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Black Confederates
phxnews ^ | January 8, 2004 | Charles Goodson

Posted on 01/08/2004 6:40:27 PM PST by stainlessbanner

Black Confederates Why haven't we heard more about them? National Park Service historian, Ed Bearrs, stated, "I don't want to call it a conspiracy to ignore the role of Blacks both above and below the Mason-Dixon line, but it was definitely a tendency that began around 1910" Historian, Erwin L. Jordan, Jr., calls it a "cover-up" which started back in 1865. He writes, "During my research, I came across instances where Black men stated they were soldiers, but you can plainly see where 'soldier' is crossed out and 'body servant' inserted, or 'teamster' on pension applications." Another black historian, Roland Young, says he is not surprised that blacks fought. He explains that "some, if not most, Black southerners would 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.

It has been estimated that over 65,000 Southern blacks were in the Confederate ranks. Over 13,000 of these, "saw the elephant" also known as meeting the enemy in combat. These Black Confederates included both slave and free. The Confederate Congress did not approve blacks to be officially enlisted as soldiers (except as musicians), until late in the war. But in the ranks it was a different story. Many Confederate officers did not obey the mandates of politicians, they frequently enlisted blacks with the simple criteria, "Will you fight?" Historian Ervin Jordan, explains that "biracial units" were frequently organized "by local Confederate and State militia Commanders in response to immediate threats in the form of Union raids". Dr. Leonard Haynes, an African-American professor at Southern University, stated, "When you eliminate the black Confederate soldier, you've eliminated the history of the South."

As the war came to an end, the Confederacy took progressive measures to build back up its army. The creation of the Confederate States Colored Troops, copied after the segregated northern colored troops, came too late to be successful. Had the Confederacy been successful, it would have created the world's largest armies (at the time) consisting of black soldiers,even larger than that of the North. This would have given the future of the Confederacy a vastly different appearance than what modern day racist or anti-Confederate liberals conjecture. Not only did Jefferson Davis envision black Confederate veterans receiving bounty lands for their service, there would have been no future for slavery after the goal of 300,000 armed black CSA veterans came home after the war.

1. The "Richmond Howitzers" were partially manned by black militiamen. They saw action at 1st Manassas (or 1st Battle of Bull Run) where they operated battery no. 2. In addition two black "regiments", one free and one slave, participated in the battle on behalf of the South. "Many colored people were killed in the action", recorded John Parker, a former slave.

2. At least one Black Confederate was a non-commissioned officer. James Washington, Co. D 35th Texas Cavalry, Confederate States Army, became it's 3rd Sergeant. Higher ranking black commissioned officers served in militia units, but this was on the State militia level (Louisiana)and not in the regular C.S. Army.

3. Free black musicians, cooks, soldiers and teamsters earned the same pay as white confederate privates. This was not the case in the Union army where blacks did not receive equal pay. At the Confederate Buffalo Forge in Rockbridge County, Virginia, skilled black workers "earned on average three times the wages of white Confederate soldiers and more than most Confederate army officers ($350- $600 a year).

4. Dr. Lewis Steiner, Chief Inspector of the United States Sanitary Commission while observing Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson's occupation of Frederick, Maryland, in 1862: "Over 3,000 Negroes must be included in this number [Confederate troops]. These were clad in all kinds of uniforms, not only in cast-off or captured United States uniforms, but in coats with Southern buttons, State buttons, etc. These were shabby, but not shabbier or seedier than those worn by white men in the rebel ranks. Most of the Negroes had arms, rifles, muskets, sabers, bowie-knives, dirks, etc.....and were manifestly an integral portion of the Southern Confederate Army."

5. Frederick Douglas reported, "There are at the present moment many Colored men in the Confederate Army doing duty not only as cooks, servants and laborers, but real soldiers, having musket on their shoulders, and bullets in their pockets, ready to shoot down any loyal troops and do all that soldiers may do to destroy the Federal government and build up that of the rebels."

