"All the heroes weren't white"

rebracer

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"one can view those actions as conditional on them being forced to be in a place and time of danger without their consent or agreement "

So like a draftee or conscript? Is this the same view you have of a soldier who was drafted into service against their will? Would a draftee or conscript "running away" from service face any less consequences a s a runaway slave? By the letter of the law the consequences were worse as desertion could be (and was) punishable by death.

While I find the issue of black confederates to be a ripe subject for needless conflict, I do get tired of the constant obsession with trying discredit or diminish even the trace of an idea that somehow black individuals fre or enslaved could not have possibly had their own opinions or differing feelings from the 21st century perspective (or even the contemporary feelings of the time).
 

Viper21

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The Southern Cross of Honor award, which later became known as the Cross of Military Service, originated on October 13, 1862 as an act of the Confederate Congress to recognize the courage, valor and good conduct of officers, non-commissioned officers and privates of the Confederate Army. Due to wartime shortages, however, the medals were unable to be made. The recipients' names were then recorded in an Honor Roll for future reference.

Mrs. Alexander S. Erwin first designed the cross that was used by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) in July 1898. It featured a cross with a Confederate battle flag on the face surrounded by a laurel wreath and the inscription "The Southern Cross of Honor." On the reverse side the motto of the Confederate States, "Deo Vindice" (God our Vindicator), 1861-1865, appears alongside the inscription "From the U.D.C. to the U.C.V." The Southern Cross of Honor and the Cross of Military Service are the two most prestigious honors awarded by the UDC.



https://www.lib.jmu.edu/special/manuscripts/2060_udc_crossofhonor/
 

Viper21

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The closest I've come to finding a black Confederate (and I freely admit that the breadth of my knowledge on the subject pales in comparison to most of yours) is Moses Dallas. Technically a slave, he lived away from his owner, who seems to gave allowed him to serve as his own contractor and to keep the money he earned as a river boat pilot.

The Confederate Navy paid him $100 a month as a pilot near Savannah. On the night of June 3, 1864, he piloted a boarding party of Confederates to the USS Water Witch, which was then captured fairly easily.

Dallas apparently boarded the Water Witch with them. Water Witch paymaster Luther Billings wrote, "[A] grinning negro face appeared at the port opening. I remember how ghastly his face grew when his gaze met the leveled pistol I held only a few inches away from it. Again the deadly flash and Moses… also passed away.”

Technically, he was a citizen employee of the Confederate Navy, but nevertheless, he was a black man who died attacking a Union ship.
Gary,
There are multiple threads on Moses Dallas, & he is mentioned in several "Black Confederate" threads here on CWT. We've covered him plenty. He's certainly worth looking into, as he has a pretty amazing story. The fact he was killed in combat serving the CSA, still doesn't give him the title of Confederate to many folks.
 
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My own skepticism got me an actual picture vice a cartoon.

My boss used to say "when imagination has created a picture in someone's mind, reality has no chance to alter that picture".

I guess that is true - for both of us.

While you cannot believe that courage and gallantry were recognized in a black person (not all were slaves, as we very well know, just think about manumission) I cannot believe that it was NOT so.
Both of us were not present at the time, so the pictures our imagination has created in our minds will not even be touched by reality, let alone altered.

The difference is that I am willing to believe in the authenticity of that photo of the black gentleman proudly wearing his medal, and in the exhortation that speaks to us from the words "all heroes weren't white". People have listened to that exhortation in 1913 at the Gettysburg Reunion and in 1923 when a SCV (!!) magazine published that cartoon and now we should listen to it also.
In my opinion, it is often overlooked that seeing black people in the South just as a sort of breathing tools forced into actions of bravery by their cruel masters (who had long lost their air of omnipotence in the war) deprives them of their dignity, even more than 150 years later. I know it is meant well, but to me it is belittling nonetheless. Belittling black people by denying them to have shown courage and gallantry and belittling white people also by implying they were collectively not capable of recognizing value in their black fellow Southerners.
I prefer to agree to the statement "All heroes weren't white".
 
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Andersonh1

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In my opinion, it is often overlooked that seeing black people in the South just as a sort of breathing tools forced into actions of bravery by their cruel masters (who had long lost their air of omnipotence in the war) deprives them of their dignity, even more than 150 years later. I know it is meant well, but to me it is belittling nonetheless. Belittling black people by denying them to have shown courage and gallantry and belittling white people also by implying they were collectively not capable of recognizing value in their black fellow Southerners.

I prefer to agree to the statement "All heroes weren't white".

Well said. I agree, 100%.
 

