View single post by barrydancer
 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 01:33 am
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Joined: Wed Apr 23rd, 2008
Location: Norwalk, Connecticut USA
Posts: 135

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buzzard:  You make a good observation.  I've read some similar things about slaves doing similar work.  I would imagine they had some sort of pass from their owners stating who they were and where they were going, similar to the way slaves could leave plantations.  My point was more that the temptation to head towards Federal lines was dampened a lot by being surrounded by the Confederate army.

borderuffin wrote:

"In no way is this intended to diminish the role of servants (50,000?) who toiled with Confederate armies throughout the war.  Who had ample opportunites to 'escape' to Federal lines but chose to remain true to the South.

In so doing they probably saved themselves from death because there is no doubt that they would have been forced into Federal service and used as cannon fodder by their armies."

I would hesitate to draw the conclusion that because a slave didn't escape he was "true" to the South.  As my wife is fond of saying, correlation does not necessarily imply causation.  Fear can be a powerful deterrent.  Hundreds of thousands of black people were born, lived, and died as slaves over the years.  The fact that they never tried to escape doesn't mean they were true to the South or their masters.

What do you mean by "forced into Federal service?"  Contrabands weren't required to enlist in the USCT as far as I know, and I don't think if they signed on with the Union Army to be teamsters, etc., that they would be thrown out in front of the fighting men to catch bullets.

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