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Author Topic: why did slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america  (Read 14836 times)

Offline Bison66

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Re: ??DID slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america??
« Reply #120 on: October 26, 2015, 05:33:13 PM »


A monument erected by a slaver to his "loyal slave" who died at age 14 during the Civil War.

A close up perspective on the CLAIM that Blacks/Africans fought for the Confederacy..............

Quote
The monument honors Willis Howcott, who was the slave of William Howcott. William Howcott was a member of Harvey’s Scouts, a Confederate cavalry unit from Mississippi made up of around 128 soldiers. A history of Harvey’s Scouts, written by John Claiborne and published in 1885, is here. While the names of the Scout’s soldiers are listed, neither the names of the slaves who were with the soldiers, nor a count of those slaves, are indicated in Claiborne’s history.

The Confederate Digest blog entry says that “William was 15 years old when he joined Harvey’s Scouts in 1864. Willis, his childhood playmate was only 13 but would not be dissuaded from going off to war with his friend. Willis was, tragically, killed in combat sometime in 1865 at the age of 14.” This is based on family memoirs and memories.

This same blog entry makes the claim, which is largely discredited, that an “estimated 65,000 or more African American men, both free and slave, were Confederate soldiers.” Was Willis Howcott one of these black Confederate soldiers?

First, some quick background. During the Civil War, many masters took their slaves with them as they went off to war. These slaves performed a number of tasks: they cooked, foraged for food, washed laundry, cut hair, cared for animals, etc. These slaves were not enlisted in the army; slave enlistment was prohibited by the Confederate government until March 1865. (One month later, Confederate general-in-chief Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia.)

I read through Claiborne’s history of the Scouts, and found no mention of Willis Howcott. Claiborne’s list of the unit’s dead (12 men in all) does not include Willis Howcott’s name. If Willis Howcott did die in battle, it is not recorded in this history, which was developed “out of a considerable amount of material furnished by different persons, and placed at his (Claiborne’s) disposal.”

In fact, Claiborne’s history of Harvey’s Scouts makes no mention of the unit’s slaves at all. Interestingly, Claiborne does document an encounter the Scouts had with a group of US Colored Troops, black men who enlisted in the Union army. Claiborne writes that the “Scouts fell in with a long wagon train from Natchez, guarded by a colored regiment. A desperate fight ensued. The negroes had been taught that we would show them no quarter, and fought like devils.” But there is no mention of the negroes who were with the Scouts. In Claiborne’s history, the slaves are not soldiers, but rather, invisible men.

https://jubiloemancipationcentury.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/remembering-willis-howcott-a-civil-war-monument-to-a-mississippi-slave/

The claim that free and enslaved Blacks/Africans (in any significant number) fought for the Confederacy rests on two kinds of evidence:  SLIM and NONE!!!

O0  8322
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Offline Bison66

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Re: ?did slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america?
« Reply #121 on: February 20, 2016, 12:38:47 PM »
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

Amazingly, I now have a book in which my great grandmother's DEPOSITION about the Franklin (Tenn) Riot is included.  A local historian gave it to me during our enlightening visit to Franklin in April.

Perhaps she saw more than she reported, but she basically only said that some of the wounded were brought to her home to be treated.  She was a skilled mid-wife (requested by the "best families" of Franklin) and during the Civil War was sent to Montgomery, Ala (safely away from Union forces who might have liberated her) and worked with a Doctor also from Franklin.

Apparently, her medical experience was the reason the wounded were brought to her home.

O0

CORRECTION:

I now have the full depostion from my great grandmother Mariah!!!!!

She testified that she saw the FIRST shot fired.
She said it was by the Conservatives at the Union League and Colored League marchers.

The Conservatives were mostly former Confederates and led by a Colonel House, who was a founding member of the local KKK.

This was a bone of contention between the two sides with each claiming the other fired first.

The "forensic" evidence seemed to back up Mariah's and the Union Leaguers' version because almost of the wounds to the the Union Leaguers were in the back or the to  the back of their limbs.

O0

(My historical novel is coming along.  More than 220 pages in draft so far.)
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Offline ncsiacfan

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Re: why did slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america
« Reply #122 on: February 20, 2016, 01:11:35 PM »
Slaves did not rise up and attack "massas's" women in the big house. They tilled the fields and made it possible with their free labor for the confederates to put armies in the field that were nearly equal to that of the Union with six times the white population. Some servants (slaves) accompanied their masters to the fields in service with the CSA armies. General Robert E. Lee opposed the idea of arming blacks in the service of the Confederacy in the dying days of the conflict.

