|Yes, the treatment of contrabands left much to be desired, but remember Butler looked at this as a legal matter. He could not free any slaves (nor at that point in the war did he have any desire to do so) because he did not have the legal authority. Later on during the war, Butler created a model community of black soldiers and their families within his lines as the commander of the Army of the James. David Hunter inpressed most of the military age black population into military service around Port Royal in mid-1862 (Lincoln later rescinded the order). BUT, as the war went on and blacks had a chance to prove themselves on the battlefield, conditions improved. It is undeniable that thousands of northern blacks enthusiastically joined the ranks as soon as they were able to do so (percentage wise more joined then their white comrades). Hundred of thousands of slaves fled to Union lines when they had the opportunity. They were NOT a contented and happy labor force. Yes, Early was a man of his time and I am not condemning him for that, but his statement is provably false, which is what I thought you wanted.
Last edited on Thu Jun 7th, 2012 01:13 pm by Mark