View single post by Johan Steele
 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 06:28 pm
 Full Topic 
Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352


Joined: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006
Location: South Of The North 40, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1065
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

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.

 Close Window