Black Armed irregular resistance to theConfederacy

Dedej

Retired User
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Hi Dedej,
Very interesting and not a well known history of Maroon communities. I do know that escaped slaves did join the Seminoles in Florida and one major Indian band that I disguised in the thread on Civil War Inians in the Indian Territory now present day Oklahoma.
Your right Maroons are more associated with Jamaica. If you can post any armed resistance by them and ir attempts by the Union to arm them that would really enhance this thread.
Leftyhunter


Here's a few snippets of sources. Will add on more later :smile:

i0FzdQx.png




Confederate Brigadier-General R. F. Floyd asked Governor Milton of Florida on April 11, 1862, to declare martial law in Nassau, Duvar, Clay, Putnam, St. John’s and Volusia Counties, “as a measure of absolute necessity, as they contain a nest of traitors and lawless negroes.” 49 In October, 1862, a scouting party of three armed whites, investigating a maroon camp containing one hundred men, women, and children in Surry County, Virginia, were killed by these fugitives. 50 Governor Shorter of Alabama commissioned J. H. Clayton in January, 1863, to destroy the nests in the southeastern part of the state of “deserters, traitors, and runaway Negroes.” 51 Colonel Hatch of the Union Army reported in August, 1864, that “500 Union men, deserters, and negroes were . . . raiding towards Gainsville,” Florida. The same month a Confederate officer, John K. Jackson, declared that: Many deserters. . .are collected in the swamps and fastnesses of Taylor, La Fayette, Levy and other counties [in Florida], and have organized.

A Confederate newspaper noticed similar activities in North Carolina in 1864. It reported: [It is] difficult to find words of description ... of the wild and terrible consequences of the negro raids in this obscure . . . theatre of the war . . 7o counties of Currituck and Camden, there are said to be from five to six hundred negroes, who are not in the regular military organization of the Yankees, but who, outlawed and disowned by their masters, lead the lives of banditti, roving the country with fire and committing a sorts of horrible crimes upon the inhabitants.

This present theatre of guerrilla warfare has, at this time, a most important interest for our authorities. It is described as a rich country. . . and one of the most important sources of meat supplies that is now accessible to our armies. . . •


Source: https://archive.org/details/ApthekerToBeFree

-------
South Carolina:

Maroons continued to exist, however, and to fight for their freedom. Incidents such as those in Ashepoo in 1816, Williamsburg County in 1819, Georgetown in 1820, and Jacksonborough in 1822 all produced the same results. Maroons and militiaman fought, with the latter winning each time. Even so, maroons continued to exist. These activities continued even during the Civil War, when a maroon community attacked near Marion in June 1861 demonstrated the existence of maroons up until emancipation.

Source: http://www.scencyclopedia.org/sce/entries/maroons/

---------

The Dismal Swamp:Virginia/North Carolina:

Their own struggle for freedom spanned generations at that point, and it was bravely maintained until Union gunboats arrived in 1862 and the centuries-old fight again merged with another war against slaveholders. While the mass of the Union Army fought in Northern Virginia, former slaves, maroons and white Unionists undertook a guerrilla war to disrupt Confederate power in areas surrounding the swamp.

Many maroons who left the swamp to fight did not become regulars in the Union Army, but rather maintained their status as guerillas in the region. Dismal Swamp guerillas helped provision Union forces with beef and corn obtained in their plantation raids. Perhaps as important, dozens of maroons emerged from the swamp and served as scouts necessary for passage through the swamp. Moreover, maroon fighters already busy “spread[ing] terror over the land,” in the words of a North Carolina woman, loosely joined forces with the Confederate deserter Jack Fairless and his “Wingfield Buffaloes.” From their base on the North Carolina edge of the Great Dismal, guerrilla bands set off on regular campaigns into northeastern North Carolina, both to plunder and make good on their explicit pledge to “clear the country of every slave.”

So successful, in fact, were the maroons and other Buffaloes in commandeering supplies and helping to liberate bondsmen in the region that by mid-1863, a hastily organized local white “home guard” made desperate attempts to destroy their increasingly fortified base, or at least hit the guerrillas where it might hurt them the worst. Suggesting that they were aware of the crucial link between the maroons of the swamp and the guerrilla fighters, the home guard braved a direct assault on a deep-swamp maroon community, surprising the noncombatant group and killing many swampers in the process. Their attempts on the Buffalo base camp on the Chowan River were less successful. After initial forays in March failed to eject the Buffaloes, a larger force of partisan and regulars the next month found that the Buffaloes had dispersed back into the depths of the swamp ahead of the attack. All that greeted the frustrated Confederates was simple note pinned to a tree: “A leetle too late.”

The Carolinians must have already felt the truth of that note. Besides missing their guerrilla targets, by the fall of 1863 the Confederates were also rapidly losing ground in the region to Unionists. For the most part, the home guard had done a miserable job protecting the nominally pro-Confederate home front from Union-allied guerrillas. Indeed, the incompetence of the home guard only served to provoke further maroon reprisals on the civilian population.

In December 1863 Gen. Edward A. Wild led a raid through the swamp against white communities in North Carolina in December, but already that fall local residents were already declaring 1863 the “year of the black flag.” The Dismal Swamp counties in North Carolina passed resolutions addressed to the Confederacy formally withdrawing their support for the home guard and demanding they be officially recalled. The Buffalo’s adversaries would thereafter be no more than a dwindling clutch of vigilantes lacking even the support of a sympathetic civilian population. The Civil War thus came to an early end in the region around the southern Great Dismal Swamp.

Source: https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/19/life-in-the-swamp/

-----------
North Carolina:

When Burnside arrived in coastal North Carolina, he had issued a declaration to its white residents, promising non-interference with slavery. In part, it read:

The mission of our joint expedition is not to invade any of your rights, but to assert the authority of the United States, and thus to close with you the desolating war brought upon your State by comparatively a few bad men in your midst. . . . They impose upon your credulity by telling you of wicked and even diabolical intentions on our part – of our desire to destroy your freedom, demolish your property, liberate your slaves, injure your women, and such like enormities – all of which, we assure you is not only ridiculous but utterly and wilfully false.

Not only did white Southerners in coastal North Carolina refuse to believe Ambrose Burnside, but so did their slaves. As at Port Royal, South Carolina, the previous November, many North Carolina planters in the path of Union forces in February and March 1862 fled for the interior leaving their slaves behind. The slaves greeted Burnside’s army as liberators, manifestly not what the general had intended. Gen. Burnside reported from New Bern on March 21:

I appointed General Foster military governor of the city and its vicinity and he has established a most perfect system of guard and police. Nine-tenths of the depredations on the 14th after the enemy and citizens fled from the town were committed by the negroes before our troops reached the city. They seemed to be wild with excitement and delight. They are now a source of very great anxiety to us. The city is being overrun with fugitives from the surrounding towns and plantations. Two have reported themselves who have been in the swamps for five years. It would be utterly impossible if we were so disposed to keep them outside of our lines, as they find their way to us through woods and swamps from every side. By my next dispatch I hope to report to you a definite policy in reference to this matter, and in the meantime shall be glad to receive any instructions upon the subject which you may be disposed to give.

