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 Posted: Sat Nov 1st, 2008 11:43 pm
   
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pamc153PA
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Here's one to ponder and discuss. . 

Should slaves have been allowed to/been drafted to fight for the South? What ramifications might this have had, for the South, for the North? Would it have made a difference if this had occurred earliy in the war, or later?  Would it have changed the outcome of the war at all? Etc., etc.

Pam



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 12:28 am
   
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CleburneFan
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Many of the Southern high command were extremely reluctant to arm slaves to fight for the Southern  cause. Endemic cultural beliefs stood against such a plan. One, that slaves, once armed, would turn on their owners and create a much feared slave insurrection, stopped any talk of arming slaves or drafting them. At the very least, Southerners believed that armed slaves would be cowardly and flee to the Yankee invaders at the first sign of battle.

Another belief was that the slaves were inferior to whites. To arm them, train them and trust them to fight side-by-side with whites would be a negation of that theory of black inferiority...the major theory on which the basis of slavery existed.

To illustrate the level of animosity toward the notion of drafting slaves, it is often believed that the reason one of the Western Theater's most capable commanders, Patrick Cleburne, was never promoted beyond a division command was that he dared to propose that the Confederacy arm and free slaves and their families to fight for the cause.

A visionary, Cleburne saw that about all the whites who could be drafted had been drafted or enlisted. The ONLY way he saw to meet the north's superiority of manpower numbers was to begin arming and training slaves. His controversial idea was met with harsh resistance. President Davis ordered him to never speak of such an idea again. From then on Cleburne was passed over for promotion when opportunities arose. 

Another serious impediment to drafting slaves was that they were the ones doing most of the farm work, growing agricultural products and raising livestock: They did much of the domestic work. All the white males who were fit were gone to war. It remained for slaves to carry on the bulk of such work to help feed the hungry armies and grow vital cash crops such as cotton, tobacco and rice. 

The Confederacy did use slaves from the start  in non-combat work as teamsters, cooks, butchers, personal servants, and "pioneers," squads of men  used to build and repair roads, dig trenches, build breastworks, etc.

I'm not certain that arming slaves would have made a major difference in the war. I don't know how drafting even a part of them would have worked out because their absense would have been keenly felt on the home front.

 I'm also not sure that attitudes in the Confederacy would have allowed the South to use the slaves to best advantage in battle. They probably would not trust them in combat to do what was needed. Even Northern Blacks had to work very hard to prove themselves. It would have been an even heavier burden for Southern slaves to prove their value as soldiers.

Even as late as World War II, Black units were at a disadvantage and had to try very hard to be allowed to fly airplanes and do certain other military tasks that only WHites were thought capable of performing.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 12:29 am
   
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Captain Crow
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actually there were black troops who fought for the South.

http://www.usgennet.org/usa/mo/county/stlouis/blackcs.htm



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 06:35 am
   
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Johan Steele
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Captain Crow,I don't mean to insult or irritate but the site posted has a serious issue when the first quote is given for Ed Bearrs and he emphaticly denies ever saying such.  In the noted examples, IIRC, 4 are examples illustrating the same men from different sources.  Dr Steiner is often quoted, the problem is that no one buried the fallen black soldiers from that command and there would have been quite a few as that particular unit suffered significant casualties.  There are other errors in the text but I'm not in the mood to go digging.  Maybe later maybe not;865432 Black CS soldier threads always degenerate.

 

Below is a list of books that I would call an absolute must for an in depth understanding of the subject of black men under arms in the time of the ACW.

Berlin, Ira, Freedom; The Black Military Experience
Brewer, James, The Confedertae Negro: Virginia’s Craftsmen & Military Laborers
Cheek, William F., Black Resistance Before the Civil War,.
Durden, Robert, The Gray and the Black
Fogel, Robert William & Engerman, Stanley L., Time on the Cross the Economics of American Negro Slavery.
Glatthaar, Joseph T., Forged in Battle The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers, The Free Press, 1990.
Jacobs, Harriet, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,.
Jordan, Ervin, Black Confedertaes & Afro Yankees in the Civil War
McLaurin, Melton A., Celia, A Slave,.
McPherson, James M., Marching Toward Freedom,.
McPherson, James M., The Negro’s Civil War: How American Negroes felt and acted during the War for the Union
McPherson, James M.,The Struggle for Equality:Abolitionists and the Negro in the Civil War & Reconstruction
Meltzer, Milton, In Their Own Words A History of the American Negro 1619-1865,
Quarles, Benjamin, The Negro in the Civil War
Rose, Willie Lee, Rehearsal for Reconstruction The Port Royal Experiment,
Spencer, Samuel R. Jr., Booker T. Washington and the Negro’s Place in American Life,.
Synnestvedt, Sig, The White Response to Black Emancipation,.
Trudeau, Noah Andre, Like Men of War.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 01:25 pm
   
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TimK
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But for the sake of discussion, without the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, how would any one of us dealt with the situation Cleburne was in. It is obvious that you would lose a war of attrition - you see manpower - unfortunately, that manpower may turn against you - but you see you can't win with the manpower you have. It's not as easy to figure out what to do if you have to do something before the multitudes of books are written deciphering what you should have done.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 02:11 pm
   
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Sgt. Biggenbottom
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"Johan Steele" wrote:the first quote is given for Ed Bearrs and he emphaticly denies ever saying such

Could you provide a link (on a mainstream website, please) to this denial ?



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 02:26 pm
   
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Captain Crow
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Johan Steele wrote: Captain Crow,I don't mean to insult or irritate but the site posted has a serious issue when the first quote is given for Ed Bearrs and he emphaticly denies ever saying such.  In the noted examples, IIRC, 4 are examples illustrating the same men from different sources.  Dr Steiner is often quoted, the problem is that no one buried the fallen black soldiers from that command and there would have been quite a few as that particular unit suffered significant casualties.  There are other errors in the text but I'm not in the mood to go digging.  Maybe later maybe not;865432 Black CS soldier threads always degenerate.

 

Below is a list of books that I would call an absolute must for an in depth understanding of the subject of black men under arms in the time of the ACW.

Berlin, Ira, Freedom; The Black Military Experience
Brewer, James, The Confedertae Negro: Virginia’s Craftsmen & Military Laborers
Cheek, William F., Black Resistance Before the Civil War,.
Durden, Robert, The Gray and the Black
Fogel, Robert William & Engerman, Stanley L., Time on the Cross the Economics of American Negro Slavery.
Glatthaar, Joseph T., Forged in Battle The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers, The Free Press, 1990.
Jacobs, Harriet, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl,.
Jordan, Ervin, Black Confedertaes & Afro Yankees in the Civil War
McLaurin, Melton A., Celia, A Slave,.
McPherson, James M., Marching Toward Freedom,.
McPherson, James M., The Negro’s Civil War: How American Negroes felt and acted during the War for the Union
McPherson, James M.,The Struggle for Equality:Abolitionists and the Negro in the Civil War & Reconstruction
Meltzer, Milton, In Their Own Words A History of the American Negro 1619-1865,
Quarles, Benjamin, The Negro in the Civil War
Rose, Willie Lee, Rehearsal for Reconstruction The Port Royal Experiment,
Spencer, Samuel R. Jr., Booker T. Washington and the Negro’s Place in American Life,.
Synnestvedt, Sig, The White Response to Black Emancipation,.
Trudeau, Noah Andre, Like Men of War.

why would I be insulted or irritated? I just figured that page would be a good starting point to the discussion. Neither my identity nor my ego is dependent on my knowledge(or in some cases lack of same) of the ACW so feel free to contradict at will.....that is after all what makes the war such a fertile topic for discussion.
And by the way, I'm in the midst of the Trudeau book and so far I find it very fair and well written.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 02:35 pm
   
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Captain Crow
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How the heck do you find time to read all these books on somewhat obscure subjects Johan? Are you a researcher professionally? While I don't always agree with your opinions I must admit you definitely seem to do your homework. As for me, between work and other obligations I'm lucky to finish 1-2 books per week.

peace
The Captain

Last edited on Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 02:35 pm by Captain Crow



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 02:58 pm
   
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pamc153PA
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I am always awed at the volume of info Johan can impart--and feel lucky about it, too, that he isn't stingy about sharing it. The whole group of you is one huge resource for me, thankfully!

I think that if I were Gordon, Lee, or Cleburne, especially at the end of the war, I would look longingly at that large resource of black men as a way to avoid the attrition issue. I found Lee's letters (if they are a legitimate source--Johan?) to be surprisingly magnanimous as to conditions to be expected for black troops. But I also found the fact that wealthy slave owners were not open to this "solution"--enlisting their property, for that was what it was--sort of a metaphor for an important issue with the South's reasons for war at all. Correct me if I'm off base here, but wasn't state's rights to govern themselves a main sticking point? Sort of like they wanted to fight for their rights against a federal government, yet above that was the importance of their own state's rights to government? Is this too simplistic of a view? Feedback?

Pam



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 06:12 pm
   
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Johan Steele
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I spend several weeks a month onthe road and listen to books on tape when driving, typically 1000 miles a week. When I hit the hotel I usually plant the toob on Spike TV for CSI then read. All told I read at least 2-3 hours a day.

As to the mainstream website I can't provide it as I got it from the horses mouth. He was at the Woodlake Synopsium earlier this year and the question was asked. He denied ever having said such. Frankly he was a bit irritated. That man is one of the most knowledgeable authors on the ACW alive IMO. If the opportunity ever presents itself to listen to the man speak do so.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 06:27 pm
   
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Johan Steele
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With thanks to M.E. Wolf

Southern Historical Society Papers
1959. New Series, Vol. 14, Old Series, Vol. LII.
2d Confederate Congress--(2d Session)--Friday, February 10, 1865.
[excerpt]
Mr. Oldham rose to correct his colleague. The law referred to did not authorize the President to make these appointments of temporary rank during a recess of Congress.
Mr. Wigfall said whether the President had the authority or not he had done it, and what had been done could be done again. also thought the question of putting negro soldiers into the army--the emancipation of negroes--should be discussed in Congress in open session. It had been said yesterday by the Secretary of State in a publick and well considered speech that our salvation depended upon putting negroes into the army and consequent emancipation. He wished to announce that, in his opinion, the emancipation of the negroes was the destruction of the organism of the country. It was as if the government of England was required by countries at war with her to abolish her landed aristocracy and put into their place a market-house mob.
[excerpt]
Mr. Oldham opposed the resolution. He had prepared a measure which he would bring in in a few days, providing for putting negroes into the army, and he believed that his motion would obviate many of the objections urged against the plan. He also thought the Senate should have full time to consider the important measures yet to be disposed of.
Mr. Semmes opposed a hasty adjournment--mentioning the tax law and several other measures that yet claimed the attention of the Senate.
Mr. Sparrow had been convinced by Mr. Wigfall's remarks that an early adjournment was desirable. No good result could come of the wrangling between Congress and the Executive.
Mr. Maxwell said the Senator (Mr. Oldham) said he would bring in a bill for putting negroes in the army as soldiers. He regarded [it] as a reason why Congress should adjourn to get rid of this question. He would tell the Senator that he could introduce no bill for that purpose that would meet his approval.
Mr. Wigfall said the Senator might say to this question "down," but he could not lay it down.--It had been before the people since it was broached in the President's last message. He was not willing that the proceedings on this question should be smothered in secret session, as they were the other day. The people only knew that a bill to put negroes in the army, as soldiers, had been voted down by the Senate by a vote of 13 to 3. It was right and proper that they should know the arguments that influenced that vote.
After some further discussion Mr. Wigfall's motion to postpone the resolution till Monday week was rejected.
House resolution was considered and lost by a tie vote when Mr. Maxwell entered a motion to reconsider the vote by which the resolution was lost; and thus the question was, for the present, disposed of.

NEGRO SOLDIERS

Mr. Oldham, of Texas, introduced the following bill:
A Bill to provide for raising two hundred thousand negro troops.
Section 1. The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That the President of the Confederate States be and he is hereby authorized to receive into the military service any number of negro troops, not to exceed two hundred thousand.
Section 2. That the President be and he is hereby authorized to assign officers already appointed, or make appointment of officers to raise and command said troops; and the same when raised shall be organized as provided under existing laws.
Section 3. That no negro slave shall be received into the service without the written consent of his owner, and under such regulations as may be prescribed by the Secretary of War to carry into effect this act.
Section 4. That it is hereby declared that Congress does not hereby assume to change the social and political status of the slave population of the States, but leaves the same under the jurisdiction and control of the States to which it belongs.
Mr. Oldham made a short explanation of the bill, and requested its reference to the Military Committee.
Mr. Graham said he thought the sense of the Senate on this measure might as well be tested on the question of reference. He was opposed decidedly to the policy of the employment of negro troops under any circumstances. The Senate had already expressed its sense on the subject. He would vote against the reference.
Mr. Johnson, of Georgia, said he would vote for the reference, but did not choose to be considered as committing himself to its policy. It was a great question, and ought to go into a committee. At the same time he would say that all his present impressions were against the employment of negro troops.
The bill was referred to the Military Committee.
TRANSFERRED TO THE SECRET CALENDAR
Senate bill to amend the law imposing regulations upon the foreign commerce of the Confederate States was taken up, and, on motion of Mr. Watson, of Mississippi, was transferred to the secret calendar.
SUPPLIES FOR THE ARMY--IMPRESSMENT
Senate bill to provide supplies for the army, and to prescribe the mode of making impressments, was taken up and considered.
Mr. Wigfall moved to postpone the bill till Monday, which was agreed to.
REPUTATION EVIDENCE OF DESERTION
The following Senate bill was considered and passed:
A bill to amend an act entitled 'An act to prevent the procuring, aiding and assisting persons to desert from the army of the Confederate States, and for other purposes,' approved January 22d, 1864:
The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That in all prosecutions for aiding or assisting any deserter from the army to evade his proper commander, or to prevent his arrest to be returned to the service, knowingly concealing or harbouring any such deserter, under the provisions of an act to prevent the procuring, aiding and assisting persons to desert from the army of the Confederate States, and for other purposes, approved January 22d, 1864, when the fact is proved that the person aided or assisted or concealed or harboured is a soldier or officer in the military service of the Confederate States, general reputation that such officer or soldier is a deserter, shall be taken prima facie evidence of the fact of desertion.
EXEMPTIONS AND DETAILS
House bill to diminish the number of exemptions and details was taken up and considered.--The first section, which provides for repealing so much of the present exemption law as exempts one person as overseer or agriculturist on each farm or plantation upon which there were, at specified times, fifteen able-bodied field hands, between the ages of 16 and 50, being read,
Mr. Orr, of South Carolina, moved to strike out this section. If it passed it settled the question that, after this year, there would not be food enough produced for the support of the country. His State had taken measures to secure a proper number of overseers. He did not know to what extent the State and Confederate authority might come in conflict, but, indeed, if matters went on as they now seemed to be going, he did not know that there would be much need of overseers in South Carolina. It was unnecessary for him to go at length into this question. The minds of Senators were already made up.
Mr. Graham opposed the bill. No civilized country could put all of its able-bodied men in the field. It might be done by savage nations, who subsisted by hunting. He chiefly objected to the second section, which took from the President and Secretary of War the power of exemption and detail, and revoked all details and exemptions already granted. This seemed to contemplate the carrying but one campaign, and that a very short one. He would vote for the first section. He saw no reason why the owner of fifteen slaves should be exempted any more than the owner of a less number; although his observation was that the owners of the slaves had gone into the war, and that applications for details on this score were made for the purpose of procuring overseers in their places. Still he would be satisfied that the exemption law should stand unchanged.
Mr. Orr's motion to strike out was lost.
Mr. Orr then moved to amend by adding that exemption of persons over forty years of age may be granted under the provisions of the fifteen negro clause. Lost.
Mr. Hunter, of Virginia, moved to amend by adding a provision that persons over forty-five may be exempted under that clause. The amendment was agreed to--ayes 12, noes 8.
Mr. Graham moved to strike out the second section of the bill providing that no exemption or detail shall be granted by the Secretary of War or President, except of persons disabled for field service, persons over forty years, artisans, mechanicks and persons of scientifick skill employed by government, and revoking details and exemptions heretofore granted by the President or Secretary of War.
Mr. Graham's motion to amend gave rise to much interesting discussion, of which our want of space absolutely prevents our giving even a sketch.
Mr. Graham's motion being in abeyance, on motion, by Mr. Sparrow, the section was amended by inserting the word "labourers" before the word "artisan."
After further amendment, on motion, by Mr. Orr, the further consideration of the bill was postponed till Monday.
On motion, by Mr. Oldham, the Senate resolved into secret session.
[excerpt]
EMPLOYMENT OF NEGROES AS SOLDIERS
Mr. Barksdale, of Mississippi, offered a bill "to increase the military force of the Confederate States."
The first section of the bill provides that in order to provide additional forces to repel invasion and to secure the independence of the Confederate States, the President be authorized to ask for and accept from the owners of slaves the services of such number of able-bodied negro men as he may deem expedient to perform military services in whatever capacity the General-in-Chief may direct.
The second section provides that the President be authorized to organize the said slaves into companies, battalions, regiments and brigades, under such rules and regulations as the Secretary of War may prescribe, and to be commanded by such officers as the President may appoint.
The third section provides that while employed in the service, the said slaves shall receive the same rations, clothing and compensation as are allowed in the act approved February 17, 1864, and the acts amendatory thereto "to increase the efficiency of the army by the employment of free negros and slaves in certain capacities;" and the compensation so allowed shall be made to the owner or to the slave, as the owner thereof may elect.
The fourth section of the bill provides that nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize a change in the relation which the said slaves shall bear towards their owners as property, except by consent of the States in which they may reside, and in pursuance of the laws thereof.
Mr. Miles, of South Carolina, moved that the bill be rejected. He wanted to test the sense of the House upon this subject of arming negroes. He wanted to have a vote upon it.
Mr. Marshall, of Kentucky--Yes, let us have a vote on it. Let the country know where we stand.
Mr. Hartridge, of Georgia, asked that the vote on the rejection of the bill be taken by ayes and noes.
Mr. Barksdale moved that the bill be referred to a select committee of one from each State.
After what had been said by the chairman of the Military Committee (Mr. Miles) it was evident that he had prejudged the question. All he (Mr. B.) desired was a fair investigation of the bill, and such a report as its merits and the demands of the country absolutely require. He did not desire to enter upon its discussion now, but would say that he had introduced the bill under a solemn conviction of duty to his country. It raised no irritating issues. It provided simply that the President should accept the services of slaves to be used as the General-in-Chief, General Lee, might direct, in order to save our cause.--Nor did he propose to interfere with the relation of master and slave. That question was left by the bill where it properly belongs--to the owners of slaves, by the consent of the States and in pursuance of the laws thereof. Are gentlemen unwilling to let the people have the privilege of contributing their slaves as a free-will offering to aid in repelling the savage foe, who is the common enemy of both races? The bill provides nothing more.
Mr. Wickham, of Virginia, moved the indefinite postponement of the bill. He was opposed to its going to a select committee. If it went to any committee it should go, in the regular channel, to the Committee on Military Affairs. He wished, however, this question of arming and making soldiers of negroes to be now disposed of, finally and forever. He wished it to be decided whether negroes are to be placed upon an equality by the side of our brave soldiers who have faced the storm of battle for four long years. It were idle to say that if negroes were put into the army they would not be upon an equality with our soldiers. They would be compelled to. They would have to camp and bivouac together.
Mr. Wickham said that our brave soldiers, who have fought so long and nobly, would not stand to be thus placed side by side with negro soldiers. He was opposed to such a measure. The day that such a bill passes Congress sounds the death knell of this Confederacy. The very moment an order goes forth from the War Department authorizing the arming and organizing of negro soldiers there was an eternal end to this struggle.--(Voices--That's so.)
The question being ordered upon the rejection of the bill, it was lost--ayes 21, noes 53. As this vote was regarded as a kind of test of the sense of the House upon the policy of putting negroes into the army, we append the ayes and noes--the question being the rejection of this bill authorizing the employment of negroes as soldiers:
Ayes--Messrs. Baldwin, Branch, Cruikshank, De Jarnette, Fuller, Garland, Gholson, Gilmer, Lamkin, J. M. Leach, J. T. Leach, McMullin, Miles, Miller, Ramsey, Sexton, Smith, of Alabama, Smith, of North Carolina, Wickham, Witherspoon, Mr. Speaker.
Noes--Messrs. Akin, Anderson, Barksdale, Batson, Bell, Blandford, Boyce, Bradley, H. W. Bruce, Carroll, Chambers, Chilton, Clark, Clopton, Cluskey, Conrad, Conrow, Darden, Dickinson, Dupre, Ewing, Farrow, Foster, Funsten, Gaither, Goode, Gray, Hartridge, Hatcher, Hilton, Holder, Holliday, Johnston, Keeble, Lyon, Pugh, Read, Rogers, Russell, Simpson, J. M. Smith, W. E. Smith, Snead, Swan, Triplett, Villere, Welsh.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 06:27 pm
   