So why should we respond to this and every one else who uses us for their next paper? Why don't we talk about radical reconstruction after 1876 and the savage lynching of blacks that follow for the next 100 years. Glad to know that some got compensated for their service to the Confederacy. So what? Tell that to the relatives of black men hung from tree limbs and brutalized before dying.

 

Offline Bison66

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Re: why did slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america
« Reply #123 on: February 20, 2016, 01:39:25 PM »
Slaves did not rise up and attack "massas's" women in the big house. They tilled the fields and made it possible with their free labor for the confederates to put armies in the field that were nearly equal to that of the Union with six times the white population. Some servants (slaves) accompanied their masters to the fields in service with the CSA armies. General Robert E. Lee opposed the idea of arming blacks in the service of the Confederacy in the dying days of the conflict.

So why should we respond to this and every one else who uses us for their next paper? Why don't we talk about radical reconstruction after 1876 and the savage lynching of blacks that follow for the next 100 years. Glad to know that some got compensated for their service to the Confederacy. So what? Tell that to the relatives of black men hung from tree limbs and brutalized before dying.

ncsiacfan,

Thanks for your timely and appropriate commentary.  Almost all of the Africans "in" the CSA Army were "body servants" to their "masters" or, as you allude to, served as cooks, teamsters or laborers - without compensation and sometimes even without compensation to their "owners."

Also, butressing another of your points, the Rebs were forced to keep up to a third (some experts say) of their forces in "the rear" as INSURANCE against uprisings by enslaved Africans!!!

On the Southern "homefront"....
It was a very mixed picture.

There were thousands upon thousands of Confederate DESERTERS.  Just prior to Appomattox, Lee lost about 35% of his army to desertion!!!

Enslaved Africans constantly sabotaged implements and other property.  They escaped to freedom and resisted in other ways.

There were instances in which enslaved African women slit the throats of their "mistresses" or otherwise hurt/killed them.  The evidence is in letters or diaries written by white plantation women.

When the War broke out, those Africans got bolder.  In the border states they escaped with food, other supplies, wagons, horses, etc  - often after sabotaging the planatations where they had been held in bondage.

There's quite a bit about that in an O-dan Poltics thread as well as the Destruction of Reconstruction (white terrorism) period that you mentioned.  If you haven't seen it, search for "culture history" and click "In thread title"  in that forum and it'll pop up.

This thread began when I suggested to y04 that he begin a thread where we could discuss his ridiculous assertion that enslaved Africans "had a choice" and his implication that they chose to fight for the CSA because of higher pay."  All these years later he has still never explained how enslaved people had a simple "choice."

But the data shows that OVEWHELMINGLY our Ancestors chose to flee to and/or fight for FREEDOM and not to fight with Rebs for a few dollars more, which was y04's ridiculous implication/contention.

O0
« Last Edit: February 20, 2016, 01:44:27 PM by Bison66 »
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Offline ncsiacfan

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Re: why did slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america
« Reply #124 on: February 20, 2016, 07:09:25 PM »
Thanks Bison66. As you know, I accept your and EB's words as the truth and always enlightening. It is just hard to keep up with you guys. And this coming from a Maroon Tiger.

Offline Bison66

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Re: why did slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america
« Reply #125 on: February 20, 2016, 07:34:23 PM »
Thanks Bison66. As you know, I accept your and EB's words as the truth and always enlightening. It is just hard to keep up with you guys. And this coming from a Maroon Tiger.

Hey, I appreciate those kind words, but at the same time I suggest you check me out to ensure I'm accurate.

I ain't ever gonna lie, but "the truth" is a serious (2) word(s), if you get my drift......

Thanks again.

O0

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Offline Bison66

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??did slaves and free blacks fight for the confederate states of america??
« Reply #126 on: March 14, 2016, 09:44:02 PM »
As my research continues, I came across this mention of Blacks/Africans "fighting" for the Confederacy.
[Caught my eye because a majority of my historical novel takes place in and around Franklin, TN, where my great grandmother was enslaved and emancipated.]

This is from a history of African-Americans in Tennessee:

Quote
...The Confederates lost their last major army in the Upper South. They suffered some 6,000 casualties and the loss of six generals at the preceding Battle of Franklin (about thirty miles south of Nashville) on November 30, 1864. Then some 10,000 casualties (dead, wounded, and prisoners) were suffered on the Nashville battlefield just two weeks later. Some barefooted and shivering Confederate soldiers were glad to be captured by black soldiers. General Hood headed the remanants of his confused army south across the Tennessee River, then through Alabama into Oxford, Mississippi, where he resigned in humiliation by January 15, 1865.
 
