View single post by PvtClewell
 Posted: Wed Mar 18th, 2009 12:36 am
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Joined: Wed Jun 13th, 2007
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 420

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I think Cleburne Fan's post (No. 2) hits on the issue quite directly. If significant numbers of armed blacks are already fighting for the Confederacy, why does Gen. Patrick Cleburne feel the need to make his 'Cleburne Memorial' proposal to arm the slaves in the first place?

Cleburne's proposal was forwarded to Pres. Davis by Gen. W.H.T. Walker, and Davis ordered the proposal to be suppressed. Cleburne was subsequently passed over for promotion three times.

This also begs the question of what was the official reaction of the Confederate government? Davis micromanaged the war almost as intently as Lincoln did. Does it make sense then that Davis would be unaware of armed slaves in his armies? Or was he turning a blind eye to the issue?Where is the logic?

The Confederate Congress, after a bill to arm slaves was proposed in February, 1865, voted for the enlistment of slaves on March 13, 1865, with the stipulation (Sec. 5 of the statute, which can be found in the Official Records) "That nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize a change in the relation which said slaves shall bear toward their owners, except by consent of the owners and of the States in which they may reside, and in pursuance of the laws thereof."

That even makes the gradual emancipation for service to the Confederacy, which Gen. Lee endorsed, problematical.

If the Confederate government waits to the final weeks of the war to officially arm its slaves, then why are we having this debate?

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