So among the slaves liberated around New Bern in March 1862 were two maroons that emerged to greet their reluctant liberators. While they preferred the swamp to slavery, when freedom came they readily rejoined civilization. For these maroons, the arrival of Burnside’s army must have been particularly joyous as it was a double liberation, both from slavery and their wilderness exile. No doubt, other maroons too would be able to come home as free people in the months and years that followed as Union forces penetrated further into the South.


Sources: 1) https://cwemancipation.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/maroons-return-from-exile/ 2) http://www.gilderlehrman.org/search/collection_pdfs/01/88/6/01886.pdf; 3) http://www.simmonsgames.com/research/authors/USWarDept/ORA/OR-S2-V1-C4.html


------
Louisiana:

There were thousands of Maroons at any given point up from the earliest slave arrivals until the end of the Civil War. Many were in Louisiana, in areas that were not too far away from the city centers but were difficult to access.

“Slave owners were afraid that the presence of Maroons would corrupt the people, because they said that they noted insolence among the slaves," Diouf says. "It was like ‘well if you’re doing all this to me, then you know I can go and join the Maroons.’”

That’s what made the government crack down on the largest nomadic maroon settlement in Louisiana, St. Malo, lead by Jean Malo, one of the only identifiable Maroon leaders in the United States.

While most Maroon groups didn’t break into double digits, St. Malo had a population of more than 50, until it was ultimately defeated by the Spanish under Governor Esteban Miro. They captured Malo and fellow organizers and hanged them, making an example of the rebels against the slave system.

“It’s the psyche of they were ready to do anything to be free, according to their own rules, without having to live in a northern society where they were second, third, fourth class citizens, even if they were nominally free," Diouf says.

"It’s not the kind of pseudo freedom of living in a city in the South where you pass as a free man or a free woman, but you are not. This is the real freedom. And to a planter you know who could not understand why a Maroon did not return when, you know, if he had been sick, he had frostbite, it was a very difficult time. And the man told him ‘I taste how it is to be free, and I didn't come back.’"

Source: http://wwno.org/post/more-runaway-maroons-louisiana

-----

The maroons or "outlyers," as contemporaries called them, maintained their cohesion for years, sometimes for more than a generation. They made forays into populated farming sections for food, clothing, livestock, and trading items. Sometimes they bartered with free blacks, plantation slaves, and nonslaveholding whites, and in a few instances white outlaws joined them, although this was rare.

It is estimated that at least fifty maroon communities were active in the South between 1672 and 1864.

Source: http://www.inmotionaame.org/migrati...205181498417319191?migration=2&topic=6&bhcp=1



More sources:
Hidden Americans: Maroons Of Virginia And The Carolinas by Hugo P. Leaming
American Negro Slave Revolts by Aptheker, Herbert
The 36th Infantry United States Colored Troops in the Civil War: A History and Roster
Maroon and Slave Communities in South Carolina before 1865
Maroons in Antebellum New Orleans: Independence at any Cost
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Here's a few snippets of sources. Will add on more later :smile:

View attachment 145160



Confederate Brigadier-General R. F. Floyd asked Governor Milton of Florida on April 11, 1862, to declare martial law in Nassau, Duvar, Clay, Putnam, St. John’s and Volusia Counties, “as a measure of absolute necessity, as they contain a nest of traitors and lawless negroes.” 49 In October, 1862, a scouting party of three armed whites, investigating a maroon camp containing one hundred men, women, and children in Surry County, Virginia, were killed by these fugitives. 50 Governor Shorter of Alabama commissioned J. H. Clayton in January, 1863, to destroy the nests in the southeastern part of the state of “deserters, traitors, and runaway Negroes.” 51 Colonel Hatch of the Union Army reported in August, 1864, that “500 Union men, deserters, and negroes were . . . raiding towards Gainsville,” Florida. The same month a Confederate officer, John K. Jackson, declared that: Many deserters. . .are collected in the swamps and fastnesses of Taylor, La Fayette, Levy and other counties [in Florida], and have organized.

A Confederate newspaper noticed similar activities in North Carolina in 1864. It reported: [It is] difficult to find words of description ... of the wild and terrible consequences of the negro raids in this obscure . . . theatre of the war . . 7o counties of Currituck and Camden, there are said to be from five to six hundred negroes, who are not in the regular military organization of the Yankees, but who, outlawed and disowned by their masters, lead the lives of banditti, roving the country with fire and committing a sorts of horrible crimes upon the inhabitants.

This present theatre of guerrilla warfare has, at this time, a most important interest for our authorities. It is described as a rich country. . . and one of the most important sources of meat supplies that is now accessible to our armies. . . •


Source: https://archive.org/details/ApthekerToBeFree

-------
South Carolina:

Maroons continued to exist, however, and to fight for their freedom. Incidents such as those in Ashepoo in 1816, Williamsburg County in 1819, Georgetown in 1820, and Jacksonborough in 1822 all produced the same results. Maroons and militiaman fought, with the latter winning each time. Even so, maroons continued to exist. These activities continued even during the Civil War, when a maroon community attacked near Marion in June 1861 demonstrated the existence of maroons up until emancipation.

Source: http://www.scencyclopedia.org/sce/entries/maroons/

---------

The Dismal Swamp:Virginia/North Carolina:

Their own struggle for freedom spanned generations at that point, and it was bravely maintained until Union gunboats arrived in 1862 and the centuries-old fight again merged with another war against slaveholders. While the mass of the Union Army fought in Northern Virginia, former slaves, maroons and white Unionists undertook a guerrilla war to disrupt Confederate power in areas surrounding the swamp.

Many maroons who left the swamp to fight did not become regulars in the Union Army, but rather maintained their status as guerillas in the region. Dismal Swamp guerillas helped provision Union forces with beef and corn obtained in their plantation raids. Perhaps as important, dozens of maroons emerged from the swamp and served as scouts necessary for passage through the swamp. Moreover, maroon fighters already busy “spread[ing] terror over the land,” in the words of a North Carolina woman, loosely joined forces with the Confederate deserter Jack Fairless and his “Wingfield Buffaloes.” From their base on the North Carolina edge of the Great Dismal, guerrilla bands set off on regular campaigns into northeastern North Carolina, both to plunder and make good on their explicit pledge to “clear the country of every slave.”

So successful, in fact, were the maroons and other Buffaloes in commandeering supplies and helping to liberate bondsmen in the region that by mid-1863, a hastily organized local white “home guard” made desperate attempts to destroy their increasingly fortified base, or at least hit the guerrillas where it might hurt them the worst. Suggesting that they were aware of the crucial link between the maroons of the swamp and the guerrilla fighters, the home guard braved a direct assault on a deep-swamp maroon community, surprising the noncombatant group and killing many swampers in the process. Their attempts on the Buffalo base camp on the Chowan River were less successful. After initial forays in March failed to eject the Buffaloes, a larger force of partisan and regulars the next month found that the Buffaloes had dispersed back into the depths of the swamp ahead of the attack. All that greeted the frustrated Confederates was simple note pinned to a tree: “A leetle too late.”