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Southern Historical Society Papers
1959. New Series, Vol. 14, Old Series, Vol. LII.
2d Confederate Congress--(2d Session)--Monday, February 13, 1865.
SENATE
OFFICERS FOR THE JUNIOR RESERVES
Mr. Sparrow, from the Military Committee, reported a bill to assign to the command of the Junior Reserves officers of the invalid corps or supernumerary officers of the line, in cases where officers of the said reserves may, in the opinion of the commanding General, prove incompetent.
Ordered to be printed.
TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND NEGRO SOLDIERS
Mr. Sparrow, from the Military Committee, reported back, with an amendment, Senate bill to provide for raising two hundred thousand negro troops.
The amendment proposes to strike out the fourth section declaring "that Congress does not hereby assume to change the social and political status of the slave population of the States, but leaves the same under the jurisdiction and control of the States to which it be longs," and insert the following:
All slaves received into the service under the provisions of this act shall be valued and paid for according to existing laws, and that said slaves or any of them, upon a faithful performance of their duties, shall be manumitted by general orders from the War Department, if the consent of the State in which the said slaves may be at the time, is given for their manumission.
The bill was placed on the calendar and the amendment ordered to be printed.
--------------------------------------
NEGRO SOLDIERS
Senate to provide for raising two hundred thousand negro troops, reported back from the Military Committee, with an amendment was taken up.
Mr. Johnson, of Georgia, believed it to be necessary to the free and full discussion of this important subject that it be considered in secret session. It would be found necessary to put it in its proper light to make statements which it would be improper should go out to the enemy. He moved the Senate resolve into the secret session.
Mr. Wigfall opposed carrying it into secret session. He believed that if the discussion had on the subject when it was before the Senate had been given to the publick, that it would have forever disposed of the question.
Mr. Semmes was also opposed to transferring the bill to the secret calendar.
The discussion on the motion to go into secret session being out of order, the Chair ordered the hall to be cleared and the doors closed.
----------------------------------------
EMPLOYMENT OF NEGRO TROOPS
The Chair announced the special order at the expiration of the morning hour, to wit: the bill reported by Mr. Barksdale, of Mississippi, from the special committee on the employment of negroes as soldiers.
Mr. Barksdale had the floor, but before commencing his speech,
On motion of Mr. Atkins, of Tennessee, the House went into secret session by a vote of 38 ayes to 35 noes.
---------------------------------------------------------
Southern Historical Society Papers
1959. New Series, Vol. 14, Old Series, Vol. LII.
2d Confederate Congress--(2d Session)--Friday, February 17, 1865.
REORGANIZATION OF THE FIELD ARTILLERY
Mr. Wigfall, from the same, reported back House bill for the further organization of the field artillery of the Confederate States, which was considered and passed.
On motion, by Mr. Oldham, of Texas, the Senate resolved into secret session to resume consideration of the bill providing for the employment of two hundred thousand negro soldiers.
The doors being opened the Senate took up Senate bill to regulate for a limited period the compensation of the officers, clerks, and employees of the civil departments of the Government in the city of Richmond, the question being on concurring in certain amendments of the Finance Committee.
The amendments were concurred in and the bill passed.
The bill provides that the Vice-President and chief executive officers shall receive $10,000; the assistant secretaries $7,500; chiefs of bureaux $7,000; chief clerks $6,000; all other clerks, artisans and employees $5,500.
Southern Historical Society Papers
1959. New Series, Vol. 14, Old Series, Vol. LII.
2d Confederate Congress--(2d Session)--Wednesday, February 22, 1865.
NEGRO SOLDIERS
The Senate resolved into secret session to consider the negro soldier bill passed and sent up from the House of Representatives.
Southern Historical Society Papers
1959. New Series, Vol. 14, Old Series, Vol. LII.
2d Confederate Congress--(2d Session)--Thursday, February 23, 1865.
DAY FOR THE MEETING OF THE NEXT CONGRESS
Senate bill fixing the first Monday in October next as the day of the next regular meeting of Congress, was considered, and, on motion of Mr. Garland, of Arkansas, its further consideration postponed till Monday next.
NEGRO SOLDIERS
There being no further business on the open calendar, the Senate resolved into secret session.
--------------------------
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
The following message was received from the President in response to a resolution of the 30th ultimo:
I herewith transmit, for your information, a communication from the Secretary of War relative to the accessions to the army from each State since April 16, 1862; to the number of persons liable to conscription who have been exempted or detailed, and to the number of those between the ages of seventeen and forty-five, and not unfitted for active service in the field, who are employed in the several States in the manner indicated in your enquiry.
(Signed) Jefferson Davis.
The message and accompanying documents were laid upon the table and ordered to be printed.
The message states that the number of conscripts assigned to the army from camps of instruction, 81,995. Deserters returned to the army, 21,056. Assignments under section eight of the act of February 17th, 1864, 7,733. Approximate estimates of men who have joined the army without passing the camps of instruction, 76,206. Total number of exempts, 66,586. Agricultural details, 2,217. Detailed on account of publick necessity, 5,803. For details, bureaux and departments, not including artisans and mechanicks, 4,612. Detail of contractors to furnish supplies, 717. Detail of artisans and mechanicks, 6,960.
PATRIOTICK RESOLUTIONS
Mr. Barksdale presented the resolutions of Harris' Brigade of Mississippi troops, declaring their purpose to continue the war for independence with unabated zeal, and urging Congress to pass a law to employ negroes as soldiers.



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Southern Historical Society Papers
1959. New Series, Vol. 14, Old Series, Vol. LII.
2d Confederate Congress--(2d Session)--Friday, February 3, 1865.
EMPLOYMENT OF NEGROES IN THE ARMY
The Senate resumed the consideration of the Senate bill to provide for the employment of free negroes and slaves to work upon fortifications and perform other labour connected with the defences of the country. The pending question being on agreeing to the second amendment of the House to strike out the clause restricting the number of negroes to be employed to thirty thousand east of the Mississippi River, and ten thousand west of that river.
Mr. Orr said he should vote against the amendment of the House. Forty thousand negroes to be employed in the army was the number recommended by the Executive. If eighty or one hundred thousand had been recommended he should have voted for that number. But the bill had given rise to the discussion of a subject which had excited the publick mind more than any other whatever--putting negroes in the army as soldiers. In his opinion, this would be one of the most fatal steps that could be taken. He believed our soldiers would object to the measure to such a degree that it would have the effect of disorganizing our army. When the Yankees first began to occupy our country, there was a great exodus of our slaves to the enemy's lines. This continued until the Yankees began to enlist the negroes as soldiers, when it almost entirely ceased. But the moment it was known that we designed putting them into our armies they would leave by thousands. He believed the negroes were naturally cowardly; but if it was simply a choice between entering one or the other army, they would go to the Yankees. Nine hundred and ninety-nine out of a thousand would do so.
Mr. Orr then went on to show that emancipation was a necessary concomitant of putting negroes into the army as soldiers, and dwelt eloquently upon the disastrous effect upon our country that the emancipation of the slaves would entail.
There was an impression in the country that a large number of men were absent from the army with and without leave. If this opinion was incorrect, no one was so much responsible for it as the President himself, who, during his unfortunate speech at Macon, wherein he said that two-thirds of that army was absent, and one-third of those two-thirds absent without leave.
Mr. Hill stated that the President never made such a statement. The report of the speech was incorrect, and was so stated in the Georgia papers. The President said that two-thirds of that army, the Army of Tennessee, were absent, many of them without leave. The correction was made in the Georgia papers, but not by authority.
Mr. Orr repeated that the President's speech at Macon, as reported, and even as stated by the Senator, was the most unfortunate speech ever made by any publick man. The country, the ordinary newspaper readers, understood him to mean that most of the absentees were absent without leave, which was not a fact. In that speech he had also aimed a blow at General Johnston; saying that he had put in command of the Army of Tennessee a man who would strike an honest and manly blow for Atlanta; that Sherman's campaign would be more disastrous than the retreat of the army of the French empire from Moscow.
Mr. Hill explained that he heard the speech, and did not understand that the President aimed any blow at General Johnston. The whole purpose of the speech was to induce the people to recruit and support the army, and stating what would be the result if the people would do so.--The charge had been made that the President designed to abandon Georgia to her fate. For the purpose of refuting this imputation, and not as a blow at General Johnston, he stated that he had placed a man at the head of the army who would strike an honest and manly blow. If the Army of Tennessee had been recruited by the return of the absentees, the result of Sherman's campaign would have been what the President predicted.
After some further remarks about this speech of the President, Mr. Orr said General Johnston was removed from the Army of Tennessee, and nothing but disaster had followed. All the men and boys of South Carolina were now in the field to resist the advance of Sherman. It would inspire confidence if General Johnston were in command there. A report had just reached him that General Beauregard had been relieved from the command of the southwest and ordered to command in South Carolina. This assignment would be acceptable to the people of that State. But he thought that General Johnston should be given an important command somewhere. He did not know whether there was much of the Army of Tennessee left. He hoped that General Lee, now that he had been made General-in-Chief, would see to it that General Johnston's talent and high military genius should not be lost to the country.
Mr. Maxwell spoke in opposition to putting negroes into the army as soldiers. It involved abolition of slavery. He could scarcely realize that he had heard such a proposition discussed in the Confederate Senate. He did not believe that putting negroes into the armies would add to its strength, and as the amendment of the House was understood to tend in that direction, he would vote against it.
Mr. Johnson, of Missouri, said he was astounded at the range this debate had taken on this amendment. The question was not whether we shall put negroes into the army as soldiers, but whether we shall restrict to forty thousand the number of negroes to be put at the disposal of the commanders of our armies to cook, drive, throw up fortifications, &c. He was in favour of giving Generals Lee and Beauregard whatever amount of negroes they should find necessary. Another subject had been freely discussed; the restoration of General Johnston to the Army of Tennessee. He had no opinion on this subject himself, because he had no knowledge of its merits, but he would state that every Missourian of the Army of Tennessee with whom he had conversed had told him that General Johnston was the only man who could revive the spirit of that army, and that the heart of every man in the army had sunk when he was removed from its command.
Mr. Burnett said he had not lost the pride of a Southern citizen, but his chief end was severance from the Northern Government. If this could be done without resort to negro soldiers, he would say never put a negro into the army. If he was convinced that there was white material enough in the country, he would vote against negro soldiers, but he was not convinced of it, and, if called an abolitionist, he was in good company. General Lee, and many other distinguished officers, favoured putting negroes into the army. The material of which the Yankee army was composed was Irish, Germans and negroes. It was the policy of the enemy, having issued a proclamation of universal emancipation, they put into the army all the able-bodied negroes in the country as they overran it. The portions of Kentucky held by our armies in 1862 was now garrisoned by negro troops, the slaves of that country. In his opinion it was with us simply a choice whether we should put the negroes into our armies, or to leave them to swell the armies of the enemy.
Mr. Burnett said all the disasters to the Army of Tennessee had been the direct consequences of the removal of General Johnston, and he believed his restoration would be hailed with joy by the whole army. He did not know whether the President knew the truth, but he would do what he could to enlighten him. In conclusion, he said the question of putting negroes in the armies as soldiers was not practically before the Senate.--Whenever it should be, he would vote for it as a military necessity.
The vote being taken, the amendment was rejected--yeas 9, nays 10.
Those who voted in the affirmative were Messrs. Brown, Burnett, Dortch, Henry, Johnson of Missouri, Simms, Sparrow, Vest and Watson.
Those who voted in the negative were Messrs. Baker, Caperton, Garland, Graham, Haynes, Hill, Maxwell, Orr, Semmes and Wig-fall.
The remaining amendments were then considered, and, with three exceptions, agreed to.
Before a vote was taken on the bill, Mr. Orr, of South Carolina, moved to reconsider the vote by which the second resolution was concurred in.--He did not wish to change his vote, but had made the motion that one of the Senators from Mississippi (Mr. Watson), who desired to express his opinions on the subject of that amendment, might be heard.
On motion of Mr. Caperton, of Virginia, the Senate resolved into secret session.
CONTINUED



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HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
The House met at 11 o'clock.
THE QUESTION OF EMPLOYING NEGROES IN THE ARMY AS SOLDIERS
Mr. Atkins, of Tennessee, offered a series of resolutions as a substitute for those offered on Wednesday by Mr. Gholson, of Virginia. It will be recollected that the resolutions of Mr. Gholson declared that the people of the Confederate States have ever been, and are now ready to make peace on terms honourable to both parties; yet it is the judgment of this House that, while we should manifest a willingness to treat for peace, we should not omit vigorously to prepare for war; that in the judgment of the House this preparation can be best made by using every effort to place at once in the army every man liable under our laws to render military service, by causing the commissary, quartermaster and other departments to be administered with renewed energy and increased activity; and since General Lee has been made General-in-Chief, by assigning under him our best and most acceptable generals to the command of our separate armies, and by ceasing to agitate the policy of employing negro troops.
The resolutions offered by Mr. Atkins, as a substitute, were as follows:
Resolved, That arming slaves in our cause, upon a promise of emancipation, is in conflict with well established principles, and therefore should not be done.
Resolved, That the character of the war which the enemy is waging against us and the immense resources which he is bringing to bear for our subjugation, justifies and requires that we should exhaust all the resources within our reach rather than submit to so terrible a fate.
Resolved, That between subjugation and using our slaves in our defence, every principle of justice and self-preservation requires the latter; and therefore we should at once put one hundred thousand slaves, between the ages of seventeen and forty-five, in the field; and, in order to make them effective, and to immediately interest all of our soldiers in the initiation, it is expedient that the government should purchase all the slaves thus put in the army, and give to each white soldier now in the army, or who will join the army within three months after the enactment of a law in accordance with these resolves, a slave, to be his absolute right, and property, to be forever free from the claims of any and all persons, and the title only to be diverted by such soldier abandoning his post without leave, in which case the title shall revert to the government.
Mr. Boyce, of South Carolina, moved that the House go into secret session upon the consideration of the resolutions, but the motion did not prevail.
The subject being taken up, Mr. Conrad, of Louisiana, proceeded to address the House, directing his arguments principally in opposition to the resolutions of Mr. Gholson.
At the conclusion of Mr. Conrad's remarks, Mr. Hilton, of Florida, moved that the resolutions be referred to the Committee on Military Affairs, which was so ordered.
------------------------------------------------
Southern Historical Society Papers
1959. New Series, Vol. 14, Old Series, Vol. LII.
2d Confederate Congress--(2d Session)--Thursday, February 7, 1865.
ENATE
The Senate met at 12 o'clock, M. Mr. Hunter, of Virginia, in the chair.
NEGRO SOLDIERS FOR THE CONFEDERATE ARMIES
Mr. Brown, of Mississippi, introduced the following:
Resolved, That the Committee on Military Affairs be instructed to report a bill, with the least practicable delay, to take into the military service of the Confederate States a number of negro soldiers, not to exceed two hundred thousand, by voluntary enlistment, with the consent of their owners, or by conscription, as may be found necessary; and that the committee provide in said bill for the emancipation of said negroes in all cases where they prove loyal and true to the end of the war, and for the immediate payment, under proper restrictions, of their full present value to their owners.
Mr. Brown said he regretted that every Senator who had in previous debate adverted to this subject, had taken occasion to say that he thought the time had not come for the employment of negro troops in our armies. He introduced this resolution to show that, in his opinion, the time had come when we should employ negro troops. Now, if ever, was the time; we were in the very crisis of our fate. He had seen with pleasure the revival of the war spirit, and he hoped it would sweep through the land. But still he feared our armies would not be strong enough to withstand the enemy without the employment of negro troops.--The enemy employed negroes, and made them fight well. We might do the same.
Mr. Maxwell said this subject would involve the discussion and narration of facts which it was not advisable should go to the ears of the enemy.--He did not object to our own people hearing what was said. He thought that the resolution should be transferred to the secret calendar.
Mr. Wigfall hoped that the resolution would not be transferred to the secret calendar. He thought the discussion upon it should be in open session. The Senator from Florida (Mr. Maxwell) had talked of the moral muscle of the people. The Senator would get no moral muscle in this way. There was no reason why the people should not hear everything that was said. There was no panick. As regarded the enemy's hearing anything about our affairs, he believed they knew all about them now.
Discussion on the motion to go into secret session was ruled out of order, and Senate resolved into secret session.

