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Author Topic: why did slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america  (Read 15689 times)

Offline ncsiacfan

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Bison 66, I will make and effort to contact them again and let you know how it goes.

Offline Bison66

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My Man!!

Excellent!!

My son-in-law is a Morehouse Alum and I will ask him, based upon my earlier suggestions, IF he knows any faculty or student groups who fit the bill.  He graduated in the 90's, but he may still know some folks.

I'll get back to you on who, if anyone, he comes up with.

O0
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Offline Bison66

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[ ncsiacfan and I have taken our conversation off group and will update everyone later.  If anyone wants to help, just PM us, please.]

All,

A lot has been IMPLIED by y04 about so-called "choices" and some has been said about Blacks "fighting" for the Confederacy.   From the sheer numbers, it is clear that by the tens of thousands (vs a much smaller verified number) the choice made was clear.  

Contrary to y04 's assertion
(disguised - as usual - by indefinite and ambiguous wording
so that he can later claim, if challenged, "Where did I say that?")

that MONEY formed the basis of the choices made by free and enslaved Blacks, it is abundantly clear that it was DIGNITY, BRAVERY, SELF-RESPECT and an URGENT DESIRE FOR FREEDOM that motivated those tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of men, women and children to escape to Union lines (sometimes conducting sabotage first and/or taking supplies and even horses from the plantation with them).  Check pages 125-126:  http://www.amazon.com/Wars-Desolating-Scourge-Occupation-Alabama/dp/0700618449

PHOTOS OF A FEW OF THE US COLORED TROOPS
       
http://encyclopediavirginia.org/slide_player?mets_filename=sld1769mets.xml

Many, many of those men, "contraband" as they were sometimes called, sought to serve in the Union Army.  But not all Black men were accepted, so NOT even the very large number of US Colored Troops reflects the totality of the choice by our ancestors.

       

It is with THAT noble and courageous tradition that I associate myself and of which I am proud.

Now, as to "soldiers" in the Rebel Army:

There are reports of what I would call isolated cases including an artillery battery and scattered information, some of which CIAA-FAN has mentioned (THANKS AGAIN!!).

This article, of which I also have a hard copy as published by the Franklin Battlefield Trust, outlines a proposal by CSA General Cleburne to arm and eventually emancipate loyal slaves who would be trained and deployed to fight for the Rebels.

http://franklinhomepage.com/eric-a-jacobson-controversial-document-on-slavery-debate-cms-14020#.U3TEBvldVPg


He was one of 4 Confederate Generals later killed at the Battle of Franklin, Tenn in November 1864.
 
Check it out for yourself because it contains many interesting facts, but here are a few nuggets:

- The proposal was widely opposed, although a few officers under Cleburne's command, initially supported it.
- The CSA "high command" opposed it and some officers accused Cleburne of  betraying the Confederacy's basis for existence.
- Lee not only rejected the final "The Proposal to Enlist Slaves and Guarantee Freedom to All Loyal Negroes" in January 1864.  He ordered all copies of it destroyed.  
      - All but one copy apparently were.  Had it not survived, we may not have ever known it existed or certainly its full details.
- Gen Cleburne was never promoted again despite being regarded as of the South's best field commanders.
- Gen. Cleburne was an Irish immigrant and was not a slave holder.  Some scholars feel that his experience of being part of an oppressed (by the English) group may have colored his perceptions.

Slaves being forced ("impressed") into service (without compensation to them or even their masters) as stevedores, teamsters, personal servants, etc or laborers building fortifications) is one thing AND was common.  However, being armed and fighting is another matter completely.

y04 said:
Quote
Also, why would they not fight for the CSA if it would make them free?


The above information about Cleburne's rejected proposal makes this argument by y04 mostly moot.  THERE WAS NO INSTITUTIONAL PROMISE OF FREEDOM by the CSA itself until two weeks before the surrender of Gen. Lee in Virginia.  If I am wrong, I am certain that y04 will post a link to prove it.  His silence will confirm that he was talking out the side of his neck - again.