        The commanding Union general at Nashville, George H. Thomas, said: "The blood of white and black [Union] men has flowed freely together for the great [American] cause, which is to give freedom. Colonel Charles H. Thompson of the 12th USCT Regiment and his brigade of Colored Troops exhibited courage and steadiness that challenged the admiration of all who witnessed the charge." The Nashville True Union reported, "The hills of Nashville will forever attest to how desperately the despised slave will fight when he strikes for freedom." When the USCT marched from the battlefield, the men sang a moving rendition of John Brown's Body ("Glory, Glory, Hallelujah! His soul is marching on!"), leaving few spectators without tears.
 
        John Brown, a fanatical white abolitionist, and his black and white vigilantes attacked Harper's Ferry, Virginia, on October 16, 1859, and fired the first shots of the coming Civil War in a futile effort to free and arm the local slaves. Brown, his son, and the black and white vigilantes lost their lives either in the battle or by hanging. Brown's memory and heroic efforts were preserved in the melodious songs of black people.
 
        Before the last black regiments were mustered out of service in 1866, about 5,107 USCT casualties were suffered from capture, disease, wounds, and death in Tennessee. The graves of the USCT still can be found in various national cemeteries: Nashville (1,909); Memphis (4,208--including the "Fort Pillow" section); Chattanooga (103); Knoxville (663); Cumberland River (12); and Stones River (186). After the war, some blacks made annual pilgrimages (even as late as 1979-1995 in Nashville) to the local national cemeteries to honor the black Union soldiers and view their tombstones marked distinctively USCT.
 
        There was a category of "black Confederates." Nearly 2,000 blacks (some voluntarily, but most involuntarily) served the Confederate Army of Tennessee in various capacities, including impressed servants, cooks, laborers, herders, and teamsters. When the Tennessee General Assembly amended the 1906 Confederate Pension Law in 1921 to include former ("loyal") black Confederate "workers, there were several black applicants. Recorded in the file of Caesar Hays are his words: "I stayed with my master until we were captured, and that was all I could do." Richard Lester of Wilson County could get no pension because he escaped when his master was captured at Fort Donelson. Monroe Stephenson of Maury County remained with Company B, 9th Tennessee Cavalry, until the last surrender.
 
        The Confederates in Richmond tried to organize black regiments. After receiving written support from General Lee, the Confederate Congress passed a law to organize slave soldiers in March of 1865. On the same day that President Lincoln made an impressive review of 25,000 black Union army soldiers on the James River, the Confederates precipitously paraded a slave regiment in Richmond, where they hoped that "our loyal slaves" would fight as effectively for the Rebels as the USCT then performed for the Yankees. But it was too late for a dying and desperate Confederacy.
 
        Blacks were of no real use to the Confederate war effort. There were too many barriers for the Confederates to overcome: their deep racial hatred for blacks; the slaveowners' opposition to the military use of valuable slaves; and the blacks' loyalty to the Union. All these factors negated any real gains the Confederates could realize through forced black participation in a white southern rebellion. In his book, Southern Negroes, 186l-1865 (1938), southern historian Bell I. Wiley wrote, "It hardly seems likely that slaves who greeted the Yankees and grasped freedom with such alacrity under ordinary circumstances would by the donning of Confederate uniforms have been transformed into loyal and enthusiastic fighters for the establishment of the institution of slavery." (p. 162.) The slavocracy moaned that the "slaves trusted most" were often the first to flee to the Yankee side.
http://library3.tnstate.edu/library/DIGITAL/document.htm

I remember reading about the "parade" in Richmond.  It was described as a bunch of folks, including hospital orderlies, quickly assembled and put in uniform.

O0  8896
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 10:02:37 PM by Bison66 »
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Offline MyTeVyKn

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FREEDOM’S SOLDIERS, The Black Military Experience in the Civil War
Edited by:  Ira Berlin, Joseph P. Reidy, Leslie S. Rowland

Here’s an excerpt that is most profound:

Slaveholders experienced the war as a passage to Hell rather than a road to a Promised Land.  As slavery disintegrated, they grew increasingly bitter, often lashing out at those men, women, and children who remained under their control.  None exceeded the fury of owners in loyal Kentucky, where nearly 60 percent of the black men of military age seized freedom by enlisting in the Union army, the largest proportion of any slave state.  With the men beyond reach, the soldiers’ families became targets of the slaveholders’ ire.  Patsey Leach, whose husband had died in combat, testified to the consequences of her master’s rage.  
                        