The Carolinians must have already felt the truth of that note. Besides missing their guerrilla targets, by the fall of 1863 the Confederates were also rapidly losing ground in the region to Unionists. For the most part, the home guard had done a miserable job protecting the nominally pro-Confederate home front from Union-allied guerrillas. Indeed, the incompetence of the home guard only served to provoke further maroon reprisals on the civilian population.

In December 1863 Gen. Edward A. Wild led a raid through the swamp against white communities in North Carolina in December, but already that fall local residents were already declaring 1863 the “year of the black flag.” The Dismal Swamp counties in North Carolina passed resolutions addressed to the Confederacy formally withdrawing their support for the home guard and demanding they be officially recalled. The Buffalo’s adversaries would thereafter be no more than a dwindling clutch of vigilantes lacking even the support of a sympathetic civilian population. The Civil War thus came to an early end in the region around the southern Great Dismal Swamp.

Source: https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/19/life-in-the-swamp/

-----------
North Carolina:

When Burnside arrived in coastal North Carolina, he had issued a declaration to its white residents, promising non-interference with slavery. In part, it read:

The mission of our joint expedition is not to invade any of your rights, but to assert the authority of the United States, and thus to close with you the desolating war brought upon your State by comparatively a few bad men in your midst. . . . They impose upon your credulity by telling you of wicked and even diabolical intentions on our part – of our desire to destroy your freedom, demolish your property, liberate your slaves, injure your women, and such like enormities – all of which, we assure you is not only ridiculous but utterly and wilfully false.

Not only did white Southerners in coastal North Carolina refuse to believe Ambrose Burnside, but so did their slaves. As at Port Royal, South Carolina, the previous November, many North Carolina planters in the path of Union forces in February and March 1862 fled for the interior leaving their slaves behind. The slaves greeted Burnside’s army as liberators, manifestly not what the general had intended. Gen. Burnside reported from New Bern on March 21:

I appointed General Foster military governor of the city and its vicinity and he has established a most perfect system of guard and police. Nine-tenths of the depredations on the 14th after the enemy and citizens fled from the town were committed by the negroes before our troops reached the city. They seemed to be wild with excitement and delight. They are now a source of very great anxiety to us. The city is being overrun with fugitives from the surrounding towns and plantations. Two have reported themselves who have been in the swamps for five years. It would be utterly impossible if we were so disposed to keep them outside of our lines, as they find their way to us through woods and swamps from every side. By my next dispatch I hope to report to you a definite policy in reference to this matter, and in the meantime shall be glad to receive any instructions upon the subject which you may be disposed to give.

So among the slaves liberated around New Bern in March 1862 were two maroons that emerged to greet their reluctant liberators. While they preferred the swamp to slavery, when freedom came they readily rejoined civilization. For these maroons, the arrival of Burnside’s army must have been particularly joyous as it was a double liberation, both from slavery and their wilderness exile. No doubt, other maroons too would be able to come home as free people in the months and years that followed as Union forces penetrated further into the South.


Sources: 1) https://cwemancipation.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/maroons-return-from-exile/ 2) http://www.gilderlehrman.org/search/collection_pdfs/01/88/6/01886.pdf; 3) http://www.simmonsgames.com/research/authors/USWarDept/ORA/OR-S2-V1-C4.html


------
Louisiana:

There were thousands of Maroons at any given point up from the earliest slave arrivals until the end of the Civil War. Many were in Louisiana, in areas that were not too far away from the city centers but were difficult to access.

“Slave owners were afraid that the presence of Maroons would corrupt the people, because they said that they noted insolence among the slaves," Diouf says. "It was like ‘well if you’re doing all this to me, then you know I can go and join the Maroons.’”

That’s what made the government crack down on the largest nomadic maroon settlement in Louisiana, St. Malo, lead by Jean Malo, one of the only identifiable Maroon leaders in the United States.

While most Maroon groups didn’t break into double digits, St. Malo had a population of more than 50, until it was ultimately defeated by the Spanish under Governor Esteban Miro. They captured Malo and fellow organizers and hanged them, making an example of the rebels against the slave system.

“It’s the psyche of they were ready to do anything to be free, according to their own rules, without having to live in a northern society where they were second, third, fourth class citizens, even if they were nominally free," Diouf says.

"It’s not the kind of pseudo freedom of living in a city in the South where you pass as a free man or a free woman, but you are not. This is the real freedom. And to a planter you know who could not understand why a Maroon did not return when, you know, if he had been sick, he had frostbite, it was a very difficult time. And the man told him ‘I taste how it is to be free, and I didn't come back.’"

Source: http://wwno.org/post/more-runaway-maroons-louisiana

-----

The maroons or "outlyers," as contemporaries called them, maintained their cohesion for years, sometimes for more than a generation. They made forays into populated farming sections for food, clothing, livestock, and trading items. Sometimes they bartered with free blacks, plantation slaves, and nonslaveholding whites, and in a few instances white outlaws joined them, although this was rare.

It is estimated that at least fifty maroon communities were active in the South between 1672 and 1864.

Source: http://www.inmotionaame.org/migrati...205181498417319191?migration=2&topic=6&bhcp=1



More sources:
Hidden Americans: Maroons Of Virginia And The Carolinas by Hugo P. Leaming
American Negro Slave Revolts by Aptheker, Herbert
The 36th Infantry United States Colored Troops in the Civil War: A History and Roster
Maroon and Slave Communities in South Carolina before 1865
Maroons in Antebellum New Orleans: Independence at any Cost
Outstanding research! We have posters eho claim blacks loved being slaves and were loyal to a fault with their masters.
I will let them know about this post.
Leftyhunter
 

Dedej

Retired User
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Types of Maroon Societies:

Sylviane Diouf of Slavery’s Exiles describes the different types of maroons that were in the United States in great detail.

Borderland Maroonage:

  • Borderland maroons did not wonder off too far from where they escaped from. They made their maroon colonies close to the farms and plantations thus, their presence was known. [8]There were many reasons for staying close and risk being captured and returned to slavery, one being family connections. Escaping enslavement, but still wanting to see family members who were enslaved was crucial. Another instance would be for a slave to hover in the area of a different plantation where a spouse was sold. [9] In this case the a subcategory of maroonage called petit maroonage where slaves would runaway to see a loved ones, but eventually return.[10].
  • Violence was another reason slaves would escape to the borderlands. The violence that slaves were subjected to does not need explanation, but what is important is to note that many did not accept the violence from slaveowners. Many decided to flee in the face of violence instead of submitting to the humiliation and torture of a beating.[12] The opposite was also true, many would find themselves on the borderland because they had inflected violence on a white person. Borderland maroons would also be the source of much stealing of food and tools to to ensure their survival.

Hinterland Maroonage:
  • Another form of maroonage was hinterland maroonage, where the person or colony would enter deep into the woods where they could have a stronger sense of security and freedom. The hinterlands maroons unlike the borderland maroons were harder to track thus, providing mystery to the slavocracy. Usually found in communities for optimal survival, they were able to accomplish a lifestyle some would say was better than plantation life.

