside world. Despite efforts by masters--some told the slaves that the Yankees were cannibals-the slaves refused to join their owners and fled to the woods until the Southern whites had left. Usually the first ones to escape were men. escaped slaves throughout the war were referred to by Northerners as "contrabands. and as a consequence. the first slaves to escape were typically house servants and skilled craftsmen. the Union army suddenly had several thousand contrabands to care for. the informal emancipation process expanded into the lower Mississippi valley. many escapees found themselves in worse physical conditions than they had known on the plantations. The North had not anticipated massive slave escapes. digging .

many Union soldiers resented having to serve in the war. and religious groups. The more enterprising of them earned cash through private work with officers of the camps. especially those who were draftees. Northern benevolent organizations. The fury of the white South when the North decided to make escaped slaves into soldiers is not surprising. including the editorial board of the New York Times. and cleaning the camps. such as the American Missionary Association." A more representative statement was made by a . Those who fared best struck out from the encampments and squatted on lands abandoned by fleeing Confederates. In truth. sent hundreds of missionaries and teachers to the South to aid the blacks. What may be more so is the horror with which much of the white North regarded the idea. and they blamed the blacks for their predicament. It was the blacks themselves. Blacks frequently complained that their Union supervisors treated them worse than their former masters and overseers. Once again the answer was yes. and any remainder was reserved to pay for indigent or crippled escapees who could not work. Some Northerners." it cried. Blacks were defrauded at every turn. They also created the first schools and churches most blacks had ever attended. The black refugees in the Union camps usually received no actual income. They provided much of the food and clothing that enabled the refugees to survive. "than use the Negro to win it. This was administered by the Quartermasters Department. The third of the four questions preoccupying white Americans during the Civil War was whether blacks would be willing to fight for their freedom. Most of the money they earned was withheld to pay for their food and clothing. a notoriously unreliable branch of any army throughout history. however. such as the Freedmen's Aid Societies. Often their rations and clothing were sold on the black market--sometimes to the Southerners--by greedy supply officers. Hearing of the plight of the contrabands in the camps. "Better lose the War.latrines. Frequently they were able to make the land far more productive than it had ever been during slavery. claimed that using black troops would sully the purity of the North's cause. who were primarily responsible for their survival in these harsh circumstances.

Lincoln yielded to pressure and authorized the formation of the first black army units. The Union needed more men. and its efforts to enlist them were encountering increasing resistance among Northern white men. organized. with Union victory still doubtful and the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation already announced. simply laid down their hoes.Northern soldier who reflected. brighter red pantaloons. as Northerners loved to say. African Americans were offered a step toward freedom not because the white North especially wanted them but because the North needed them so much. the first known military unit to consistently return from battle with more soldiers than those which with they entered. They were. seeing them in uniform. "I reckon if I have to fight and die for the niggers freedom. and a red fez. picked up discarded . The record of one of the most famous black Union regiments illustrates the contributions of ex-slave soldiers in the Confederacy's defeat. At first. The First South Carolina Volunteers was the darling of Northern imagination. though often untrained for combat. were simply thrown into the battle. he can fight and die for it along with me. The unit was supposed to be made up of volunteers. Why not let the black man fight for his own freedom? In the fall of 1862. Slaves on outlying plantations. "in the birthplace of treason. It was the first regiment composed entirely of fugitive slaves. the First South Carolina ran up a credible record in Union service. black soldiers were confined to service units and not allowed to fight--until white Union casualties became so high that blacks." That was really the point. for example." It was at first unclear that the North was entirely serious about this regiment. The fashion in which black troops were treated was illustrative of Northern white attitudes toward the whole enterprise. making them ideal targets for sharpshooters. Moreover. until just before the wars end. Nevertheless. but the first soldiers were acquired by sending white troops on raiding parties into the refugee camps and hauling back any able-bodied black men they could find. Their uniforms were made up of a bright blue jacket. African American soldiers received unequal pay for the same duty and were denied the enlistment bonuses given to white troops.

We can say that the war destroyed much of the wealth that had existed in the South. and followed the troops back to their camp. about 180..guns. a condition which lasted until well into the 20th century. both North and South.. I had no worriment In freedom lie got a family and a little farm. they made up about 15 percent of all Northern forces in the war. Overall. But it did so at a tremendous cost.000 in the Union navy.. Income per person in the South dropped to less than 40% than that of the North. The Civil War answered many of the fundamental questions of the American experiment: free or slave.. But the limitations that crippled black freedom after Reconstruction did not discourage many African Americans who had been slaves. As one black Union veteran said after the war. The anti-slavery movements in the north were seen as threats to the economy and way of life in the south.000 blacks served in the Union army. was greatly diminished until the latter half of the 20th century. . All that causes me worriment. previously considerable. Despite discrimination throughout the war. disputes of slavery between the north and the south were one of the leading causes leading to the Civil War. Southern influence in the United States federal government. The soldiers of the First South Carolina were only the first of tens of thousands of former slaves who fought for the Union cause. the African American soldier was fighting for the most tangible of causes--freedom for himself and his people.But I take the FREEDOM!" All in all. Together.. and another 20.. In the end. one or many. African American troops distinguished themselves and were instrumental in the North's victory. They had demonstrated that they wanted freedom and were prepared to fight for its realization.. black slaves played a major role in bringing down the Confederacy. The fourth question that whites had posed about the slaves--Would they know what to do with their freedom if they got it?"--would be more candidly phrased--"Would white America let blacks truly exercise their freedom?" That question remains unresolved at the end of the twentieth century. united or divided. In an unanticipated and unplanned war. Of all the Union troops. "In slavery. the African Americans behavior may have been the element for which both sides were least prepared. The determination with which blacks seized freedom shocked whites.

Annexe Southern slaves working at the Smith Plantation (Source: Library of Congress) Fugitive Slaves (Source: Library of Congress) .

Escaped Slaves (Source: Library o Congress) Ex-slaves outside a cabin (Source: Library of Congress) .

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