6. Black and white militiamen returned heavy fire on Union troops at the Battle of Griswoldsville (near Macon, GA). Approximately 600 boys and elderly men were killed in this skirmish.

7. In 1864, President Jefferson Davis approved a plan that proposed the emancipation of slaves, in return for the official recognition of the Confederacy by Britain and France. France showed interest but Britain refused.

8. The Jackson Battalion included two companies of black soldiers. They saw combat at Petersburg under Col. Shipp. "My men acted with utmost promptness and goodwill...Allow me to state sir that they behaved in an extraordinary acceptable manner."

9. Recently the National Park Service, with a recent discovery, recognized that blacks were asked to help defend the city of Petersburg, Virginia and were offered their freedom if they did so. Regardless of their official classification, black Americans performed support functions that in today's army many would be classified as official military service. The successes of white Confederate troops in battle, could only have been achieved with the support these loyal black Southerners.

10. Confederate General John B. Gordon (Army of Northern Virginia) reported that all of his troops were in favor of Colored troops and that it's adoption would have "greatly encouraged the army". Gen. Lee was anxious to receive regiments of black soldiers. The Richmond Sentinel reported on 24 Mar 1864, "None will deny that our servants are more worthy of respect than the motley hordes which come against us." "Bad faith [to black Confederates] must be avoided as an indelible dishonor."

11. In March 1865, Judah P. Benjamin, Confederate Secretary Of State, promised freedom for blacks who served from the State of Virginia. Authority for this was finally received from the State of Virginia and on April 1st 1865, $100 bounties were offered to black soldiers. Benjamin exclaimed, "Let us say to every Negro who wants to go into the ranks, go and fight, and you are free Fight for your masters and you shall have your freedom." Confederate Officers were ordered to treat them humanely and protect them from "injustice and oppression".

12. A quota was set for 300,000 black soldiers for the Confederate States Colored Troops. 83% of Richmond's male slave population volunteered for duty. A special ball was held in Richmond to raise money for uniforms for these men. Before Richmond fell, black Confederates in gray uniforms drilled in the streets. Due to the war ending, it is believed only companies or squads of these troops ever saw any action. Many more black soldiers fought for the North, but that difference was simply a difference because the North instituted this progressive policy more sooner than the more conservative South. Black soldiers from both sides received discrimination from whites who opposed the concept .

13. Union General U.S. Grant in Feb 1865, ordered the capture of "all the Negro men before the enemy can put them in their ranks." Frederick Douglass warned Lincoln that unless slaves were guaranteed freedom (those in Union controlled areas were still slaves) and land bounties, "they would take up arms for the rebels".

14. On April 4, 1865 (Amelia County, VA), a Confederate supply train was exclusively manned and guarded by black Infantry. When attacked by Federal Cavalry, they stood their ground and fought off the charge, but on the second charge they were overwhelmed. These soldiers are believed to be from "Major Turner's" Confederate command.

15. A Black Confederate, George _____, when captured by Federals was bribed to desert to the other side. He defiantly spoke, "Sir, you want me to desert, and I ain't no deserter. Down South, deserters disgrace their families and I am never going to do that."

16. Former slave, Horace King, accumulated great wealth as a contractor to the Confederate Navy. He was also an expert engineer and became known as the "Bridge builder of the Confederacy." One of his bridges was burned in a Yankee raid. His home was pillaged by Union troops, as his wife pleaded for mercy.

17. As of Feb. 1865 1,150 black seamen served in the Confederate Navy. One of these was among the last Confederates to surrender, aboard the CSS Shenandoah, six months after the war ended. This surrender took place in England.

18. Nearly 180,000 Black Southerners, from Virginia alone, provided logistical support for the Confederate military. Many were highly skilled workers. These included a wide range of jobs: nurses, military engineers, teamsters, ordnance department workers, brakemen, firemen, harness makers, blacksmiths, wagonmakers, boatmen, mechanics, wheelwrights, etc. In the 1920'S Confederate pensions were finally allowed to some of those workers that were still living. Many thousands more served in other Confederate States.

