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Author Topic: why did slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america  (Read 15080 times)

Offline Bison66

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I am curious to know if any black confederate units fought directly against a black union unit? 


Let's first find the answer to the issue that Ken raised:  Did Blacks in the Army of the CSA actually FIGHT?

PERHAPS, y04 has some links for that.  He seems to have a special interest.
O0
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Offline y04185

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How could blacks fight for the confederate states when they were not allowed to have weapons??-- they served as porters, etc. but what do you think would have happened had the confederates armed blacks???

I'll try to look it up over the weekend.  Don't have time today unless I luck up on something.  For now this will have to do  http://civilwargazette.wordpress.com/2008/03/13/did-blacks-fight-in-combat-for-the-confederacy/

That would be a great question for Dr. Jeffries the next time he is on The Jack Gravely Show.  He would definitely know the answer.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 05:26:41 PM by y04185 »
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Offline y04185

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This from another source.

Read more

Blacks Who Fought For the South

      Most historical accounts portray Southern blacks as anxiously awaiting President Abraham Lincoln's "liberty-dispensing troops" marching south in the War Between the States. But there's more to the story; let's look at it.
        Black Confederate military units, both as freemen and slaves, fought federal troops. Louisiana free blacks gave their reason for fighting in a letter written to New Orleans' Daily Delta: "The free colored population love their home, their property, their own slaves and recognize no other country than Louisiana, and are ready to shed their blood for her defense. They have no sympathy for Abolitionism; no love for the North, but they have plenty for Louisiana. They will fight for her in 1861 as they fought in 1814-15." As to bravery, one black scolded the commanding general of the state militia, saying, "Pardon me, general, but the only cowardly blood we have got in our veins is the white blood."
        Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest had slaves and freemen serving in units under his command. After the war, Forrest said of the black men who served under him, "These boys stayed with me.. - and better Confederates did not live." Articles in "Black Southerners in Gray," edited by Richard Rollins, gives numerous accounts of blacks serving as fighting men or servants in every battle from Gettysburg to Vicksburg.
        Professor Ed Smith, director of American Studies at American University, says Stonewall Jackson had 3,000 fully equipped black troops scattered throughout his corps at Antietam - the war's bloodiest battle. Mr. Smith calculates that between 60,000 and 93,000 blacks served the Confederacy in some capacity. They fought for the same reason they fought in previous wars and wars afterward: "to position themselves. They had to prove they were patriots in the hope the future would be better ... they hoped to be rewarded."
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Offline Bison66

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y04,

Thanks for one good post (the first one); not so much for the second one, although there is a bit of good info there.

This, from the CivilWarHome.com site, is one reason:  
Quote
This area of the Home of the American Civil War website is dedicated to telling the Confederate side of the story. It makes no attempt to be unbiased. It merely attempts to tell the OTHER story.

But thanks for contributing to the dialogue.

I must admit, I really loved that Louisiana Home Guard soldier who "corrected" the General by telling him that the only cowardly blood in the Black soldiers was "the white blood."

Now...
Since, y04, you are in the discussion mood and mode, perhaps after all this time you will actually address what I posed to you nearly 4 years ago:

bison, the slaves knew what they would make per month.  they knew what they would bring on the slave market.  if a slave wanted to buy his freedom he could do it much quicker fighting on the csa side.  slaves weren't as ignorant as some historians would make them out to be.

That's all good, but my questions remain unanswered.  Knowledge of the enslaved is not the question; it is their ability to act on that info.

"In what context are you speaking when you say, " 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." ??

"Choice"?  As in "freedom" of movement?  You speak as if slaves were already freed under the CSA."

More concretely, let me say that the "choice" you mention is between:
1) running away (risking severe punishment, including maiming, and leaving children and loved ones), making way through somewhat unknown territory during war time with troops on patrol, sneaking through Confederate Army lines to get to Union lines without knowing for sure they could get in the Army to be paid (many Blacks were not accepted).
vs.
2) raising their hands to volunteer for the CSA AND being paid with the knowledge, since you say they were so well informed*, that if the South lost, they would be freed anyway and, if the South won, they'd expect some "return on their investment."

But my larger point is that enslaved Africans did not have freedom of movement to exercise what might have been their "true" choice.

Answers?

 O0

*I will, however, remind you that most of the enslaved in Texas did not learn of Emancipation until much later.

O0
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 09:56:48 PM by Bison66 »
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Offline Ken

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tHIS IS  from an article in civil war gazette  -- entitled "Did Blacks fight in combat for the Confederacy?"


1. The majority of black of Confederates who actually fought were essentially with the army as servants or personal attendants for officers. This was especially true in the initial part of the war (1861-62), I have read occasionally about these slaves/servants taking up a rifle and fighting in ranks with their master. Otherwise, various mulattoes or persons with light complexions may have been directly enrolled in the army. SINCE IT WAS AGAINST C.S.A. policy to enlist blacks in the fighting army (until the very last in1865), I doubt if formal records will show the extent of black combat participation."