Southern Historical Society Papers
1959. New Series, Vol. 14, Old Series, Vol. LII.
2d Confederate Congress--(2d Session)--Wednesday, February 8, 1865.
On motion, by Mr. Burnett, the Senate resolved into secret executive session.
Note.--It will be recollected that on Tuesday the Senate went into secret session to take into consideration the resolution of Mr. Brown, of Mississippi, that the Committee on Military Affairs be instructed to report a bill, with the least practicable delay, to take into the military service of the Confederate States a number of negro soldiers, not to exceed two hundred thousand, by voluntary enlistment, with the consent of their owners, or by conscription, as may be found necessary; and that the committee provide in said bill for the emancipation of said negroes in all cases where they prove loyal and true to the end of the war, and for the immediate payment, under proper restrictions, of their full present value to their owners.
The injunction of secrecy having been removed from the proceedings, we give a statement of the material points thereof.
Mr. Burnett, of Kentucky, moved to so modify the resolution as to make it a resolution of enquiry, and not of positive instruction. The amendment was rejected.
A vote was then, after debate, taken on the resolution, and it was rejected--yeas 3, nays 13.
Those who voted in the affirmative were Messrs. Brown, Henry and Vest.
Those who voted in the negative were Messrs. Baker, Caperton, Graham, Haynes, Hunter, Johnson of Missouri, Maxwell, Oldham, Orr, Semmes, Walker, Watson and Wigfall.
This lays the uneasy ghost for the present at least.
EMPLOYMENT OF NEGROES IN THE ARMY
The Speaker laid before the House the bill returned from the Senate, providing for the employment of free negroes and slaves in certain menial capacities in the army. This bill was passed by the House last week, but having been amended by the Senate, is returned to the House for its concurrence.
Mr. Goode, of Virginia, moved that the rules be suspended, and the bill be considered, which was agreed to.
The bill being taken up, the House refused to agree to the Senate's amendments, and asked for a committee of conference.
Southern Historical Society Papers
1959. New Series, Vol. 14, Old Series, Vol. LII.
2d Confederate Congress--(2d Session)--Monday, March 6, 1865.
NEGRO SOLDIERS
Mr. Semmes moved to take up House bill to provide for raising negro troops.
The bill being on the secret calendar,
On motion, by Mr. Caperton, the Senate resolved into secret session.
Note.--On yesterday, in secret session, the House negro soldier bill was transferred to the open calendar, and made the order of the day for to-day, at 12 o'clock.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 06:30 pm
   
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With thanks to "Scribe"

Of the 27,000+ Confederates paroled after Lee's surrender at Appomattox there were 36 blacks.

"Quartermaster Department of 3rd Corps Ordinance Train Sixteen (16) slaves (names unknown)

"18th Georgia Battalion
Joe Parkman Musician Company A
George Waddell Musician Company A
Henry Williams Musician Company B
Louis Gardeen Musician Company A
James Polk Cook Company B
Scipio Africanus Cook Company B
William Read Cook Company C
John Lery Cook Company A


"Quartermaster Department, Gary's Cavalry Brigade
James Barabaha Guard
Thomas Bowen Teamster
Burress Bowen Teamster
John Bowen Teamster
Jack Caldwell Teamster


"Donaldsonville Artillery, Company B
Henry Blum Cook
L. Leport Servant
John Mamply Servant
John Semple Servant


"Others
Bob Teamster Slave of David Bridges
Jim Unknown Slave of T. M. Dittrick
Solomon Wright Blacksmith"


SOURCE: Appomattox Courthouse National Historic Site, Appomattox,
Virginia.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 06:32 pm
   
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Wall Street Journal, May 8, 1997

And here's some more from the WSJ article.


"'It's pure fantasy,' contends James McPherson, a Princeton historian and one of the nation's leading Civil War scholars. Adds Edwin Bearss, historian emeritus at the National Park Service: 'It's b.s., wishful thinking.' Robert Krick, author of 10 books on the Confederacy, has studied the records of 150,000 Southern soldiers and found fewer than a dozen were black. 'Of course, if I documented 12, someone would start adding zeros,' he says.

"These and other scholars say claims about black rebels derive from unreliable anecdotes, a blurring of soldiers and laborers, and the rapid spread on the Internet of what Mr. McPherson calls 'pseudohistory.' Thousands of blacks did accompany rebel troops -- as servants, cooks, teamsters and musicians. Most were slaves who served involuntarily; until the final days of the war, the Confederacy staunchly refused to enlist black soldiers.

"Some blacks carried guns for their masters and wore spare or cast-off uniforms, which may help explain eyewitness accounts of blacks units. But any blacks who actually fought did so unofficially, either out of personal loyalty or self-defense, many historians say.

"They also bristle at what they see as the disingenuous twist on political correctness fueling the black Confederate fad. 'It's a search for a multicultural Confederacy, a desperate desire to feel better about your ancestors,' says Leslie Rowland, a University of Maryland historian. 'If you suggest that some blacks supported the South, then you can deny that the Confederacy was about slavery and white supremacy.'

"David Blight, an Amherst College historian, likens the trend to bygone notions about 'happy plantation darkies.' Confederate groups invited devoted ex-slaves to reunions and even won Senate approval in 1923 for a 'mammy' monument in Washington (it was never built). Black Confederates, Mr. Blight says, are a new and more palatable way to 'legitimize the Confederacy.'"



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 07:09 pm
   
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RICHMOND, January 7, 1865.
General R. E. LEE:
DEAR GENERAL: I regret that in the succession of stirring events since the commencement of the present war I have had so little opportunity to renew our former, to me at least, exceedingly agreeable acquaintance, and particularly that I have so rarely if ever met with a suitable occasion to interchange views with you upon the important public questions which have been and still are pressing upon us with such intense interest.
It would have demanded, indeed, in view of the scarcely less than awful weight of care and responsibility Providence and your country have thrown upon you, and which you will pardon me for saying has been grandly met, no ordinarily favorable opportunity to have induced me to intrude upon your overburdened time and attention for such a purpose; and in approaching you now in this form upon a subject which I deem may prove of vital importance I offer no other apology than the momentous character of the issue forced upon the mind and heart of every Southern patriot.

I refer to the great question now stirring the public mind as to the expediency and propriety of bringing to bear against our relentless enemy the element of military strength supposed to be found in our negro population; in other words, and more precisely, the wisdom and sound policy, under existing circumstances, of converting such portions of this population as may be required into soldiers, to aid in maintaining our great struggle for independence and national existence.

The subject is one which recent events have forced upon our attention with intense interest, and in my judgment we ought not longer to defer its solution; and although the President in his late annual message has brought it to the attention of Congress, it is manifestly a subject in which the several States of the Confederacy must and ought to act the most prominent part, both in giving the question its proper solution and in carrying out any plan that may be devised on the subject.
As a member of the Virginia Senate, having to act upon the subject, I have given it much earnest and anxious reflection, and I do not hesitate to say here, in advance of the full discussion which it will doubtless undergo, that the general objections to the proposition itself, as well as the practical difficulties in the way of carrying it out, have been greatly lessened as I have more thoroughly examined them.

But it is not to be disguised that public sentiment is greatly divided on the subject; and besides many real objections, a mountain of prejudices growing out of our ancient modes of regarding the institution of Southern slavery will have to be met and overcome before we can attain to anything like that degree of unanimity so extremely desirable in this and all else connected with our great struggle.

In our former contests for liberty and independence he who was then at the head of our armies, and who became the Father of his Country, did not hesitate to give his advice on all great subjects involving the success of that contest and the safety and welfare of his country, and in so doing perhaps rendered more essential service than he did in the field; nor do I perceive why, upon such a subject and in such a crisis as the present, we should not have the benefit of your sound judgment and matured wisdom.
Pardon me, therefore, for asking, to be used not only for my own guidance, but publicly as the occasion may require, Do you think that by a wisely devised plan and judicious selection negro soldiers can be made effective and reliable in maintaining this war in behalf of the Southern States?

Do you think the calling into the service of such members of this population as the exigency may demand would affect injuriously to any appreciable or material extent the institution of Southern slavery? Would not the introduction of this element of strength into our military operations justify in some degree a more liberal scale of exemptions or details, and by thus relieving from active service in the field a portion of the intelligent and directing labor of the country (as seems to be needed)have a beneficial bearing upon the question of subsistence and other supplies?
Would not, in your judgment, the introduction of such a policy increase in other regards our power of defense against the relentless and barbarous warfare the enemy is now waging against us?

These are but some of the leading inquiries which suggest themselves. But I beg you, general, if, from a sense of duty and the promptings of your elevated patriotism, overriding all motives of unwise and ill-timed delicacy, you consent to reply to these inquiries for the purpose before frankly indicated, that you will give me your views, as fully as your engagements will allow, upon every other question or point of inquiry that may occur to you as likely to conduce to a wise decision of this grave and, as deemed by many, vitally important subject.

With the highest esteem, your obedient servant,
ANDREW HUNTER.


HEADQUARTERS ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA,
January 11, 1865.
Hon. ANDREW HUNTER,
Richmond, Va.:

DEAR SIR: I have received your letter of the 7th instant, and without confining myself to the order of your interrogatories, will endeavor to answer them by a statement of my views on the subject. I shall be most happy if I can contribute to the solution of a question in which I feel an interest commensurate with my desire for the welfare and happiness of our people.

Considering the relation of master and slave, controlled by humane laws and influenced by Christianity and an enlightened public sentiment, as the best that can exist between the white and black races while intermingled as at present in this country, I would deprecate any sudden disturbance of that relation unless it be necessary to avert a greater calamity to both. I should therefore prefer to rely upon our white population to preserve the ratio between our forces and those of the enemy, which experience has shown to be safe. But in view of the preparations of our enemies, it is our duty to provide for continued war and not for a battle or a campaign, and I fear that we cannot accomplish this without overtaxing the capacity of our white population.

Should the war continue under existing circumstances, the enemy may in course of time penetrate our country and get access to a large part of our negro population. It is his avowed policy to convert the able-bodied men among them into soldiers, and to emancipate all. The success of the Federal arms in the South was followed by a proclamation of President Lincoln for 280,000 men, the effect of which will be to stimulate the Northern States to procure as substitutes for their own people the negroes thus brought within their reach. Many have already been obtained in Virginia, and should the fortune of war expose more of her territory, the enemy would gain a large accession to his strength. His progress will thus add to his numbers, and at the same time destroy slavery in a manner most pernicious to the welfare of our people. Their negroes will be used to hold them in subjection, leaving the remaining force of the enemy free to extend his conquest. Whatever may be the effect of our employing negro troops, it cannot be as mischievous as this. If it end in subverting slavery it will be accomplished by ourselves, and we can devise the means of alleviating the evil consequences to both races. I think, therefore, we must decide whether slavery shall be extinguished by our enemies and the slaves be used against us, or use them ourselves at the risk of the effects which may be produced upon our social institutions. My own opinion is that we should employ them without delay. I believe that with proper regulations they can be made efficient soldiers. They possess the physical qualifications in an eminent degree. Long habits of obedience and subordination, coupled with the moral influence which in our country the white man possesses over the black, furnish an excellent foundation for that discipline which is the best guaranty of military efficiency. Our chief aim should be to secure their fidelity.

There have been formidable armies composed of men having no interest in the cause for which they fought beyond their pay or the hope of plunder. But it is certain that the surest foundation upon which the fidelity of an army can rest, especially in a service which imposes peculiar hardships and privations, is the personal interest of the soldier in the issue of the contest. Such an interest we can give our negroes by giving immediate freedom to all who enlist, and freedom at the end of the war to the families of those who discharge their duties faithfully (whether they survive or not), together with the privilege of residing at the South. To this might be added a bounty for faithful service.

We should not expect slaves to fight for prospective freedom when they can secure it at once by going to the enemy, in whose service they will incur no greater risk than in ours. The reasons that induce me to recommend the employment of negro troops at all render the effect of the measures I have suggested upon slavery immaterial, and in my opinion the best means of securing the efficiency and fidelity of this auxiliary force would be to accompany the measure with a well-digested plan of gradual and general emancipation. As that will be the result of the continuance of the war, and will certainly occur if the enemy succeed, it seems to me most advisable to adopt it at once, and thereby obtain all the benefits that will accrue to our cause.

The employment of negro troops under regulations similar in principle to those above indicated would, in my opinion, greatly increase our military strength and enable us to relieve our white population to some extent. I think we could dispense with the reserve forces except in cases of necessity.

It would disappoint the hopes which our enemies base upon our exhaustion, deprive them in a great measure of the aid they now derive from black troops, and thus throw the burden of the war upon their own people. In addition to the great political advantages that would result to our cause from the adoption of a system of emancipation, it would exercise a salutary influence upon our whole negro population, by rendering more secure the fidelity of those who become soldiers, and diminishing the inducements to the rest to abscond.

I can only say in conclusion that whatever measures are to be adopted should be adopted at once. Every day's delay increases the difficulty. Much time will be required to organize and discipline the men, and action may be deferred until it is too late.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. E. LEE,
General.



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CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA,
WAR DEPARTMENT, ENGINEER BUREAU,
Richmond, Va., November 19, 1864.
General R. E. LEE,
Commanding Army of Northern Virginia:

GENERAL: I am directed by the Honorable Secretary of War to write to you in reference to an organization for the negro force it is proposed to employ as laborers with the armies of the Confederacy. After some reflection I have presented the following outline to the War Department, and I would now respectfully ask you to consider it, and propose such modifications and alterations as your greater experience and better judgment may dictate.

The unit of the organization to be a gang or working party of 100 negroes under a "manager," assisted by three "overseers," first, second, and third. Eight of these gangs to be placed under a "superintendent," forming a force 800 strong, corresponding to a battalion. Three of these to be under a "director," making a working party or body 2,400 strong; the entire force serving with an army to be under one, two, or more directors, according to the number employed, and the whole to be under the general supervision and control of the chief engineer of each army. This last feature is advised because the negroes can be employed as organizations in the construction of defenses, in repairing roads and bridges, and in doing much of the work appertaining to the pioneer; and for like reason the whole negro force called into service should be placed under the general supervision and direction of the Engineer Bureau.

The negroes required to serve as teamsters and in other work not connected with the engineer service will be detailed in such numbers as may be required, but their names will still be borne on the rolls of the gang to which they belong. This feature is thought to be important in order that there should be some one to look after the negroes and take an interest in their welfare at all times. It is expected this will be done by the "managers" and "overseers." For the supplying of the negroes with clothing, camp equipage, rations, &c., it is proposed that a "purveyor" be appointed for each working party under a "director" with three assistant purveyors, being one for each party under a "superintendent." The purveyor to be a bonded agent, and if necessary, the assistant purveyors to be bonded also. Perhaps quartermasters already in the service might be assigned to these duties. For medical service, one surgeon or physician for each superintendent; for keeping the records and issuing instructions it is proposed that two clerks be allowed to each director and one to each superintendent. It is expected to call into service as fast as possible the 20,000 male slaves authorized by the act of February, 1864 (see General Orders, No. 32, for 1864), and to have this service completed by the Bureau of Conscription. The negroes when collected under the provisions of this law to be placed under temporary managers or guards detailed from conscript camps or from the reserves, and when collected in gangs of 50 to 100 to be forwarded under their charge to the armies or stations to which they may be assigned, exact records to be kept by the enrolling officers of the negroes taken into service, embracing the information usual on muster-rolls with the addition of the name of owner; a proper list to accompany each gang when forwarded to service, from which regular muster-rolls can be prepared; and also descriptive lists when details are made for labor outside of the engineer service. When the gangs first arrive at the places where they are to be employed they should be attached temporarily to the engineer troops and put to work at once under the officers commanding these troops.

When the number amounts to 800 they should be formed into eight full gangs of 100 each, organized as hereinbefore indicated and placed under a superintendent. Thus the negroes will be useful as laborers from the moment they are delivered. That these laborers when regularly organized may be systematically furnished with rations, clothing, and other necessaries, provision returns and requisitions will be prepared by the managers or overseers, whose certificates shall be considered of the same effect as those of company officers, and it will be the duty of the directors to examine and approve said requisitions, &c., and such approval will be the authority for the purveyors and assistant purveyors to make the issues called for. The manager will be made responsible for all property issued to the gang of 100 men under his charge. Field transportation to be furnished to these organizations of laborers in such quantity as the resources of the country will admit of. For the better regulation and efficiency of the labor as contemplated the chief engineer of each army should assign a field officer of engineer troops to inspect, supervise, and muster the organizations and to make assignments of working parties in such way and manner as may be ordered by the commanding general through his chief engineer, and it will be made the duty of the same field officer to see that details for labor outside of the engineer service be made promptly when ordered by the commanding general.

It is contemplated that the Quartermaster's Department should furnish clothing and other supplies usually provided by that department to this negro force; that the owners should be paid by this same department, and that the Commissary Department should furnish rations. It is proposed that this negro force be mustered as in case of troops, by the field officer appointed for that purpose, and duplicate muster-rolls forwarded through the chief engineer of the army to the Engineer Bureau. Pay-rolls to be prepared at the same time and forwarded through the chief quartermaster of the army to the Quartermaster-General, who at the expiration of each year shall send a suitable officer into each State to meet at certain convenient designated points all owners, who shall appear personally or by attorney, to receive payment for past services rendered by their slaves. In case of the loss of any negro by death, desertion, or otherwise, notice thereof shall be prepared in triplicate by the manager or overseer, showing the time and manner of his loss, to be forwarded through the chief engineer to the Engineer Bureau. This notice to be upon a simple and convenient printed form to be furnished by the Engineer Bureau; careful entries of such casualties to be made by the manager upon the muster-rolls of the gang. The managers and overseers should be selected as far as possible from the class of men accustomed to manage negroes on farms, plantations, and works of civil improvement. Careful measures should be taken, too, to look into the qualifications and past experience of each one, and this might be accomplished probably by assigning the duty to some engineer officers serving in each of the States; the officer for Virginia and North Carolina to be named by the chief engineer of your army. The officers for the coasts of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida to be named by the chief engineer of General Hardee's department. The officers for the Division of the West to be named by the chief engineer of that division. Should these managers and overseers prove incompetent, power to be vested in the commanders of the respective armies to return them to duty with the reserves. If guilty of malfeasance or malpractice, they should be at once ordered into the ranks for general service.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. F. GILMER,
Major-General and Chief of Engineer Bureau.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 07:34 pm
   
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"Generally speaking, anyone who wants to discuss the topic of "Black Confederates" ends up discussing the Louisiana Native Guards because there are very few verifiable examples of "Black Confederate" units to go on: the Louisiana Native Guards, a company in Mobile, some Partisan Rangers in Louisiana, maybe one or two others. None of those units was ever accepted into service by the Confederate government.

The *ONLY* verifiable example of a definite "Black Confederate" unit accepted by the Confederate government is 2 companies of infantry (total about 100 men) who can be placed at 3 locations in Virginia in a 15 day period in late March and April of 1865. (The three sightings: marching through Richmond one day in March; deploying as a wagon guard during the retreat to Appomattox; digging entrenchments in Farmville during the retreat to Appomattox.)