-------

Plantation Owners and Officials Knew of Maroon Communities:

Charles Manigault, owner of the Silk Hope plantation on the Cooper River near Charleston, commented that “no overseer, or Planter should speak on such subjects even before a small house boy, or girl, as they communicate all that they hear to others, who convey it to the spies of the runaways, who are still at home.”19 Indeed, it was rare for maroon settlements to be taken by surprise and far more common for attacking forces to find settlements abandoned because they had been forewarned of an assault.20 To those remaining enslaved we might anticipate that maroons became heroic, perhaps even mythic, figures. The retention and practice of African traditions (particularly religious ones) among maroon communities secured them a privileged position in slave societies with high proportions of Africans. Maroons who struck against planter authority and power were quite possibly fulfilling the secret desires of the oppressed, for while overt resistance could spell summary execution for slaves, maroons had the capacity to fight back.

Planters north of Charleston described how the success of one runaway in 1822 had resulted in another joining him in 1824 and a further five, parents with three children, “joined the same ring leader” in 1825.25
Source: http://latinamericanhistory.oxfordr...199366439.001.0001/acrefore-9780199366439-e-5

In November 1822 travelers in St. Andrew’s Parish just outside Charleston were being “continually robbed by a gang of armed runaway Negroes.” Among their victims were “several negroes [who] were stopped and money and clothes taken from them and their persons kept in custody ’till after night.”27 Targeting slaves was an obvious avenue whereby maroons could lose the support of the black community that remained enslaved. When maroons near Wilmington, North Carolina, were reported to be “frequently robbing slaves” and “threatening to perpetrate more atrocious crimes” it did not take long before “people of their own color informed against them.” A white posse swiftly captured all of these maroons as a direct result of the information given by slaves.28

--------

Maroons and Conflict with the White Community
  • For white planters, masters, militias, and governments, maroon communities posed a particular problem. Masters certainly did not want to lose valuable property to marronage, but the rewards of recapturing maroons had to be weighed against significant effort and risks. Maroon settlements were located in remote and deliberately inaccessible areas. Days spent hunting maroons were days lost from managing the plantation which might mean that remaining slaves were able to damage crops, and therefore profits, either through willful vandalism or, perhaps more likely, through simple inaction while unsupervised. Some slaves might even take advantage of the absence of the master to flee themselves. The swamps, woods, and mountains where maroons resided were formidable environments full of dangerous fauna that preyed on the unwary. It is doubtful that many whites ventured anywhere near these locales, except when they absolutely had to, and these zones in effect became spaces which were traversed and occupied only by Africans and African Americans.
  • New settlements could be constructed quickly: soldiers who oversaw the destruction of one maroon village near Savannah in October 1786 found an even larger settlement had been constructed just six months later a few miles further into the swamps.
  • Fighting was an option when the maroons outnumbered the attackers, but most often occurred when the maroons were either surprised, or when they had no choice. A military response could also buy vital time for the escape of women and children since if nothing else it gave the attackers pause for thought. Many whites grudgingly recorded their respect for maroon bravery, reporting that one maroon group just north of Mobile “fought like Spartans, not one gave an inch of ground, but stood and was shot dead or wounded, and fell on the spot.”35
  • A maroon group in North Carolina successfully deterred planters from joining patrols by singling them out for revenge attacks. A petition to the North Carolina General Assembly urging a reform of the patrol law lamented that “patrols are of no use on Account of the danger they Subject themselves to and their property. Not long since three patrols two of which for Executing their duty had their dwelling and Out houses burnt down, the Other his fodder stacks all burnt.” It took considerable determination, and an investment of both time and substantial amounts of money, for whites to completely destroy a maroon community.

-------

Maroon Colonies Traded in New Orleans and South Carolina

In the fall of 1827 a maroon colony in New Orleans was discovered where the cultivation of corn, sweet potatoes, hogs, and chicken were being raised.[15] Diouf makes it a point to establish that maroon colonies would trade, especially in South Carolina where maroons dominated the fishing business.[16] Although this was illegal because the maroons themselves were bandits, it was less illegal than, stealing goods and trading them which was also done.[17]

Source(s): Diouf, Slavery’s Exiles, 145 and https://amirmw.wordpress.com/2015/12/03/resistance-to-slavery-warfare-and-marronage/
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Types of Maroon Societies:

Sylviane Diouf of Slavery’s Exiles describes the different types of maroons that were in the United States in great detail.

Borderland Maroonage:

  • Borderland maroons did not wonder off too far from where they escaped from. They made their maroon colonies close to the farms and plantations thus, their presence was known. [8]There were many reasons for staying close and risk being captured and returned to slavery, one being family connections. Escaping enslavement, but still wanting to see family members who were enslaved was crucial. Another instance would be for a slave to hover in the area of a different plantation where a spouse was sold. [9] In this case the a subcategory of maroonage called petit maroonage where slaves would runaway to see a loved ones, but eventually return.[10].
  • Violence was another reason slaves would escape to the borderlands. The violence that slaves were subjected to does not need explanation, but what is important is to note that many did not accept the violence from slaveowners. Many decided to flee in the face of violence instead of submitting to the humiliation and torture of a beating.[12] The opposite was also true, many would find themselves on the borderland because they had inflected violence on a white person. Borderland maroons would also be the source of much stealing of food and tools to to ensure their survival.
Hinterland Maroonage:
  • Another form of maroonage was hinterland maroonage, where the person or colony would enter deep into the woods where they could have a stronger sense of security and freedom. The hinterlands maroons unlike the borderland maroons were harder to track thus, providing mystery to the slavocracy. Usually found in communities for optimal survival, they were able to accomplish a lifestyle some would say was better than plantation life.

-------

Plantation Owners and Officials Knew of Maroon Communities:

Charles Manigault, owner of the Silk Hope plantation on the Cooper River near Charleston, commented that “no overseer, or Planter should speak on such subjects even before a small house boy, or girl, as they communicate all that they hear to others, who convey it to the spies of the runaways, who are still at home.”19 Indeed, it was rare for maroon settlements to be taken by surprise and far more common for attacking forces to find settlements abandoned because they had been forewarned of an assault.20 To those remaining enslaved we might anticipate that maroons became heroic, perhaps even mythic, figures. The retention and practice of African traditions (particularly religious ones) among maroon communities secured them a privileged position in slave societies with high proportions of Africans. Maroons who struck against planter authority and power were quite possibly fulfilling the secret desires of the oppressed, for while overt resistance could spell summary execution for slaves, maroons had the capacity to fight back.

