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 Posted: Sat Nov 1st, 2008 11:43 pm
   
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pamc153PA
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Here's one to ponder and discuss. . 

Should slaves have been allowed to/been drafted to fight for the South? What ramifications might this have had, for the South, for the North? Would it have made a difference if this had occurred earliy in the war, or later?  Would it have changed the outcome of the war at all? Etc., etc.

Pam



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 12:28 am
   
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CleburneFan
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Many of the Southern high command were extremely reluctant to arm slaves to fight for the Southern  cause. Endemic cultural beliefs stood against such a plan. One, that slaves, once armed, would turn on their owners and create a much feared slave insurrection, stopped any talk of arming slaves or drafting them. At the very least, Southerners believed that armed slaves would be cowardly and flee to the Yankee invaders at the first sign of battle.

Another belief was that the slaves were inferior to whites. To arm them, train them and trust them to fight side-by-side with whites would be a negation of that theory of black inferiority...the major theory on which the basis of slavery existed.

To illustrate the level of animosity toward the notion of drafting slaves, it is often believed that the reason one of the Western Theater's most capable commanders, Patrick Cleburne, was never promoted beyond a division command was that he dared to propose that the Confederacy arm and free slaves and their families to fight for the cause.

A visionary, Cleburne saw that about all the whites who could be drafted had been drafted or enlisted. The ONLY way he saw to meet the north's superiority of manpower numbers was to begin arming and training slaves. His controversial idea was met with harsh resistance. President Davis ordered him to never speak of such an idea again. From then on Cleburne was passed over for promotion when opportunities arose. 

Another serious impediment to drafting slaves was that they were the ones doing most of the farm work, growing agricultural products and raising livestock: They did much of the domestic work. All the white males who were fit were gone to war. It remained for slaves to carry on the bulk of such work to help feed the hungry armies and grow vital cash crops such as cotton, tobacco and rice. 

The Confederacy did use slaves from the start  in non-combat work as teamsters, cooks, butchers, personal servants, and "pioneers," squads of men  used to build and repair roads, dig trenches, build breastworks, etc.

I'm not certain that arming slaves would have made a major difference in the war. I don't know how drafting even a part of them would have worked out because their absense would have been keenly felt on the home front.

 I'm also not sure that attitudes in the Confederacy would have allowed the South to use the slaves to best advantage in battle. They probably would not trust them in combat to do what was needed. Even Northern Blacks had to work very hard to prove themselves. It would have been an even heavier burden for Southern slaves to prove their value as soldiers.

Even as late as World War II, Black units were at a disadvantage and had to try very hard to be allowed to fly airplanes and do certain other military tasks that only WHites were thought capable of performing.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 12:29 am
   
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Captain Crow
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actually there were black troops who fought for the South.

http://www.usgennet.org/usa/mo/county/stlouis/blackcs.htm



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 06:35 am
   
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Johan Steele
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Captain Crow,I don't mean to insult or irritate but the site posted has a serious issue when the first quote is given for Ed Bearrs and he emphaticly denies ever saying such.  In the noted examples, IIRC, 4 are examples illustrating the same men from different sources.  Dr Steiner is often quoted, the problem is that no one buried the fallen black soldiers from that command and there would have been quite a few as that particular unit suffered significant casualties.  There are other errors in the text but I'm not in the mood to go digging.  Maybe later maybe not;865432 Black CS soldier threads always degenerate.

 

Below is a list of books that I would call an absolute must for an in depth understanding of the subject of black men under arms in the time of the ACW.

Berlin, Ira, Freedom; The Black Military Experience
Brewer, James, The Confedertae Negro: Virginia’s Craftsmen & Military Laborers
Cheek, William F., Black Resistance Before the Civil War,.
Durden, Robert, The Gray and the Black
Fogel, Robert William & Engerman, Stanley L., Time on the Cross the Economics of American Negro Slavery.
Glatthaar, Joseph T., Forged in Battle The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers, The Free Press, 1990.
Jacobs, Harriet, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,.
Jordan, Ervin, Black Confedertaes & Afro Yankees in the Civil War
McLaurin, Melton A., Celia, A Slave,.
McPherson, James M., Marching Toward Freedom,.
McPherson, James M., The Negro’s Civil War: How American Negroes felt and acted during the War for the Union
McPherson, James M.,The Struggle for Equality:Abolitionists and the Negro in the Civil War & Reconstruction
Meltzer, Milton, In Their Own Words A History of the American Negro 1619-1865,
Quarles, Benjamin, The Negro in the Civil War
Rose, Willie Lee, Rehearsal for Reconstruction The Port Royal Experiment,
Spencer, Samuel R. Jr., Booker T. Washington and the Negro’s Place in American Life,.
Synnestvedt, Sig, The White Response to Black Emancipation,.
Trudeau, Noah Andre, Like Men of War.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 01:25 pm
   
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TimK
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But for the sake of discussion, without the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, how would any one of us dealt with the situation Cleburne was in. It is obvious that you would lose a war of attrition - you see manpower - unfortunately, that manpower may turn against you - but you see you can't win with the manpower you have. It's not as easy to figure out what to do if you have to do something before the multitudes of books are written deciphering what you should have done.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 02:11 pm
   
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Sgt. Biggenbottom
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"Johan Steele" wrote:the first quote is given for Ed Bearrs and he emphaticly denies ever saying such

Could you provide a link (on a mainstream website, please) to this denial ?



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 02:26 pm
   
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Captain Crow
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Johan Steele wrote: Captain Crow,I don't mean to insult or irritate but the site posted has a serious issue when the first quote is given for Ed Bearrs and he emphaticly denies ever saying such.  In the noted examples, IIRC, 4 are examples illustrating the same men from different sources.  Dr Steiner is often quoted, the problem is that no one buried the fallen black soldiers from that command and there would have been quite a few as that particular unit suffered significant casualties.  There are other errors in the text but I'm not in the mood to go digging.  Maybe later maybe not;865432 Black CS soldier threads always degenerate.

 

Below is a list of books that I would call an absolute must for an in depth understanding of the subject of black men under arms in the time of the ACW.

Berlin, Ira, Freedom; The Black Military Experience
Brewer, James, The Confedertae Negro: Virginia’s Craftsmen & Military Laborers
Cheek, William F., Black Resistance Before the Civil War,.
Durden, Robert, The Gray and the Black
Fogel, Robert William & Engerman, Stanley L., Time on the Cross the Economics of American Negro Slavery.
Glatthaar, Joseph T., Forged in Battle The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers, The Free Press, 1990.
Jacobs, Harriet, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,.
Jordan, Ervin, Black Confedertaes & Afro Yankees in the Civil War
McLaurin, Melton A., Celia, A Slave,.
McPherson, James M., Marching Toward Freedom,.
McPherson, James M., The Negro’s Civil War: How American Negroes felt and acted during the War for the Union
McPherson, James M.,The Struggle for Equality:Abolitionists and the Negro in the Civil War & Reconstruction
Meltzer, Milton, In Their Own Words A History of the American Negro 1619-1865,
Quarles, Benjamin, The Negro in the Civil War
Rose, Willie Lee, Rehearsal for Reconstruction The Port Royal Experiment,
Spencer, Samuel R. Jr., Booker T. Washington and the Negro’s Place in American Life,.
Synnestvedt, Sig, The White Response to Black Emancipation,.
Trudeau, Noah Andre, Like Men of War.

why would I be insulted or irritated? I just figured that page would be a good starting point to the discussion. Neither my identity nor my ego is dependent on my knowledge(or in some cases lack of same) of the ACW so feel free to contradict at will.....that is after all what makes the war such a fertile topic for discussion.
And by the way, I'm in the midst of the Trudeau book and so far I find it very fair and well written.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 02:35 pm
   
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Captain Crow
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How the heck do you find time to read all these books on somewhat obscure subjects Johan? Are you a researcher professionally? While I don't always agree with your opinions I must admit you definitely seem to do your homework. As for me, between work and other obligations I'm lucky to finish 1-2 books per week.

peace
The Captain

Last edited on Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 02:35 pm by Captain Crow



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 02:58 pm
   
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pamc153PA
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I am always awed at the volume of info Johan can impart--and feel lucky about it, too, that he isn't stingy about sharing it. The whole group of you is one huge resource for me, thankfully!

