View single post by CleburneFan
 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 12:02 am
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CleburneFan
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CleburneFan wrote: pamc153PA wrote:
Do you think the Confederate army would have been able to support itself if it'd had to rely on white civilian wagoneers, engineers, etc.? Or was it just an extension of the way slaves were already being utilized in the Southern culture? Just some thoughts.

Pam




My answer would be no, the Confederacy could not have continued long with only white males in support roles. Why? Because the Confederacy was already undermanned relative to the Union armies, so to take white men and put them in support roles would have lowered the number of actual fighting men even lower...in fact...substantially lower.

In fact, I doubt the Confederacy ever seriously considered such a notion. Much of the support work was menial labor that self-respecting white males, especially slave owners would not do. To do so would have represented an unacceptable reduction in status.

Now back to Pam's question. Where did all that support personnel come from? Were they mostly slaves forced into the labor, slaves who wanted to do it and eagerly volunteered or freedmen? Could some of the slaves have done so thinking they might be freed as a result? Pam has offered us a very interesting question.

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