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Author Topic: why did slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america  (Read 15127 times)

Offline y04185

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what are your thoughts.  do you really know why a slave or free black would fight for the south.

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Modern Historians and students of history often reject the claims that African Americans actually fought for the Confederate States of America.  We find it difficult to believe or even understand why black slaves or free would possibly fight in defense for this system and its country.

This Subject has been neglected and long overdue lacking the attention to the finer details of the American Civil War. Often times certain subject matters are often pushed a sided, forgotten or even covered over because of Racism or “not being politically correct”. So many Times in history, it is written by the Victors of these battles and often rewritten by one-sided opinions, not by the views of the losers, who may possibly give the complete story, no matter how controversial or factually true it may be.

May the Unfinished Chapter of the Forgotten Soldier ‘s Story be told

The Forgotten Confederate Soldier – Our Unsung Heroes of the South…… I am referring to the Black Southern Man – both Slave & Free.

A professor from Southern University said, "When you eliminate the black Confederate soldier, you've eliminated the history of the South."

Over the past hundred years, we have erected many Monuments for Union Soldiers throughout this Great country but have showed little regard to the Southern Veterans of their equally important sacrifice for freedom and liberty. Maybe, a Traitor’s name is stills very much part of its heritage and shame it still carries.

The First of Many Monuments to honor Union Soldiers was built for the 2,111 Civil War Unknowns were buried in a memorial just outside of Arlington House in 1866. A small amphitheater was dedicated in 1874, to accommodate the large crowds that attended Memorial Day ceremonies to honor Civil War-era dead;

However, The first military monument in the US Capitol that honors an African-American soldier is the Confederate monument, which was built in 1914 at Arlington National cemetery. (A black Confederate soldier is depicted marching in step with white Confederate soldiers).


Shown above is the 1890 Alabama Confederate Veterans Reunion. In this photo there are more than 40 black Southern men present.



Why did Black Slaves and Free blacks fight for the Confederacy?

This seems like a paradox why so many served under the flag of the Stars & Bars.  These Black southerners did support their country and that by doing so they were “demonstrating it’s possible to hate the system of slavery and love one’s country.” This is the very same reaction that most African Americans showed during the American Revolution, where they fought for the colonies, even though the British offered them freedom if they fought for them.

However, the quest for Freedom played a very important role in black confederate decisions with good service to the master or to the southern cause, there was hope of being released from slavery after the war. Slaves also knew the army life offered them a chance for adventure and opportunity to get away from drudgery of plantation work. The Slaves also who felt compelled to volunteer for the south did so because they hoped it would improve their status after the war. They also knew if the North won they would probably be free, but if the south won, they would have to show support during the war if they had hopes of being free.


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Offline ‘87 Alum

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I really believe you already know the answer to this one Y.


Offline y04185

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'87, read the link.  it is not what most people think.

i do know that when they had the 50th anniversary at gettysburg it was the south that welcomed the blacks from both sides that fought.  the north did not want anything to do with the black union veterans who fought at gettysburg.
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Offline ‘87 Alum

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I did read it....and the reason why southern blacks fought for the confederacy is more likely due to either religion, fear or both.


Offline y04185

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I did read it....and the reason why southern blacks fought for the confederacy is more likely due to either religion, fear or both.

you must have read something totally different.  what religion.  what did they fear.
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Offline ‘87 Alum

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you're unsure how Christianity and slavery are a woven fabric; and also unsure how fear was rooted as a standing principle of slavery?

that part wasn't in the link you provided but is something that most of us have known for a while now....


Offline Bison 4 Life

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Interesting article.Poorly writen but interesting.Leaves alot out and is pandoring in spots.

I think I know the VaPilot writer mentioned.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2009, 09:08:15 AM by Bison 4 Life »

Offline y04185

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12 reasons we don't believe in black confederates

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Offline NovaSkegee

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I really believe you already know the answer to this one Y.

I think everyone already knows the answer. Enslaved Africans were forced into doing certain things directly and indirectly.

 

Offline y04185

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you guys need provide some proof. 

if what you claim is true why did blacks show up and were welcomed at confederate veterans reunions.

it must be hard to realize what you were taught and believed about the civil war was 100 percent wrong.
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Offline ‘87 Alum

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you guys need provide some proof. 

if what you claim is true why did blacks show up and were welcomed at confederate veterans reunions.

it must be hard to realize what you were taught and believed about the civil war was 100 percent wrong.

i don't think so Y.  you can believe what you want and i will do the same.  you know the Doobie Bros had a powerful message with their epic hit "what a fool believes"..... :lmao:


Offline y04185

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'87, provide some proof.  back up what you believe.
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Offline Bison66

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Thank you, y04.  This was, although very poorly written, a very interesting article.  I had read of Black Confederates but had never delved into the subject.

The answer to the thread title question seems quite clear to me. 

Based solely upon the information reported in the article, Black folks made individual judgements as to what was in their best interest.  Some, perhaps with more limited options, chose to fight with the South with the "promise" of freedom or the calculation to hedge their bets in case the South won the war.  (They may have been disappointed just as some Blacks - who sided with the British in 1777, in return for the "promise" of freedom - were when they were shipped off to plantations in the Caribbean.)  Others, as the article reports, perhaps closer to the northern  border of the CSA, escaped in the thousands to the North for freedom or to join the Union.

I did not buy the argument that Black Confederate troops weren't motivated by family ties to return South.  For me, that's dog that won't hunt at all.

Stepping outside the framework of the article, it is my opinion that AMONG the reasons Blacks fought for the South is the classic Stockholm Syndrome in which kidnapped, hostaged people begin to identify with their captors and begin to sympathize with them and support their interests in the sometimes misguided idea that their captives' interests are actually the same as theirs.  Studies show that this begins after only hours or days and was observed among inmates in the Nazi concentration camps as well.

After having been stripped of name, culture, family, heritage, etc for generations and generations and having suffered from constant fear and terror, it is to be expected that some, or even many, enslaved Africans would eventually come to identify with their enslavers.  Malcom X spoke about the "Massa, we sick?" kind of thinking.  Some of that was designed to curry favor and some, no doubt, was sincere.  Either way, it is perfectly understandable to me why some enslaved and free Blacks fought with the Confederacy - as much as, in retrospect, it was against their interests to do so.  However, for those who were hedging their bets, it worked out, in terms of gaining their freedom, anyway.
 O0
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Offline y04185

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bison. slavery was economically out of the door.  especially for the large plantation owners.  the slaves were in the fields and raising livestock to feed themselves.  slavery would have died out in fifteen years because the slave owners would not have been able to afford slaves. 

i don't think the stockholm syndrome was that important.  the slave was getting off the plantation.  he had a choice.  go to the union side for ten dollars a month or go to the confederate side for thirty dollars a month.  in the confederacy the slaves got the same wages as the white soldiers.

you might have a point with the stockholm syndrome when it comes to the free blacks in the south. 
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Offline Maddogfall84

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Thought provoking thread :nod: I will sit back for a second :tiptoe:

 

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