19. During the early 1900's, many members of the United Confederate Veterans (UCV) advocated awarding former slaves rural acreage and a home. There was hope that justice could be given those slaves that were once promised "forty acres and a mule" but never received any. In the 1913 Confederate Veteran magazine published by the UCV, it was printed that this plan "If not Democratic, it is [the] Confederate" thing to do. There was much gratitude toward former slaves, which "thousands were loyal, to the last degree", now living with total poverty of the big cities. Unfortunately, their proposal fell on deaf ears on Capitol Hill.

20. During the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1913, arrangements were made for a joint reunion of Union and Confederate veterans. The commission in charge of the event made sure they had enough accommodations for the black Union veterans, but were completely surprised when unexpected black Confederates arrived. The white Confederates immediately welcomed their old comrades, gave them one of their tents, and "saw to their every need". Nearly every Confederate reunion including those blacks that served with them, wearing the gray.

21. The first military monument in the US Capitol that honors an African-American soldier is the Confederate monument at Arlington National cemetery. The monument was designed 1914 by Moses Ezekiel, a Jewish Confederate. Who wanted to correctly portray the "racial makeup" in the Confederate Army. A black Confederate soldier is depicted marching in step with white Confederate soldiers. Also shown is one "white soldier giving his child to a black woman for protection".- source: Edward Smith, African American professor at the American University, Washington DC.

22. Black Confederate heritage is beginning to receive the attention it deserves. For instance, Terri Williams, a black journalist for the Suffolk "Virginia Pilot" newspaper, writes: "I've had to re-examine my feelings toward the [Confederate] flag started when I read a newspaper article about an elderly black man whose ancestor worked with the Confederate forces. The man spoke with pride about his family member's contribution to the cause, was photographed with the [Confederate] flag draped over his lap that's why I now have no definite stand on just what the flag symbolizes, because it no longer is their history, or my history, but our history."

TOPICS: Culture/Society
KEYWORDS: black; blackconfederates; confederate; dixie; dixielist; heritage; honor; soldier
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To: stainlessbanner
No problem, I enjoy talking about history from a personal point of view. We can talk about trends and statistics and official pronouncements from the Folks On High, but what interests me are the stories of the individuals who were there. I want to know what it was like to be there, to see and hear and participate.

(in college I specialized in the interpretation of original documents - puzzling out the AWFUL handwriting, finding out about the authors, placing them in a historical context. That's what I love.)

61 posted on 01/09/2004 8:38:28 AM PST by AnAmericanMother (. . . sed, ut scis, quis homines huiusmodi intellegere potest?. . .)
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To: RebelBanker
In the one quote Bearss said that the role of African-Americans in the North and in the South had long been neglected by historians. In the other, he says that the idea that there were thousands of "Black Confederates" was "wishful thinking." It doesn't look like he contradicted himself, just that he was asked two different questions. Anyone visiting most encampments during the war would have noticed many Blacks, and by the early 20th century, their role in the war had been largely forgotten or neglected, only to be rediscovered in last forty years. But that doesn't mean that the Blacks one might have seen with the rebel army were committed Confederates or organized fighting troops.
62 posted on 01/09/2004 9:31:24 AM PST by x
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To: AnAmericanMother
I enjoy talking about history from a personal point of view. We can talk about trends and statistics and official pronouncements from the Folks On High, but what interests me are the stories of the individuals who were there. I want to know what it was like to be there, to see and hear and participate.

That's what makes history especially interesting to me. The personal stories that fill in the "official big picture".

63 posted on 01/09/2004 9:55:35 AM PST by SAMWolf (Ted Kennedy's Bumper Sticker: My other car is underwater.)
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To: rdb3; Khepera; elwoodp; MAKnight; condolinda; mafree; Trueblackman; FRlurker; Teacher317; ...
Black conservative ping

If you want on (or off) of my black conservative ping list, please let me know via FREEPmail. (And no, you don't have to be black to be on the list!)