Planters north of Charleston described how the success of one runaway in 1822 had resulted in another joining him in 1824 and a further five, parents with three children, “joined the same ring leader” in 1825.25
Source: http://latinamericanhistory.oxfordr...199366439.001.0001/acrefore-9780199366439-e-5

In November 1822 travelers in St. Andrew’s Parish just outside Charleston were being “continually robbed by a gang of armed runaway Negroes.” Among their victims were “several negroes [who] were stopped and money and clothes taken from them and their persons kept in custody ’till after night.”27 Targeting slaves was an obvious avenue whereby maroons could lose the support of the black community that remained enslaved. When maroons near Wilmington, North Carolina, were reported to be “frequently robbing slaves” and “threatening to perpetrate more atrocious crimes” it did not take long before “people of their own color informed against them.” A white posse swiftly captured all of these maroons as a direct result of the information given by slaves.28

--------

Maroons and Conflict with the White Community
  • For white planters, masters, militias, and governments, maroon communities posed a particular problem. Masters certainly did not want to lose valuable property to marronage, but the rewards of recapturing maroons had to be weighed against significant effort and risks. Maroon settlements were located in remote and deliberately inaccessible areas. Days spent hunting maroons were days lost from managing the plantation which might mean that remaining slaves were able to damage crops, and therefore profits, either through willful vandalism or, perhaps more likely, through simple inaction while unsupervised. Some slaves might even take advantage of the absence of the master to flee themselves. The swamps, woods, and mountains where maroons resided were formidable environments full of dangerous fauna that preyed on the unwary. It is doubtful that many whites ventured anywhere near these locales, except when they absolutely had to, and these zones in effect became spaces which were traversed and occupied only by Africans and African Americans.
  • New settlements could be constructed quickly: soldiers who oversaw the destruction of one maroon village near Savannah in October 1786 found an even larger settlement had been constructed just six months later a few miles further into the swamps.
  • Fighting was an option when the maroons outnumbered the attackers, but most often occurred when the maroons were either surprised, or when they had no choice. A military response could also buy vital time for the escape of women and children since if nothing else it gave the attackers pause for thought. Many whites grudgingly recorded their respect for maroon bravery, reporting that one maroon group just north of Mobile “fought like Spartans, not one gave an inch of ground, but stood and was shot dead or wounded, and fell on the spot.”35
  • A maroon group in North Carolina successfully deterred planters from joining patrols by singling them out for revenge attacks. A petition to the North Carolina General Assembly urging a reform of the patrol law lamented that “patrols are of no use on Account of the danger they Subject themselves to and their property. Not long since three patrols two of which for Executing their duty had their dwelling and Out houses burnt down, the Other his fodder stacks all burnt.” It took considerable determination, and an investment of both time and substantial amounts of money, for whites to completely destroy a maroon community.
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Maroon Colonies Traded in New Orleans and South Carolina

In the fall of 1827 a maroon colony in New Orleans was discovered where the cultivation of corn, sweet potatoes, hogs, and chicken were being raised.[15] Diouf makes it a point to establish that maroon colonies would trade, especially in South Carolina where maroons dominated the fishing business.[16] Although this was illegal because the maroons themselves were bandits, it was less illegal than, stealing goods and trading them which was also done.[17]

Source(s): Diouf, Slavery’s Exiles, 145 and https://amirmw.wordpress.com/2015/12/03/resistance-to-slavery-warfare-and-marronage/
I wonder what our fellow posters that argue that slaves were has happy as pigs in slob would think about this thread?
Lets ask @Mike Griffith and @Rebforever think?
Leftyhunter
 

Dedej

Retired User
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Southerners and Abolishnist Possibly Ingmored the Importance/Relavnace of Maroons in the South:

A critical consensus exists suggesting that the Great Dismal Swamp was probably home to the highest concentration of maroons at any given time between the colonial and antebellum periods. But the structure of the archive reproduces nineteenth-century strategies for denying the existence of maroons in the United States. By this I mean that the search terms “maroon” and “marronage” will only yield results for twentieth-century secondary sources on maroons because Southerners deliberately avoided these terms when referring to the fugitive inhabitants of the swamps and forests around them. Maroon was a word already associated with militant runaway slave communities in places like Jamaica, Suriname, Haiti, Cuba, and Brazil in the eighteenth and nineteenth-centuries, and Southerners had no interest in drawing a parallel between these radically disruptive fugitives and the ones in their midst. Maroons were also ignored by Northern abolitionists, who preferred for a variety of reasons the compellingness and marketability of the slave narrative’s trajectory from descriptions of the brutality of slavery in the South to the advantages of freedom in the North. Thus, maroons only become legible in the archive when we learn to see through the semantic dissembling and deliberate ignorance that have obscured them from view.

  • This has meant first identifying search terms that will produce archival sources related to what we now call—and should properly be called—US maroons. Working backward from texts like Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Dred, Martin Delany’s Blake, and antebellum periodical pieces by David Hunter Strother and Frederick Law Olmstead, among others, which deploy the vocabulary used by Southerners to obliquely describe maroons and their activities, I was able to assemble a preliminary list of such terms. Some examples are: bandit, banditti, truant, fugitive, runaway, outlier, depredations, skulking, and lurking, often in a Boolean search combination with swamp, forest, or “obscure places.” These searches began to produce results, though of course further vetting was needed since words like fugitive and runaway, in particular, were primarily used to refer to runaways in the conventional sense as opposed to maroons as I am defining them.
  • Maroons existed as a kind of open secret in Southern society, but citizens’ knowledge of them is harder to assess in the North.
Source: https://arc.commons.gc.cuny.edu/201...archival-study-at-the-university-of-virginia/

Early Histories of Maroon History (late 1700s – 1920)

Of course, primary sources on maroon societies are going to vary widely depending upon the region of interest. Within the United States, many of the textual sources that are cited are also typical of slave historiography. For this reason, the secondary works of historians like Kenneth Stampe, Stanley Elkins, Philip Curtin, John Blassingame, Eugene Genovese, and Fogel and Engermann regularly appear on maroon bibliographies. These histories often cite newspaper ads, runaway slave advertisements, plantation records, court records, theft reports, slave narratives (such as that of Solomon Northrup, who mentioned maroons in the swamps of Louisiana) and even the WPA slave narratives from 1936. To these, scholars can add early secondary sources, such as The History of Slavery and the Slave Trade (1857) by William Blake. Perhaps the most prolific American scholar to chronicle primary sources that mention the presence of maroons in the United States was Herbert Aptheker. In his 1943 doctoral dissertation, American Negro Slave Revolts, Aptheker cited many first-hand sources—from private correspondence to newspaper articles—that discussed the existence of maroon communities in the borders of various American states, particularly in the decades spanning the 1840s and the 1860s.

Source: https://thezamanireader.com/2015/07...dy-of-maroons-and-marronage-in-the-new-world/
------------


Maroons Within the Present Limits of the United States // Herbert Aptheker

An ever-present feature of antebellum southern life was the existence of camps of runaway Negro slaves, often called maroons, when they all but established themselves independently on the frontier. These were seriously annoying, for they were sources of insubordination. They offered havens for fugitives, served as bases for marauding expeditions against nearby plantations and, at times, supplied the nucleus of leadership for planned uprisings.