I think that if I were Gordon, Lee, or Cleburne, especially at the end of the war, I would look longingly at that large resource of black men as a way to avoid the attrition issue. I found Lee's letters (if they are a legitimate source--Johan?) to be surprisingly magnanimous as to conditions to be expected for black troops. But I also found the fact that wealthy slave owners were not open to this "solution"--enlisting their property, for that was what it was--sort of a metaphor for an important issue with the South's reasons for war at all. Correct me if I'm off base here, but wasn't state's rights to govern themselves a main sticking point? Sort of like they wanted to fight for their rights against a federal government, yet above that was the importance of their own state's rights to government? Is this too simplistic of a view? Feedback?

Pam



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 06:12 pm
   
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Johan Steele
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I spend several weeks a month onthe road and listen to books on tape when driving, typically 1000 miles a week. When I hit the hotel I usually plant the toob on Spike TV for CSI then read. All told I read at least 2-3 hours a day.

As to the mainstream website I can't provide it as I got it from the horses mouth. He was at the Woodlake Synopsium earlier this year and the question was asked. He denied ever having said such. Frankly he was a bit irritated. That man is one of the most knowledgeable authors on the ACW alive IMO. If the opportunity ever presents itself to listen to the man speak do so.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 06:27 pm
   
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Johan Steele
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With thanks to M.E. Wolf

Southern Historical Society Papers
1959. New Series, Vol. 14, Old Series, Vol. LII.
2d Confederate Congress--(2d Session)--Friday, February 10, 1865.
[excerpt]
Mr. Oldham rose to correct his colleague. The law referred to did not authorize the President to make these appointments of temporary rank during a recess of Congress.
Mr. Wigfall said whether the President had the authority or not he had done it, and what had been done could be done again. also thought the question of putting negro soldiers into the army--the emancipation of negroes--should be discussed in Congress in open session. It had been said yesterday by the Secretary of State in a publick and well considered speech that our salvation depended upon putting negroes into the army and consequent emancipation. He wished to announce that, in his opinion, the emancipation of the negroes was the destruction of the organism of the country. It was as if the government of England was required by countries at war with her to abolish her landed aristocracy and put into their place a market-house mob.
[excerpt]
Mr. Oldham opposed the resolution. He had prepared a measure which he would bring in in a few days, providing for putting negroes into the army, and he believed that his motion would obviate many of the objections urged against the plan. He also thought the Senate should have full time to consider the important measures yet to be disposed of.
Mr. Semmes opposed a hasty adjournment--mentioning the tax law and several other measures that yet claimed the attention of the Senate.
Mr. Sparrow had been convinced by Mr. Wigfall's remarks that an early adjournment was desirable. No good result could come of the wrangling between Congress and the Executive.
Mr. Maxwell said the Senator (Mr. Oldham) said he would bring in a bill for putting negroes in the army as soldiers. He regarded [it] as a reason why Congress should adjourn to get rid of this question. He would tell the Senator that he could introduce no bill for that purpose that would meet his approval.
Mr. Wigfall said the Senator might say to this question "down," but he could not lay it down.--It had been before the people since it was broached in the President's last message. He was not willing that the proceedings on this question should be smothered in secret session, as they were the other day. The people only knew that a bill to put negroes in the army, as soldiers, had been voted down by the Senate by a vote of 13 to 3. It was right and proper that they should know the arguments that influenced that vote.
After some further discussion Mr. Wigfall's motion to postpone the resolution till Monday week was rejected.
House resolution was considered and lost by a tie vote when Mr. Maxwell entered a motion to reconsider the vote by which the resolution was lost; and thus the question was, for the present, disposed of.