Furthermore, this recounting of one of the "favorite" examples (the Louisiana Native Guards) of Neo-Confederates falls apart upon closer examination.  THIS IS CLASSIC!!

Quote
When the state of Louisiana announced its secession on January 26, 1861, a group of free black men from New Orleans offered their services to the state, and were organized as the Louisiana Native Guards. Most were creoles, or people of mixed French and African ancestry, and many had been free since the Natchez Rebellion of 1729, long before New Orleans was even part of the United States. Some even owned slaves themselves.

The state, and then the Confederacy, accepted the unit and occasionally gave its members roles in ceremonies or parades, but refused to allow them into battle.  When New Orleans fell to Union forces in April 1862, the Louisiana Native Guards embraced the change, and offered their unit's services to Union general Benjamin F. Butler. Butler initially refused, but in September 1862 the First Louisiana Native Guards was mustered into United States service. Two additional regiments soon joined them.
http://encyclopediavirginia.org/Black_Confederates#start_entry

Propaganda and BS (parades and ceremonies) pure and simple by the Confederates.

Therefore, considering it all, it has become clear to me that any Blacks who were "fighting" with the Confederacy did so under unique local circumstances including insubordination by Rebel officers, and in violation of the law of the CSA and the orders of its Army.

In conclusion we can all agree that y04 was quite correct "the choice was clear."  That is validated by the numbers that have been cited.  However, the implication of his statement is certainly not correct.  
  
"We" chose DIGNITY and SELF-RESPECT over cash.   :nod:   :clap:   :nod:    :clap:

O0 3981
« Last Edit: May 15, 2014, 01:01:17 PM by Bison66 »
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Offline ncsiacfan

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Benjamin Brawley. Short History if the American Negro, 1913

Section 74, p. 198. Unlike some others, he said that Robert E. Lee favored offering freedom to Blacks  in exchange for their service. He also states the that the Louisiana Guards were not trusted by the Confederates and simply changed sides when it was apparent that the north would win and that the south was using blacks to build fortifications well before the north. This was not voluntary.

Some cites will omit important pages to get you to purchase.  Don't do that. You can get the entire book online. (Lost my URL, but it is there and free)

Offline EB

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One of these days I will have to visit the African-American Civil War Museum.

www.afroamcivilwar.org

Offline Bison66

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One of these days I will have to visit the African-American Civil War Museum.

www.afroamcivilwar.org

Thanks, EB.
Yes!!

The memorial itself is quite impressive!!

Kudos to former DC Council member, Frank Smith, who fought what was at first a LONELY battle to bring the memorial and the museum to reality.

There's a big event in May 17, 2015 - The Grand March.  It would be a great time to visit DC.

Wonderful!!
O0
« Last Edit: October 06, 2014, 02:06:15 PM by Bison66 »
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Offline ncsiacfan

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A correction is in order. In the battle near Petersburg, Virginia, the charge was lead by white soldiers. Black soldiers had been trained specifically for this when General Meade changed the order of battle.
Miners from Pennsylvania dug the trenches under the Confederate lines and laid the charges. The black soldiers had been trained to go around the crater after the explosion. The white soldiers went right into it. It can been seen today at the Petersburg battlefield. One quarter of the union dead were black soldiers. I am certain that was the scene in the movie Cold Harbour when a rebel soldier yelled "the Yankees are trapped in their own hole".

Benjamin Brawley,  History of Morehouse College, commissioned by the Trustees
http://fogottenbooks.org  and http://www.northamericanforts.com

The latter placed the location of Fort Whitehall  near Georgia Tech and said some of the original battery can be viewed on the Tech campus. This makes sense as Whitehall street runs right by there. It locates a battery D at Fair and Ashby (Lowrey Blvd). This is the rear of the Morehouse Campus next to Forbes Area. In writing about the purchase, Brawley (p. 55) said "The site was historic, being at the time still marked by the earthworks of the Confederates who offered stubborn resistance to the union...having such a spot devoted to the intellectual and moral betterment of those who were so largely the occasion of the civil war, was fully remarked at the time.

There was no mention of confederate dead of either race being buried on the property.

Offline Bison66

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Thanks, ncsiacfan, for correcting the record.