Extra warning: this is a high-volume ping list.

64 posted on 01/09/2004 9:57:19 AM PST by mhking (MaldiciĆ³n justa.)
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To: SCDogPapa
Morning SCDogPapa. You're welcome, I appreciate the excellent WBTS artists out there.
65 posted on 01/09/2004 9:57:32 AM PST by SAMWolf (Ted Kennedy's Bumper Sticker: My other car is underwater.)
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To: Main Street
Newspapers aren't always the best guides to policy. An editor might expect that slave revolts would end the war quickly, but the Federal government didn't encourage uprisings. At the beginning of the war, it wasn't clear what to do about escaped slaves. By the end, slaves could runaway, stay put and wait for the Union Army, or join it and fight.

Revolts weren't promoted, because it was clear how uncontrollable they could become. Many people had learned of the violent slave revolution in Haiti seventy years before and dreaded a recurrence of such horrors. And if race war began between Blacks and Whites, many unionists would leave the ranks, and take up with the other side. Though we talk about "total war," there were some things that weren't resorted to in the Civil War.

Would slaves have revolted if there'd been more energy put into agitation? Probably not, but loyalty to masters, fear of recriminations, and acceptance of existing conditions shouldn't be assumed to imply an ideological support for the Confederacy. People who live and work in a given country don't necessarily assent to the policies of its government simply because they go on living and working there.

There are different questions here that may not have the same answer. One concerns the degree to which slaves accepted their condition. The other involves whether Blacks took up arms for the Confederacy. Yet another would be what African-Americans thought about the Confederacy. Certainly numbers of slaves accepted their condition because they knew no other, feared change, or were loyal to their masters, but whether this translates into support for the Confederacy is less clear.

The way we define terms also matters. There may not have been a bloody slave insurrection, but there were plenty of small scale, even individual revolts, if leaving the plantation or disobeying orders count as acts of revolt. And surface impressions may be deceiving. Slaves wouldn't always inform masters of their true sentiments.

BTW, you may be able to find your ancestor here.

66 posted on 01/09/2004 10:04:39 AM PST by x
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To: stainlessbanner
Makes me wonder why the South needed all those Jim Crow and Grandfather Clauses....

Here is a good question... If the Southern States had simply stated, "Slavery is abolished!" and accepted the tenets of what later became the 13th and 14th Amendments, would the Civil War have still occurred..

This is all very interesting and goodness knows that the North and South committed war crimes but I am curious as to why it took so much for Southerners to recognize that slavery was wrong...

It is honorable that those who served be honored but I hope that based on their loyalty to their family and loved ones, one does not interpret that the cause of the South was a just one.... I would be the first to concede that more schools should be named in honor of Robert E. Lee as opposed to George McClellan, but I would never interpret the honorable actions of the soldiers on the battlefield to indicate that the politicians and institutions they were defending are equally honorable...

We have to be honest and see that in the North and the South, the blacks were used out of necessity and not out of any moral epiphany... Wars are about winning and both sides did what was necessary to win...

The Civil War was supposed to last six months... Emancipation Proclamation did not come about until 1863. Hmmmmmhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!
67 posted on 01/09/2004 11:08:21 AM PST by dwd1 (M. h. D. (Master of Hate and Discontent))
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To: stainlessbanner
In keeping with tradition, we shall honor all those who served.

Bump for the veterans who served on both sides of the late War. They were Americans all, and deserving of our respect.