The reason there are no other verifiable examples is that it was illegal under Confederate law to enlist or conscript blacks, slave or free, as soldiers for most of the war. An exception to that was passed in 1861 allowing for blacks to be brought in as musicians or cooks -- traditional slave duties to many Southerners. After bitter debate, the Confederate Congress finally passed a law allowing blacks to serve as soldiers in other capacities in 1865 (March 24 or so). Even then, with General Lee in support and the Confederacy crashing down about their ears, about 1/3rd of the Confederate Congress voted against allowing slaves to serve as soldiers.

There was a doctor in Richmond, in the Army hospitals, who had been pushing for this and who had formed a group out of blacks working in the hospitals. They were accepted immediately, which is where the 2 companies referred to came from. General Lee, then the commanding general of the Army, did send out orders and recruiting officers for this, but no other "Black Confederate" unit is known to have formed. In at least one case, it is known that the orders arrived after the local Confederate forces had surrendered. Lee surrendered about 16 days after the Confederate Congress passed the law, so there really was no time to recruit, equip and train the units.

The Louisiana Native Guards did exist during the Civil War as a Louisiana Militia unit when the Confederacy was starting. This makes them impossible to ignore for any who discuss "Black Confederates".

They started forming with a meeting in March of 1861, were accepted by the Governor of that state in May (22nd?) when he appointed Henry D. Ogden (white) to be their commander and Lt. Col. At no time do they seem to have been issued arms from the state or the Confederate government. At no time do they seem to have ever served in the field until Farragut steamed up the river to seize New Orleans. In 1862, the state legislature passed a new law, enacting conscription for "white males", and disbanding all militia units not accepted into the state Volunteer units as of February 15. The Louisiana Native Guards officially were no longer in existence at that point. On March 24, with Louisiana being stripped of armed defenders to meet the crisis to the North (Grant's Henry & Donelson Campaign, the advance down the Mississippi under Pope, the fall of Nashville, frantic fortification at Vicksburg, Grant's arrival at Shiloh), the Governor seems to have alerted/reinstated this unit in the state forces (technically illegal, but it was an emergency). There is still no evidence of them being armed by any authority, state or Confederate.

When Farragut teamed past the forts, the Confederate Army withdrew from New Orleans to make it an "open city" (also because it looked to Lovell to be indefensible and a death trap for his army). All that was left were whatever militia and local defense forces groups the city had. The Louisiana Native Guard was one of these. They seem to have been assigned to the area by Esplanade in the French Quarter; supposedly about 300 showed up. After the surrender of the downriver forts (April 28), Farragut demanded the surrender of the city, the mayor rushed to accept, and the Louisiana Native Guards disbanded again. Ben Butler moved troops into the city.

After about a month or so, the Creole/Black leaders began to tell Union authorities that they had been more-or-less compelled to serve in the forces against them and would like to volunteer for the Union. Butler, not a supporter of black troops (he'd argues vigorously against it in 1859 in Massachusetts) ignored them. But he could not get more troops from Washington, and by August the Confederates had launched an attack on Baton Rouge that almost succeeded. Suddenly Butler was interested -- but the Lincoln administration was not yet ready for Black troops and would not authorize Black troops for Federal service. So Butler (a Boston lawyer) dusted off the LA Governor's activation of the Native Guards and started recruiting. He formed four regiments (the original seems to have been about 14-15 companies in a single regiment) of Louisiana Native Guards using his authority as military governor. These were later called the Corps d'Afrique and then became USCT regiments later in the war. A goodly number of men served in both Union and Confederate versions. Battalion will say it is fewer, because he only counts those who served in the 1st regiment, and not those who served in the other three.

To those who want to claim that there were tens of thousands of "Black Confederates" fighting for the South, these Louisiana Native Guards are very important. They will try to tell you they fought for the Confederacy -- but they never fired a shot in anger at Yankees. They will try to tell you they were in the Confederate army -- but they never were. They will try to find a way they were deployed in the field alongside Confederate troops, under Confederate command, such as at the Chalmette Line south of New Orleans -- but they never were. They will try to tell you they were a well-armed and equipped unit -- hence the falsified photo, I suppose, among other reasons -- but they never were.

You can find black individuals who served in Confederate units -- particularly as body servants, musicians, and cooks. You can find black teamsters -- but free black men were exempted from conscription of any kind until 1864, and civilian teamsters made $2/day while soldiers made $13/month; which do you think free black men would choose? You can even find the occasional man who apparently was Black (or Creole, which many Southerners in LA-MS-AL said was different) serving as a soldier somewhere. In any case, the free Black male military-age population of the Confederate states was less than 22,000 according to the 1860 Census, so where did the tens of thousands of "Black Confederates" come from?

Sorry for the dry and over-long post. All the hub-bub is really about arguments of people who wish to over-inflate the size of the "Black Confederate" contribution for one reason or another, and probably the over-reaction of those who discuss it with them.

Regards,
Tim"

http://civilwartalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25854&page=6



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 07:35 pm
   
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http://people.virginia.edu/~jh3v/retouchinghistory/essay.html



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 07:36 pm
   
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http://civilwarmemory.typepad.com/civil_war_memory/2007/11/black-confede-1.html

Black Confederates on the Internet

There are plenty of black Confederates to be found on the Internet; in fact, they seem to run rampant in the world of cyberspace. The number of men in Lee's Army of Northern Virginia fluctuates widely depending on the number of black Confederates believed to have served. Sifting through the mire of shoddy websites is one of the most difficult and time-consuming tasks. This is especially true in the world of the Civil War. In a sense the Internet embodies the democratic principles that we hold dear and gives meaning to the notion that "everyman his own historian." However, this democratic tendency comes with a price. Historical truth or any related epistemological notion will mean very little if individual Internet sites cannot be properly evaluated.

Most of my students use search engines such as Google and click on one of the first five sites that appear without any understanding of why they make the top of the list. Despite PageRank being the most important method Google uses to rank websites, it is not the only one. Other factors taken into account when calculating the Google rankings include: the contents of the title bar of the site; the page's meta tags; how many times the keyword is in the content of the page and the text used in the links coming to the site (anchor text). The point is that Google does not evaluate the content of the website directly. In other words, the first five sites may be more unreliable than those sites listed on p. 10.

Uncovering the publisher of a website is one of the most important ways to evaluate its reliability. I tend to steer my students away from websites that are published by individuals and organizations other than historical societies and institutions of higher learning.

Let's consider the issue of black Confederates as an example. As I stated at the beginning of this post most of the so-called evidence for this can be found on Internet sites. Consider the Petersburg Express site, which includes a page titled "Who Is Hiding This Southern History?." The page includes a number of photographs of black men in Confederate uniforms along with a number of passages that include no interpretation whatsoever apart from the conclusion that they demonstrate that a certain aspect of history has been intentionally ignored. Here is a very simple way of evaluating this site. Go to http://www.easywhois.com and type the url http://www.petersburgexpress.com into the search bar that says "domain name". The results will include the individual or organization that applied for the domain name. You can now search the individual or organization and inquire into their credentials. What qualifications, if any, in the field of history can be demonstrated that would validate the information provided on the website? Who exactly is Ashleigh Moody and what are his credentials? Do you have any reason at all to trust the content of the website based on the credentials uncovered? You can also find out which sites are linked to Petersburg Express by going to Altavista. In the search bar type "link:http://www.petersburgexpress.com" which will take you to the websites that are linked. A great deal of information can be discerned based on the quality of websites linked.

You can also do this for the 37th Texas Cavalry, which is another one of my favorite sites. This site contains a number of pages on so-called black Confederates and is even sponsoring a monument to honor their service, which is reminiscent of the move in the 1920s by the U.D.C. to construct a faithful slave memorial in Washington, D.C.:

Time is, indeed, running out for the chance to Remember and Honor the tens of thousands of Black, Brown, Red and Yellow Southerners and those of foreign birth who wore the gray and fought to defend their homes and families. There are those who are making concerted efforts to abolish or deny documented evidence of their service.

So, what are we to make of this site? The easywhois search reveals one Michael Kelly and the altavista search for links shows roughly 90 sites. I don't know what qualifications this individual has or anything else about the reliability of his "research." This is one place that you will continue to find the image of the 1st Louisiana Native Guards being used as evidence for large numbers of black Confederates. This has been discredited by any number of scholars. I completely steer clear of sites created by individuals and "organizations" that I cannot identify and I recommend demand that my students do the same.

No doubt many of you are far ahead in ways to evaluate websites, but most people don't know the first thing about vetting Internet sites. Following these suggestions is a first step.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 07:36 pm
   
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http://www.mdgorman.com/Events/black_confederates.htm

Note the dates and locations on all... the period sources just aren't out there.

http://www.mdgorman.com/Events/slaves_&_slavery.htm



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 07:37 pm
   
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CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT,
Richmond, Va., December 30, 1864.
Maj. Gen. HOWELL COBB:
"...Soldiers are our greatest necessity. What is your opinion as to the practicability and policy of employing negroes as soldiers;...
James Seddon, [Confederate] Secretary of War


HDQRS. GEORGIA RESERVES AND MIL. DIST. OF GEORGIA,
Macon, Ga., January 8, 1865.
Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,
Secretary of War, Richmond, Va.:

"...I think that the proposition to make soldiers of our
slaves is the most pernicious idea that has been suggested since the
war began..."
"...You cannot make soldiers of slaves, nor slaves of soldiers. The moment you resort to negro soldiers your white soldiers will be lost to you;...
"...The day you make soldiers of them is the beginning of the end of the revolution. If slaves will make good soldiers our whole theory of slavery is wrong—but they won’t make soldiers."

Howell Cobb
Major General



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 07:56 pm
   
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"...To substantiate tens of thousands or refute the presence of documentable few hundreds throughout all threater of operations during the conflict are both ridiculous.

The bottom line really to this subject is that it is a proven fact that both enslaved and free blacks were used by the Confederate government including their armies and its citizens to sustain the war effort. This subject, fascinating as is, loses critical elements that many a Confederate soldier would have gone hungry without the sustainment of slavery (as well as crops turned over, sold, or confiscated) in the production of corn and wheat. Many a Confederate soldier would have had less clothing without slave labor in cotton growth. Many a Confederate soldier would have died without the labor of black men and women in hospitals from Richmond to Texas. Many Confederate soldiers would have not been able to shield themselves from sheets of bullets and shrieking shells had not black men been engaged in the construction of miles of fortifications. Many Confederate soldiers would have lacked ammunition, weapons, and transportion without black men employed in factories and for railroad companies. These efforts for whatever reason have been pushed to the side to uphold combatants. Ultimately, millions of black Southerners, free and enslaved, were critically important to the Confederate war effort. Just the same whether the United States government took up the fundamental issue of enslavement or not, tens of thousands are clearly noted as having fled into Union lives and began to carve out a new life as free people. Richard Eppes of Prince George County never had a serious runaway issue until May-August 1862 when of 130 slaves, 106 ran away with the Army of the Potomac and their naval escort, one more ran after this period. At war's end, six had served with the U.S. Navy and one lied about his age and enlisted with the 19th U.S. Colored Troops. Only a few of his former slaves returned to work as freedmen.

Critically important to the Union war effort were thousands of fleeing people who never fired a shot at Confederate troops. These people unloaded thousands of ships, cooked for troops, were paid servants to Northern citizens who also ended up with Union troops, labored in hospitals, constructed fortifications, worked on railroads, and drove wagons.

This in fact was a national war and everyone from Maine to California, black, white, Indian, Chinese, and mixed heritage were affected by the war. No one should deny any of these players the place they deserve to be remembered in our own minds and in society at large."
__________________
Sincerely,
Emmanuel Dabney, Moderator
Atlantic Guard Soldiers' Aid Society
http://www.agsas.org

My addition to the conversation follws:

"My wife portrays a free woman of color w/ an impression more based on the day to day life of a black woman in 1860-65. It is something that is sorely underrepresented in pretty much any aspect of CW Re-enacting or Living History. Her own research came first from sitting at the feet of her grand mother and great aunt and just listening to the stories from those still directly connected to slavery.

My wife has concentrated far more upon the civilian aspect; the everyday life of a woman of color. While I have looked more at the military aspect.

Several years ago I started a project to educate myself on the roles & experiances of the Civil War era black man and woman. This was partly fueled by a crow eating experiance where I took for granted as legitimate some information on Black Confederates. A learning experiance for me that forced me to check much of what I thought to be legitimate research.

I was specifically told about a major Black CS force at the battle of "Dingles Mill" near Sumter SC in the last monthes of the war. I took for granted that the SCV man knew what he was talking about when he spoke of 300+ black confederate soldiers opposing Sherman's men there (in his defense he was merely repeating what he had been told). Upon further research I came to realize that Dingles Mill was so insignificant a skirmish that it isn't listed upon the rolls of battle for the war and to add insult to injury the 300 + black soldiers present were USCT men w/ nothing to do w/ Sherman. Some of the further research pointed that there MAY have been some black men manning one of the two guns contesting the USCT but that in reality they were likely the men who manhandled the guns there in the first place.

I spent the better part of two years (maybe 600 hours) on the project taking a lot of time looking through my copies of period diaries & letters and every other period letter or diary I could lay my paws on, to the tune of 2200 different authors. In all I found just over a dozen specific incidents referencing black men in any way directly aiding the CS cause by carrying arms. IIRC they were almost all Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas troops referred to. I was able to coalate a number of about 140 names of black men who might have been considered under arms; I added in the numbers of black men who joined the CS army in the last chaotic days of the CS outside Richmond and several other accounts, all told I came to a number of a little less than 1300 and gave myself an error rate that would put the numbers closer to 1400. I have since seen the referenced number of 13,000 and the methodolgy that came to such a number and feel it a reasonable number. While I consider it quite high I can understand it and feel it was reached through legitimate research.

THe only verified account of large numbers of black men in direct combat w/ US forces I have found were those men who took up arms at the last minute at Chickamauga. And IIRC I owe a big note of thanks to Mr White of the NMP for putting me on that track.

Mr Dabney puts forward a vital point when referencing black men and women of the Confederacy; the majority were directly involved with the war effort in a support role. Without which the war effort of the CS would have crumpled like so much newspaper. When one studies the works prepared around Petersburg, Vicksburg, Atlanta or all through the CS the majority were built by slave labor, the rapid and efficient repairs to damaged rail lines were accomplished by slave labor and the majority of foodstuffs used by the CS Army were procured through slave labor. The work done in factories to create many of the arms and munitions utilized by the CS was done through very efficient and effective slave labor. So that when one looks at it thus the amount of black support for the CS was nearer to three millions. Then question then becomes how much of it was willing?

THus Mr Dabney point is the salient one of this or any other discussion dealing with black men and women in the Confederacy.
"The bottom line really to this subject is that it is a proven fact that both enslaved and free blacks were used by the Confederate government including their armies and its citizens to sustain the war effort. This subject, fascinating as is, loses critical elements that many a Confederate soldier would have gone hungry without the sustainment of slavery (as well as crops turned over, sold, or confiscated) in the production of corn and wheat. Many a Confederate soldier would have had less clothing without slave labor in cotton growth. Many a Confederate soldier would have died without the labor of black men and women in hospitals from Richmond to Texas. Many Confederate soldiers would have not been able to shield themselves from sheets of bullets and shrieking shells had not black men been engaged in the construction of miles of fortifications. Many Confederate soldiers would have lacked ammunition, weapons, and transportion without black men employed in factories and for railroad companies. These efforts for whatever reason have been pushed to the side to uphold combatants. Ultimately, millions of black Southerners, free and enslaved, were critically important to the Confederate war effort."






Last edited on Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 07:58 pm by Johan Steele



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 07:59 pm
   
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ole
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Back when Cleburne made his proposal, it might have been possible to equip, train and feed black troops. By the time Davis, Lee and the Confederate Congress got around to authorizing the raising of 200,000 troops, it was a pipe dream.

ole



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 08:01 pm
   
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Just as a note to why I so adamantly dispute most of the accounts of the Black CS Soldier. When I was living in SC I visited a plave called Dingles Mill the site of a "ferocius battle where thousands died" according to a local SCV man and there were hundreds of black Confederates there. I was intrigued and quite impressed by the story I was told and came to firmly believe there were 30,000 or more black Confederate soldiers... I have since revised my opinion downward dramaticly.

I repeated the story, often... then I met a women by the name of Connie Boone who forced me to question the incident. I did my own research and discovered several things: 1. the battle was so insignificant that it isn't listed in any listing of CW battles. 2. The black troops there in most evidence were USCT men not CS. 3. due to a shortage of horses local slaves had been impressed to pull the CS guns and may or may not have manned them. 4. Almost everything I had been told about the incident was pure fabrication from the numbers involved to the tactics used.

Upon further research I discovered that what I was told about this particular incident was NOT an unusual distortion. For that alone I owe Connie a great apology which can never be given.

I have run sources to ground that claim hundreds of blackConfederates in arms to find one or sometimes 2 zeros added to the orignal number. Creative editing done w/ a very sick agenda.

My process for coming to the number of 1300 actual fighting black CS men is simple. I have run to ground approx 130 verifiable incidents involving black Soldiers fighting w/ the CS (40 approx w/ Forrest) and that is all. I figured that w/ Jim Crow and creative bookkeeping I was likely missing a goodly number in short I suspect I only found 10%. Most of these black men served in western Regiments. Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee etc.

I have NEVER read a first person account from the Union perspective of facing black CS troops in battle, or of capturing them or of burying them. Many of the letters I have read were written by abolishionists and perhaps 75-80% were written by western troops some of who were extremely racist men that would have complained or commented about seeing black CS soldiers. Having now read Union letters & diaries to the tune of better than 2000 different authors I think I stand on fairly firm ground.

I see the modern habit of finding a single account or a dozen of black men fighting for the CS and then I see the numbers carried all out of proportion. Why? Some feel the South must be vindicated and will willingly lie, distort & attempt to rewrite history to do so. Others feel that the US can do no good and "proof" that black CSers fought against this country only furthers that belief.

Thankfully there are a few, and I do mean a few, who attempt to use actual research to come to their own conclusion... unfortunately they are a minority.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 08:02 pm
   
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"The Confederate authorities never intended to use black troops for any mission with real importance. If the Native Guards were good for anything, it was for public display." [James G. Hollandsworth, Jr., The Louisiana Native Guards: The Black Military Experience During the Civil War,_ pp. 10-11]

The largest concentration of black Men to see combat I have ever read about was at Chickamauga, about 40 IIRC, part of TN Cav regt. Officers servents who got sick of getting shot at and went to work to stop it. There were some black men at 1st Manasas w/ the Washington Arty. "The Creole Guard" and they manned a pair of guns... IIRC 17 men. What happened to them after is as god a guess as any as they never again manned CS guns anywhere that I've managed to find. THen the two companies outside Richmond, which may have given a volley at some US Cav before hightailing it. They aren't listed on any parole record and they dissolved into the countryside before Appomatox.