NEGRO SOLDIERS

Mr. Oldham, of Texas, introduced the following bill:
A Bill to provide for raising two hundred thousand negro troops.
Section 1. The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That the President of the Confederate States be and he is hereby authorized to receive into the military service any number of negro troops, not to exceed two hundred thousand.
Section 2. That the President be and he is hereby authorized to assign officers already appointed, or make appointment of officers to raise and command said troops; and the same when raised shall be organized as provided under existing laws.
Section 3. That no negro slave shall be received into the service without the written consent of his owner, and under such regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary of War to carry into effect this act.
Section 4. That it is hereby declared that Congress does not hereby assume to change the social and political status of the slave population of the States, but leaves the same under the jurisdiction and control of the States to which it belongs.
Mr. Oldham made a short explanation of the bill, and requested its reference to the Military Committee.
Mr. Graham said he thought the sense of the Senate on this measure might as well be tested on the question of reference. He was opposed decidedly to the policy of the employment of negro troops under any circumstances. The Senate had already expressed its sense on the subject. He would vote against the reference.
Mr. Johnson, of Georgia, said he would vote for the reference, but did not choose to be considered as committing himself to its policy. It was a great question, and ought to go into a committee. At the same time he would say that all his present impressions were against the employment of negro troops.
The bill was referred to the Military Committee.
TRANSFERRED TO THE SECRET CALENDAR
Senate bill to amend the law imposing regulations upon the foreign commerce of the Confederate States was taken up, and, on motion of Mr. Watson, of Mississippi, was transferred to the secret calendar.
SUPPLIES FOR THE ARMY--IMPRESSMENT
Senate bill to provide supplies for the army, and to prescribe the mode of making impressments, was taken up and considered.
Mr. Wigfall moved to postpone the bill till Monday, which was agreed to.
REPUTATION EVIDENCE OF DESERTION
The following Senate bill was considered and passed:
A bill to amend an act entitled 'An act to prevent the procuring, aiding and assisting persons to desert from the army of the Confederate States, and for other purposes,' approved January 22d, 1864:
The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That in all prosecutions for aiding or assisting any deserter from the army to evade his proper commander, or to prevent his arrest to be returned to the service, knowingly concealing or harbouring any such deserter, under the provisions of an act to prevent the procuring, aiding and assisting persons to desert from the army of the Confederate States, and for other purposes, approved January 22d, 1864, when the fact is proved that the person aided or assisted or concealed or harboured is a soldier or officer in the military service of the Confederate States, general reputation that such officer or soldier is a deserter, shall be taken prima facie evidence of the fact of desertion.
EXEMPTIONS AND DETAILS
House bill to diminish the number of exemptions and details was taken up and considered.--The first section, which provides for repealing so much of the present exemption law as exempts one person as overseer or agriculturist on each farm or plantation upon which there were, at specified times, fifteen able-bodied field hands, between the ages of 16 and 50, being read,
Mr. Orr, of South Carolina, moved to strike out this section. If it passed it settled the question that, after this year, there would not be food enough produced for the support of the country. His State had taken measures to secure a proper number of overseers. He did not know to what extent the State and Confederate authority might come in conflict, but, indeed, if matters went on as they now seemed to be going, he did not know that there would be much need of overseers in South Carolina. It was unnecessary for him to go at length into this question. The minds of Senators were already made up.
Mr. Graham opposed the bill. No civilized country could put all of its able-bodied men in the field. It might be done by savage nations, who subsisted by hunting. He chiefly objected to the second section, which took from the President and Secretary of War the power of exemption and detail, and revoked all details and exemptions already granted. This seemed to contemplate the carrying but one campaign, and that a very short one. He would vote for the first section. He saw no reason why the owner of fifteen slaves should be exempted any more than the owner of a less number; although his observation was that the owners of the slaves had gone into the war, and that applications for details on this score were made for the purpose of procuring overseers in their places. Still he would be satisfied that the exemption law should stand unchanged.
Mr. Orr's motion to strike out was lost.
Mr. Orr then moved to amend by adding that exemption of persons over forty years of age may be granted under the provisions of the fifteen negro clause. Lost.
Mr. Hunter, of Virginia, moved to amend by adding a provision that persons over forty-five may be exempted under that clause. The amendment was agreed to--ayes 12, noes 8.
Mr. Graham moved to strike out the second section of the bill providing that no exemption or detail shall be granted by the Secretary of War or President, except of persons disabled for field service, persons over forty years, artisans, mechanicks and persons of scientifick skill employed by government, and revoking details and exemptions heretofore granted by the President or Secretary of War.
Mr. Graham's motion to amend gave rise to much interesting discussion, of which our want of space absolutely prevents our giving even a sketch.
Mr. Graham's motion being in abeyance, on motion, by Mr. Sparrow, the section was amended by inserting the word "labourers" before the word "artisan."
After further amendment, on motion, by Mr. Orr, the further consideration of the bill was postponed till Monday.
On motion, by Mr. Oldham, the Senate resolved into secret session.
[excerpt]
EMPLOYMENT OF NEGROES AS SOLDIERS
Mr. Barksdale, of Mississippi, offered a bill "to increase the military force of the Confederate States."
The first section of the bill provides that in order to provide additional forces to repel invasion and to secure the independence of the Confederate States, the President be authorized to ask for and accept from the owners of slaves the services of such number of able-bodied negro men as he may deem expedient to perform military services in whatever capacity the General-in-Chief may direct.
The second section provides that the President be authorized to organize the said slaves into companies, battalions, regiments and brigades, under such rules and regulations as the Secretary of War may prescribe, and to be commanded by such officers as the President may appoint.
The third section provides that while employed in the service, the said slaves shall receive the same rations, clothing and compensation as are allowed in the act approved February 17, 1864, and the acts amendatory thereto "to increase the efficiency of the army by the employment of free negros and slaves in certain capacities;" and the compensation so allowed shall be made to the owner or to the slave, as the owner thereof may elect.
The fourth section of the bill provides that nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize a change in the relation which the said slaves shall bear towards their owners as property, except by consent of the States in which they may reside, and in pursuance of the laws thereof.
Mr. Miles, of South Carolina, moved that the bill be rejected. He wanted to test the sense of the House upon this subject of arming negroes. He wanted to have a vote upon it.
Mr. Marshall, of Kentucky--Yes, let us have a vote on it. Let the country know where we stand.
Mr. Hartridge, of Georgia, asked that the vote on the rejection of the bill be taken by ayes and noes.
Mr. Barksdale moved that the bill be referred to a select committee of one from each State.
After what had been said by the chairman of the Military Committee (Mr. Miles) it was evident that he had prejudged the question. All he (Mr. B.) desired was a fair investigation of the bill, and such a report as its merits and the demands of the country absolutely require. He did not desire to enter upon its discussion now, but would say that he had introduced the bill under a solemn conviction of duty to his country. It raised no irritating issues. It provided simply that the President should accept the services of slaves to be used as the General-in-Chief, General Lee, might direct, in order to save our cause.--Nor did he propose to interfere with the relation of master and slave. That question was left by the bill where it properly belongs--to the owners of slaves, by the consent of the States and in pursuance of the laws thereof. Are gentlemen unwilling to let the people have the privilege of contributing their slaves as a free-will offering to aid in repelling the savage foe, who is the common enemy of both races? The bill provides nothing more.
Mr. Wickham, of Virginia, moved the indefinite postponement of the bill. He was opposed to its going to a select committee. If it went to any committee it should go, in the regular channel, to the Committee on Military Affairs. He wished, however, this question of arming and making soldiers of negroes to be now disposed of, finally and forever. He wished it to be decided whether negroes are to be placed upon an equality by the side of our brave soldiers who have faced the storm of battle for four long years. It were idle to say that if negroes were put into the army they would not be upon an equality with our soldiers. They would be compelled to. They would have to camp and bivouac together.
Mr. Wickham said that our brave soldiers, who have fought so long and nobly, would not stand to be thus placed side by side with negro soldiers. He was opposed to such a measure. The day that such a bill passes Congress sounds the death knell of this Confederacy. The very moment an order goes forth from the War Department authorizing the arming and organizing of negro soldiers there was an eternal end to this struggle.--(Voices--That's so.)
The question being ordered upon the rejection of the bill, it was lost--ayes 21, noes 53. As this vote was regarded as a kind of test of the sense of the House upon the policy of putting negroes into the army, we append the ayes and noes--the question being the rejection of this bill authorizing the employment of negroes as soldiers:
Ayes--Messrs. Baldwin, Branch, Cruikshank, De Jarnette, Fuller, Garland, Gholson, Gilmer, Lamkin, J. M. Leach, J. T. Leach, McMullin, Miles, Miller, Ramsey, Sexton, Smith, of Alabama, Smith, of North Carolina, Wickham, Witherspoon, Mr. Speaker.
Noes--Messrs. Akin, Anderson, Barksdale, Batson, Bell, Blandford, Boyce, Bradley, H. W. Bruce, Carroll, Chambers, Chilton, Clark, Clopton, Cluskey, Conrad, Conrow, Darden, Dickinson, Dupre, Ewing, Farrow, Foster, Funsten, Gaither, Goode, Gray, Hartridge, Hatcher, Hilton, Holder, Holliday, Johnston, Keeble, Lyon, Pugh, Read, Rogers, Russell, Simpson, J. M. Smith, W. E. Smith, Snead, Swan, Triplett, Villere, Welsh.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 06:27 pm
   