It takes a big person to admit a mistake in public - big time.

y04 should take lessons from you.

Perhaps there is still - based upon those facts AND the 150th Anniversary celebrations of the Civil War - the potential opportunity to encourage some student / faculty research highlighting sites on and near the campuses of the Atlanta Center campuses. 

The geographical proximity to current students could spur their additional interest in our People's history during (and before and after) that period.

Perhaps your contacts can tell you if there are already some projects (memorials, exhibits, etc) underway.

THANKS AGAIN, ncsiacfan, for being a class act!!!

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Offline VUU fan

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There is going to be a re-enactment of the attack on Fort Pocahontas this weekend. The black Union soldiers were outnumbered by more than 2 to 1 and stopped the attack.




Charles City County News

RE-ENACTMENT Outnumbered, black Union soldiers stopped 1864 attack

Re-enactment will highlight 1864 victory in Charles City by black soldiers fighting for Union



The 16th annual re-enactment and 150th anniversary of the attack on Fort Pocahontas will be 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 13150 Sturgeon Point Road. Tours of the fort begin at 10 a.m. both days and tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for students or $15 for adults and $10 for students to attend both days. For more information call (804) 829-9722 or visit www.fortpocahontas.org/reenactments.

full story here:

http://www.timesdispatch.com/news/local/central-virginia/charles-city/outnumbered-black-union-soldiers-stopped-attack/article_8c167c2c-24a5-5272-96aa-43a3dd101765.html

Quote
The engagement was small but the roughly 1,100 black soldiers with their white commanders were outnumbered more than 2-to-1 by the more than 2,500 Confederate soldiers attacking the unfinished fort.

Quote
John Salmon, the retired historian for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources who nominated the site for the National Register for Historic Places, said any time black troops were involved, “it upset the Confederates quite a bit,” he said.


Some Union officers also were hesitant to believe the black soldiers could hold their own.


“It wasn’t really until 1864 that really changed … proving all those doubters wrong,” he said. “It made quite an impression on everyone.”


The U.S. Colored Troops got their start as early as 1862, continuing a legacy of black men participating in American conflicts since the Revolutionary War.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 04:00:59 PM by VUU fan »

Offline Bison66

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Thanks, VUU!

I shared the info with some folks in the region.  I would have enjoyed the re-enactment a lot.
Never been to one.

All,

Keep running across more details on Blacks serving in the Union Army.

Most of the focus usually goes to the US Colored Troops, which were segregated units.  However, in addition there were Blacks who served in integrated units.

This book is Volume Two of an attempt to document their service.

Forgotten Black Soldiers Who Served in White Regiments During The Civil War: Volume II
By Juanita Patience Moss


Quote
In 1998, the author learned about a new monument in Washington, D.C., created to honor the black soldiers and sailors who had served in the Civil War. What she was about to learn; however, was that her great grandfather’s name would not be among those remembered there. Why not? Because he had not served in one of the segregated units whose members’ names are engraved on the memorial wall. Instead, Crowder Pacien/Patience had served in a white regiment. An identifiably “Col’d” man, he had been a private in the 103rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. After having been told that there had been no black soldiers serving in white regiments, the author made a hypothesis that if there had been one such black soldier in a white regiment, as she knew, then there might have been others. This series traces the author’s journey to such proof. The hundreds of names listed here should be proof enough for the “nay-sayers” to conclude that black men indeed did serve in white regiments.

http://www.heritagebooks.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=HBI&Product_Code=101-M5540&Category_Code=

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Offline Bison66

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The 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment was composed of Union-sympathizers, Confederate deserters and a few Black men as well.  It is sometimes described (wikipedia is one) as the only "all-white regiment" from Alabama in the Union Army.

In fact, there were a few Black men enlisted as soldiers in addition to the "undercooks" and teamsters.

Here is the tombstone of one Private Thomas Pool:


http://www.1stalabamacavalryusv.com/roster/Troopers.aspx?trooperid=1778

Neo-Confederate revisionists and sympathizers, take note.
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Offline Bison66

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Third post of the night in this thread, but the info is just plain fascinating...