There is no real evidence that large numbers of black men would have willingly served the CS as soldiers. Everywhere the US Army went in the south they were followed by huge numbers of former Slaves. The 1st LA Native Guard is often touted as proof that the CS was willing to enlist black men as soldiers. The only problem is the 1st LA Native Guard was never paid, equipped, armed or used in a military role by the CS. No one has ever been able to show me otherwise. They were disbanded and sent home. After New Orleans fell 1/4 to1/3 ended up back in the Army... the US Army forming the cadre for several Regiments.

Roughly 180,000 black men willingly served the US in pulling down the CS flag. From my own research maybe 1200 served the CS as soldiers. I've seen the number of 13,000 put forward, looked at the methodology used to come to that number and find that reasonable, that said I've seen nothing to trump my own number of 1200-1400.



 Posted: Sun Nov 2nd, 2008 08:33 pm
   
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Great points, Johan. I agree with you criticisms of people touting the Native Guards as proof of black soldiers in the Confederacy. (I think Dixie Outfitters even has a t-shirt about them.)

From my own Louisiana research it appears as you say. The Cs authorities never had any intention to actually use them, and it isn't altogether clear that the members of the Native Guards were willing participants in the Confederate war effort. If I recall correctly, their numbers were largely made up by the gens de couleur of New Orleans, who probably rightly feared some retaliation if they didn't look to be supporting the state in which they had achieved prominence.



 Posted: Mon Nov 3rd, 2008 12:08 am
   
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Johan, amazing reading and effort on your behalf to provide the other side of the story. I really appreciate all you have done to add to this discussion.

I was taken aback by the web site that described slaves  in numbers in the tens of thousands who actively fought in the Confederate Army. It didn't square with what happened to Cleburne when he proposed doing just that very thing. Davis's reaction and the even more extreme reactions of some Confederate officers simply couldn't have happened if tens of thousands of slaves were already fighting along side white Confederate males. One officer even wanted Cleburne charged as a traitor for suggesting anything so preposterous.  

Back to the web site in question. I find the statue of a slave-soldier marching along side his white male fellow soldiers interesting. There isn't enough shown of this statue to find out when this scene may have taken place, where the statue is and what the statue is meant to portray.



 Posted: Mon Nov 3rd, 2008 11:58 am
   
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CF,

Here's a web site featuring the Confederate monument in question:

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/csa-mem.htm

If you scroll down to the fifth and then to about the 9th or 10th photo, you'll see a closer view of the slave-soldier in question, and the first thing that jumped out at me is that he is not carrying a weapon, as far as I can tell, thus implying (to me at least) that he is serving as something else other than a front-line grunt. That might speak volumes right there. Perhaps it's a more accurate depiction than we might otherwise first want to give credit for?



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 Posted: Mon Nov 3rd, 2008 04:23 pm
   
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Bama, yes there were. But frankly the number was insignificant. Those who did fight and serve should be honored. However, there are quite a few who willingly and eagerly inflate their numbers.

List me the Regiments and the battles were thousands of black CS soldiers made a difference.

All that can be done is to list Black CS soldiers by ones and twos here and there. Because that is the reality of it. It is telling that the one monument w/ a Black CS soldier does not show him bearing arms.

It was not until the last desperate days of the CS that a serious effort was made to recruit black men for service in the CS army. By then it was too late... and even then there was rabid condemnation of such an idea. All the while the USCT had been in the field for years, plural, and giving stellar service. Roughly one in six soldiers in the US army east of the Appalachians was a black man. None could deny their effectiveness and yet many in the CS congress did. March 1865, need more be said than: "note the date?"



 Posted: Mon Nov 3rd, 2008 04:43 pm
   
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Johan-

  I have no problem with your estimate of 1300 black Confederate soldiers, and your belief that most served in western regiments. Its more than I would have guessed, but obviously, you have researched the question more than I have.

  I agree that those who maintain that there were: "Tens of thousands" should be challenged and refuted. But the ones who bother me more are those whose prejudices prevent them from acknowledging that ANY black men could have voluntarily served as Confederate soldiers.



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 Posted: Mon Nov 3rd, 2008 06:11 pm
   
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Bama it is telling that while all the others soldiers on the monument are armed he is not. While a possible explanation might be that he was intended to portray a teamster or cook. That isn't what the revisionists think or say. It is also telling that is what you picked out to attack me with, not TD, PvtClewell or any others who have replied to the thread. When considering the rest of the information on this thread it is very telling indeed.

There stands one, count it, one monument to Black CS soldier erected by those who were there. There have been a couple more erected that honor individual black men who bore arms. The big monuments w/ black men potrayed or honored are missing. The CS solider monuments in SC, NC, VA, MS, AL etc don't mention ot portray the black man. Do you really think so little of the men who were there to think they would belittle their own if they had been in the ranks? I do not.

There are four monuments to the USCT erected prior to 1916 and thousands, yes I said thousands, of smaller ones. Every single white stone provided by the US over a grave is a monument. Every single GAR star or metal badge is one as well.

Yes, there were black men who fought for the CS. The number was small, probably less than 13,000 IMO less than 1300. So spend your time honoring those who actually did fight and stop trying to spread the myth of tens of thousands. I've seen the patently ridiculous number of 250,000 put forward on other boards. I believe all for a purpose: to denigrate the USCT and put forward the idea that black men served by the thousands because slavery wasn't really all that bad.

As to giving a soldier or soldiers an apology... I have owed some soldiers an apology and when I do owe them one I provide one. Perhaps you owe the 4 millions who were held in bondage in the CS an apology for forgetting the role they had in keeping your CS alive for four years. For w/out that slave labor there would have been no CS war effort. Look hard at what Ranger Dabney had to say on the subject farther up the thread.

As to whether I was in combat arms depends entirely upon what point in my career you're asking about but suffice it to say I was carrying or in reach of a firearm for a good portion of that career. It doesn't matter. A firearm does not a soldier make. For example when you pick up an AR-15 and call yourself a soldier; are you? I know the US Army doesn't think so.

Show me the muster rolls, the records of arms, uniforms, Accoutraments, pay etc that were provided to the tens of thousands of black CS soldiers and maybe I'll give you a bit of credence. At best, you can show a couple here and thre scattered throughout the CS. Hands down Forrest is the only large scale, if 40 odd can be considered large scale, existance of Black CS soldiers.

The words of the men of the day aren't good enough for you and for that perhaps you are the one who owes someone an apology. The CS soldier did not consider the black man beside him a soldier because there weren't many there. The CS high command did not consider a black man a soldier for exactly the same reason. And the CS politicos... didn't consider a black man a soldier because they had a hard enough time considering a black man a human being. This is quite clear from reading what was said in the CS halls of power. Was the US any better? No, the black man got the short end of the stick in the face of American racism. Was it better for a black man on the ranks of the US than on the plantation? Yes, for he was being paid. He was often being given a chance to learn to read to receive a degree of education that was denied him, by law, in the CS. And by the end of the war he was treated w/ a modicum of respect that comes w/ wearing the uniform.

On another thread you demanded that I reply with an answer on what I thought the role of the SCV, SUVCW was. I did and I stand by that. For your lack of a response... nothing more need be said. The role is to honor the men who fought and died. I do, by supporting the fiction of tens of thousands of black CS soldiers you do not. That is the difference. I support history not fantasy. And I shall continue to support the memory of those who died as well as those who lived.

I bid you a good day.

Last edited on Mon Nov 3rd, 2008 06:12 pm by Johan Steele



 Posted: Mon Nov 3rd, 2008 06:31 pm
   
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You claim to be the champion of the soldier. do you consider this man less of a soldier because he is not depicted as being armed?
If he was enlisted, paid, and equipped as a soldier, it doesn't much matter what he carried -- whether musical instruments or cooking implements, hammers, shovels or axes, he was a soldier. The thing is, most counted as black Confederates were slaves (servants), impressed slaves, or employed freedmen. (Enlisted is missing.)

Much has been said about Forrest's 45 slaves who rode with him. One can't doubt that each of them picked up a rifle now and then -- and did some shooting; but describing them as soldiers stretches the definition.

And your "evidence" is well-known in CWforum circles. It's trotted out frequently everytime the subject comes up. It doesn't improve with age.

ole



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 Posted: Mon Nov 3rd, 2008 06:46 pm
   
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Once again a promising thread is ruined. I'm not taking anyone's side, but if you people can't learn to discuss a subject without jumping to personal comments and demands for apologies, then don't discuss at all.

Pam, I apologize that another of your well thought-out threads got sidetracked. I can't tell you how fed up I am with this.



 Posted: Mon Nov 3rd, 2008 06:49 pm
   
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I agree that those who maintain that there were: "Tens of thousands" should be challenged and refuted. But the ones who bother me more are those whose prejudices prevent them from acknowledging that ANY black men could have voluntarily served as Confederate soldiers.

Well said, TD. I do hope you will grant us the leeway to have a few fools and scoundrels on our side, as well.

It can't be doubted that, among such a significant population of freed or enslaved blacks, there would be some who would voluntarily serve what they considered to be their best interest.

I know of no one who will deny that there were gun-toting black Confederates. There had to have been hundreds if not thousands -- but certainly not 10's of thousands. I suppose that it boils down to the definition of a soldier. Ten's of thousands did serve the Confederate cause, but were they soldiers?

In my way of thinking, a servant who looks after his master cannot be counted. The thousands of slaves impressed to build fortifications cannot be called soldiers. Civilian freedmen hired to be teamsters, musicians, cooks, and laborers cannot be called soldiers. Yes, they served the Cause. But were they soldiers?

Enlisted, paid, and equipped by any entity authorized to carry out the government's policies can legitimately be called a soldier. "Enlisted" is the key word.

Much appreciate your input.

ole



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 Posted: Mon Nov 3rd, 2008 07:00 pm
   
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ole-

  I think we're pretty much in agreement. Most black men who contributed to the Confederate war effort in concert with the Confederate military were not soldiers. They were mostly teamsters, laborers, cooks, and servants of various kinds. If they are the ones we are counting, then they numbered in many thousands. Many times that number helped the war effort through their labors on the home front.

 It has been pointed out that blacks could make more money as: "independent contractors" than they could as private soldiers. That to me makes those who were Confederate soldiers even more remarkable. They might have been a small number percentage wise, but they were there and they fought. As Johan says, they should be honored.

  I also agree that you don't have to be a member of a combat branch to be a soldier. Many jobs that need to be done don't require combat skills. I was in a combat branch of the Army, and among those I most admired were medics. Some of them were conscientious objectors, but they went onto battlefields without weapons and saved the lives of soldiers. Thats all that mattered to me.



 Posted: Mon Nov 3rd, 2008 07:19 pm
   
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Bama46 wrote: You claim to be the champion of the soldier. do you consider this man less of a soldier because he is not depicted as being armed? How many truck drivers do you suppose there in the armed forces today? Cooks? clerks? Technicians of various types? Are they not soldiers? Are they sort of quasi soldiers or full brothers in arms? when you were in the military (air force, correct), were you of combat arms or notthis quite frankly disturbs me and I believe you owe one hell of a lot of soldiers an apologyThat is quite a straw man ;)HankC



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 Posted: Mon Nov 3rd, 2008 07:31 pm
   
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Both Steiner and Douglass had agendas that did not mind twisting (or making up) facts to suit their purposes. The same is true of turn-of-the-century southern organizations who erected and planned monuments to the 'faithful slave', for example.

 

Anyone oragnized, mustered, trained, drilled, supplied, paid (and had the usual forms filed in triplicate) was certainly a soldier.

 

There is little reason to believe that southern blacks in partisan units *were not* soldiers, but neither is there much reason to think that their white comrades *were*.

 

Thousands of Union civilians erected fieldworks at Cincinnati and Harrisburg, among others, during emergencies. No one considers them soldiers...

 

 

HankC



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 Posted: Mon Nov 3rd, 2008 09:44 pm
   
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Bama46 wrote: Hank et al...

seems to me that what is being said is that the definition of who was a soldier is whoever y'all say it is and eveyone else needs to be quiet and fall into line.

That isn't true.



 Posted: Mon Nov 3rd, 2008 09:47 pm
   
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javal1 wrote:
Once again a promising thread is ruined. I'm not taking anyone's side, but if you people can't learn to discuss a subject without jumping to personal comments and demands for apologies, then don't discuss at all.

Pam, I apologize that another of your well thought-out threads got sidetracked. I can't tell you how fed up I am with this.


Javal and an extension of the apology to Pam, once again I apolgize. I said before that I would not reply to Bama. I backslid and did.



"Johan,
You claim to be the champion of the soldier. do you consider this man less of a soldier because he is not depicted as being armed? How many truck drivers do you suppose there in the armed forces today? Cooks? clerks? Technicians of various types? Are they not soldiers? Are they sort of quasi soldiers or full brothers in arms? when you were in the military (air force, correct), were you of combat arms or not
this quite frankly disturbs me and I believe you owe one hell of a lot of soldiers an apology"


I took offense at being accused of something that is a load of hooey, and not for the first time from him. Bama enjoys baiting me and I fell for it. My apologies to all; there are no excuses.

Last edited on Mon Nov 3rd, 2008 09:55 pm by Johan Steele



 Posted: Mon Nov 3rd, 2008 10:17 pm
   
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 Posted: Mon Nov 3rd, 2008 11:26 pm
   
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Apology accepted, but. . .

Do we have to give up this thread, or can we take a deep breath and continue?  Because this has been one of the most informative ones I've read lately, and it's opened up more questions for me than answers. How about it?

Pam



 Posted: Tue Nov 4th, 2008 12:04 am
   
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It seems that only one official view is accepted on this thread.
Somebody ought to inform Javal, then. I'm reasonably certain he hasn't adopted an acceptable, official view. "Black Confederates" is one of those insoluble topics that simply will not go away. The discussion usually ends with the link you posted.

Until it starts again at another place in another time.

ole



 Posted: Tue Nov 4th, 2008 12:12 am
   
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Do we have to give up this thread, or can we take a deep breath and continue?  Because this has been one of the most informative ones I've read lately, and it's opened up more questions for me than answers. How about it?
I vote for the taking a deep breath and continuing. It is an interesting subject and much discussed on all the CW boards (except those who have grown tired of watching the tread deteriorate into personal invective).

Us olders tend to forget that there are those who really want to explore the subject during which they can make up their own minds. Hang in there; this, too, shall pass. (Until it pops up again.)

ole



 Posted: Tue Nov 4th, 2008 01:32 am
   
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Sgt. Biggenbottom wrote:

=+++)(90:D



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War Means Fighting And Fighting Means Killing - N. B. Forrest When war does come, my advice is to draw the sword and throw away the scabbard." Stonewall Jackson


 Posted: Tue Nov 4th, 2008 01:56 am
   
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pamc153PA wrote: Here's one to ponder and discuss. . 

Should slaves have been allowed to/been drafted to fight for the South? What ramifications might this have had, for the South, for the North? Would it have made a difference if this had occurred earliy in the war, or later?  Would it have changed the outcome of the war at all? Etc., etc.

Pam


 

Deep breath...

Pam, I can think of several impediments off the top of my head.

The south had a tremendous infrastructure in place to maintain the institution of slavery. Extending this to the military would tax already scarce resources and morale.



Shifting the stronger slaves to armed military service leaves the weaker ones in an even greater support role. Given the history of the last 150 years, I suspect many of the slaves would be denied ‘induction’ on medical grounds. IIRC, even during the great crisis of WWII, 25% of draftees were deferred on medical grounds, mostly due to the effects of the great depression

The idea of an armed slave was counter to many threads woven through southern society.

 

HankC



 Posted: Tue Nov 4th, 2008 02:23 am
   
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It seems that much of this discussion has devolved into how the word "soldier" is defined. How one does define that word would have a strong bearing on what the answer to Pam's question would be.

My original answer is written with the idea in mind of a uniformed soldier  who holds official rank and is armed to fight in battles and skirmishes. I do believe that is what Cleburne had in mind when he suggested arming soldiers to fight because that was exactly what the Confederacy lacked--fighting men for infantry, cavalry and artillery.

The Confederacy was already using slaves and freedmen of color for teamsters, cooks, servents, and many other support functions. What Cleburne wanted was more fighting men. That this is true can be found in orders from Generals such as Lee, himself, who believed too many men were "hiding" in support functions as teamsters, for example, when they could be of far greater service at the front  fighting.

That said, this discussion seems to have to come to the point at which some want to call the support men "soldiers."  In contrast,  I classify most of them as what the military uses today--civilians working for the military.

 A soldier is one who wears a uniform, has a rank, is trained and drilled, belongs to a specific organizational unit, follows the chain of command, is committed to the military branch to which he belongs by a specified contract for terms and length of duty, is governed by military law, military justice and systems of courts martial. An exception to the uniform requirement would be soldiers engaged in covert ops. That is my amateur's definition.

One way to judge the numbers of slave-soldiers would be to read Confederate hospital records of injured Black uniformed soldiers. Another would be to examine pay records for companies and regiments. Especially valuable would be state Confederate pension records. How many Black soldiers qualified for a Confederate pension for their wartime service?   

 

Last edited on Tue Nov 4th, 2008 02:24 am by CleburneFan



 Posted: Tue Nov 4th, 2008 03:00 am
   
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How many Black soldiers qualified for a Confederate pension for their wartime service?  
 
I have seen verifiable evidence of 129 in one state. (But then, this recollection is old and I couldn't begin to point to the records. But you get the idea.) Those who might have actually been rifle-musket toting Confederates were at the time demoted to musicians, teamsters, orderlies or cooks. We're now engaged in trying to recreate all of them as loyal adherents. I'm going to figure that there were some, but not nowhere near as many as some would like us to believe.

Until someone has anything to add.

ole



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 Posted: Tue Nov 4th, 2008 03:30 am
   
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Chicken!



 Posted: Tue Nov 4th, 2008 06:05 am
   
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the total, this year alone, is now : 7



 Posted: Tue Nov 4th, 2008 06:22 pm
   
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In the book Retreat from Gettysburg by Kent Masterson Brown, he writes that the wagoners for the Confederate advance on Gettysburg were black and based his estimate of 7000 to 10000 slaves on the size of the wagon train.

I would say though, these wagoners were rented out by their masters for the job.  My only question to this is why didn't huge numbers of slaves escape instead of going back South?  There were some that escaped but there were also some Confederate white soldiers that stayed north.



 Posted: Tue Nov 4th, 2008 08:17 pm
   
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It was not unusual for slaves to aid the Roman army during their campaigns. Are these men "soldiers" too?



