The year 1863 brought increasing collaboration between Union soldiers and fugitive slaves. Swiftly disappearing was runaways' 1862 bane: General Orders #3, with its closure of Union army lines against black escapees. Fast emerging was slaveholders' 1863–;65 bane: the army's determined courting of determined fugitives. Wherever the army invaded, perils of running away declined, as did fugitives' wariness about flight. The new order began on the first day of the new year, when Lincoln announced a new partnership with anti-Confederate blacks.
By becoming slaves' partner, the former procrastinator had not turned himself totally inside out. Throughout the 1850s, Lincoln had called slavery wrong. He had prayed for its ultimate extinction. He had stonewalled against its expansion. Throughout 1861–;62, he had hoped that federal