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Johan Steele
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Southern Historical Society Papers
1959. New Series, Vol. 14, Old Series, Vol. LII.
2d Confederate Congress--(2d Session)--Monday, February 13, 1865.
SENATE
OFFICERS FOR THE JUNIOR RESERVES
Mr. Sparrow, from the Military Committee, reported a bill to assign to the command of the Junior Reserves officers of the invalid corps or supernumerary officers of the line, in cases where officers of the said reserves may, in the opinion of the commanding General, prove incompetent.
Ordered to be printed.
TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND NEGRO SOLDIERS
Mr. Sparrow, from the Military Committee, reported back, with an amendment, Senate bill to provide for raising two hundred thousand negro troops.
The amendment proposes to strike out the fourth section declaring "that Congress does not hereby assume to change the social and political status of the slave population of the States, but leaves the same under the jurisdiction and control of the States to which it be longs," and insert the following:
All slaves received into the service under the provisions of this act shall be valued and paid for according to existing laws, and that said slaves or any of them, upon a faithful performance of their duties, shall be manumitted by general orders from the War Department, if the consent of the State in which the said slaves may be at the time, is given for their manumission.
The bill was placed on the calendar and the amendment ordered to be printed.
--------------------------------------
NEGRO SOLDIERS
Senate to provide for raising two hundred thousand negro troops, reported back from the Military Committee, with an amendment was taken up.
Mr. Johnson, of Georgia, believed it to be necessary to the free and full discussion of this important subject that it be considered in secret session. It would be found necessary to put it in its proper light to make statements which it would be improper should go out to the enemy. He moved the Senate resolve into the secret session.
Mr. Wigfall opposed carrying it into secret session. He believed that if the discussion had on the subject when it was before the Senate had been given to the publick, that it would have forever disposed of the question.
Mr. Semmes was also opposed to transferring the bill to the secret calendar.
The discussion on the motion to go into secret session being out of order, the Chair ordered the hall to be cleared and the doors closed.
----------------------------------------
EMPLOYMENT OF NEGRO TROOPS
The Chair announced the special order at the expiration of the morning hour, to wit: the bill reported by Mr. Barksdale, of Mississippi, from the special committee on the employment of negroes as soldiers.
Mr. Barksdale had the floor, but before commencing his speech,
On motion of Mr. Atkins, of Tennessee, the House went into secret session by a vote of 38 ayes to 35 noes.
---------------------------------------------------------
Southern Historical Society Papers
1959. New Series, Vol. 14, Old Series, Vol. LII.
2d Confederate Congress--(2d Session)--Friday, February 17, 1865.
REORGANIZATION OF THE FIELD ARTILLERY
Mr. Wigfall, from the same, reported back House bill for the further organization of the field artillery of the Confederate States, which was considered and passed.
On motion, by Mr. Oldham, of Texas, the Senate resolved into secret session to resume consideration of the bill providing for the employment of two hundred thousand negro soldiers.
The doors being opened the Senate took up Senate bill to regulate for a limited period the compensation of the officers, clerks, and employees of the civil departments of the Government in the city of Richmond, the question being on concurring in certain amendments of the Finance Committee.
The amendments were concurred in and the bill passed.
The bill provides that the Vice-President and chief executive officers shall receive $10,000; the assistant secretaries $7,500; chiefs of bureaux $7,000; chief clerks $6,000; all other clerks, artisans and employees $5,500.
Southern Historical Society Papers
1959. New Series, Vol. 14, Old Series, Vol. LII.
2d Confederate Congress--(2d Session)--Wednesday, February 22, 1865.
NEGRO SOLDIERS
The Senate resolved into secret session to consider the negro soldier bill passed and sent up from the House of Representatives.
Southern Historical Society Papers
1959. New Series, Vol. 14, Old Series, Vol. LII.
2d Confederate Congress--(2d Session)--Thursday, February 23, 1865.
DAY FOR THE MEETING OF THE NEXT CONGRESS
Senate bill fixing the first Monday in October next as the day of the next regular meeting of Congress, was considered, and, on motion of Mr. Garland, of Arkansas, its further consideration postponed till Monday next.
NEGRO SOLDIERS
There being no further business on the open calendar, the Senate resolved into secret session.
--------------------------
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
The following message was received from the President in response to a resolution of the 30th ultimo:
I herewith transmit, for your information, a communication from the Secretary of War relative to the accessions to the army from each State since April 16, 1862; to the number of persons liable to conscription who have been exempted or detailed, and to the number of those between the ages of seventeen and forty-five, and not unfitted for active service in the field, who are employed in the several States in the manner indicated in your enquiry.
(Signed) Jefferson Davis.
The message and accompanying documents were laid upon the table and ordered to be printed.
The message states that the number of conscripts assigned to the army from camps of instruction, 81,995. Deserters returned to the army, 21,056. Assignments under section eight of the act of February 17th, 1864, 7,733. Approximate estimates of men who have joined the army without passing the camps of instruction, 76,206. Total number of exempts, 66,586. Agricultural details, 2,217. Detailed on account of publick necessity, 5,803. For details, bureaux and departments, not including artisans and mechanicks, 4,612. Detail of contractors to furnish supplies, 717. Detail of artisans and mechanicks, 6,960.
PATRIOTICK RESOLUTIONS
Mr. Barksdale presented the resolutions of Harris' Brigade of Mississippi troops, declaring their purpose to continue the war for independence with unabated zeal, and urging Congress to pass a law to employ negroes as soldiers.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 06:28 pm
   
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Southern Historical Society Papers
1959. New Series, Vol. 14, Old Series, Vol. LII.
2d Confederate Congress--(2d Session)--Friday, February 3, 1865.
EMPLOYMENT OF NEGROES IN THE ARMY
The Senate resumed the consideration of the Senate bill to provide for the employment of free negroes and slaves to work upon fortifications and perform other labour connected with the defences of the country. The pending question being on agreeing to the second amendment of the House to strike out the clause restricting the number of negroes to be employed to thirty thousand east of the Mississippi River, and ten thousand west of that river.
Mr. Orr said he should vote against the amendment of the House. Forty thousand negroes to be employed in the army was the number recommended by the Executive. If eighty or one hundred thousand had been recommended he should have voted for that number. But the bill had given rise to the discussion of a subject which had excited the publick mind more than any other whatever--putting negroes in the army as soldiers. In his opinion, this would be one of the most fatal steps that could be taken. He believed our soldiers would object to the measure to such a degree that it would have the effect of disorganizing our army. When the Yankees first began to occupy our country, there was a great exodus of our slaves to the enemy's lines. This continued until the Yankees began to enlist the negroes as soldiers, when it almost entirely ceased. But the moment it was known that we designed putting them into our armies they would leave by thousands. He believed the negroes were naturally cowardly; but if it was simply a choice between entering one or the other army, they would go to the Yankees. Nine hundred and ninety-nine out of a thousand would do so.
Mr. Orr then went on to show that emancipation was a necessary concomitant of putting negroes into the army as soldiers, and dwelt eloquently upon the disastrous effect upon our country that the emancipation of the slaves would entail.
There was an impression in the country that a large number of men were absent from the army with and without leave. If this opinion was incorrect, no one was so much responsible for it as the President himself, who, during his unfortunate speech at Macon, wherein he said that two-thirds of that army was absent, and one-third of those two-thirds absent without leave.
Mr. Hill stated that the President never made such a statement. The report of the speech was incorrect, and was so stated in the Georgia papers. The President said that two-thirds of that army, the Army of Tennessee, were absent, many of them without leave. The correction was made in the Georgia papers, but not by authority.
Mr. Orr repeated that the President's speech at Macon, as reported, and even as stated by the Senator, was the most unfortunate speech ever made by any publick man. The country, the ordinary newspaper readers, understood him to mean that most of the absentees were absent without leave, which was not a fact. In that speech he had also aimed a blow at General Johnston; saying that he had put in command of the Army of Tennessee a man who would strike an honest and manly blow for Atlanta; that Sherman's campaign would be more disastrous than the retreat of the army of the French empire from Moscow.
Mr. Hill explained that he heard the speech, and did not understand that the President aimed any blow at General Johnston. The whole purpose of the speech was to induce the people to recruit and support the army, and stating what would be the result if the people would do so.--The charge had been made that the President designed to abandon Georgia to her fate. For the purpose of refuting this imputation, and not as a blow at General Johnston, he stated that he had placed a man at the head of the army who would strike an honest and manly blow. If the Army of Tennessee had been recruited by the return of the absentees, the result of Sherman's campaign would have been what the President predicted.
After some further remarks about this speech of the President, Mr. Orr said General Johnston was removed from the Army of Tennessee, and nothing but disaster had followed. All the men and boys of South Carolina were now in the field to resist the advance of Sherman. It would inspire confidence if General Johnston were in command there. A report had just reached him that General Beauregard had been relieved from the command of the southwest and ordered to command in South Carolina. This assignment would be acceptable to the people of that State. But he thought that General Johnston should be given an important command somewhere. He did not know whether there was much of the Army of Tennessee left. He hoped that General Lee, now that he had been made General-in-Chief, would see to it that General Johnston's talent and high military genius should not be lost to the country.
Mr. Maxwell spoke in opposition to putting negroes into the army as soldiers. It involved abolition of slavery. He could scarcely realize that he had heard such a proposition discussed in the Confederate Senate. He did not believe that putting negroes into the armies would add to its strength, and as the amendment of the House was understood to tend in that direction, he would vote against it.
Mr. Johnson, of Missouri, said he was astounded at the range this debate had taken on this amendment. The question was not whether we shall put negroes into the army as soldiers, but whether we shall restrict to forty thousand the number of negroes to be put at the disposal of the commanders of our armies to cook, drive, throw up fortifications, &c. He was in favour of giving Generals Lee and Beauregard whatever amount of negroes they should find necessary. Another subject had been freely discussed; the restoration of General Johnston to the Army of Tennessee. He had no opinion on this subject himself, because he had no knowledge of its merits, but he would state that every Missourian of the Army of Tennessee with whom he had conversed had told him that General Johnston was the only man who could revive the spirit of that army, and that the heart of every man in the army had sunk when he was removed from its command.
Mr. Burnett said he had not lost the pride of a Southern citizen, but his chief end was severance from the Northern Government. If this could be done without resort to negro soldiers, he would say never put a negro into the army. If he was convinced that there was white material enough in the country, he would vote against negro soldiers, but he was not convinced of it, and, if called an abolitionist, he was in good company. General Lee, and many other distinguished officers, favoured putting negroes into the army. The material of which the Yankee army was composed was Irish, Germans and negroes. It was the policy of the enemy, having issued a proclamation of universal emancipation, they put into the army all the able-bodied negroes in the country as they overran it. The portions of Kentucky held by our armies in 1862 was now garrisoned by negro troops, the slaves of that country. In his opinion it was with us simply a choice whether we should put the negroes into our armies, or to leave them to swell the armies of the enemy.
Mr. Burnett said all the disasters to the Army of Tennessee had been the direct consequences of the removal of General Johnston, and he believed his restoration would be hailed with joy by the whole army. He did not know whether the President knew the truth, but he would do what he could to enlighten him. In conclusion, he said the question of putting negroes in the armies as soldiers was not practically before the Senate.--Whenever it should be, he would vote for it as a military necessity.
The vote being taken, the amendment was rejected--yeas 9, nays 10.
Those who voted in the affirmative were Messrs. Brown, Burnett, Dortch, Henry, Johnson of Missouri, Simms, Sparrow, Vest and Watson.
Those who voted in the negative were Messrs. Baker, Caperton, Garland, Graham, Haynes, Hill, Maxwell, Orr, Semmes and Wig-fall.
The remaining amendments were then considered, and, with three exceptions, agreed to.
Before a vote was taken on the bill, Mr. Orr, of South Carolina, moved to reconsider the vote by which the second resolution was concurred in.--He did not wish to change his vote, but had made the motion that one of the Senators from Mississippi (Mr. Watson), who desired to express his opinions on the subject of that amendment, might be heard.
On motion of Mr. Caperton, of Virginia, the Senate resolved into secret session.
CONTINUED