68 posted on 01/09/2004 11:09:17 AM PST by Denver Ditdat
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To: AnAmericanMother
Actually John Paul Strain does a fantastic job as well. One of the best pictures I've seen is of Stonewall Jackson first meeting Sorrel--they're cuddling and making kissy-face, and it's just adorable. The only trouble is, he chose a bay to model for Sorrel; how crazy is that? One thing I like about Strain is that the horses' coats match the season appropriately. Graham depicts horses in midwinter with shiny coats instead of furred up like a yak. That chestnut is so shiny he looks like he's about to be entered in a strip class at Devon.
69 posted on 01/09/2004 11:14:33 AM PST by Capriole (Foi vainquera)
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To: Capriole
You're right. That's clearly a bay, not even a bright bay.

What's with that right fore hoof, though?

This one's good:

My horse will jump like that off irregular ground, without planting the feet square.

Forrest was a genius, though as my grandmother would say, "Someone you could not possibly invite to dinner."

70 posted on 01/09/2004 12:22:39 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (. . . sed, ut scis, quis homines huiusmodi intellegere potest?. . .)
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To: dwd1
The war would have still been fought over economic reasons which was the major cause for the war in the first place. We had already had one civil war in this country which was the Whiskey Rebellon fought for economic reasons. Our War for Independence was also fought for economic reasons.

As far a the South freeing the slaves over night, it just couldn't happen. The reason for this was the major land owners who controlled the economy of the South with cotton had the vast majority of their capital tied up in the ownership of slaves. I have some old records from my family dating back to pre-civil war where a slave in 1850 dollars was worth well over $200.00. Figure that in todays dollars. Also these people were cared for all of their lives and given the best medical care. I don't want to sound calous when I say this, but they were considered like your best race horse or like an expensive piece of property. They also received excellent medical care you don't let an investment like that just die off. The South also had a code of honor that prevented people from dumping the "to old to work" slaves off to fend for themselves. This was not true with factory workers in the North or in the tribes of our noble Native Americans who left their old to fend for themselves after they were considered no longer useful to the tribe.

However, farming was changing due to mechanization, and slavery was quickly being out moded and becoming to expensive due to the cradle to the grave requirement of owning and caring for slaves. It was becoming better for share cropping or hired hands since you didn't have to be responsible for them all of their lives.

In the North, the states that abolished slavery normally phased it out over a generation or two based on the idea that someone born after a certain date would be born free. Right or wrong at the time this was basically a fact or a way of life. On a whole, blacks who were successful in the South, basically felt the same way and saw no problem with the system. Although these people did not intermarry with whites, they still were prominet members of the community and treated as such. This included memberships in churchs and social organizations.

The major problem that faced the South was cotton. Cotton was not so important as much for the manufacture of clothes as it was for the manufacture of sails for ships which drove the worlds commerce. Cotton was just as important as oil or coal is today. Steam was taking over the powering of everything but at that time to make steam, most people used wood. As the use of steam came more refined so did the extraction of coal and finally oil to make steam and power. Cotton was on its way out and the South's economy was doomed anyway as a result of this. Prior to the US Civil War, the three strongest economies in the world were the Northern US, the Southern US and Austraia.

The South needed to change and the North was not going to let it as far as setting up an industrial base in the South or selling agricultural products to who it wanted to. This was the cause for the war.

Slavery would have died a natural death because it is too expensive in an industrialized economy. The evolution of the abolishment of slavery on its own was pre-empted by the civil war.

The animosity, the hatred, and the Jim Crow laws were mainly the results of the reconstruction of the South after the Civil War. Military districts as a result of reconstruction existed in name as late as 1958 in the South. My father was in one in Raleigh, NC.
71 posted on 01/09/2004 12:54:00 PM PST by U S Army EOD (When the EOD technician screws up, he is always the first to notice.)
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To: AnAmericanMother
As far as a hodgepoge of humanity or melting pot, the people that rode with Forest came from every creed and race there was.

You did not want to be Forest's horse if you were a horse and wanted to live to a ripe old age. He had many a horse shot from under him.
72 posted on 01/09/2004 12:58:16 PM PST by U S Army EOD (When the EOD technician screws up, he is always the first to notice.)
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To: U S Army EOD
You didn't want to be Lieutenant Gould, either.