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 Posted: Tue Nov 4th, 2008 08:43 pm
   
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the total, this year alone, is now : 7

:? Black Confederate Soldiers?  :P



 Posted: Tue Nov 4th, 2008 09:07 pm
   
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Sgt -

Took you up on your offer to delete that post. Not up to you to judge others here. Please don't fan flames when I'm trying to put a fire out.



 Posted: Tue Nov 4th, 2008 09:21 pm
   
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Old Blu wrote: My only question to this is why didn't huge numbers of slaves escape instead of going back South?  There were some that escaped but there were also some Confederate white soldiers that stayed north.
Escaping would have been easier in theory than in practice.  Keep in mind that those 7000-10,000 slaves are surrounded by 50,000+ armed soldiers.  Some could, and I would imagine did, escape, likely in ones and twos to avoid notice.  It would be easier to get lost in the crowd, become inconspicuous, etc.  An escape attempt en masse, though, would have been noticed immediately.



 Posted: Tue Nov 4th, 2008 11:26 pm
   
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Please forgive my ignorance, but just how did those black teamsters, cooks, etc. become part of the Confederate army's support staff? I know that some probably "joined up" when their owners did, but what about the others? Would owners really "rent" their slaves out to the army, if they were so reluctant to allow them to leave their plantations?

Some good points about the escape rate of those black "soldiers." Running away sounds easier than it was, in all instances, I think.

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



 Posted: Tue Nov 4th, 2008 11:48 pm
   
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pamc153PA wrote: Please forgive my ignorance, but just how did those black teamsters, cooks, etc. become part of the Confederate army's support staff? I know that some probably "joined up" when their owners did, but what about the others? Would owners really "rent" their slaves out to the army, if they were so reluctant to allow them to leave their plantations?

Some good points about the escape rate of those black "soldiers." Running away sounds easier than it was, in all instances, I think.

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


One of the books I read recently did discuss the practice in the south of "renting out slaves" to those who didn't have them but needed them for, say, planting or harvesting, or some similar short term work. Note, the slave's owner received the rental money, not the slave.

That said, I'm not sure that owners rented slaves to the army because the army would have had to ante up the money to pay the rent. Now, I have to dig into my piles of books. Did I read somewhere that at one time slave owners, especially those who owned ten or more slaves, were either asked or required to "lend" some slaves to the war effort? Maybe someone else recalls. I don't want to start a myth if this notion is totally unfounded.

You do bring up a good point that I never did consider. The number of support staff in the rear of the army driving mule and ox teams, cooking, laundry and all manner of collateral chores, male hospital nurses, and so on, did represent a huge number of blacks both in Lee's armies and the other Confederate armies. Where all of these blacks came from (Freedmen or slaves), whether they were all coerced or some, did in fact volunteer or even were paid a humble amount for their services I don't know.

Last edited on Wed Nov 5th, 2008 01:51 am by CleburneFan



 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 12:02 am
   
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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.



 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 01:07 am
   
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There was a little bit of all of the above. A freeman might be paid $2 a day as a teamster. A slave might garner their master the same. A skilled slave could command considerably more. Robert Smalls made his master $20 a day as a river pilot.

I've read of press gangs of slaves used by local military commanders, often over the objection of their owners because once the army got ahold of them it was difficult to get them back or even to get paid for them.

As to the slaves utilized by Lee's Army on the way to Gettysburg... the ANV was followed closely by slave catchers rounding up any black person they found and sending them south. Stuart at one point grew furious when he came across a batch of slave catchers that were better mounted than his own men. He had his men trade their worn down horses for the slave catchers fresh ones; he may or may not have done it at gunpoint.

For a slave to run away from his the army also meant running away from his family back to home. Often if a runaway wasn't caught punishment was inflicted on his family and that punishment could be brutal. To runaway wasn't only a risk for the runner but those who stayed behind.



 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 02:28 am
   
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I've been thinking about this topic. I'm thinking if I'm a young, male slave when war breaks out, I would jump at the chance to be a teamster or cook or make and apply horseshoes or repair saddles and bridles or set up tents or whatnot for the Confederate army because those men probably enjoyed a degree of autonomy unknown on the plantations of the South. They were probably pretty much their own bosses for the first time in their lives.

At least I wouldn't be bent over all day long in the hot sun picking cotton or stuck up to my knees in watery rice fields.

Here's a question if Pam doesn't mind my piggy-backing on her original question. Often wagon trains or parts of wagon trains were captured. What happened to the slaves that Union forces captured? Were they put to work for the Union or were they imprisoned along with their white male Confederates or how did such an event play out for the captured slaves?

 



 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 02:45 am
   
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Here's a question if Pam doesn't mind my piggy-backing on her original question. Often wagon trains or parts of wagon trains were captured. What happened to the slaves that Union forces captured? Were they put to work for the Union or were they imprisoned along with their white male Confederates or how did such an event play out for the captured slaves?

What an absolutely wonderful question! I have no idea. (Ever think you'd hear that from me?)

ole



 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 11:44 am
   
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Another point that interest me is the Wagoners Fight that Imboden did in Falling Waters.  If the Wagoners were black that would mean slaves fought for the Confederacy when the Wagoners were armed to protect Lee's wagon train.



 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 12:48 pm
   
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Duke,

This reminds me of interesting points regarding the differences between Roman and American slavery. It's one I run across fairly often, mostly along the lines that 'Jesus condoned slavery', at least implicitly.

Roman slaves were usually prisoners of war. Typically there choice was to be killed or to be enslaved. These days we might call them indentured servants.

It was [not] their skin color that enslaved them but rather their fighting for, or living in, a conquered province.

Bondage was seldom for life, it was more akin to the captured German soldiers laboring in US fields and factories during World War II. In other words, Roman slaves paid for the costs of conquering their homeland.

Many Roman slaves lived apart from their masters and came to 'work' for regular hours. Their families were not considered slaves, though they were not citizens either. Slavery did not include the slaves family and descendants.

Note again that I am speaking of slaves in the Roman empire from about 300 BC to 100 AD. The Old Testament Jewish slaves in Egypt are a completely different story and *very much* parallel the history of slavery in the US.


HankC

Last edited on Wed Nov 5th, 2008 12:50 pm by HankC



 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 11:38 pm
   
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The Africans taken by the slave traders were often prisoners of war as well. Don't forget that in Rome crucifixion was reserved only for slaves and criminals. That's a pretty horrible way to die.

I don't consider the slaves aiding the Roman legions to be soldiers just as I don't consider the slaves doing menial labor for the Confederate army to be soldiers.

Last edited on Wed Nov 5th, 2008 11:38 pm by The Iron Duke



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 Posted: Wed Nov 5th, 2008 11:42 pm
   
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The Confederate army often impressed slaves from their masters.  This was one of the many continual complaints made against the Confederate government.  Even when they finally did pass that bill in 1865 to arm slaves, they could only be allowed to serve in the army if their masters first gave permission.

If there really had been 20-30,000 black Confederates, then there would have been no reason for Cleburne to make his proposal.

Last edited on Wed Nov 5th, 2008 11:45 pm by The Iron Duke



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 Posted: Thu Nov 6th, 2008 03:37 pm
   
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Various posters quoted or wrote:
Some feel the South must be vindicated and will willingly lie, distort & attempt to rewrite history to do so. Others feel that the US can do no good and "proof" that black CSers fought against this country only furthers that belief. Thankfully there are a few, and I do mean a few, who attempt to use actual research to come to their own conclusion... unfortunately they are a minority.

Time is, indeed, running out for the chance to Remember and Honor the tens of thousands of Black, Brown, Red and Yellow Southerners and those of foreign birth who wore the gray and fought to defend their homes and families. There are those who are making concerted efforts to abolish or deny documented evidence of their service.

I believe all for a purpose: to denigrate the USCT and put forward the idea that black men served by the thousands because slavery wasn't really all that bad.

'It's a search for a multicultural Confederacy, a desperate desire to feel better about your ancestors,' says Leslie Rowland, a University of Maryland historian. 'If you suggest that some blacks supported the South, then you can deny that the Confederacy was about slavery and white supremacy.'
Black Confederates, Mr. Blight says, are a new and more palatable way to 'legitimize the Confederacy.'"

Perhaps you owe the 4 millions who were held in bondage in the CS an apology for forgetting the role they had in keeping your CS alive for four years. For w/out that slave labor there would have been no CS war effort.


 

Daddy always said if you throw a rock into a pack of dogs, the only one that yelps is the one that got hit, and that's true enough. It's also true that if you throw a handful a gravel at that same pack, you shouldn't be surprised if they all come back after you.

My granddaddy was a klansman.  His daddy was a klansman. His daddy was a slave-holder and Confederate Veteran.  His daddy was a slave-holder and so on all the way back to Jamestown.  I am a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.  I am a member of a Confederate Living History organization.  I fly Confederate National Flags on my property.

Fom this simple statements of facts, someone with an agenda would make certain assumptions about my personal beliefs.  These may be accurate or not, but they would still be assumptions. Or, to use another word, prejudice.

I, for one, feel no need to "try to legitimize the Confederacy", by fair means or foul. I lose no sleep worrying that there are people who spend every waking moment online trying to discredit any Southern Heritage organization, whether mainstream or fringe. There have always been Vocal Yankees who paint with a large brush and when confronted with people who just don't agree with their exact point of view, talk louder. (The reason for the longevity of the sobriquet "The War to Supress Yankee Arrogance".)

The tension and arguments in this thread has not been about how many black men served under arms in the Confederate Army.  This is a legitimate, if tired, discussion. The problem, not only in this thread, but throughout this entire board, and indeed, most Civil War forums, is the personal enmity aroused when that handful of gravel is tossed at a pack of dogs that have no concern for or interest in the personal agenda of the thrower.  Some of them dogs bite. 



 Posted: Thu Nov 6th, 2008 10:57 pm
   
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Kaho'wa



 Posted: Thu Nov 6th, 2008 11:37 pm
   
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Kaho wa nete matte ?
{For good luck, sleep and wait.} or {Success comes to the one who sleeps and waits.}

Oh, yeah:

Omae wa usotsuki.  Omae wa sagishi.
Minna ni barasu zo.  Kusotare .... 


edit:
{unless you're speaking Lakota ....then it's something about striking with a knife ....:shock:}{Lel wau slolyewacin. ;)}




 

Last edited on Fri Nov 7th, 2008 12:31 am by Sgt. Biggenbottom



 Posted: Fri Nov 7th, 2008 12:42 am
   
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Say what?



 Posted: Fri Nov 7th, 2008 12:43 am
   
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That's what I thought, but ....



 Posted: Fri Nov 7th, 2008 01:32 am
   
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Lakota: Kaho'wa: hit the dog so it barks.



 Posted: Fri Nov 7th, 2008 03:26 am
   
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hmmm.
Perhaps "strike dog until (it) cries". The verb-ending and animate plural object pronoun are problematic. (Kahe'wa ?) And I was confused by your use of the instrumental/stative verb prefix ka- (by striking) with wa- (by use of knife); I'm unclear on the modulation of subject-object-verb constructions in formal sentence structure versus verb-pronoun constructions in such phrases as the example. (Ka-sunka-wakan, &etc.) But then, this not exactly my forte. I only realized it was most likely lakotaiyapi after posting; I had assumed it was something else on first glance. Interesting.... or just pasluka.



 Posted: Fri Nov 7th, 2008 03:29 am
   
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Slaves as Southern soldiers?

Please note the topic and stick to it.



 Posted: Fri Nov 7th, 2008 04:04 am
   
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Sorry. Linguistical fetish.



 Posted: Tue Nov 11th, 2008 05:07 pm
   
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CleburneFan wrote: I've been thinking about this topic. I'm thinking if I'm a young, male slave when war breaks out, I would jump at the chance to be a teamster or cook or make and apply horseshoes or repair saddles and bridles or set up tents or whatnot for the Confederate army because those men probably enjoyed a degree of autonomy unknown on the plantations of the South. They were probably pretty much their own bosses for the first time in their lives.

At least I wouldn't be bent over all day long in the hot sun picking cotton or stuck up to my knees in watery rice fields.

Here's a question if Pam doesn't mind my piggy-backing on her original question. Often wagon trains or parts of wagon trains were captured. What happened to the slaves that Union forces captured? Were they put to work for the Union or were they imprisoned along with their white male Confederates or how did such an event play out for the captured slaves?

 


I had to do some digging to get any kind of real answer on this; it is a very good question as most teamsters would have been civilian contractors instead of military usually paid at $2 a day.  And not a question I'm sure has been asked in any circle I frequent before.

 

The only specific reference at all on CS teamsters being taken POW I could find referrenced the Appomatox campaign and that was inconclusive for the question.  Though the reference did identify several as slaves and sevedral more as freemen.

 

The only western reference I could find dealt w/ some of Minty's men burning a CS train and telling the teamsters to "git."  In that case at least they weren't treated as POWs or even military at all.  They were just told to go home.



 Posted: Tue Nov 11th, 2008 06:16 pm
   
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I have no reason to believe what Johan has said, but it does have a ring of reality to it. "I don't have time to mess with you. Geddouda my sight.! And don't let me ever see you again!"

That's a poor way to interpret history, but sometimes you just gotta put yourself on the spot. You're cold, hungry and tired. And here they come again -- shootin' and yellin' and wanting you dead. What do you do? Get mad? Get determined? Get the heck out of there? Put your aging butt behind that stump. Think about it.

Ole

Edit to comply with the subject of the thread. The black man, as we've come to discover, had the same thoughts as the white man. Teamster, farrier, cook or gun-toting card-carrying soldier ... didn't much matter. Until you've been on that line and you have chunks of lead zipping by your head, you cannot know what you would do in the same circumstance. I'll go with our guys who've been there. I can't tell you what I would have done. I just don't know. I'd like to think I could have stood there like they did. But I'll never know.

And now I'll tip one for the vets. Bless them all. Every one.

Ole

Last edited on Tue Nov 11th, 2008 06:27 pm by ole



 Posted: Fri Nov 21st, 2008 11:56 pm
   
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I've been reading Kenneth Noe's book on Perryville and he notes that at one point during the battle a few blacks were fighting for both sides.



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 Posted: Sun Mar 15th, 2009 06:41 pm
   
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PvtClewell wrote: CF,

Here's a web site featuring the Confederate monument in question:

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/csa-mem.htm

If you scroll down to the fifth and then to about the 9th or 10th photo, you'll see a closer view of the slave-soldier in question, and the first thing that jumped out at me is that he is not carrying a weapon, as far as I can tell, thus implying (to me at least) that he is serving as something else other than a front-line grunt. That might speak volumes right there. Perhaps it's a more accurate depiction than we might otherwise first want to give credit for?


Even if most blacks in CS service were in non-combat roles (cook, teamster, etc) this still relieves others from those duties and enables them to go to the front lines.

For every 1,000 black cooks, teamsters and musicians this puts another 1,000 guns into the fight.


Last edited on Sun Mar 15th, 2009 07:01 pm by borderuffian



 Posted: Mon Mar 16th, 2009 03:53 pm
   
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And they were still not allowed firearms... The topic of Slaves as Southern Soldiers pretty much has been answered, slaves were not used as soldiers in the CS. Were there black men who fought in the ranks of the CS? Absolutely; but their number was insignificant, being, IMO, as significant a number as the women who pretended to be men so that they might fight in the ranks. IN other words one or two here and there do not make the often used number of 50,000 or the patently ridiculous number of 250,000 I've seen put forward on other sites.

Did those who did serve give good service? There is nothing to suggest that they didn't but their treatment in the south after the war should shame any who have a vested interest on the subject.

There is one monument to a Black man in CS service; and he is not shown w/ arms.

There are many to those of the USCT or what would become the USCT.



 Posted: Mon Mar 16th, 2009 05:27 pm
   
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Blacks who served in Confederate armies were given pensions by the state governments. Even servants and laborers could receive pensions.

Did the Federal government award pensions to those who were laborers with Federal armies?- No.

There are at least three monuments to blacks who served with Confederate armies-the one at Arlington National Cemetery, the Howcott Monument (MS), and the Fort Mill (SC) Monument.  There may be others that I am unaware of.  There are certainly several monuments to individuals.

The three mentioned were all established around 1900.  I know of only one monument to the USCT established during that period.  The rest are of modern vintage.



 Posted: Mon Mar 16th, 2009 10:41 pm
   
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borderuffian wrote: Blacks who served in Confederate armies were given pensions by the state governments. Even servants and laborers could receive pensions.

Did the Federal government award pensions to those who were laborers with Federal armies?- No.

There are at least three monuments to blacks who served with Confederate armies-the one at Arlington National Cemetery, the Howcott Monument (MS), and the Fort Mill (SC) Monument.  There may be others that I am unaware of.  There are certainly several monuments to individuals.

The three mentioned were all established around 1900.  I know of only one monument to the USCT established during that period.  The rest are of modern vintage.


Look at the pension details more closely.  Most Southern states that offered them did so in the 1920's, with the exception of Mississippi, which seems to have began doing so in the 1880's.  Also, they seem to have been available only to former slaves who followed their masters as cooks or servants.  The pension applications specifically asked for their master's name, unit, etc.

The Howcott Monument looks to me to validate the points that Johan and PvtClewell were making about the Arlington monument.  Look at its inscriptions.  Erected "to the memory of of the good and loyal servants" of a local unit and a "tribute to my faithful servant and friend...a colored boy of rare loyalty."  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. 

The Arlington monument is in a similar mold, helping to validate the loyal slave idea with its imagery.  All those brave stone Confederates, and a black man, too, marching off to war. 

Let's face it, the black Confederate soldier is largely a myth.  Did some black people pick up a gun and voluntarily fight for the Confederacy?  Likely some, stranger things have happened, but not in any official capacity.  And most all of the cooks, teamsters, and laborers worked involuntarily. 



 Posted: Mon Mar 16th, 2009 11:45 pm
   
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Based on 1890 census records there were over 7000 blacks in Confederate service.  If you include Confederate militia this would bring the total to about 9,000-10,000.

Most were in non-combat roles but if they were officially enlisted in the army (navy or militia) they were soldiers.

Blacks in Confederate service were given equal pay unlike their counterparts in the USCT.

The USCT were paid a net of only $7 per month (with deduction for uniform) compared to $13 for white soldiers (no charge for uniform).

Last edited on Tue Mar 17th, 2009 02:14 pm by borderuffian



 Posted: Mon Mar 16th, 2009 11:45 pm
   
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Let's face it, the black Confederate soldier is largely a myth.  Did some black people pick up a gun and voluntarily fight for the Confederacy?  Likely some, stranger things have happened, but not in any official capacity.  And most all of the cooks, teamsters, and laborers worked involuntarily.
It largely is a myth. The only reason it can't be condemned as a lie is that one can never insist never or always.

