View single post by buzzard
 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 12:38 am
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buzzard
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barrydancer wrote:
"It's not a monument to soldiers, but rather a glorification of the fabled, honest and faithful slave.  An idealized figure of the old South that never really existed at all.  It isn't as though slaves had much choice in following their masters.  And they were surrounded by thousands of armed white men helping to prevent escape or disobedience."

If you have the opportunity to read primary source material, (letters of soldiers specifically), you will find that there were opportunities to come and go or escape if that were an intention. Many blacks, and yes they were slaves went along to camp with their white masters and provided a variety of duties as others have described.

I will mention just one of these that I have read, it is a collection of 23 letters written by a private with the 30th MS who writes about one of his neighbors, a fellow soldier's camp slave, traveling back and forth between their camps and their home in Panola County, MS to bring clothes, supplies, letters, and the soldiers even sent money with him from military pay to pass on to their white families back home. He mentions in letters that George, (the slave) made money from soldiers by washing clothes, foraging for food, and other sundry duties. George's owner was killed in action at the battle of Perryville, but George stayed on for many months collecting the money from washing, etc.

I am not sure how he was able to pass back and forth so freely, but the letters written over a period of four years mention these travels frequently. The last letter the soldier writer mentions George is when he himself is in the hospital in Ga, and the slave George stops to visit on his way back to camp, promising to stop back by on his way back to Panola County to take money and personal items back to the hospitlized soldiers family.

Not all blacks had reason to be dissatisfied with their condition, just as not all Southern Whites fought for the south or owned slaves, nor did all Nothern whites support abolition or fight for the North. 





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