'Course, he shot at Forrest first. Dumb idiot, I coulda told him how that would turn out.

Note that Forrest brought the knife to the gunfight, but won anyhow. Nerve and determination trumps gunpowder . . . doesn't happen all that often.

73 posted on 01/09/2004 1:02:48 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (. . . sed, ut scis, quis homines huiusmodi intellegere potest?. . .)
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To: AnAmericanMother
If you weren't wearing Gray, you didn't want to be around Forest's units regardless.
74 posted on 01/09/2004 1:06:49 PM PST by U S Army EOD (When the EOD technician screws up, he is always the first to notice.)
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To: U S Army EOD
Very true . . . Lt. Gould was one of his own men. You ever heard that story? Gould was miffed over some supposed insult to his honor (which Forrest, never one of your romantic cavaliers, didn't give a rat's posterior about) and took a potshot at Forrest. They grappled, and Forrest opened his pocket knife with his teeth and killed the guy.

Forrest may have been a rough diamond, but he basically saved Rome GA (where most of my family was living at the time) so I owe him a debt of gratitude, possibly for being here at all.

75 posted on 01/09/2004 1:10:17 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (. . . sed, ut scis, quis homines huiusmodi intellegere potest?. . .)
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To: U S Army EOD
This sounds reasonable.... Now, I had heard that laws were passed in many Southern states regarding the ability to educate and I am very sure that voting or owning property was strongly discouraged. And what you describe seems like a pleasant form of captivity but it is still captivity...

When you look at the history of slavery in other countries and compare it to the institution in the US, the indefensible element is the lack of a means for emancipation...

And no one, given the choice, would like to be treated like a horse....

I am also aware that at the beginning of the civil war, there were more millionaires in Alabama than New York so the economic struggle was definitely a part of the problem... I understand that there was some type of recession in the 1880's or 1890's.... Some time during that decade, there was a recession, the cattle industry was seriously damaged and the ability to find a job was made more difficult so a lot of the policies that were raced based were a result of economic necessity from a certain point of view...

I guess when I see this discussion, I see an interesting but also shameful chapter in our history and I only want to make sure that it is clear that I honor the soldiers but not the cause they stood for.... You could say the same for Vietnam, the Indian Wars, etc... But it is what brings us where we are today...

And to think that there moral imperatives were overridden by financial concerns... And that such an immoral institution would only be phased out because it was not economically beneficial...

Reminds me of segregation after WWII... The joke made about the US was that we were the country taking on the world's ultimate bigot with a segregated army...

And the confederate flag can mean different things to different people. I think that is OK.. I don't think, however, that the same people who use the "n" word every time they see me are going to convince me that everything is OK because there were black veterans that fought with confederacy... That is overreaching just a bit..
76 posted on 01/09/2004 1:38:24 PM PST by dwd1 (M. h. D. (Master of Hate and Discontent))
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To: dwd1
Actually, it was possible to buy ones freedom or be manumitted (usually in somebody's will). So there was a means for emancipation on an individual basis.

The third largest slaveholder in my ggg grandfather's home county was a free man of color. (The second was Jewish; the first, I regret to state, was my ggg grandfather.)

Nobody disagrees (at least, I don't know anybody) that the system stank. The only argument I will make is that did not make everyone in the system evil. Most people in that time and place, black and white, accepted the system that was there before they were born. If they were basically decent people, they made the system work as humanely as possible. The cruel, the greedy, and the lascivious abused the system - most decent people despised them, many looked the other way. But the same could be said, for example, of lending money at interest, which was considered mortal sin in the Middle Ages. Your average cleric would think of modern Western society as a sink of iniquity, with all of us going merrily to perdition together. We would argue in our own defense that some use "money making money" for good - others for evil. And your average Westerner would go "What?" having never read history in his life.