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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
The House met at 11 o'clock.
THE QUESTION OF EMPLOYING NEGROES IN THE ARMY AS SOLDIERS
Mr. Atkins, of Tennessee, offered a series of resolutions as a substitute for those offered on Wednesday by Mr. Gholson, of Virginia. It will be recollected that the resolutions of Mr. Gholson declared that the people of the Confederate States have ever been, and are now ready to make peace on terms honourable to both parties; yet it is the judgment of this House that, while we should manifest a willingness to treat for peace, we should not omit vigorously to prepare for war; that in the judgment of the House this preparation can be best made by using every effort to place at once in the army every man liable under our laws to render military service, by causing the commissary, quartermaster and other departments to be administered with renewed energy and increased activity; and since General Lee has been made General-in-Chief, by assigning under him our best and most acceptable generals to the command of our separate armies, and by ceasing to agitate the policy of employing negro troops.
The resolutions offered by Mr. Atkins, as a substitute, were as follows:
Resolved, That arming slaves in our cause, upon a promise of emancipation, is in conflict with well established principles, and therefore should not be done.
Resolved, That the character of the war which the enemy is waging against us and the immense resources which he is bringing to bear for our subjugation, justifies and requires that we should exhaust all the resources within our reach rather than submit to so terrible a fate.
Resolved, That between subjugation and using our slaves in our defence, every principle of justice and self-preservation requires the latter; and therefore we should at once put one hundred thousand slaves, between the ages of seventeen and forty-five, in the field; and, in order to make them effective, and to immediately interest all of our soldiers in the initiation, it is expedient that the government should purchase all the slaves thus put in the army, and give to each white soldier now in the army, or who will join the army within three months after the enactment of a law in accordance with these resolves, a slave, to be his absolute right, and property, to be forever free from the claims of any and all persons, and the title only to be diverted by such soldier abandoning his post without leave, in which case the title shall revert to the government.
Mr. Boyce, of South Carolina, moved that the House go into secret session upon the consideration of the resolutions, but the motion did not prevail.
The subject being taken up, Mr. Conrad, of Louisiana, proceeded to address the House, directing his arguments principally in opposition to the resolutions of Mr. Gholson.
At the conclusion of Mr. Conrad's remarks, Mr. Hilton, of Florida, moved that the resolutions be referred to the Committee on Military Affairs, which was so ordered.
------------------------------------------------
Southern Historical Society Papers
1959. New Series, Vol. 14, Old Series, Vol. LII.
2d Confederate Congress--(2d Session)--Thursday, February 7, 1865.
ENATE
The Senate met at 12 o'clock, M. Mr. Hunter, of Virginia, in the chair.
NEGRO SOLDIERS FOR THE CONFEDERATE ARMIES
Mr. Brown, of Mississippi, introduced the following:
Resolved, That the Committee on Military Affairs be instructed to report a bill, with the least practicable delay, to take into the military service of the Confederate States a number of negro soldiers, not to exceed two hundred thousand, by voluntary enlistment, with the consent of their owners, or by conscription, as may be found necessary; and that the committee provide in said bill for the emancipation of said negroes in all cases where they prove loyal and true to the end of the war, and for the immediate payment, under proper restrictions, of their full present value to their owners.
Mr. Brown said he regretted that every Senator who had in previous debate adverted to this subject, had taken occasion to say that he thought the time had not come for the employment of negro troops in our armies. He introduced this resolution to show that, in his opinion, the time had come when we should employ negro troops. Now, if ever, was the time; we were in the very crisis of our fate. He had seen with pleasure the revival of the war spirit, and he hoped it would sweep through the land. But still he feared our armies would not be strong enough to withstand the enemy without the employment of negro troops.--The enemy employed negroes, and made them fight well. We might do the same.
Mr. Maxwell said this subject would involve the discussion and narration of facts which it was not advisable should go to the ears of the enemy.--He did not object to our own people hearing what was said. He thought that the resolution should be transferred to the secret calendar.
Mr. Wigfall hoped that the resolution would not be transferred to the secret calendar. He thought the discussion upon it should be in open session. The Senator from Florida (Mr. Maxwell) had talked of the moral muscle of the people. The Senator would get no moral muscle in this way. There was no reason why the people should not hear everything that was said. There was no panick. As regarded the enemy's hearing anything about our affairs, he believed they knew all about them now.
Discussion on the motion to go into secret session was ruled out of order, and Senate resolved into secret session.