2. Civil War Historian Professor James Mc Phesrson who won a Pultizer Prize for a civil war book wrote that of the more than25,000 soldiers letters he has personally read over the years, he has only found evidence that perhaps 6-12 confederate soldiers were even mentioned.


3. Professor and Civil War historian-author steven woodsworth said--" It would be hard to prove that absolutely zero blacks fought in the confederate army, but I think it must have approached that level:.



NOW PERTAINING TO Y'S ARTICLE-- THE TIMES IS A CONSERVATIVE WASHINGTON PAPER WHOSE EDITOR ONCE SAID THAT HE CONSIDERS ETHIOPIANS WHITE.  IT IS NOW CALLED THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER

IF THE AUTHOR OF Y ARTICLE IS WALTER WILLIAMS AND I MAY BE MISTAKEN BUT HE IS AN ECONOMIST AT GEORGE MASON UNIVERISITY AND NOT A CIVIL WAR HISTORIAN.   HE IS ALSO A CONSERVATIVE SPOKESMAN.

Offline Bison66

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I am curious to know if any black confederate units fought directly against a black union unit? 


Let's first find the answer to the issue that Ken raised:  Did Blacks in the Army of the CSA actually FIGHT?

PERHAPS, y04 has some links for that.  He seems to have a special interest.
O0

EL JAY,

From what has been posted so far, it DOES SEEM THAT THERE WERE NO BLACK UNITS IN THE CONFEDERATE ARMY.

That kind of information would be hard to hide and, for sure, the Neo-Confederates, in their never ending effort to justify the human trafficking and terrorism of their forebears, would be shouting it from the rooftops!!!

It would have been FRONT PAGE news ALL OVER THE SOUTH!!!!  Instead, historians are left to quibble about whether there were a scattered dozen, or hundred or a thousands or so in an armed force of about half a million.

So, I feel quite and completely comfortable in saying that there were no ARMED BLACK UNITS for the CSA.

I guess the Rebs didn't trust their "loyal" nigras THAT much.

Talk about "fraggin'"!!!!

o0
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Offline Ken

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Well the CSA explicitly prohibited blacks from being armed to fight--When they about changing the rules the war had already been lost.  Most of these stories of blacks fighting for the south is all right wing propaganda-- you think If you rape someones wife and daughter, whipped their husbands- then are YOU going to give that man a GUN??-- what do you think the majority of those armed would do - fight the North or turn the gun on you.

Offline Bison66

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True, Ken, for most!!

But we do know for sure that there are always a few brainwashed and confused individuals who miscomprehend the situation and who "fight" against their own interests.

There's a fascinating story of the Franklin Riot (Tenn) just after the Civil War.  There were Black and white RADICALS advocating that former Confederates not be given too much leeway to regain power AND there were white and Black CONSERVATIVES (these were the labels applied to them in the Official Report of the incident, not by me) who opposed the Radicals.

The Radicals did a series of marches in the Franklin area.  During (the last?) one, they were confronted in the streets by the Conservatives led by TWO BLACK MEN (or were they pushed up front?).  Shots rang out and two men were killed and several were wounded.  Both sides were armed but disagreed about who shot first.

It turns out that my Great Grandmother was a witness and gave a deposition to the investigators.  I am HOPING that she was on the Radical's side, but I have my doubts. 

Visiting Franklin next month to see what more I can find out.

O0
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Offline y04185

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For the most part from what I've read lately Blacks nor slaves were allowed to serve in combat arms for the CSA until 1865.  By then it was too late.  One motivating factor for a slave to fight for the confederacy would have been money.  The CSA reportedly would have paid Blacks $30 a month.  Blacks in the Union were paid $10 or $13 a month.  A slave could have served for less time in the CSA to purchase his freedom. 

I remember reading, if my memory is correct, that Robert E. Lee wanted Blacks to serve early in the war.  The CSA was against it.  Even when they were getting whipped on the battlefield by Blacks from the North. 

I doubt anyone will ever be able to reasonable say that Blacks fought for the CSA in number compared to the north.  When the CSA did allow Blacks into the Army it was way too late.  By the time they would have been trained for battle the war was over. 
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Offline Bison66

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There is NO WAY any honest person could say that the number of Blacks in the CSA Army was even close at all to the numbers fighting for the Union.

y04, I see you still have no response to my inquiry from almost 4 years ago in this thread to "clarify" what you termed a "choice" of which side to "fight" on.  I do, of course, realize that you don't because it was muddled thinking that led you to say that enslaved folks had a "choice" in the first place.

