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Author Topic: why did slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america  (Read 14801 times)

Offline ncsiacfan

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I am cool with it Bison66. You and a few others on this board know what a "colored" is when over there".

Offline MyTeVyKn

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The Confederate Negro, Virginia’s craftsmen and military laborers, 1861-1865
By James H. Brewer
Duke University Press, Durham, N.C.  1969

Preface


The omission of the Confederate Negro from the pages of history seems like a striking instance of the death of the unfit in the struggle for historical survival.  However, fitness to live for human service is quite another matter than fitness to survive in the rugged contest for meaningful identification in a nation’s history.  The legacy of the Negro, free or slave, in the War for Southern Independence has too often been ignored by the historian.  Scholars have avoided the unsavory task of linking the Negro to the Confederate war effort, a cause generally interpreted as one designed to sustain his enslavement and degradation…
__________________

This book sets forth the extensive involvement of the Virginia Negro in the South’s war efforts.  It shows how Negro manpower was used to close a huge gap in Virginia’s technological labor needs.  The Negro’s brawn and his skill were key elements in the mechanism of Confederate technology, logistics, transportation, and fortification.  Bell Irvin Wiley’s definitive study, Southern Negroes, 1861-1865, probes the war experiences of the Negro in the Confederate States of America.  The present writing, however, is concerned solely with the distinctive character of the war experience of the Negro in Virginia, the major battlefield of the Civil War.  For four years the Negro, whether free or slave, sometimes by choice and other times by necessity, contributed a sustaining effort to the War for Southern Independence….

_________________________________

In my reading I found that the main reason why Negroes, free or slave, supported the CSA Army was that they were mobilized out of necessity by legislative means of the General Assembly and Confederate Congress.  “The immense demands of armed conflict were such that they could not be borne by whites alone.”  Private Industry used a great deal of Black manpower to offset the dwindling pool of white civilian war workers as well.  This created a serious problem in Virginia.  The impressment of slaves and free Negroes to labor on fortifications and river batteries, coupled with the slaveowners’ practice of hiring out a large percentage of their slaves to the quartermaster, ordnance, and other bureaus of the War Department, tended to exhaust the supply of available Negro manpower which was necessary for the agricultural and industrial needs of the state.  The labor shortage was a major problem and as the war became more critical, open conflict between these groups ensued and may have contributed to the South’s demise.
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Offline Bison66

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ncsiacfan,

Was that what it was?   :)
No problem!

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Offline Bison66

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MTVK,

Thanks much!!!

So far that 1969 book seems to buttress the point that most Africans/Blacks were "impressed" into CSA service and worked in support roles.  The "new" point in that excerpt is about the role of Blacks waaaay behind enemy lines in industry.  I've come across references to that in my research and incorporated a touch of it in my novel.

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Offline Bison66

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??DID slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america??
« Reply #139 on: September 09, 2016, 11:58:53 PM »
??DID slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america??

ANOTHER NAIL - RIGHT HERE - IN THE COFFIN OF NEO-CONFEDERATE REVISIONISM!!

Quote
If, after scrutiny, evidence is so meager, [THEN] there must be an additional reason why a large number of academics and non-scholars nonetheless believe that there was a significant body of black soldiers fighting for the South.

It is, partly, because the scholars who propose such amounts of black soldiers are misinterpreting the available sources.(30) Whereas professional historians specialized in Civil War history discard the possibility that large numbers of blacks served in Southern ranks, the academics most actively promulgating black Confederates are not, in fact, trained historians. The risk is great, therefore, that they lack the scrutiny needed to make a correct interpretation and [OFTEN] take sources on face value.

The sources used by them are, after all, largely unreliable, as is explained by Bruce Chadwick, in The Reel Civil War.
http://www.let.rug.nl/usa/essays/1801-1900/the-black-lost-cause/elaboration.php

This is an article posted over several pages.

And this is from the Conclusion page:
 
Quote
Conclusion

It seems that the best case that can be made for large numbers of colored Confederates is based on sloppy evidence that cannot and does not convince the large majority of historians. Many of the accounts that the promotors of black Confederates rely on are ambiguous, partisan, or the result of revisionism in history. Sometimes, however, Rollins et al misrepresent the testimonies made, such as ascribing loyalty to a slave who may just fear for his hide, or by referring to blacks as "Afro-Virginians."

These untrained historians too easily derive favorable conclusions from unclear sources and are sincerely under the impression that they honor a large group that has unjustly been left out of the major historiography, motivated, it seems, by a union of reconciliation and racial awareness of earlier historiographical periods. Their remedy is the production of books and articles, backed up by faulty scholarship, which lead to the conclusion that large numbers of loyal blacks must have accompanied the Southern armies and have actively handled rifles.