Southern Historical Society Papers
1959. New Series, Vol. 14, Old Series, Vol. LII.
2d Confederate Congress--(2d Session)--Wednesday, February 8, 1865.
On motion, by Mr. Burnett, the Senate resolved into secret executive session.
Note.--It will be recollected that on Tuesday the Senate went into secret session to take into consideration the resolution of Mr. Brown, of Mississippi, that the Committee on Military Affairs be instructed to report a bill, with the least practicable delay, to take into the military service of the Confederate States a number of negro soldiers, not to exceed two hundred thousand, by voluntary enlistment, with the consent of their owners, or by conscription, as may be found necessary; and that the committee provide in said bill for the emancipation of said negroes in all cases where they prove loyal and true to the end of the war, and for the immediate payment, under proper restrictions, of their full present value to their owners.
The injunction of secrecy having been removed from the proceedings, we give a statement of the material points thereof.
Mr. Burnett, of Kentucky, moved to so modify the resolution as to make it a resolution of enquiry, and not of positive instruction. The amendment was rejected.
A vote was then, after debate, taken on the resolution, and it was rejected--yeas 3, nays 13.
Those who voted in the affirmative were Messrs. Brown, Henry and Vest.
Those who voted in the negative were Messrs. Baker, Caperton, Graham, Haynes, Hunter, Johnson of Missouri, Maxwell, Oldham, Orr, Semmes, Walker, Watson and Wigfall.
This lays the uneasy ghost for the present at least.
EMPLOYMENT OF NEGROES IN THE ARMY
The Speaker laid before the House the bill returned from the Senate, providing for the employment of free negroes and slaves in certain menial capacities in the army. This bill was passed by the House last week, but having been amended by the Senate, is returned to the House for its concurrence.
Mr. Goode, of Virginia, moved that the rules be suspended, and the bill be considered, which was agreed to.
The bill being taken up, the House refused to agree to the Senate's amendments, and asked for a committee of conference.
Southern Historical Society Papers
1959. New Series, Vol. 14, Old Series, Vol. LII.
2d Confederate Congress--(2d Session)--Monday, March 6, 1865.
NEGRO SOLDIERS
Mr. Semmes moved to take up House bill to provide for raising negro troops.
The bill being on the secret calendar,
On motion, by Mr. Caperton, the Senate resolved into secret session.
Note.--On yesterday, in secret session, the House negro soldier bill was transferred to the open calendar, and made the order of the day for to-day, at 12 o'clock.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 06:30 pm
   
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With thanks to "Scribe"

Of the 27,000+ Confederates paroled after Lee's surrender at Appomattox there were 36 blacks.

"Quartermaster Department of 3rd Corps Ordinance Train Sixteen (16) slaves (names unknown)

"18th Georgia Battalion
Joe Parkman Musician Company A
George Waddell Musician Company A
Henry Williams Musician Company B
Louis Gardeen Musician Company A
James Polk Cook Company B
Scipio Africanus Cook Company B
William Read Cook Company C
John Lery Cook Company A


"Quartermaster Department, Gary's Cavalry Brigade
James Barabaha Guard
Thomas Bowen Teamster
Burress Bowen Teamster
John Bowen Teamster
Jack Caldwell Teamster


"Donaldsonville Artillery, Company B
Henry Blum Cook
L. Leport Servant
John Mamply Servant
John Semple Servant


"Others
Bob Teamster Slave of David Bridges
Jim Unknown Slave of T. M. Dittrick
Solomon Wright Blacksmith"


SOURCE: Appomattox Courthouse National Historic Site, Appomattox,
Virginia.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 06:32 pm
   
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Wall Street Journal, May 8, 1997

And here's some more from the WSJ article.


"'It's pure fantasy,' contends James McPherson, a Princeton historian and one of the nation's leading Civil War scholars. Adds Edwin Bearss, historian emeritus at the National Park Service: 'It's b.s., wishful thinking.' Robert Krick, author of 10 books on the Confederacy, has studied the records of 150,000 Southern soldiers and found fewer than a dozen were black. 'Of course, if I documented 12, someone would start adding zeros,' he says.

"These and other scholars say claims about black rebels derive from unreliable anecdotes, a blurring of soldiers and laborers, and the rapid spread on the Internet of what Mr. McPherson calls 'pseudohistory.' Thousands of blacks did accompany rebel troops -- as servants, cooks, teamsters and musicians. Most were slaves who served involuntarily; until the final days of the war, the Confederacy staunchly refused to enlist black soldiers.

"Some blacks carried guns for their masters and wore spare or cast-off uniforms, which may help explain eyewitness accounts of blacks units. But any blacks who actually fought did so unofficially, either out of personal loyalty or self-defense, many historians say.

"They also bristle at what they see as the disingenuous twist on political correctness fueling the black Confederate fad. 'It's a search for a multicultural Confederacy, a desperate desire to feel better about your ancestors,' says Leslie Rowland, a University of Maryland historian. 'If you suggest that some blacks supported the South, then you can deny that the Confederacy was about slavery and white supremacy.'

"David Blight, an Amherst College historian, likens the trend to bygone notions about 'happy plantation darkies.' Confederate groups invited devoted ex-slaves to reunions and even won Senate approval in 1923 for a 'mammy' monument in Washington (it was never built). Black Confederates, Mr. Blight says, are a new and more palatable way to 'legitimize the Confederacy.'"



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 07:09 pm
   
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Johan Steele
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RICHMOND, January 7, 1865.
General R. E. LEE:
DEAR GENERAL: I regret that in the succession of stirring events since the commencement of the present war I have had so little opportunity to renew our former, to me at least, exceedingly agreeable acquaintance, and particularly that I have so rarely if ever met with a suitable occasion to interchange views with you upon the important public questions which have been and still are pressing upon us with such intense interest.
It would have demanded, indeed, in view of the scarcely less than awful weight of care and responsibility Providence and your country have thrown upon you, and which you will pardon me for saying has been grandly met, no ordinarily favorable opportunity to have induced me to intrude upon your overburdened time and attention for such a purpose; and in approaching you now in this form upon a subject which I deem may prove of vital importance I offer no other apology than the momentous character of the issue forced upon the mind and heart of every Southern patriot.

I refer to the great question now stirring the public mind as to the expediency and propriety of bringing to bear against our relentless enemy the element of military strength supposed to be found in our negro population; in other words, and more precisely, the wisdom and sound policy, under existing circumstances, of converting such portions of this population as may be required into soldiers, to aid in maintaining our great struggle for independence and national existence.

The subject is one which recent events have forced upon our attention with intense interest, and in my judgment we ought not longer to defer its solution; and although the President in his late annual message has brought it to the attention of Congress, it is manifestly a subject in which the several States of the Confederacy must and ought to act the most prominent part, both in giving the question its proper solution and in carrying out any plan that may be devised on the subject.
As a member of the Virginia Senate, having to act upon the subject, I have given it much earnest and anxious reflection, and I do not hesitate to say here, in advance of the full discussion which it will doubtless undergo, that the general objections to the proposition itself, as well as the practical difficulties in the way of carrying it out, have been greatly lessened as I have more thoroughly examined them.

But it is not to be disguised that public sentiment is greatly divided on the subject; and besides many real objections, a mountain of prejudices growing out of our ancient modes of regarding the institution of Southern slavery will have to be met and overcome before we can attain to anything like that degree of unanimity so extremely desirable in this and all else connected with our great struggle.

In our former contests for liberty and independence he who was then at the head of our armies, and who became the Father of his Country, did not hesitate to give his advice on all great subjects involving the success of that contest and the safety and welfare of his country, and in so doing perhaps rendered more essential service than he did in the field; nor do I perceive why, upon such a subject and in such a crisis as the present, we should not have the benefit of your sound judgment and matured wisdom.
Pardon me, therefore, for asking, to be used not only for my own guidance, but publicly as the occasion may require, Do you think that by a wisely devised plan and judicious selection negro soldiers can be made effective and reliable in maintaining this war in behalf of the Southern States?

Do you think the calling into the service of such members of this population as the exigency may demand would affect injuriously to any appreciable or material extent the institution of Southern slavery? Would not the introduction of this element of strength into our military operations justify in some degree a more liberal scale of exemptions or details, and by thus relieving from active service in the field a portion of the intelligent and directing labor of the country (as seems to be needed)have a beneficial bearing upon the question of subsistence and other supplies?
Would not, in your judgment, the introduction of such a policy increase in other regards our power of defense against the relentless and barbarous warfare the enemy is now waging against us?

These are but some of the leading inquiries which suggest themselves. But I beg you, general, if, from a sense of duty and the promptings of your elevated patriotism, overriding all motives of unwise and ill-timed delicacy, you consent to reply to these inquiries for the purpose before frankly indicated, that you will give me your views, as fully as your engagements will allow, upon every other question or point of inquiry that may occur to you as likely to conduce to a wise decision of this grave and, as deemed by many, vitally important subject.