O0
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Offline CIAA-FAN

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THESE TWO BOOKS WILL GIVE YOU INTERESTING FIRST HAND PERSPECTIVE AND ANSWERS TO THE QUESTION.  THE FIRST ONE I READ AND THE SECOND I HAVE READ PARTS OF:

"FORGOTTEN CONFEDERATES: AN ANTHOLOGY ABOUT BLACK SOUTHERNERS" - COMPILED AND EDITED BY CHARLES KELLY BARROW, J.H. SEGARS AND R.B.ROSENBURG, JOURNAL OF CONFEDERATE HISTORY SERIES, VOL, XIV - 1995

BLACK SOUTHERNERS IN GRAY: ESSAYS ON AFRO-AMERICANS IN CONFEDERATE ARMIES - BY: ANDREW CHANDLER BATTAILE, ERVIN L. JORDAN, ARTHUR W. BERGERON, JR, RICHARD ROLLINS, THOMAS Y. CARTWRIGHT AND RUDOLF YOUNG; EDITED BY RICHARD ROLLINS - RANK AND FILE PUBLICATIONS - 1994

BOTH CONTAIN A GREAT SERIES OF NARRATIVES AND FIRST HAND ACCOUNTS ABOUT A LITTLE KNOWN OR DISCUSSED ASPECT OF AMERICAN HISTORY.  THE ANSWERS TO THE BASIC QUESTIONS ARE ENLIGHTENING AND CONTRARY TO POPULAR MISCONCEPTIONS, ON THE TOPIC. 
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 CIAA-FAN

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There is NO WAY any honest person could say that the number of Blacks in the CSA Army was even close at all to the numbers fighting for the Union.

y04, I see you still have no response to my inquiry from almost 4 years ago in this thread to "clarify" what you termed a "choice" of which side to "fight" on.  I do, of course, realize that you don't because it was muddled thinking that led you to say that enslaved folks had a "choice" in the first place.

O0

YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT AND THERE IS WRITTEN EVIDENCE TO SUBSTANTIATE YOUR ASSERTION.  THE TOTAL NUMBER WAS LESS THAN 5,000.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2014, 02:25:13 PM by CIAA-FAN »
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Offline MyTeVyKn

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I will do a cross reference just in case the books I have are already listed.  But, hope to have them posted soon.  I have become fascinated with reading and studying the behaviors of blacks through various periods of our history.
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Offline Bison66

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THESE TWO BOOKS WILL GIVE YOU INTERESTING FIRST HAND PERSPECTIVE AND ANSWERS TO THE QUESTION.  THE FIRST ONE I READ AND THE SECOND I HAVE READ PARTS OF:

"FORGOTTEN CONFEDERATES: AN ANTHOLOGY ABOUT BLACK SOUTHERNERS" - COMPILED AND EDITED BY CHARLES KELLY BARROW, J.H. SEGARS AND R.B.ROSENBURG, JOURNAL OF CONFEDERATE HISTORY SERIES, VOL, XIV - 1995

BLACK SOUTHERNERS IN GRAY: ESSAYS ON AFRO-AMERICANS IN CONFEDERATE ARMIES - BY: ANDREW CHANDLER BATTAILE, ERVIN L. JORDAN, ARTHUR W. BERGERON, JR, RICHARD ROLLINS, THOMAS Y. CARTWRIGHT AND RUDOLF YOUNG; EDITED BY RICHARD ROLLINS - RANK AND FILE PUBLICATIONS - 1994

BOTH CONTAIN A GREAT SERIES OF NARRATIVES AND FIRST HAND ACCOUNTS ABOUT A LITTLE KNOWN OR DISCUSSED ASPECT OF AMERICAN HISTORY.  THE ANSWERS TO THE BASIC QUESTIONS ARE ENLIGHTENING AND CONTRARY TO POPULAR MISCONCEPTIONS, ON THE TOPIC. 


FAN,

I respectfully request that you share with the Board ANY AND ALL information from what you read in those volumes which MIGHT support either:
- the idea that enslaved Africans in the South had a "true choice" (see my note to y04) to join either army
OR
- the claim that the number of Africans/Blacks in the CSA Army was more than a mere fraction of Blacks/Africans in the Union Army
OR
- that there were Black/African units in the CSA Army
OR
- that there were a significant number of ARMED Blacks in the CSA Army.

Any or all such information will be greatly appreciated by this poster and, I am sure, others.

O0
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Offline y04185

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There is NO WAY any honest person could say that the number of Blacks in the CSA Army was even close at all to the numbers fighting for the Union.

y04, I see you still have no response to my inquiry from almost 4 years ago in this thread to "clarify" what you termed a "choice" of which side to "fight" on.  I do, of course, realize that you don't because it was muddled thinking that led you to say that enslaved folks had a "choice" in the first place.

O0

The choice was crystal clear.  He had a choice of fighting for the Union for 10 dollars a month or the south for 30.  That was the choice. 
Fayetteville State by choice. Bronco by the Grace of GOD.

 

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