Camp Nelson  Ky  25” March 1865
   
        Personally appeared before me J M Kelley Notary Public in and for the County of Jessamine State of Kentucky Patsey Leach a woman of color who being duly sworn according to law doth depose and say—

   I am a widow and belonged to Warren Wiley of Woodford County Ky.  My husband Julius Leach was a member of Co. D. 5” U.S.C. Cavalry and was killed at the Salt Works Va. About six months ago.  When he enlisted sometime in the falloff 1864 he belonged to Sarah Martin Scott County Ky.  He had only been about a month in the service when he was killed.  I was living with aforesaid Wiley when he died.  He knew of my husbands enlisting before I did but never said anything to me about it.  From that time he treated me more cruelly than ever whipping me frequently without any cause and insulting me on every occasion.   About three weeks after my husband enlisted a Company of Colored Soldiers passed our house and I was there in the garden and looked at them as they passed.  My master had been watching me and when the soldiers had gone I went into the kitchen.  My master followed me and Knocked me to the floor senseless saying as he did so, “You have been looking at them darned n----r Soldiers”  When I recovered my senses he beat me with a cowhide  When my husband was Killed my master whipped me severely saying my husband had gone into the army to fight against white folks and he my master would let me know that I was foolish to let my husband go he would “take it out of my back.”  he would “Kill me by piecemeal” and he hoped “that the last one of the n----r soldiers would be Killed”  He whipped me twice after that using similar expressions.  The last whipping he gave me he took me into the Kitchen tied my hands tore all my clothes off until I was entirely naked, bent me down, placed my head between his Knees, then whipped me most unmercifully until my back was lacerated all over, the blood oozing out in several places so that AI could not wear my underclothes without their becoming saturated with blood.  The marks are still visible on my back.  On this and other occasions my master whipped me for no other cause than my husband having enlisted.  When he had whipped me he said “never mind God dam you when I am done with you tomorrow you never will live no more.”  I know he would carry out his threats so that night about 10 o’clock I took my babe and travelled to Arnolds Depot where I took the Cars to Lexington.  I have five children.  I left them all with my master except the youngest and I want to get them but I dare not go near my master knowing he would whip me again.  My master is a Rebel Sympathizer and often sends Boxes of Goods to Rebel prisoners.  And further Deponent saith not.
                                        Her
HDcSr
                        Signed       Patsey        Leach
                                       mark
« Last Edit: March 15, 2016, 12:43:06 AM by MyTeVyKn »
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Offline Bison66

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Thanks, MyTeVyKn.

That poor woman!
And she took the decision to leave her other children behind.  THAT was a heavy cross to bear!!

O0

P.S.  Meant to say that one of the co-authors, Joe Reidy, is (or was) a prof at Howard.
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Offline MyTeVyKn

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Thanks, MyTeVyKn.

That poor woman!
And she took the decision to leave her other children behind.  THAT was a heavy cross to bear!!

O0

P.S.  Meant to say that one of the co-authors, Joe Reidy, is (or was) a prof at Howard.

You're welcome.  I found this book to be a very good read with factual accounts throughout.  It opened my eyes even more so to the testimony of struggle, pain, torture, strength, and courage from men, women, and children of the black race during the days of slavery and beyond.  It was a fascinating read and causes me to love my people deeply.
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I may have to stop & visit Franklin on our next trip to BHM.

BHM?

Black History Museum?

Where is it?

Thanks!
O0

BHM is the airport code for Birmingham.


Offline Bison66

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Thanks, MyTeVyKn.

That poor woman!
And she took the decision to leave her other children behind.  THAT was a heavy cross to bear!!

O0

P.S.  Meant to say that one of the co-authors, Joe Reidy, is (or was) a prof at Howard.

You're welcome.  I found this book to be a very good read with factual accounts throughout.  It opened my eyes even more so to the testimony of struggle, pain, torture, strength, and courage from men, women, and children of the black race during the days of slavery and beyond.  It was a fascinating read and causes me to love my people deeply.
   

MTVK,

Question:  Does that book explore the question of Africans/Blacks serving AS SOLDIERS in the CSA Army?

Incidentally, y'all, that prof at Howard is white.