Of course there were some fighting freedmen and slaves in the Confederate ranks. (Never and always.)  It is as foolish to say there were none as to insist that there were more than 100,000.

Freedmen were getting paid for driving teams (allbeit in worthless money), or slave owners were getting paid for hiring out their slaves for driving teams (allbeit in worthless money). So it becomes a silly argument to insist that blacks fought for their country. In a few cases, that might have been true. In most, it is a claim for the benevolence of the master and the slavish devotion and gratitude of the slave.

Nonsense!

Almost all of the black confederates were obligated to serve or were paid for their service. Almost none of them carried a musket. (Some did ... don't get me wrong.) But the entire argument is based on the happiness of the slave or black freedman with his lot. So much as to demonstrate that slavery was not that bad.

All the darkies are a' singin.' Works for some. Not for me.

Ole

 



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 12:26 am
   
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borderuffian wrote:
Based on 1890 census records there were over 7000 blacks in Confederate service.  If you include Confederate militia this would bring the total to about 9,000-10,000.

Most were in non-combat roles but if they were officially enlisted in the army (navy or militia) they were soldiers.


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.

Last edited on Tue Mar 17th, 2009 02:25 pm by borderuffian



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 12:38 am
   
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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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 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 01:33 am
   
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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.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 01:34 am
   
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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. 
Amen, buzzard. We tend to always fall ihto the never and every. The actuality is a bit harder to determine.

Ole 



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 02:05 am
   
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"The three mentioned were all established around 1900.  I know of only one monument to the USCT established during that period.  The rest are of modern vintage."

That would be factually incorrect; every single govt stone or GAR marker is a monument from a grateful nation and there are quite a lot of both over USCT graves.  There are large numbers of USCT in National Cemetaries.

I see the 1880 census mentioned often, but upon actually studying it I didn't see 7k Black Confederate veterans anywhere.  It's oft quoted, but as I said when one looks at it they are found wanting.

Blacks were not given equal pay in CS service because it was not legal for a black man to serve in the CS Army as a soldier.  Cook, teamster, etc; yes but "soldier" the answer is no.  A freeman could earn $2 a day as teamster... as a soldier in CS service he would have quickly seen that pay was a rare occurance.  Many of Wheelers command had not been paid in over a year at the time of the March to the Sea... free men were not fools.  As for volunteering for duty... the CS enacted a draconian conscription act very early on and quite a lot of white men never had the opportunity to volunteer.

By the end of the War near to a million black people had sought freedom away from their masters.  That is roughly 1/4 of the black population of the US prior to the War; this despite a very effective "Pattyroller" & Home Guard system intended to keep slaves from even considering that freedom had a chance.  Every single place along the coast where the US created an effective presence you see huge numbers of escaped slaves flocking to the area: Hilton Head, Amelia Island/Fernadina Beach etc.  Those people were running from something; and they were willing to tempt the devil & the deep blue sea for the mere HOPE of freedom.

As for USCT being cannon fodder... the USCT suffered more from disease than battle and by the end of the war about 20% of the US Army were USCT men.  The USCT gave good service fighting well in many campaigns... cannon fodder?  Hardly.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 01:26 pm
   
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"The three mentioned were all established around 1900. I know of only one monument to the USCT established during that period. The rest are of modern vintage."

This statement is correct. The only monument until recent years to a USCT unit was the one for the 54th Massachusetts.

As to individual gravestones this is standard practice. Confederate Veteran organizations supplied or helped to pay for many monuments and markers for black Confederates.


1890 Census

The census is very clear. The number of survivors at that time indicate there were at least 7,000 black Confederate soldiers.

It was certainly custom and regulations that said 'whites only' but there was never any law enacted that prevented blacks from serving.


Number of USCT

The USCT was never 20% of the Federal army. At its height -near the end of the war- it was only about 10%.



Blacks that "Escaped" to Enemy Lines

The largest number estimated by historians (McPherson?) is about five hundred thousand (unfortunately a great many of these people died). I don't know of anyone who has put forth the number one million.


Last edited on Tue Mar 17th, 2009 02:14 pm by borderuffian



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 02:04 pm
   
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1880 Census

The census is very clear. The number of survivors at that time indicate there were at least 7,000 black Confederate soldiers.

 
This is an interesting tidbit. Where does it show in the census report?
 
 
Cheers,
HankC



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 02:13 pm
   
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HankC wrote: 1880 Census

The census is very clear. The number of survivors at that time indicate there were at least 7,000 black Confederate soldiers.

 
This is an interesting tidbit. Where does it show in the census report?
 
 
Cheers,
HankC

Excuse me...it's in the 1890 Census report under the heading "Soldiers and Widows."  Previous posts have been corrected.

Last edited on Tue Mar 17th, 2009 02:15 pm by borderuffian



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 02:43 pm
   
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Albert Sailhorst
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This website, http://www.usgennet.org/usa/mo/county/stlouis/blackcs.htm offers the following:

1. The "Richmond Howitzers" were partially manned by black militiamen. They saw action at 1st Manassas (or 1st Battle of Bull Run) where they operated battery no. 2. In addition two black “regiments”, one free and one slave, participated in the battle on behalf of the South. “Many colored people were killed in the action”, recorded John Parker, a former slave.

2. At least one Black Confederate was a non-commissioned officer. James Washington, Co. D 35th Texas Cavalry,  Confederate States Army, became it’s 3rd Sergeant. Higher ranking black commissioned officers served in militia units, but this was on the State militia level (Louisiana) and not in the regular C.S. Army.

3. Free black musicians, cooks, soldiers and teamsters earned the same pay as white confederate privates. This was not the case in the Union army where blacks did not receive equal pay. At the Confederate Buffalo Forge in Rockbridge County, Virginia, skilled black workers "earned on average three times the wages of white Confederate soldiers and more than most Confederate army officers ($350- $600 a year).


4. Dr. Lewis Steiner, Chief Inspector of the United States Sanitary Commission while observing Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson's occupation of Frederick, Maryland, in 1862: "Over 3,000 Negroes must be included in this number [Confederate troops]. These were clad in all kinds of uniforms, not only in cast-off or captured United States uniforms, but in coats with Southern buttons, State buttons, etc. These were shabby, but not shabbier or seedier than those worn by white men in the rebel ranks. Most of the Negroes had arms, rifles, muskets, sabers, bowie-knives, dirks, etc.....and were manifestly an integral portion of the Southern Confederate Army."


5. Frederick Douglas reported, “There are at the present moment many Colored men in the Confederate Army doing duty not only as cooks, servants and laborers, but real soldiers, having musket on their shoulders, and bullets in their pockets, ready to shoot down any loyal troops and do all that soldiers may do to destroy the Federal government and build up that of the…rebels.”


6. Black and white militiamen returned heavy fire on Union troops at the Battle of Griswoldsville (near Macon, GA). Approximately 600 boys and elderly men were killed in this skirmish.

7. The Jackson Battalion included two companies of black soldiers. They saw combat at Petersburg under Col. Shipp. "My men acted with utmost promptness and goodwill...Allow me to state sir that they behaved in an extraordinary acceptable manner."


8. 14. On April 4, 1865 (Amelia County, VA), a Confederate supply train was exclusively manned and guarded by black Infantry. When attacked by Federal Cavalry, they stood their ground and fought off the charge, but on the second charge they were overwhelmed. These soldiers are believed to be from "Major Turner's" Confederate command.

9. 17. One black  C. S. Navy seaman was among the last Confederates to surrender, aboard the CSS Shenandoah, six months after the war ended. At least two blacks served as Navy pilots with the rank of Warrant Officer. One, William Bugg, piloted the CSS Sampson, and another, Moses Dallas, was considered the best inland pilot of the C.S. Navy. Dallas piloted the Savannah River squadron and was paid $100 a month until the time he was killed by the enemy during the capture of USS Water Witch.

 

Blacks did serve in the Confederate armed forces as soldiers and sailors. However, not to the extent that they comprised a great percentage of the army's numbers.

Since the winners write the history, it is my opinion that the subject of black confederates has been "deleted", to some extent, from fact. After all, why would the winners, who fought for emancipation (remember the Proclimation?), admit that blacks fought for the confederacy? To admit this would de-value the cost in Federal lives lost during the conflict.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 04:43 pm
   
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borderuffian
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"Soldier"

Anyone on the muster roll was counted as a soldier-  privates, musicians, teamsters, etc.

I've even seen specific cases where officers refer to black musicians as soldiers.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 04:57 pm
   
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Albert Sailhorst wrote: Since the winners write the history, it is my opinion that the subject of black confederates has been "deleted", to some extent, from fact. After all, why would the winners, who fought for emancipation (remember the Proclimation?), admit that blacks fought for the confederacy? To admit this would de-value the cost in Federal lives lost during the conflict.


ridiculous...
 
 
HankC



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 05:06 pm
   
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19bama46
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Some players have changed, some are the same, some things never change ...or die... this thread is one of them

y'all can pull each other's arms off and use them to beat each other over the head, but ya ain't gonna change anybody's mind on this one... I know very well...

Ed



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 05:22 pm
   
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19bama46 wrote: Some players have changed, some are the same, some things never change ...or die... this thread is one of them

y'all can pull each other's arms off and use them to beat each other over the head, but ya ain't gonna change anybody's mind on this one... I know very well...

Ed
I agree.  All this ends up being is a low level peeing contest.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 05:47 pm
   
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Albert Sailhorst
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HankC,

What's "ridiculous" about the opinion I expressed?

Just curious.....



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 05:57 pm
   
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Under normal circumstances my reply would be in red, but for some reason I cannot do so from this PC so my replies are in Bold, if there is confusion my apologies.

This website, http://www.usgennet.org/usa/mo/county/stlouis/blackcs.htm offers the following:
Albert; thank you very much for the link, it is appreciated.   The above site originated from another and has been heavily cut and pasted around the web over the years; large amounts of the original info is distorted or outright fabricated.


1. The "Richmond Howitzers" were partially manned by black militiamen. They saw action at 1st Manassas (or 1st Battle of Bull Run) where they operated battery no. 2. In addition two black “regiments”, one free and one slave, participated in the battle on behalf of the South. “Many colored people were killed in the action”, recorded John Parker, a former slave.   Albert; when pressed no one is able to provide the unit designation of the two black Regiments.  The realit is that there were some Black men in the ranks of the CS at Bull Run; about a Company worth of Creoles from New Orleans.  I've seen no history of the Richmond howitzers that corroborates that a battery or a section was crewed by black men.  There were ample servents in the Richmond Howitzers though.

2. At least one Black Confederate was a non-commissioned officer. James Washington, Co. D 35th Texas Cavalry,  Confederate States Army, became it’s 3rd Sergeant. Higher ranking black commissioned officers served in militia units, but this was on the State militia level (Louisiana) and not in the regular C.S. Army. The Bl;ack men who were officers in the Louisiana Native Guards were never mustered into CS service, paid, armed or equipped by either the state of Louisiana or the CS.  Roughly 1/3 of the Louisiana Native Guard would serve in the USCT.

3. Free black musicians, cooks, soldiers and teamsters earned the same pay as white confederate privates. This was not the case in the Union army where blacks did not receive equal pay. At the Confederate Buffalo Forge in Rockbridge County, Virginia, skilled black workers "earned on average three times the wages of white Confederate soldiers and more than most Confederate army officers ($350- $600 a year).   I have never seen a pay sheet for a "Black Confederate Soldier."  I oft see the claim that black men were paid the same as whites in the CS army.  Whites were rareley enough paid as it was and I don't buy it.  It's a recent invention; certainly not a period one.


4. Dr. Lewis Steiner, Chief Inspector of the United States Sanitary Commission while observing Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson's occupation of Frederick, Maryland, in 1862: "Over 3,000 Negroes must be included in this number [Confederate troops]. These were clad in all kinds of uniforms, not only in cast-off or captured United States uniforms, but in coats with Southern buttons, State buttons, etc. These were shabby, but not shabbier or seedier than those worn by white men in the rebel ranks. Most of the Negroes had arms, rifles, muskets, sabers, bowie-knives, dirks, etc.....and were manifestly an integral portion of the Southern Confederate Army."   The probelm w/ this is no one else corroborates it, certainly not the men who would have been fighting them, capturing or burying them and not the men who would have served beside them.


5. Frederick Douglas reported, “There are at the present moment many Colored men in the Confederate Army doing duty not only as cooks, servants and laborers, but real soldiers, having musket on their shoulders, and bullets in their pockets, ready to shoot down any loyal troops and do all that soldiers may do to destroy the Federal government and build up that of the…rebels.”   I believe Douglass had an agenda when he said this, he wanted black men in US service badly and he eagerly repeated a second hand story that cannot be tracked to its origin.


6. Black and white militiamen returned heavy fire on Union troops at the Battle of Griswoldsville (near Macon, GA). Approximately 600 boys and elderly men were killed in this skirmish.   I've studied Griswoldsville heavily; there are no period references to ANY black men in the ranks.  By either the men who were inflicting the casualties or the men who would have been beside them.  I have a real problem w/ the original author of the quote, no footnotes and when queried on his sources he grew quite upset.



7. The Jackson Battalion included two companies of black soldiers. They saw combat at Petersburg under Col. Shipp. "My men acted with utmost promptness and goodwill...Allow me to state sir that they behaved in an extraordinary acceptable manner."


8. 14. On April 4, 1865 (Amelia County, VA), a Confederate supply train was exclusively manned and guarded by black Infantry. When attacked by Federal Cavalry, they stood their ground and fought off the charge, but on the second charge they were overwhelmed. These soldiers are believed to be from "Major Turner's" Confederate command. Verifiable and quite true, the same men as above in #7... counted twice by the original author.


Blacks did serve in the Confederate armed forces as soldiers and sailors. However, not to the extent that they comprised a great percentage of the army's numbers.  I agree wholeheartdedly and I've said so many times.  My own research points to somewhere in the neighborhood of 1300-1400.  Other legitimate research has come up w/ numbers of 13,000 and I can agree w/ the methodology that came up w/ such a number; though I believe it very high.

Since the winners write the history, it is my opinion that the subject of black confederates has been "deleted", to some extent, from fact. After all, why would the winners, who fought for emancipation (remember the Proclimation?), admit that blacks fought for the confederacy? To admit this would de-value the cost in Federal lives lost during the conflict.  I don't quite see it so, the history of the USCT was heavily downplayed after the war and they have never really been given their due by either side of the scrap.  The best respect they were given was by the men who fought beside them and those who commanded them.  IMO the Lost Cause movement had to do everything possible to push the idea that slavery had anything to do w/ the war to the rear... and the myth of the Black Confederate does that.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 06:10 pm
   
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Johann,

Thanks for looking into the website I quoted. That was very insightful!

Eventhough that particular website may not have given the entire story, I felt that it was, in part, representative as an example of services in general rendered by black people to the Confederacy.

In my opinion, your number of 1,300 to 1,400 is probably pretty accurate.

Also, in my opinion, a true number may never be known as a result of poor or inadeqate records keeping, etc.....

It would be nice  to see some documentation (diary entry, letter) from a Reb that definitively states that a slave/freed slave was actually given rank (Private) and served as such in a continual basis.

I know blacks fought, to an extent, for the South, but a first person account would make interesting reading!



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 06:15 pm
   
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I don't quite see it so, the history of the USCT was heavily downplayed after the war and they have never really been given their due by either side of the scrap. 

I agree.  But this hidden agenda would have been worse having blacks fight for the South.
As time goes on, there will be found more Black Confederate Soldiers.

The best respect they were given was by the men who fought beside them and those who commanded them. 

That was the same with Southern soldiers and their Black compatriots

IMO the Lost Cause movement had to do everything possible to push the idea that slavery had anything to do w/ the war to the rear...

Which was pushed there by the yankee winners to save face about slaves fight for the South and reminds the South everyday about slavery.


 and the myth of the Black Confederate does that.

You can't have it both ways.  First you say there were 1200 at best and now you say it is a myth.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 07:02 pm
   
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"The three mentioned were all established around 1900. I know of only one monument to the USCT established during that period. The rest are of modern vintage."

This statement is correct. The only monument until recent years to a USCT unit was the one for the 54th Massachusetts. You will have to define "recent" years as there are several mentioned earlier in the thread dating from the early half of the 20th century.



As to individual gravestones this is standard practice. Confederate Veteran organizations supplied or helped to pay for many monuments and markers for black Confederates.  Would you be kind enough to give the numbers of gravestones provided to Black Confederate soldiers by any state or CS veterans organization?  Any veteran of the US military is entitled to a stone and the GAR was very good about marking graves.  There are numbers of USCT graves that are marked in several National Cemetaries.  I can count on one hand stones I have seen for black men in the south dating from the period in question and I have never seen a monument to the black confederate and am only aware of one at all.


1890 Census

The census is very clear. The number of survivors at that time indicate there were at least 7,000 black Confederate soldiers
You'll have to provide a link, I've looked the the various census reports several times over the years, seen no evidence of such a listing or catagory.  But I also wasn't looking for "Black Confederate Soldiers."  Historians like Krick and McPherson would be quite suprised I think.

It was certainly custom and regulations that said 'whites only' but there was never any law enacted that prevented blacks from serving.  Are you serious?  Are you forgetting the fits in the CS congress over arming black men in April of 65?


Number of USCT

The USCT was never 20% of the Federal army. At its height -near the end of the war- it was only about 10%.

By the end of the 1 in 6 soldiers wearing the Blue around Petersburg were black men.  The numbers were similar elsewhere.

Blacks that "Escaped" to Enemy Lines  Escaped is correct; they weren't sent.

The largest number estimated by historians (McPherson?) is about five hundred thousand (unfortunately a great many of these people died). I don't know of anyone who has put forth the number one million.  I've seen it a score of times in the last several months, three locations on the eastern seaboard alone will total up w/ numbers of well over 100,000.  Find every US post or bridgehead along the eastern seaboard and I expect you'll get a rather large number; add the USCT men to the total and I can easily see it reaching a million people.  So 1 million is not unreasonable.  As to how many died and the implication the percentages of known death to disease were on par w/ the US military of the time and considerably less than that of the US military during the Mexican War.


 

See:

History of the Freedman's Bureau by Bentley

A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1867.  SEries 2: the Black Military Experiance by Berlin

The Confederate Negro: Virginia's Craftsman and Military Laborers, 1861-1865 by Brewer

Blockaders, Refugees & Contrabands by Buker

The Gray and the Black by Durden

South Carolina's African American Confederate Pensioners... I'm not certain of the author.

Black Confederate and Afro Yankees in Civil War Virginia by Jordan

Like Men of War by Trudeau.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 07:06 pm
   
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Old Blu; 12-1300 or even 13,000 Black men bearing arms is not a myth. Grossly exaggerated and patently ridiculous numbers all the way up to 250,000 is a myth.  "1200 at best" are your words not mine.