It appears that notice of these maroon communities was taken only when they were accidentally uncovered or when their activities became so obnoxious or dangerous to the slavocracy that their destruction was felt to be necessary. Evidence of the existence of at least fifty of such communities in various places and at various times, from 1672 to 1864, has been found. The mountainous, forested or swampy regions of South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama (in order of importance) appear to have been the favorite haunts of these black Robin Hoods. At times a settled life, rather than a pugnacious and migratory one, was aimed at, as is evidenced by the fact that these maroons built homes, maintained families, raised cattle, and pursued agriculture, but this all but settled life appears to have been exceptional.​

Source: https://thezamanireader.com/2015/07...dy-of-maroons-and-marronage-in-the-new-world/

-----------

The most notorious maroon band in South Carolina was led by 'Forest' Joe and ranged the entire length of the Santee River from the coast to Columbia. The first complaints of maroon activity date from 1819, but Joe became a major thorn in the side of white planters after the murder of planter George Ford near Georgetown in May 1821. Ford was killed trying to prevent Joe from stealing cattle from his plantation, and while two of his gang were captured shortly afterwards and provided much information about Joe and his whereabouts, the man himself evaded capture. The local press praised 'the exertions of the militia... day and night occupied in scouring the woods and swamps to the distance of twenty or thirty miles from town, notwithstanding the extreme heat of the weather and the heavy showers to which they have been exposed', but the 'most dense and impervious swamps' in which Joe had secreted himself proved too much.

For the next two years Joe continued to raid plantations adjacent to the Santee River Swamp for supplies and recruits, apparently roaming fairly freely over its 150 mile length and easily eluding 'all attempts to take him'. One local newspaper observed ruefully that 'this accomplished villain has been pursuing his course of plunder in the most tranquil and uninterrupted manner'.

Events came to a head in the late summer of 1823. On 20 August Joe killed a slave belonging to Colonel Richardson who had 'been the means of rescuing a negro woman of Dr. Raoul's whom he [Joe] detained against her will for some months as his wife'.

conducted a select party... to the camp of the Joe and his followers, and having the command of a boat, being a patroon, he with considerable judgement and address managed to decoy those whom we had long sought towards the boat, where were stationed a party expressly detailed for this duty... [and with] a single well directed fire from the party of whites in the boat Joe with three of his party fell dead.
Joe's 'head was cut off and stuck on a pole at the mouth of the creek, as a solemn warning to vicious slaves' and several of his gang were later captured and hanged. Since it was 'the policy of this state to reward those slaves who thus distinguish themselves by way of inducement to others to do so likewise' Royal's owner was paid $700 by the South Carolina legislature to manumit him. (21)

Perhaps because the chance of freedom in the north held a greater allure than life in the swamp, especially with the growth of radical abolitionism, reports of maroon activity are much less frequent after 1830 than they were before. They did not disappear entirely, however – the Marion Star reported as late as June 1861 that:

a party of gentlemen from this place went in search of runaways who were thought to be in a swamp two miles from here. A trail was discovered which, winding about much, conducted the party to a knoll in the swamp on which corn, squashes, and peas were growing and a camp had been burnt. Continuing the search, another patch of corn, etc., was found and a camp from which several negroes fled, leaving two small negro children, each about a year old... The camp seemed well provided with meal, cooking utensils, blankets, etc. The party returned, having taken the two children, twelve guns and one axe... (22)​

Although it reached a zenith between 1760 and 1830 marronage in South Carolina was evidently something that endured for as long as slavery itself existed. Maroons were able in practice to exert control over large areas of land that were effectively beyond white control. In this manner maroons in South Carolina were able to gain a degree of autonomy and independence from slavery while never leaving the south. Some black children were born in the swamps and grew up never having known the terrors of slavery or the wrath of masters. The persistence of marronage in South Carolina significantly complicates our understanding of colonial and antebellum slave systems in North America.

Source:
https://www.history.ac.uk/ihr/Focus/Slavery/articles/lockley.html


--------

It became more dangerous for maroons because the canals allowed slave-catchers to get into the swamp. But there were also new economic opportunities. Maroons were able to cut shingles for lumber companies that turned a blind eye. Frederick Law Olmsted, who traveled in the South as a journalist before he took up landscape architecture, writing about the maroons in 1856, observed that “poorer white men, owning small tracts of the swamps, will sometimes employ them,” and also that maroons were stealing from farms, plantations and unwary travelers.

Olmsted asked if locals ever shot the maroons. “Oh yes,” came the reply. “But some on ’em would rather be shot than be took, sir.” It’s clear that there were two different ways of marooning in the swamp. Those living near the edge of the swamp, or near the canals, had far more interaction with the outside world. In the remote interior, at the nameless site and other islands, there were still maroons who lived in isolation, fishing, farming and trapping feral hogs in the deep swamp muck. We know this from Dan Sayers’ excavations and from Charlie the former maroon. He described whole families that had never seen a white man and would be scared to death to see one.

The white residents of Norfolk and other communities near the swamp were terrified of being attacked by the swamp’s maroons. Instead, they got Nat Turner’s insurrection of 1831—a rebellion of slaves and free blacks in which more than 50 whites were killed and then at least 200 blacks killed in reprisal. Turner was planning to hide in the Dismal Swamp with his followers, recruit the maroons and more slaves, and then emerge to overthrow white rule. But his rebellion was suppressed after two days, and Turner, after two months in hiding, was captured and hanged.

What became of the Dismal Swamp maroons? Olmsted thought that very few were left by the 1850s, but he stayed near the canals and didn’t venture into the interior. Sayers has evidence of a thriving community at the nameless site all the way up to the Civil War. “That’s when they came out,” he says. “We’ve found almost nothing after the Civil War. They probably worked themselves back into society as free people.”

Early in his research, he started interviewing African-Americans in communities near the swamp, hoping to hear family stories about maroons. But he abandoned the side project. “There’s still so much archaeology work to do,” he says. “We’ve excavated only 1 percent of one island.”

Source: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/histo...s-kept-freedom-180960122/#HoM73efqEuDg4uWT.99

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Some of the Known Maroon Communities: the maroons of Bas du Fleuve, Louisiana; Belleisle and Bear Creek in Georgia and South Carolina; and the Great Dismal Swamp in Virginia and North Carolina. . . .

Source: http://www.sylvianediouf.com/slavery_s_exiles__the_story_of_the_american_maroons_119566.htm

In 1802, in North Carolina copies of letters said to be written by conspirators, were sent to the governor. These conspirators were have said to live in a group in the swaps and even had poor whites joining them.[7] The slavocracy was shook to the core, not only were blacks and whites working together, but blacks were literate. May 15th 1823, the New York Evening Post ran a story called “A Serious Subject”. The article outlined the plans of maroons who looked to find guns and ammunition for either protection of revenge.
 

Dedej

Retired User
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Outstanding research! We have posters eho claim blacks loved being slaves and were loyal to a fault with their masters.
I will let them know about this post.
Leftyhunter
Thanks! I learned a lot about Maroon Societies/Communities in Undergrad and from one of Uncles.

It made me want to learn more - because from his view they were pretty known and feared - but I never hear about them or anyone make mention of them in terms of resistance. They have been around since it's beginnings in America.

And....we both know that's not true :smile:
 

Dedej

Retired User
Joined
Mar 17, 2017
Marooner.--A runaway slave; a maroon.

THE VIRGINIA MAROONS.*


* From an article In the "Liberty Bell" for 1853, by EDMUND JACKSON.