With the highest esteem, your obedient servant,
ANDREW HUNTER.


HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
January 11, 1865.
Hon. ANDREW HUNTER,
Richmond, Va.:

DEAR SIR: I have received your letter of the 7th instant, and without confining myself to the order of your interrogatories, will endeavor to answer them by a statement of my views on the subject. I shall be most happy if I can contribute to the solution of a question in which I feel an interest commensurate with my desire for the welfare and happiness of our people.

Considering the relation of master and slave, controlled by humane laws and influenced by Christianity and an enlightened public sentiment, as the best that can exist between the white and black races while intermingled as at present in this country, I would deprecate any sudden disturbance of that relation unless it be necessary to avert a greater calamity to both. I should therefore prefer to rely upon our white population to preserve the ratio between our forces and those of the enemy, which experience has shown to be safe. But in view of the preparations of our enemies, it is our duty to provide for continued war and not for a battle or a campaign, and I fear that we cannot accomplish this without overtaxing the capacity of our white population.

Should the war continue under existing circumstances, the enemy may in course of time penetrate our country and get access to a large part of our negro population. It is his avowed policy to convert the able-bodied men among them into soldiers, and to emancipate all. The success of the Federal arms in the South was followed by a proclamation of President Lincoln for 280,000 men, the effect of which will be to stimulate the Northern States to procure as substitutes for their own people the negroes thus brought within their reach. Many have already been obtained in Virginia, and should the fortune of war expose more of her territory, the enemy would gain a large accession to his strength. His progress will thus add to his numbers, and at the same time destroy slavery in a manner most pernicious to the welfare of our people. Their negroes will be used to hold them in subjection, leaving the remaining force of the enemy free to extend his conquest. Whatever may be the effect of our employing negro troops, it cannot be as mischievous as this. If it end in subverting slavery it will be accomplished by ourselves, and we can devise the means of alleviating the evil consequences to both races. I think, therefore, we must decide whether slavery shall be extinguished by our enemies and the slaves be used against us, or use them ourselves at the risk of the effects which may be produced upon our social institutions. My own opinion is that we should employ them without delay. I believe that with proper regulations they can be made efficient soldiers. They possess the physical qualifications in an eminent degree. Long habits of obedience and subordination, coupled with the moral influence which in our country the white man possesses over the black, furnish an excellent foundation for that discipline which is the best guaranty of military efficiency. Our chief aim should be to secure their fidelity.

There have been formidable armies composed of men having no interest in the cause for which they fought beyond their pay or the hope of plunder. But it is certain that the surest foundation upon which the fidelity of an army can rest, especially in a service which imposes peculiar hardships and privations, is the personal interest of the soldier in the issue of the contest. Such an interest we can give our negroes by giving immediate freedom to all who enlist, and freedom at the end of the war to the families of those who discharge their duties faithfully (whether they survive or not), together with the privilege of residing at the South. To this might be added a bounty for faithful service.

We should not expect slaves to fight for prospective freedom when they can secure it at once by going to the enemy, in whose service they will incur no greater risk than in ours. The reasons that induce me to recommend the employment of negro troops at all render the effect of the measures I have suggested upon slavery immaterial, and in my opinion the best means of securing the efficiency and fidelity of this auxiliary force would be to accompany the measure with a well-digested plan of gradual and general emancipation. As that will be the result of the continuance of the war, and will certainly occur if the enemy succeed, it seems to me most advisable to adopt it at once, and thereby obtain all the benefits that will accrue to our cause.

The employment of negro troops under regulations similar in principle to those above indicated would, in my opinion, greatly increase our military strength and enable us to relieve our white population to some extent. I think we could dispense with the reserve forces except in cases of necessity.

It would disappoint the hopes which our enemies base upon our exhaustion, deprive them in a great measure of the aid they now derive from black troops, and thus throw the burden of the war upon their own people. In addition to the great political advantages that would result to our cause from the adoption of a system of emancipation, it would exercise a salutary influence upon our whole negro population, by rendering more secure the fidelity of those who become soldiers, and diminishing the inducements to the rest to abscond.

I can only say in conclusion that whatever measures are to be adopted should be adopted at once. Every day's delay increases the difficulty. Much time will be required to organize and discipline the men, and action may be deferred until it is too late.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
General.



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CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA,
WAR DEPARTMENT, ENGINEER BUREAU,
Richmond, Va., November 19, 1864.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding Army of Northern Virginia:

GENERAL: I am directed by the Honorable Secretary of War to write to you in reference to an organization for the negro force it is proposed to employ as laborers with the armies of the Confederacy. After some reflection I have presented the following outline to the War Department, and I would now respectfully ask you to consider it, and propose such modifications and alterations as your greater experience and better judgment may dictate.

The unit of the organization to be a gang or working party of 100 negroes under a "manager," assisted by three "overseers," first, second, and third. Eight of these gangs to be placed under a "superintendent," forming a force 800 strong, corresponding to a battalion. Three of these to be under a "director," making a working party or body 2,400 strong; the entire force serving with an army to be under one, two, or more directors, according to the number employed, and the whole to be under the general supervision and control of the chief engineer of each army. This last feature is advised because the negroes can be employed as organizations in the construction of defenses, in repairing roads and bridges, and in doing much of the work appertaining to the pioneer; and for like reason the whole negro force called into service should be placed under the general supervision and direction of the Engineer Bureau.

The negroes required to serve as teamsters and in other work not connected with the engineer service will be detailed in such numbers as may be required, but their names will still be borne on the rolls of the gang to which they belong. This feature is thought to be important in order that there should be some one to look after the negroes and take an interest in their welfare at all times. It is expected this will be done by the "managers" and "overseers." For the supplying of the negroes with clothing, camp equipage, rations, &c., it is proposed that a "purveyor" be appointed for each working party under a "director" with three assistant purveyors, being one for each party under a "superintendent." The purveyor to be a bonded agent, and if necessary, the assistant purveyors to be bonded also. Perhaps quartermasters already in the service might be assigned to these duties. For medical service, one surgeon or physician for each superintendent; for keeping the records and issuing instructions it is proposed that two clerks be allowed to each director and one to each superintendent. It is expected to call into service as fast as possible the 20,000 male slaves authorized by the act of February, 1864 (see General Orders, No. 32, for 1864), and to have this service completed by the Bureau of Conscription. The negroes when collected under the provisions of this law to be placed under temporary managers or guards detailed from conscript camps or from the reserves, and when collected in gangs of 50 to 100 to be forwarded under their charge to the armies or stations to which they may be assigned, exact records to be kept by the enrolling officers of the negroes taken into service, embracing the information usual on muster-rolls with the addition of the name of owner; a proper list to accompany each gang when forwarded to service, from which regular muster-rolls can be prepared; and also descriptive lists when details are made for labor outside of the engineer service. When the gangs first arrive at the places where they are to be employed they should be attached temporarily to the engineer troops and put to work at once under the officers commanding these troops.

When the number amounts to 800 they should be formed into eight full gangs of 100 each, organized as hereinbefore indicated and placed under a superintendent. Thus the negroes will be useful as laborers from the moment they are delivered. That these laborers when regularly organized may be systematically furnished with rations, clothing, and other necessaries, provision returns and requisitions will be prepared by the managers or overseers, whose certificates shall be considered of the same effect as those of company officers, and it will be the duty of the directors to examine and approve said requisitions, &c., and such approval will be the authority for the purveyors and assistant purveyors to make the issues called for. The manager will be made responsible for all property issued to the gang of 100 men under his charge. Field transportation to be furnished to these organizations of laborers in such quantity as the resources of the country will admit of. For the better regulation and efficiency of the labor as contemplated the chief engineer of each army should assign a field officer of engineer troops to inspect, supervise, and muster the organizations and to make assignments of working parties in such way and manner as may be ordered by the commanding general through his chief engineer, and it will be made the duty of the same field officer to see that details for labor outside of the engineer service be made promptly when ordered by the commanding general.