Read what Ranger Dabney had to sy in one of my earlier posts in this thread, he is spot on about the Black Confederate question.

Last edited on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 06:30 am by Johan Steele



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 07:08 pm
   
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"Soldier"

Anyone on the muster roll was counted as a soldier-  privates, musicians, teamsters, etc.

I've even seen specific cases where officers refer to black musicians as soldiers.



Can you give us examples?  The CS system of counting troops was inconsistant and erratic and can be VERY confusing.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 07:20 pm
   
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Albert Sailhorst
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An intersting PDF file from the North Carolina Dept. of Cultural Resources, dated Feb. 2002 (http://www.ncdcr.gov/news/2003/opa_2-26-03.pdf):

"Among the records in North Carolina’s archives that document African Americans’ service are newspaper enrollment notices that give times for free Negroes to enlist in the Confederate Army, correspondence, Confederate pension applications, and depositions. Some military records note that slaves helped to construct forts or do other work at military facilities. Other documentation can be found in the “North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865,” a 15-volume set of reference books that chronicles Confederate servicemen and includes the names of black soldiers."

"In some instances, officials even denied the existence of black Confederate soldiers. For instance, Sarah Venable, widow of John W. Venable, applied for a widow’s pension. Venable is listed in the “North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865,” as a member of Company H, 21st Regiment N.C. Troops. The roster shows that he was “Negro, enlisted June 5, 1861. No further records.” However, John Sawyer, a white Confederate veteran who served with Venable, submitted a deposition as part of Sarah’s application stating that he knew John Venable, and that Venable had “made a good soldier.” Yet the claim was disallowed with the notation, “No law for this.”


I think it is interesting!!


I'd like to find/see similar documentation at the State level!!



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 07:27 pm
   
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19bama46 wrote: Some players have changed, some are the same, some things never change ...or die... this thread is one of them

y'all can pull each other's arms off and use them to beat each other over the head, but ya ain't gonna change anybody's mind on this one... I know very well...

Ed


agreed...
 
The best of these opinions typically peak with the Steiner quote and some definition of the word 'soldier'. Lacking any real evidence, and confronted with real facts, they scuttle for other forums and start over.
 
 
HankC



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 07:30 pm
   
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Albert; over the years I've found some from Arkansas, Texas and Alabama as well that detail black men fighting but they are very few and far between. I believe the records of Appomatox were parused by a historian and he found 27 Black men in the ranks. It is important to take a hard look at pension records as applicants had to be vouched for by other veterans and their comments can be very interesting, whether they have anything to do w/ the black CS subject or not. Some are an outright hoot, others quite touching.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 07:31 pm
   
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HankC... very true, very true.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 07:56 pm
   
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The website for the SCV Camp 469 of Rome, GA (http://scvcamp469-nbf.com/hollandservice.htm) presents the following in relation to a black Confederate's grave:

"Sunday, September 08, 2002

    The time came for Creed Holland to get the recognition he was due. He was a black slave, but also a Confederate soldier. And for such, Creed Holland was honored Saturday morning at a graveside ceremony in a small cemetery behind Riverview Baptist Church in Rocky Mount. 

    The Jubal Early chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy 
dedicated Confederate memorial markers to Creed Holland and two other 
black Confederate soldiers, also named Holland, from Franklin County. 

    Hazel Holland Davis, a member of the Jubal Early chapter and 
great-granddaughter of a Confederate soldier, organized the service as 
part of a chapterwide project to identify Confederate soldiers' graves in 
Franklin County. 

    The three Holland soldiers, of no known relation to each other or 
to Davis, worked as slaves on Thomas J. Holland's 732-acre farm in Glade 
Hill. Thomas Holland was Davis' great-great-grandfather. 

    The service was a rare memorial that honored the little-known Confederate soldiers: enslaved black soldiers. 

    About 45 Confederate re-enactors and members of the United Daughters of 
the Confederacy and Sons of Confederate Veterans performed the ceremony, 
which included poems, speeches, prayers and customary military funeral rites such as cannonball volleys and rifle shots." 


The article goes on in other detail (but I felt was too long to continue quoting here).

Without name-caling and dismissing opinions as "ridiculous", I think this is a very interesting, educational topic! It has certainly caused me to do some research and I am learning from it!

Thanks!!



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 08:51 pm
   
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barrydancer
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Johan Steele wrote: Wall Street Journal, May 8, 1997

And here's some more from the WSJ article.


"'It's pure fantasy,' contends James McPherson, a Princeton historian and one of the nation's leading Civil War scholars. Adds Edwin Bearss, historian emeritus at the National Park Service: 'It's b.s., wishful thinking.' Robert Krick, author of 10 books on the Confederacy, has studied the records of 150,000 Southern soldiers and found fewer than a dozen were black. 'Of course, if I documented 12, someone would start adding zeros,' he says.

"These and other scholars say claims about black rebels derive from unreliable anecdotes, a blurring of soldiers and laborers, and the rapid spread on the Internet of what Mr. McPherson calls 'pseudohistory.' Thousands of blacks did accompany rebel troops -- as servants, cooks, teamsters and musicians. Most were slaves who served involuntarily; until the final days of the war, the Confederacy staunchly refused to enlist black soldiers.

"Some blacks carried guns for their masters and wore spare or cast-off uniforms, which may help explain eyewitness accounts of blacks units. But any blacks who actually fought did so unofficially, either out of personal loyalty or self-defense, many historians say.

"They also bristle at what they see as the disingenuous twist on political correctness fueling the black Confederate fad. 'It's a search for a multicultural Confederacy, a desperate desire to feel better about your ancestors,' says Leslie Rowland, a University of Maryland historian. 'If you suggest that some blacks supported the South, then you can deny that the Confederacy was about slavery and white supremacy.'

"David Blight, an Amherst College historian, likens the trend to bygone notions about 'happy plantation darkies.' Confederate groups invited devoted ex-slaves to reunions and even won Senate approval in 1923 for a 'mammy' monument in Washington (it was never built). Black Confederates, Mr. Blight says, are a new and more palatable way to 'legitimize the Confederacy.'"


7 pages in, I think this posting bears repeating.  Some excellent, professional, and well-respected historians have looked into this topic, and as Ed Bearss said, "it's B.S."

I also bristle a bit at the idea that, at least as far as the Civil War goes, the winners write the history.  I don't think history has ever been kinder to a similar group/movement than it has been to the Confederacy.  Do some research into Lost Cause mythology and you'll easily see how prevelant its tenets still are in Civil War historiography.  Eric Foner and David Blight are two historians who I would recommend if anyone is interested in studying the ways in which the service of black men in the Union army, and the issue of slavery, were pushed to the rear in the 1890's in the name of "reconciliation" between North and South.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 10:30 pm
   
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borderuffian
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barrydancer wrote: Johan Steele wrote: Wall Street Journal, May 8, 1997

And here's some more from the WSJ article.


"'It's pure fantasy,' contends James McPherson, a Princeton historian and one of the nation's leading Civil War scholars. Adds Edwin Bearss, historian emeritus at the National Park Service: 'It's b.s., wishful thinking.' Robert Krick, author of 10 books on the Confederacy, has studied the records of 150,000 Southern soldiers and found fewer than a dozen were black. 'Of course, if I documented 12, someone would start adding zeros,' he says.

"These and other scholars say claims about black rebels derive from unreliable anecdotes, a blurring of soldiers and laborers, and the rapid spread on the Internet of what Mr. McPherson calls 'pseudohistory.' Thousands of blacks did accompany rebel troops -- as servants, cooks, teamsters and musicians. Most were slaves who served involuntarily; until the final days of the war, the Confederacy staunchly refused to enlist black soldiers.

"Some blacks carried guns for their masters and wore spare or cast-off uniforms, which may help explain eyewitness accounts of blacks units. But any blacks who actually fought did so unofficially, either out of personal loyalty or self-defense, many historians say.

"They also bristle at what they see as the disingenuous twist on political correctness fueling the black Confederate fad. 'It's a search for a multicultural Confederacy, a desperate desire to feel better about your ancestors,' says Leslie Rowland, a University of Maryland historian. 'If you suggest that some blacks supported the South, then you can deny that the Confederacy was about slavery and white supremacy.'

"David Blight, an Amherst College historian, likens the trend to bygone notions about 'happy plantation darkies.' Confederate groups invited devoted ex-slaves to reunions and even won Senate approval in 1923 for a 'mammy' monument in Washington (it was never built). Black Confederates, Mr. Blight says, are a new and more palatable way to 'legitimize the Confederacy.'"


7 pages in, I think this posting bears repeating.  Some excellent, professional, and well-respected historians have looked into this topic, and as Ed Bearss said, "it's B.S."

I also bristle a bit at the idea that, at least as far as the Civil War goes, the winners write the history.  I don't think history has ever been kinder to a similar group/movement than it has been to the Confederacy.  Do some research into Lost Cause mythology and you'll easily see how prevelant its tenets still are in Civil War historiography.  Eric Foner and David Blight are two historians who I would recommend if anyone is interested in studying the ways in which the service of black men in the Union army, and the issue of slavery, were pushed to the rear in the 1890's in the name of "reconciliation" between North and South.


Now that's funny.

In one sentence- no one has "ever been kinder to a similar group/movement than it has been to the Confederacy."

And in the next they're called the "Lost Cause mythology."



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 10:36 pm
   
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Number of the USCT

Apparently this is not going to go away until I give the numbers.

During the latter part of 1864 and into 1865 the Federal army averaged about 1 million men total.

On specific dates:
Jun 30, 1864- 1,001,782
Dec 31, 1864- 936,996
Apr 30, 1865- 1,052,038

The USCT numbered about 100,000 in October 1864.

The largest number in service at any one time was 123,156.
But that was on July 15, 1865 after the war was over.

At the end of the war the USCT was about 10% of the Federal army.

Last edited on Tue Mar 17th, 2009 11:06 pm by borderuffian



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 11:25 pm
   
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borderuffian
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barrydancer wrote: Johan Steele wrote: Wall Street Journal, May 8, 1997

And here's some more from the WSJ article.


"'It's pure fantasy,' contends James McPherson, a Princeton historian and one of the nation's leading Civil War scholars. Adds Edwin Bearss, historian emeritus at the National Park Service: 'It's b.s., wishful thinking.' Robert Krick, author of 10 books on the Confederacy, has studied the records of 150,000 Southern soldiers and found fewer than a dozen were black. 'Of course, if I documented 12, someone would start adding zeros,' he says.

"These and other scholars say claims about black rebels derive from unreliable anecdotes, a blurring of soldiers and laborers, and the rapid spread on the Internet of what Mr. McPherson calls 'pseudohistory.' Thousands of blacks did accompany rebel troops -- as servants, cooks, teamsters and musicians. Most were slaves who served involuntarily; until the final days of the war, the Confederacy staunchly refused to enlist black soldiers.

"Some blacks carried guns for their masters and wore spare or cast-off uniforms, which may help explain eyewitness accounts of blacks units. But any blacks who actually fought did so unofficially, either out of personal loyalty or self-defense, many historians say.

"They also bristle at what they see as the disingenuous twist on political correctness fueling the black Confederate fad. 'It's a search for a multicultural Confederacy, a desperate desire to feel better about your ancestors,' says Leslie Rowland, a University of Maryland historian. 'If you suggest that some blacks supported the South, then you can deny that the Confederacy was about slavery and white supremacy.'

"David Blight, an Amherst College historian, likens the trend to bygone notions about 'happy plantation darkies.' Confederate groups invited devoted ex-slaves to reunions and even won Senate approval in 1923 for a 'mammy' monument in Washington (it was never built). Black Confederates, Mr. Blight says, are a new and more palatable way to 'legitimize the Confederacy.'"


7 pages in, I think this posting bears repeating.  Some excellent, professional, and well-respected historians have looked into this topic, and as Ed Bearss said, "it's B.S."

I also bristle a bit at the idea that, at least as far as the Civil War goes, the winners write the history.  I don't think history has ever been kinder to a similar group/movement than it has been to the Confederacy.  Do some research into Lost Cause mythology and you'll easily see how prevelant its tenets still are in Civil War historiography.  Eric Foner and David Blight are two historians who I would recommend if anyone is interested in studying the ways in which the service of black men in the Union army, and the issue of slavery, were pushed to the rear in the 1890's in the name of "reconciliation" between North and South.

I don't know about Bearss or Krick but I do know that McPherson, Blight and Foner have an extremely biased view of history.  They are leftist academics and leftists see history as a tool to advance their political agenda.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 11:36 pm
   
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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?



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 11:55 pm
   
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There comes a point in every thread when you just have to agree to disagree and let it die. Minds and opinions are not going to be changed. Sources will be cited and called biased both ways. I think perhaps the thread has run it's course. I do want to say though that I appreciate the civility of the thread since it's resurrection.



 Posted: Wed Mar 18th, 2009 12:02 am
   
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Once again, a spang on observation Kernel Private.

Didn't and couldn't happen. You don't give muskets to monkeys. No telling where they were going to shoot.

Just a thought.

Ole



 Posted: Wed Mar 18th, 2009 12:05 am
   
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borderuffian wrote:

I don't know about Bearss or Krick but I do know that McPherson, Blight and Foner have an extremely biased view of history.  They are leftist academics and leftists see history as a tool to advance their political agenda.

I had a class with Eric Foner at Columbia.  I've talked to him a number of times and he was of immense help in formulating and writing my master's thesis.  He never brought his politics into his lectures or our discussions, and I believe that he, and the others mentioned, are much more professional than to use their scholarship to promote political agendas. 

"Now that's funny.

In one sentence- no one has "ever been kinder to a similar group/movement than it has been to the Confederacy."

And in the next they're called the "Lost Cause mythology."

Yes, the Lost Cause is a myth.  It was a carefully constructed image of the Old South and its struggle for independence that is still prevalent in historiography today.  In the past few decades a number of historians have began to analyze the way that the history of the Era was constructed and by whom.



 Posted: Wed Mar 18th, 2009 12:12 am
   
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javal1 wrote: There comes a point in every thread when you just have to agree to disagree and let it die. Minds and opinions are not going to be changed. Sources will be cited and called biased both ways. I think perhaps the thread has run it's course. I do want to say though that I appreciate the civility of the thread since it's resurrection.I think you may be correct, though it has been fun getting back into the board a bit.

I think bias is whatever doesn't agree with one's point of view, and I'm sure I've been guilty of it on a number of occasions.  :) 

I hope I haven't been uncivil to anyone, as well.

Last edited on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 12:55 am by barrydancer



 Posted: Wed Mar 18th, 2009 12:29 am
   
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barrydancer wrote:


Yes, the Lost Cause is a myth.  It was a carefully constructed image of the Old South and its struggle for independence that is still prevalent in historiography today.  In the past few decades a number of historians have began to analyze the way that the history of the Era was constructed and by whom.


But they assign 'mythology' to only one side.

That is biased.



 Posted: Thu Mar 19th, 2009 08:17 am
   
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And accurate.



 Posted: Thu Mar 19th, 2009 03:50 pm
   
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borderuffian wrote:
But they assign 'mythology' to only one side.

That is biased.


Myths usually fall (or stand) on their own. No need to be one or more sides. 
 
The myth of the Lost Cause is exposed when compared to the same person's ante bellum words...
 
 
HankC



 Posted: Thu Mar 19th, 2009 10:01 pm
   
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Albert Sailhorst wrote: Without name-caling and dismissing opinions as "ridiculous", I think this is a very interesting, educational topic!


True, but those who engage in name-calling and denunciations have the upper hand here and it's not likely to change.  It's impossible to have any real discussion on the subject as long characters like these rule the roost.

So long...



 Posted: Fri Mar 20th, 2009 12:07 am
   
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You might want to inform Javal.



 Posted: Fri Mar 20th, 2009 12:24 am
   
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Actually javal requested that this thread be allowed to die about 5 or 6 posts back. It was ignored. If someone decides to reject my strong suggestion, I'm really rather indifferent to the complaints of those who then find themselves too thin-skinned to be disagreed with. I've seen no name-calling. I've seen one member call something ridiculous, which is within his rights since he quoted what he thought was ridiculous.

As of now I refuse to close the thread and relieve members of the onus of acting like adults. The only way you're not going to be disagreed with is by not expressing an opinion. I personally couldn't care less if there were 10 or 10,000 black Confederates. But if y'all want to argue about it incessantly, then don't be surprised when it gets heated.



 Posted: Fri Mar 20th, 2009 08:00 am
   
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It's like the sharp tooth that you can't resist poking with your tongue. I really don't know why the black Confederate raises so much heat. He was or he wasn't a volunteer. Doesn't make a lot of sense, but it certainly gets some ink. Which is exactly why I visit these boards.

If it don't stink, don't stir it.

Ole.



 Posted: Fri Mar 20th, 2009 08:01 pm
   
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I think it's called, politely, a hissy-fit where I come from. I started the thread, and even I'm getting tired of it. Got a lot out of it, but don't need to rehash what's already been hashed--not learning anything new--or watch people poke each other with sticks, then run away. . .

Ole, Javal, I am in agreement.

Pam



 Posted: Sat Mar 21st, 2009 03:48 pm
   
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It always turns out this way when yankees get tired hearing about anything they disagree with but bring up Robert E. Lee for discussion and it will go on and on and on and on and repeat and repeat and repeat.

Just my take on it.



 Posted: Sat Mar 21st, 2009 04:10 pm
   
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Some people enjoy history, others prefer fiction that fits their feel good illusions. Thankfully the majority here prefer history... some just can't handle that.



 Posted: Sat Mar 21st, 2009 05:37 pm
   
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Johan Steele wrote: Some people enjoy history, others prefer fiction that fits their feel good illusions. Thankfully the majority here prefer history... some just can't handle that.

I would think you would also be interested in the truth.



 Posted: Sun Mar 22nd, 2009 08:22 pm
   
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Johan Steele wrote: Some people enjoy history, others prefer fiction that fits their feel good illusions. Thankfully the majority here prefer history... some just can't handle that.
Which group are you in?



 Posted: Sun Mar 22nd, 2009 08:29 pm
   
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pamc153PA wrote: I think it's called, politely, a hissy-fit where I come from. I started the thread, and even I'm getting tired of it. Got a lot out of it, but don't need to rehash what's already been hashed--not learning anything new--or watch people poke each other with sticks, then run away. . .

Ole, Javal, I am in agreement.

Pam



No hissy-fit

just an observation

Some previous and follow-up posts prove out exactly what I said.



 Posted: Sun Mar 22nd, 2009 09:52 pm
   
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If you think your "truth" is the only truth, this probably isn't the board for you. If someone can't tolererate disagreement without it becoming some vast conspiracy, too bad. It's called a discussion board for a reason.

THREAD CLOSED



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