77 posted on 01/09/2004 2:11:59 PM PST by AnAmericanMother (. . . sed, ut scis, quis homines huiusmodi intellegere potest?. . .)
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To: dwd1
I never said slavery was right but it was a way of life at that time in certain parts of the world. The indians certainly didn't have any rights. In the early 1800's they still trusted the English and not the Americans. I find that very interesting.

There were some laws in the South to protect the little rights the slaves had. But still they were treated like property. This was also the case for blacks who owned slaves. In my research, one of the more surprising things that I learned was that some of the so called slave hunters who went after run away slaves were also black. These people were willing to go up in the northern states after fugatives. That is beyond my comprehention that this could happen.

Knowing what I know about the history of both the South and the North now, had I lived back then and been already in the Army, even though I am from Georgia, I would have had a hard time making a decision as to which side I fought on.

Even had there never been a war, I doubt if the South would have stayed together. The economy was bound to fail and the institution of slavery would have seen its demise mainly due to the fact it would have been too expensive. The planters would have been unable to sell the slaves they owned and the entire economy would have tumbled since in a way that is what the economy was based on. The economy of the South was based on agriculture and the most expensive part of that was in the ownership and the maintenance of slaves. Because of that the Confedercy would have failed as a nation from the result of the very thing they were trying to protect.

If you look into our present system of welfare, when you are told what to do, how you can do it, what you can own, and how much you can work you are basically in captivity because your freedom of development is taken from you. Instead of picking the masta's cotton you are just voting to keep him in office. Either way, he owns you and is getting what he wants from you with out living with you.
78 posted on 01/09/2004 2:22:25 PM PST by U S Army EOD (When the EOD technician screws up, he is always the first to notice.)
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To: dwd1
On your comment about WWII, my father's unit, 6th Armored Div had a black transportation unit attached to it. The Germans capatilized on this all the time. There was a German who had an American southern accent who was always on the loud speaker say, "What the hell you boys fighting for, you think you are fighting for freedom, look at the way you are treated in your own country". Another trick the Germans used to do was to leave photograpths of black men making love to white women, with a caption, "Guess what your wives are doing while you are over here", for the white soldiers.
79 posted on 01/09/2004 2:35:51 PM PST by U S Army EOD (When the EOD technician screws up, he is always the first to notice.)
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To: U S Army EOD
Cotton was King in 1860. Planters from the Deep South were convinced that their cotton plantations and slaves were essential to the world economy, and anti-slavery sentiment in the South had been in decline for thirty or forty years.

If cotton was King in 1860 I don't think sails were the main reason. The great boom in cotton came from clothing. Thanks to slavery and the cotton gin, cotton was was cheap. It was suited to the new machine spindles and looms. Sail and steam transportation brought cotton from the Americas to Europe and cheap clothing from there to the rest of the world.

Europeans and Americans gave up homespun woolens and linens or furs and leather or expensive silks for cheap machine-spun cotton clothing. The growing European clothing market and exports to other parts of the world would offset any decline in cotton sail production. The reason cotton declined as time went on was that too many people saw the profits and got into the business: Indians, Egyptians, Mexicans, Africans, Central Asians, and South Americans.

We can't imagine slavery in 21st century America. It's likely that slavery would have been abolished at some point in the last century and a half whatever happened, but it's not true that most slaveowners were looking to get out of the skin trade in 1860. Nor were Northerners trying to keep them in. We can say that smart Southerners should have seen the writing on the wall and sold off their slaves. But at the time that writing was unclear.

Southerners had the option of industrializing along with Northerners in the 1840s and 1850s. Some were keen to do so. But many slaveowners were frightened by the threat to slavery and circled the wagons to the point where compromises and buyouts weren't going to be accepted. It would have been nice if a price had been proposed and accepted for getting out of slavery, but that didn't happen, and wouldn't have happened given Southern fears of what would come next and the great confidence of the planters in the rule of King Cotton.

80 posted on 01/09/2004 5:40:47 PM PST by x
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