The republished article on this blog gives insight into how white southerners have been misled about the history and heritage that they so often celebrate AS IF all southerners (read that as all WHITES) were ardent secessionists and Confederate flag wavers.

Check it out.  Written by a true Southerner.  Here's an excerpt:

Quote
...If that were the case, I thought, then why were there hidden rooms in the graveyard at Parham? Maybe I had it mixed up; maybe those hidden men were really good brave loyal Southerners hiding from the Yankees.

Again came the, “Shhhhhhhhh. Let’s not talk about this” from the adults in my life.

But the older kids checked the story out with the older ones who would tell us the straight of it — the ones hiding were hiding from the Southern draft enforcers.

Then I overheard a conversation between my father and one of his relatives.

What? Some of the Thorntons were in the Union Army? Whoa! I thought. How did that happen? And no one would talk to me about the event or even acknowledge what I had overheard.

“Shhhhhhhh. Let’s not talk about this.”

As I got older I also questioned why the given name Sherman was widely used in my family: my grandfather had Sherman as one of his given names; my father had Sherman as one of his given names; my brothers has Sherman as one of his given names; and I have at least two cousins with Sherman as one of their given names. Somehow this choice of given name didn’t square with my conception of the turmoil that ripped through the Hills of Alabama and Mississippi some seventy-five years before I was born.

General Sherman was not one of my favorite people — he was not presented in any favorable light in any of the lessons in history I had at Hatley School. So what was I doing in a family with so many males named for Sherman? Oh well, I was told, they are named for someone else but that someone was never identified.

And if I persisted, out came the, “Shhhhhhhhhh. Let’s not talk about this.”

About 1970, my father asked my wife and me to go with him to Lann Cemetery, Splunge, Monroe County, Mississippi, to visit the grave of James Monroe Thornton. James Monroe Thornton was my father’s grandfather — James Monroe Thornton was the one who first named a son with the moniker “Sherman” — in 1865 he named a son John Sherman Thornton.

And while at the cemetery, my father told my wife what he had never told me: James Monroe Thornton served in the Union Army. Basically all he would or could tell me was that his grandfather, he had been told, was on the staff with General Sherman, had attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, and so admired the General that he vowed to name the first of his sons born after the war for the general.

James Monroe Thornton survived the war and when the first child born after the war was a son, he named him John Sherman Thornton.

Be damned if I would listen to another “Shhhhhhhh. Let’s not talk about this” again!

During the next year or two, I started my reading and researching of the Thornton family...

http://southernunionistschronicles.wordpress.com/tag/1st-alabama-cavalry/

Family secrets hide the realities.
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Offline Bison66

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Long Live Killmonger!

Offline Bison66

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Cartoon showing enslaved Africans welcoming Union troops.


http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/ppmsca.22873/?co=drwg

Check out what she says.  It's a bit difficult to make out for these old eyes, but you youngsters should do alright.  LOL

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Offline ncsiacfan

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I had a student whose great Aunt had letters from two of her uncles who were enlisted men in the CSA.
She said that she would not let anyone see them. One day, my student sneaked them away and we copied them. They were very hopeful in the beginning. "As we marched through Tennessee., women gave us bread and honey". "There is going to be a great battle and the __ Mississippi is going the be in the middle of it because our arms are fine as any outfit the CSA. We have 500 muskets which can fire 500-600 yards and 1200 repeating rifles which fire 1200-1300 yards. This was 1861. And as the tactics of the day were European style from earlier in the century, line up and march straight ahead, you can see why the slaughter was so great. The letters stopped in 1863. At that time, they read like a person who did not expect to survive. "Tell cousin___ that we will meet again at the new Jerusalem".

I noticed that their outfit had been in the Army of Tennessee. I told my student that there was a Union Army of the Tennessee.  Maybe your old aunt thought that her uncles were in the northern army. 
A year later, I received a letter from my student's dad, who was a ranking Air Force officer on active duty thanking me. He said "it took a black professor at a black university to explain what the problem was. My aunts thought that her uncles were "traitors to the cause".

 

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