It is contemplated that the Quartermaster's Department should furnish clothing and other supplies usually provided by that department to this negro force; that the owners should be paid by this same department, and that the Commissary Department should furnish rations. It is proposed that this negro force be mustered as in case of troops, by the field officer appointed for that purpose, and duplicate muster-rolls forwarded through the chief engineer of the army to the Engineer Bureau. Pay-rolls to be prepared at the same time and forwarded through the chief quartermaster of the army to the Quartermaster-General, who at the expiration of each year shall send a suitable officer into each State to meet at certain convenient designated points all owners, who shall appear personally or by attorney, to receive payment for past services rendered by their slaves. In case of the loss of any negro by death, desertion, or otherwise, notice thereof shall be prepared in triplicate by the manager or overseer, showing the time and manner of his loss, to be forwarded through the chief engineer to the Engineer Bureau. This notice to be upon a simple and convenient printed form to be furnished by the Engineer Bureau; careful entries of such casualties to be made by the manager upon the muster-rolls of the gang. The managers and overseers should be selected as far as possible from the class of men accustomed to manage negroes on farms, plantations, and works of civil improvement. Careful measures should be taken, too, to look into the qualifications and past experience of each one, and this might be accomplished probably by assigning the duty to some engineer officers serving in each of the States; the officer for Virginia and North Carolina to be named by the chief engineer of your army. The officers for the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida to be named by the chief engineer of General Hardee's department. The officers for the Division of the West to be named by the chief engineer of that division. Should these managers and overseers prove incompetent, power to be vested in the commanders of the respective armies to return them to duty with the reserves. If guilty of malfeasance or malpractice, they should be at once ordered into the ranks for general service.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. F. GILMER,
Major-General and Chief of Engineer Bureau.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 07:34 pm
   
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Johan Steele
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"Generally speaking, anyone who wants to discuss the topic of "Black Confederates" ends up discussing the Louisiana Native Guards because there are very few verifiable examples of "Black Confederate" units to go on: the Louisiana Native Guards, a company in Mobile, some Partisan Rangers in Louisiana, maybe one or two others. None of those units was ever accepted into service by the Confederate government.

The *ONLY* verifiable example of a definite "Black Confederate" unit accepted by the Confederate government is 2 companies of infantry (total about 100 men) who can be placed at 3 locations in Virginia in a 15 day period in late March and April of 1865. (The three sightings: marching through Richmond one day in March; deploying as a wagon guard during the retreat to Appomattox; digging entrenchments in Farmville during the retreat to Appomattox.)

The reason there are no other verifiable examples is that it was illegal under Confederate law to enlist or conscript blacks, slave or free, as soldiers for most of the war. An exception to that was passed in 1861 allowing for blacks to be brought in as musicians or cooks -- traditional slave duties to many Southerners. After bitter debate, the Confederate Congress finally passed a law allowing blacks to serve as soldiers in other capacities in 1865 (March 24 or so). Even then, with General Lee in support and the Confederacy crashing down about their ears, about 1/3rd of the Confederate Congress voted against allowing slaves to serve as soldiers.

There was a doctor in Richmond, in the Army hospitals, who had been pushing for this and who had formed a group out of blacks working in the hospitals. They were accepted immediately, which is where the 2 companies referred to came from. General Lee, then the commanding general of the Army, did send out orders and recruiting officers for this, but no other "Black Confederate" unit is known to have formed. In at least one case, it is known that the orders arrived after the local Confederate forces had surrendered. Lee surrendered about 16 days after the Confederate Congress passed the law, so there really was no time to recruit, equip and train the units.

The Louisiana Native Guards did exist during the Civil War as a Louisiana Militia unit when the Confederacy was starting. This makes them impossible to ignore for any who discuss "Black Confederates".

They started forming with a meeting in March of 1861, were accepted by the Governor of that state in May (22nd?) when he appointed Henry D. Ogden (white) to be their commander and Lt. Col. At no time do they seem to have been issued arms from the state or the Confederate government. At no time do they seem to have ever served in the field until Farragut steamed up the river to seize New Orleans. In 1862, the state legislature passed a new law, enacting conscription for "white males", and disbanding all militia units not accepted into the state Volunteer units as of February 15. The Louisiana Native Guards officially were no longer in existence at that point. On March 24, with Louisiana being stripped of armed defenders to meet the crisis to the North (Grant's Henry & Donelson Campaign, the advance down the Mississippi under Pope, the fall of Nashville, frantic fortification at Vicksburg, Grant's arrival at Shiloh), the Governor seems to have alerted/reinstated this unit in the state forces (technically illegal, but it was an emergency). There is still no evidence of them being armed by any authority, state or Confederate.

When Farragut teamed past the forts, the Confederate Army withdrew from New Orleans to make it an "open city" (also because it looked to Lovell to be indefensible and a death trap for his army). All that was left were whatever militia and local defense forces groups the city had. The Louisiana Native Guard was one of these. They seem to have been assigned to the area by Esplanade in the French Quarter; supposedly about 300 showed up. After the surrender of the downriver forts (April 28), Farragut demanded the surrender of the city, the mayor rushed to accept, and the Louisiana Native Guards disbanded again. Ben Butler moved troops into the city.

After about a month or so, the Creole/Black leaders began to tell Union authorities that they had been more-or-less compelled to serve in the forces against them and would like to volunteer for the Union. Butler, not a supporter of black troops (he'd argues vigorously against it in 1859 in Massachusetts) ignored them. But he could not get more troops from Washington, and by August the Confederates had launched an attack on Baton Rouge that almost succeeded. Suddenly Butler was interested -- but the Lincoln administration was not yet ready for Black troops and would not authorize Black troops for Federal service. So Butler (a Boston lawyer) dusted off the LA Governor's activation of the Native Guards and started recruiting. He formed four regiments (the original seems to have been about 14-15 companies in a single regiment) of Louisiana Native Guards using his authority as military governor. These were later called the Corps d'Afrique and then became USCT regiments later in the war. A goodly number of men served in both Union and Confederate versions. Battalion will say it is fewer, because he only counts those who served in the 1st regiment, and not those who served in the other three.

To those who want to claim that there were tens of thousands of "Black Confederates" fighting for the South, these Louisiana Native Guards are very important. They will try to tell you they fought for the Confederacy -- but they never fired a shot in anger at Yankees. They will try to tell you they were in the Confederate army -- but they never were. They will try to find a way they were deployed in the field alongside Confederate troops, under Confederate command, such as at the Chalmette Line south of New Orleans -- but they never were. They will try to tell you they were a well-armed and equipped unit -- hence the falsified photo, I suppose, among other reasons -- but they never were.

You can find black individuals who served in Confederate units -- particularly as body servants, musicians, and cooks. You can find black teamsters -- but free black men were exempted from conscription of any kind until 1864, and civilian teamsters made $2/day while soldiers made $13/month; which do you think free black men would choose? You can even find the occasional man who apparently was Black (or Creole, which many Southerners in LA-MS-AL said was different) serving as a soldier somewhere. In any case, the free Black male military-age population of the Confederate states was less than 22,000 according to the 1860 Census, so where did the tens of thousands of "Black Confederates" come from?

Sorry for the dry and over-long post. All the hub-bub is really about arguments of people who wish to over-inflate the size of the "Black Confederate" contribution for one reason or another, and probably the over-reaction of those who discuss it with them.

Regards,
Tim"

http://civilwartalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25854&page=6



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 07:35 pm
   
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Johan Steele
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