The great Dismal Swamp, which lies near the Eastern shore of Virginia, and, commencing near Norfolk, stretches

Page 228
quite into North Carolina, contains a large colony of negroes, who originally obtained their freedom by the grace of God and their own determined energy, instead of consent of their owners, or by the help of the Colonization Society. How long this colony has existed, what is its amount of population, what portion of the colonists are now fugitives, and what the descendants of fugitives, are questions not easily determined; nor can we readily avail ourselves of the better knowledge undoubtedly existing in the vicinity of this colony, by reason of the decided objections of those best enabled to gratify our curiosity--to some extent, at least--to furnishing any information whatever, lest it might be used by Abolitionists for their purposes,--as one of them frankly said when questioned about the matter. Nevertheless, some facts, or, at least, an approximation towards the truth of them, are known respecting this singular community of blacks, who have won their freedom, and established themselves securely in the midst of the largest slaveholding State of the South; for, from this extensive Swamp, they are very seldom, if now at all, reclaimed. The chivalry of Virginia, so far as I know, have never yet ventured on a slave-hunt in the Dismal Swamp nor is it, probably, in the power of that State to capture or expel these fugitives from it. This may appear extravagant; but when it is known how long a much less numerous band of Indians held the everglades of Florida against the forces of the United States, and how much blood and treasure it cost to expel them finally, we may find a sufficient excuse for

Page 229


the forbearance of the "Ancient Dominion" towards this Community of fugitives domiciliated in their midst.

From the character of the population, it is reasonable to infer that the United States Marshal has never charged himself with the duty of taking the census of the Swamp; and we can only estimate the amount of population, by such circumstances as may serve to indicate it. Of these, perhaps the trade existing between the city of Norfolk and the Swamp may furnish the best element of computation. This trade between the Swamp merchants and the fugitives is wholly contraband, and would subject the white participants to fearful penalties, if they could only be enforced; for, throughout the slave States, it is an offence, by law, of the gravest character, to have any dealings whatever with runaway negroes. But, "You no catch 'em, you no hab em," is emphatically true in the Dismal Swamp, where trader and runaway are alike beyond the reach of Virginia law. An intelligent merchant, of near thirty years' business in Norfolk, has estimated the value of slave property lost in the Swamp, at one and a half million dollars. This city of refuge, in the midst of society, has endured from generation to generation, and is likely to continue until slavery is abolished throughout the land. A curious anomaly this community certainly presents; and its history and destiny are alike suggestive of curiosity and interest.

That there are those at the South who desire the abolition of slavery, the following extract from a speech of P. A.

Source: http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/nell/nell.html

-------------

Maroons and Other Armed Resistance To Slavery:


It appears that everyone knew about Maroon Communities/Societies all over the South.

Slavery Attacked: Southern States and Their Allies, 1619-1865 First Edition Edition



6ozYgZO.png


They were also on edge about slave revolts which from researching seemed to happen quite often -- in one form of another.

69V5xio.png


-------------------

Gabriel’s Rebellion: The Virginia Slave Conspiracies of 1800 and 1802 (Chapel Hill, 1993);

Egerton offers a revisionist interpretation of Gabriel’s Rebellion, which he considers unique in southern history. Within the context of this revolt, and the Easter Plot of 1802, he presents a powerful synthesis of what he calls “artisan republicanism” and black revolutionary activity in Virginia that suggests a union between the political hopes of white and black skilled labor during the early period of the Republic.

The author considers Gabriel’s rebellion in an urban context. Gabriel was influenced by the ideology of the skilled craftsmen of the city, and saw an opportunity for blacks to gain their freedom in the politics of class and the divisive nature of the election of 1800. Completely misunderstanding the mentality of whites, Gabriel assumed that his rebellion would unite skilled workers regardless of color. Equally, he was unable to gain the support of slaves in rural areas. In the second part of his book, Egerton ties Gabriel’s conspiracy with another two years later. Sancho, a slave involved in Gabriel’s conspiracy, escaped capture and execution. In 1802 he led the Easter Plot that failed and was also brutally suppressed. One of the most fascinating aspects of Egerton’s analysis of this event is the involvement of the “watermen” of the Chesapeake. These men lived in a mobile maritime world populated by both slaves and free blacks who monopolized maritime operations in the Virginia-Maryland area.

Egerton’s minutely detailed reconstruction of both plots brings clearly to focus how little we know about slave plots in the early nineteenth century. He concludes that “Gabriel’s conspiracy was completely urban, the only plot of its kind in southern history.” (59) Gabriel “dreamed of overturning the central class relationship in his society, but not the society itself.” (30) Egerton asserts that the goal of the conspirators was “to destroy the hegemony of the ‘merchants’,” who he insists were the only group of whites that Gabriel considered his enemies. (x)

Egerton’s research is most impressive. His use of Virginia court records is exhaustive, and his exceptional narrative style makes this an excellent book for general consumption as well as scholarship.

Ed Townes

-------------

During the time that slavery existed in the Americas, groups of slaves would join together to plan escapes. "When slaves lived near swamps, impenetrable forests, or near frontier areas, they often banded together in such mass efforts."3 These rebel slaves were called maroons. Throughout the Americas, African slaves would run away and hide out in swamps, mountains, and or the deep forest for long periods of time ranging from days to years. These maroon societies would manage to elude capture long enough to establish communities apart from the slave plantations. The maroons would often plan attacks on plantations. At these attacks, the maroons would burn crops, steal livestock and tools, murder slavemasters, and invite other slaves to join their communities. "A nest of runaway negroes was discovered last week in the fork of the Alabama and Tombecke Rivers...they had two cabins and were about to build a fort."

Source: http://teachersinstitute.yale.edu/curriculum/units/1998/1/98.01.03.x.html

------

Armed Fugitive Slaves and Slave Riots (more than likely Maroon Communities)

Joseph Vallence Beven papers, MS 71
Contains correspondence dating from 1787 between George Mathews, Thomas Pinckney, and General James Jackson concerning armed fugitive slaves

Joseph Frederick Waring II papers, MS 1275
Contains 35 items on African-American churches (not dated); 18 items on African-American members of the Republican Party of Georgia from 1867-1869; slave bills of sale from 1856-1859; a list of slaves from 1859, leases to African-Americans from 1865-1866, and a letter from 1851 which discusses a fugitive slave riot.

Source: http://savannahnow.com/accent/2014-...roup-helps-african-americans-research-history


A Maroon Community Film (Fiction)


The beloved film "Daughters of the Dust" by Julie Dash, which was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Daughters of the Dust is set in 1902 among the members of the Peazant family, Gullah islanders who live at Ibo Landing on St. Simons Island, off the South Carolina-Georgia coast.[4] Their ancestors were brought there as enslaved people centuries ago, and the islanders developed a language and culture that was creolized from West Africans of Ibo, Yoruba, Kikongo, Mende, and Twi origin.[5] Developed in their relative isolation of large plantations on the islands, the enslaved peoples' unique culture and language have endured over time. Their dialogue is in Gullah creole.[4]


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19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
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"Bitterly Divided the Souths inner Civil war David Williams thepress.co
Leftyhunter
Williams exaggerates the effect of the "resistance" much like Stephanie McCurry with her book Confederate Reckoning. Most of these marauders ("resistance") cared for no one but themselves. They mainly made war on the civilian population (the easier target) and had no effect on the outcome of the war.
 