O0
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Offline ncsiacfan

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This was terrible. One of my white neighbors and I have a lot in common and we are always talking. He grew up on a farm in Alabama before working as a contract intelligence officer and traveling out of the US "in government service". He once told me that a old black man who had been a slave who lived on the farm next to his family told him that "slavery not so bad". Why should he say anything else to a child? It was comments like this from adults that I was talking about when I think that you thought that I was criticizing you Bison66. It was not meant to be.  I would tell people 'I am not interested in what your black friend said. Half the time it was a subordinate on the job. And I would ask "what makes you think that you know more about me and my people than I do. Next I would not discuss anything with them unless they were a true friend.

Offline Bison66

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This was terrible. One of my white neighbors and I have a lot in common and we are always talking. He grew up on a farm in Alabama before working as a contract intelligence officer and traveling out of the US "in government service". He once told me that a old black man who had been a slave who lived on the farm next to his family told him that "slavery not so bad". Why should he say anything else to a child? It was comments like this from adults that I was talking about when I think that you thought that I was criticizing you Bison66. It was not meant to be.  I would tell people 'I am not interested in what your black friend said. Half the time it was a subordinate on the job. And I would ask "what makes you think that you know more about me and my people than I do. Next I would not discuss anything with them unless they were a true friend.

Naw, ncsiacfan I never thought you were criticizing me. [I had to go back to see what you might be referencing.]  Not at all.  Re-read my positive and laudatory reply to you.

It's a cliche, but in this case it is true: You got me all wrong!   :lmao:
If you want, point out (what you thought I thought was) the criticism, OK?

If I came off like I was offended or rec'd your comments as criticism, I regret that.  Not in my mind at all.

The anecdote you told about your neighbor reminds me of an experience I savored.  On a trip to South Africa, we were in the Wine Country.  That's where Stellenbosch is located, which was the "birthplace" of Afrikaaner-ism!!  Like being in Pulaski, TN or Stone Mountain, GA in re: to the KKK.

We were staying at this beautiful place (got a great discount) called Lanzarac (check it out on line).  Those damn Boers and white so-called supremacists (in portraits on the walls) were turning over in their graves that we three "Coloreds" were staying there and eating there.  The food was FABULOUS!!!!!

We, but especially I, were enjoying the irony, the "progress" and I took the opportunity to put our young white waiter in the same position that SO MANY of our people were placed in historically and even now.  (For example, in some suburban or private high school classrooms where all students turn to the one or two Black students when issues of race,or poverty, etc. come up.) The waiter knew his response to my question could affect the size of his tip. Big difference was that he didn't have to worry about getting reprimanded or fired by the owners...or back in the day even possibly being pulled outside and beaten or perhaps killed.

But anyway,...I relished the opportunity as a Black customer to ask a white person in a slightly subservient position in a Black-majority country:
How do you feel about the changeover from apartheid to the current political situation of majority rule?

He did not noticeably squirm, which I was watching for. He gave me a credible and nuanced answer claiming that he was cool with it but his father and his generation were not.

IF he was being honest, it was a decent answer.
But he may have been doing what that old Black man was doing: Not making waves.

OR, he was avoiding reliving the trauma in a situation where nothing would come of it anyway.

Good dialogue, y'all.

O0
« Last Edit: March 15, 2016, 01:43:58 PM by Bison66 »
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Offline MyTeVyKn

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Thanks, MyTeVyKn.

That poor woman!
And she took the decision to leave her other children behind.  THAT was a heavy cross to bear!!

O0

P.S.  Meant to say that one of the co-authors, Joe Reidy, is (or was) a prof at Howard.

You're welcome.  I found this book to be a very good read with factual accounts throughout.  It opened my eyes even more so to the testimony of struggle, pain, torture, strength, and courage from men, women, and children of the black race during the days of slavery and beyond.  It was a fascinating read and causes me to love my people deeply.
   

MTVK,

Question:  Does that book explore the question of Africans/Blacks serving AS SOLDIERS in the CSA Army?

Incidentally, y'all, that prof at Howard is white.

O0

The accounts from this book deals mostly with the Union Army Soldiers, their leaders, family, and acquaintances.  It talks about logistics, i.e., food, medicine, pay, excavations (digging building bunkers/forts) and why black men joined.  It contains actual letters like the one posted previous of depositions for accountability.  I found them quite fascinating since a lot of the slaves could not read or write yet they found abolitionist, I'm guessing, to translate and document their accounts.  Goes to show some white folk ain't all bad.  I have another book to share that gives the account of blacks in the CSA Army.  Will post later as I am headed home from work.
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