Patrick H

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I see no reason for escalation of this thread into the familiar "Black Confederate" argument. It's tiresome. The original poster found the illustration and posted it because he thought it was interesting. I find it interesting, too. No claims were made for its meaning. We'd have to find a written explanation from the artist to know that for sure. I suspect he saw the black gentleman at the reunion and imposed his own feelings that ALL attendees were heroes, but that's only a hunch. It can't be anything more than a hunch, because we don't seem to have a written explanation from the artist.
 

19thGeorgia

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I see no reason for escalation of this thread into the familiar "Black Confederate" argument. It's tiresome.
There's no amount of evidence that will convince some folk. They have too many years invested in denying it...and some have an interest in selling books that deny it.

The typical argument:

"Here's a black Confederate."
-----"He's not on any Confederate roll."

"Here's one on a Confederate roll."
-----"That's not a soldier. It says Teamster."

"Here's one that says Private."
-----"That's not a real Confederate soldier."
 

unionblue

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I see no reason for escalation of this thread into the familiar "Black Confederate" argument. It's tiresome. The original poster found the illustration and posted it because he thought it was interesting. I find it interesting, too. No claims were made for its meaning. We'd have to find a written explanation from the artist to know that for sure. I suspect he saw the black gentleman at the reunion and imposed his own feelings that ALL attendees were heroes, but that's only a hunch. It can't be anything more than a hunch, because we don't seem to have a written explanation from the artist.

That escalation was there with the first post and the title "All The Heroes Weren't Black." This is a Black Confederate thread because of the implication given in the very first post. It can't be helped nor should it be excused from any challenge simply because some believe it means one thing over some others views.

I agree we here at this time only have a hunch and that it can't be much more than a hunch, because we have no written explanation from the artist.

Hence the challenge to that post.

As for some of us that seem to appear that "no evidence will convince some folk," we seem to fall back on the tried and true,

Certainty is not proof.
Insistence is not fact.
Opinion is not evidence.

I am of the sincere belief that no matter how many former slaves of the Confederacy were awarded post war Southern Crosses of Honor, that it in no way made them Black Confederate Soldiers or in any way diminishes the historical fact that the slaveholding South seceded over the issue of slavery.

I do not deny or dismiss the research done here by certain forum members showing slaves and freedmen serving in some instances as soldiers, but even if there was enough evidence showing thousands of such black slave soldiers, how does that in any way disprove the slaveholding South did secede to preserve and protect slavery.

Simple answer: It doesn't.

No amount of cartoons or pictures of the period disprove that unalterable historical fact.

Unionblue
 

Andersonh1

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That escalation was there with the first post and the title "All The Heroes Weren't Black." This is a Black Confederate thread because of the implication given in the very first post.

I chose the title of the thread because it's the caption that the artist used. There is something to be learned from that simple description, both about the person who wrote it and the person he was describing.

Yes, it's a "black Confederate" thread, but narrowly focused on the drawing and whatever conclusions can be drawn from it. Hopefully it won't get dragged too far afield from that. There are plenty of other general black Confederate discussion threads.
 
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Andersonh1

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This drawing ties into the larger question of how the white Confederate veterans (and possibly the public) viewed these black men who had gone through the war, in whatever role. Over in the newspapers of the time, there is far more often than not absolutely glowing praise for these men, while in other instances the racism of the day is apparent. But the black Confederate vets enjoyed many of the same benefits of being veterans of that war that the white vets did, and the white vets often helped look after these men when they all got old.

We don't know who that man in the sketch is, he isn't identified. But whether he was free or slave, whether he was a cook or an armed soldier, the artist who saw and sketched him referred to him as a "hero", a black man among the white "heroes". And his peers in the veteran community clearly felt the same, since he was awarded the Southern Cross of Honor by the UDC. It is the type of snapshot of a place and an attitude that we do not hear about today, and which many would probably not believe existed.
 

Patrick H

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This drawing ties into the larger question of how the white Confederate veterans (and possibly the public) viewed these black men who had gone through the war, in whatever role. Over in the newspapers of the time, there is far more often than not absolutely glowing praise for these men, while in other instances the racism of the day is apparent. But the black Confederate vets enjoyed many of the same benefits of being veterans of that war that the white vets did, and the white vets often helped look after these men when they all got old.
I think your larger question really is the heart of the matter. It is what I was thinking when I speculated that the artist was simply identifying all of the attendees as heroes. Maybe the man really was wearing that medal, or maybe it was a fanciful addition that the artist drew in to make his point. But again, I'm speculating. One thing I believe for sure: Anyone who had guts enough to go into combat in whatever role was extremely brave--a hero in my book. I think it was true then and still true now.
 
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