The author is, IMO, too diplomatic or too kind OR perhaps even too naive for not at lest mentioning the POLITICAL motivations of those who wish to retroactively "whitewash" the Confederacy.  They seem to want to have us believe that the Confederates weren't so bad or else why would Blacks have fought for it?

As we know and we still see today, there are ALWAYS a few people who will join with their oppressors - or appear to but have other agendas.  Some are simply misguided or brainwashed.  

But HISTORY, PHOTOGRAPHS, OFFICIAL RECORDS AND PERSONAL TESTIMONIES MAKE IT CLEAR THAT THOUSANDS UPON THOUSANDS OF AFRICANS/BLACKS threw down their tools and ran off for freedom behind Union lines and/or joined the Union Army where they could.

Blacks "fighting" for the South were few and revisionist efforts to misuse them for political purposes will ultimately fail.  Just as the apparent motive behind this thread has failed.

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« Last Edit: September 14, 2016, 11:59:48 PM by Bison66 »
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Offline Bison66

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THE FAILURE OF ALL the revisionist efforts to claim that Africans/Blacks fought for the Confederacy in any significant or meaningful way is BECAUSE ultimately the facts do not support their BS.

Where are the contemporary reports from Confederate officers lauding the fighting skills of Colored troops?

By contrast, feast your eyes on this extensive reporting by Union generals and other officers on the valor and contributions in just one small sector of the overall War of Rebellion:

One example:


Quote
Colonel Morgan remembered the day this way:
It was a grand and terrible sight to see those men climb that hill over rocks and fallen trees, in the face of a murderous fire of cannon and musketry, only to be
driven back. White and black mingled together in the charge, and on the retreat. . . . When General Thomas rode over the battle-field and saw the bodies of colored men side by side with the foremost, on the very works of the enemy, he turned to his staff, saying: 'Gentlemen, the question in settled; negroes will fight.
And stats, too:



http://usctwillcotn.blogspot.com/search?updated-min=2016-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&updated-max=2017-01-01T00:00:00-08:00&max-results=11

Yeah, secessionists, revisionists and their allies suck!!

Not sure why a Black man would try to perpetuate the nonsense of revisionists, but....some folks do strange things when "the enemy has outposts in (their) minds."

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« Last Edit: January 07, 2017, 06:53:12 PM by Bison66 »
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Offline Bison66

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Re: why did slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america
« Reply #141 on: August 12, 2017, 01:21:07 AM »
Another nail in the coffin for Neo-Confeds and other revisionists....

Giving the lie to the claim that Blacks/Africans fought in any significant number for the Rebs is this sad (in retrospect) Reso;ution adopted by a Mass Meeting of the Confederate 7th Tennessee Cavalry on February xx, 1865 - just a few weeks before Lee's surrender.

A great PRIMARY SOURCE:
http://cdm15138.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/ref/collection/p15138coll6/id/4123

At the very bottom of p. 2 is a resolution re: enlisting Africans/Blacks in the Army.  The timing makes it clear that by that VERY LATE DATE , NO decision had been made to enlist Blacks/Africans.

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« Last Edit: August 13, 2017, 08:44:42 PM by Bison66 »
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Offline soflorattler

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Re: why did slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america
« Reply #142 on: August 14, 2017, 09:12:47 AM »
People that defend confederate monuments under the guise of "history"-

Why don't we have Nat Turner busts, Grant elementary/middle/high schools and parks?

Why don't we have monuments to black slaves?

Why don't we have statues of Lincoln in every southern town?

Why aren't there southern counties named after union generals?

Where are the monuments to union soldiers?

Why were the majority of these monuments built during the Civil Rights era 1950s and 1960s?

The truth is this isn't "history" at all. It's "Confederate revisionist history".

The truth is it's a tribute to white supremacy.

Not one Confederate monument honors a person of color.

The truth is it the way southern whites lie to themselves about their heritage of treason, slavery and their philosophy that God made them superior to the black race.

They are wrong.

Offline CIAA-FAN

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Re: why did slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america
« Reply #143 on: August 14, 2017, 02:55:30 PM »
ASK "Y" AND "OLD SPORT". :popcorn:
I'm an Army Civilian and former Soldier on the Army Team. I'm dedicated to my Army, Soldiers and Civilians. I will always support the mission. I provide stability and continuity during war and peace. I'll support and defend the Constitution and consider it an honor to serve our nation and my Army.

Offline Bison66

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Re: ??DID slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america???
« Reply #144 on: October 21, 2017, 01:09:51 AM »
A few more details on this subject:

From Harvard Professor John Stauffer, who studies antislavery movements, the Civil War, and American social protest.

Quote
Black Confederate soldiers likely represented less than 1 percent of Southern black men of military age during that period, and less than 1 percent of Confederate soldiers. And their motivation for serving isn’t taken into account by the numbers, since some may have been forced into service, and others may have seen fighting as a way out of privation. But even those small numbers of black soldiers carry immense symbolic meaning for neo-Confederates, who are pressing their case for the central idea that the South was a bastion of states’ rights and not a viper pit of slavery, even though slavery was central to its economy.
https://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2011/09/black-confederates/

This section addresses the "fake" choice that y04 once claimed Blacks/African in the Confederacy had:

Quote
Freedmen in the Confederacy faced re-enslavement in Virginia and elsewhere, said Stauffer, so they made displays of loyalty that were really gestures of self-protection — a “hope for better treatment, a hope not to be enslaved.”

Loyalty among the few black Confederates was at least ambiguous, said Stauffer. It was further undermined by the Confiscation Act of Aug. 6, 1861, which allowed Union forces to “confiscate” slaves and other “property” used to support the Confederacy. Under the act — the first of two — the freedom of such slaves was left ambiguous, said Stauffer, but it foreshadowed black emancipation and gave slaves even more reason to flee northward.

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« Last Edit: October 28, 2017, 03:40:39 AM by Bison66 »
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Offline Bison66

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??did slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america?- NOT
« Reply #145 on: January 01, 2018, 10:26:49 AM »
Came across this in my research....

y04 will like this because, like him, the writer was an Army clerk.

A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital 1866
John Beauchamp Jones

On this page (431) of the man's diary, he comments on the FAILED vote by the CSA Congress to enlist 'negroes" into the Rebel Army.

https://books.google.com.pa/books?id=Q3YFAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA431&lpg=PA431&dq=confederate+reserves+to+contain+negroes&source=bl&ots=B5ucrEE6W1&sig=PZlC7aDeig_xQtJO1m9fZ9XnrF4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiB9PC26rXYAhUJPiYKHbUgDRUQ6AEIRDAF#v=onepage&q=confederate%20reserves%20to%20contain%20negroes&f=false

We will note, of course, that this February 1865 vote took place just weeks before Lee's surrender and Forrest's dispersing of his troops.

On another page, Jones includes an entire letter from Jeff Davis calling for "negroes" to be enlisted and be freed.

Again, by the time the CSA Congress became desperate enough to allow Africans/Blacks to "fight" for them, the Confederacy was on its military DEATHBED!!!

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Offline Bison66

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Re: DID slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america
« Reply #146 on: February 09, 2019, 04:14:51 PM »
Here's a book that claims to list 7,000 Africans/Blacks who were part of the Confederate Army.



https://smile.amazon.com/gp/product/1456412817/ref=pe_397970_258863180_em_1p_3_lm

The author admits straight up that VERY FEW were soldiers.

As part of my continuing research, I started with Tennessee (found a guy from my great grandmother's hometown county,
whose "master" is buried where she was enslaved) and went through Mississippi, Missouri and South Carolina to see
how many were listed as soldiers of one kind or another.

Out of the several hundred on those pages I found a couple of Privates and a Scout.

The rest were Servants, Teamsters, Blacksmiths, Body Servants, Cooks and Seamstresses, etc.  Several applied for
"veterans benefits" and were REJECTED, so...

Seems that the answer to the original question is MOOT because only a handful of Black folks allegedly
 fought for the Rebel cause.

I will leave my original (which incorrectly bought into the premise of the OP original title - which I have corrected)
post in this thread as it is, but it is clear to me now - after delving into the subject - that:
1) our Ancestors deep behind Confederate lines had NO CHOICE in most cases (as asserted by the originator
 of this thread)
2) those, especially in the border states, CHOSE to escape bondage, went north and many of the men and probably
a few of the women TOOK UP ARMS to defeat the Confederacy and free their People.

We have always resisted!!


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Offline keithbusting

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Re: why did slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america
« Reply #147 on: February 10, 2019, 11:40:10 PM »
Maybe one can pose the question to these slaves and free blacks in the next life whether fighting for the Confederate states of America was worth it. What did they really get for their contributions?                                                                                                                                     

Offline Ken

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Re: why did slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america
« Reply #148 on: February 11, 2019, 09:18:40 AM »
No slaves " fought " for the south- they were brought there by their masters and served as cooks- You think dem white folks gonna give them guns- Negro please.

Offline Bison66

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Re: why did slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america
« Reply #149 on: February 11, 2019, 06:51:21 PM »
Keith and Ken,

Pretty much!!


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