leftyhunter

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Location
los angeles ca
Williams exaggerates the effect of the "resistance" much like Stephanie McCurry with her book Confederate Reckoning. Most of these marauders ("resistance") cared for no one but themselves. They mainly made war on the civilian population (the easier target) and had no effect on the outcome of the war.
That is not what Confederate officials stated. Williams extensively quotes from from Confederate officials. In my thread " Union vs CSA Guerrillas" there are quotes from Confederate officials about their frustrations with Unionist guerrillas and gow many troops were diverted to fight them.
Leftyhunter
 

ForeverFree

Major
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Location
District of Columbia
Recently we had a thread titled"why no slave uprisings during the Civil War". Some blacks did rise up against their masters and fought Confederate forces deep inside Confederate lines often fighting alongside fellow white Southerners.
Slaves where well known for hiding and feeding escaped prisoners and deserters but they also fought the Confederacy. In Fl a worried CSA officer wrote in Aug 1864"many deserters ..are collected in the swamps and fastness of Taylor. Lafayette. Levy and other counties and have organized with runaway Negros, bands for the purpose of committing depredations upon the plantations and crops of loyal citizens and running of their slaves. These depredatory bands have even threatened the cities of Tallahassee,Madison and Marianna". That same month came word that a band of 500 Union men deserters an Negros where raiding towards Gainsville.
P.169 "Bitterly Divided the Souths inner Civil war David Williams thepress.co
Leftyhunter

This is off-topic to the subject of Black Armed irregular resistance to the Confederacy. But I think a few of things are worth keeping in mind:

1) The primary form of "irregular" slave resistance during the war was simply running away. Stories of slave flight, or reaction to slave flight (such as by refugeeing slaves) are extensive throughout the historical record. Basically, everywhere the Union went, the slaves were sure to follow.

Enslaved people did not have easy access to weapons. Rather than bringing nothing to a gun fight, they simply used the opportunity to go to the other side. One reason why we don't see as many slave uprisings as some would expect is that enslaved people were more likely to flee than fight.

2) I don't think there was resistance to the Confederacy as much as resistance to enslavement. Having said that, the war created an active federal (Confederate) military presence that wasn't there before the war; and it upset pre-war slave patrolling routines (due to the enlistment of so many white men in the CSA army). So, practically speaking, such resistance was felt by the Confederacy; but I don't think resistance was being made to the Confederate regime, per se, as it was being made to the institution itself.

3) I have seen correspondence where whites in Border and Confederate states requested the US army to do something about local runaway slaves. My perception is that by the middle of the war, the US army was not using resources to police runaway slaves unless they were engaged in troublesome activity. That is, they didn't seek out runaways for the sake of capturing runaways; but unlawful actions were dealt with. (The Confiscation Act of 1862 said that fugitive slaves were not to be returned to their owners if captured by the Union Army.)

4) Of course, black enlistment in the army and navy was the most "regular" form of resistance to the Confederacy. But as with above, it's important to note that one reason why we don't see as many slave uprisings as some would expect is that military enlistment gave as many as 150,000 formerly enslaved men an outlet to resist slavery. And that number that doesn't include the many black civilians who aided the US military.

- Alan
 
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jgoodguy

Banished Forever
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is a terrible thing...
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4) Of course, black enlistment in the army and navy was the most "regular" from of resistance to the Confederacy. But as with above, it's important to note that one reason why we don't see as many slave uprisings as some would expect is that military enlistment gave as many as 150,000 formerly enslaved men an outlet to resist slavery. And that number that doesn't include the many black civilians who aided the US military.
Then there was also the anticipation that the CSA might be defeated and slavery ended without risking life in a rebellion.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
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Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Not making light of this, but they obviously didn't have my fear of snakes!

To get over my fear of snakes, I give them silly/harmless names. We have a two-foot black snake living in our bushes around our house in Florida. I named him 'Jerry' and I talk to him when he lays on top of the bushes trying to catch geckos. It helps :smile:

Thank you @Dedej for putting all this in. I never knew the slightest thing about Maroon communities or that they could live deep in the swamps and wilderness.

I would like to second the above, Dedej. Like NH Civil War Gal, I had no idea of this part of history.

Thanks for sharing it with us.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
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Location
los angeles ca
This is off-topic to the subject of Black Armed irregular resistance to the Confederacy. But I think a few of things are worth keeping in mind:

1) The primary form of "irregular" slave resistance during the war was simply running away. Stories of slave flight, or reaction to slave flight (such as by refugeeing slaves) are extensive throughout the historical record. Basically, everywhere the Union went, the slaves were sure to follow.

Enslaved people did not have easy access to weapons. Rather than bringing nothing to a gun fight, they simply used the opportunity to go to the other side. One reason why we don't see as many slave uprisings as some would expect is that enslaved people were more likely to flee than fight.

2) I don't think there was resistance to the Confederacy as much as resistance to enslavement. Having said that, the war created an active federal (Confederate) military presence that wasn't there before the war; and it upset pre-war slave patrolling routines (due to the enlistment of so many white men in the CSA army). So, practically speaking, such resistance was felt by the Confederacy; but I don't think resistance was being made to the Confederate regime, per se, as it was being made to the institution itself.

3) I have seen correspondence where whites in Border and Confederate states requested the US army to do something about local runaway slaves. My perception is that by the middle of the war, the US army was not using resources to police runaway slaves unless they were engaged in troublesome activity. That is, they didn't seek out runaways for the sake of capturing runaways; but unlawful actions were dealt with. (The Confiscation Act of 1862 said that fugitive slaves were not to be returned to their owners if captured by the Union Army.)

4) Of course, black enlistment in the army and navy was the most "regular" form of resistance to the Confederacy. But as with above, it's important to note that one reason why we don't see as many slave uprisings as some would expect is that military enlistment gave as many as 150,000 formerly enslaved men an outlet to resist slavery. And that number that doesn't include the many black civilians who aided the US military.

- Alan
I would only add to your excellent post that resistance to slavery is one and the same as resistance to the Confederacy.
The Confederacy was formed has we know solely to protect the institution of slavery.
Especially with so many white men in the Confederate Army and no immigration to speak of the significance of slave labor can not be over stated.
Leftyhunter
 

ForeverFree

Major
Joined
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Location
District of Columbia
Williams exaggerates the effect of the "resistance" much like Stephanie McCurry with her book Confederate Reckoning. Most of these marauders ("resistance") cared for no one but themselves. They mainly made war on the civilian population (the easier target) and had no effect on the outcome of the war.

I haven't read Williams' book, but I don't share your view regarding McCurry's book.

I want to make a point, though. During the period of 1861-1865, there were two concurrent, inter-related, but separate events: (1) a military conflict, called the Civil War; and (2) a social revolution based on the emancipation of enslaved people.

Wiki defines a social revolution:

In libertarian socialist and anarchist parlance, a social revolution is a bottom-up, as opposed to a vanguard party–led or purely political, revolution aiming to reorganize all of society (see Spanish Revolution of 1936). In the words of Alexander Berkman, "social revolution means the reorganization of the industrial, economic life of the country and consequently also of the entire structure of society".

More generally, the term "social revolution" may be used to refer to a massive change in society, for instance the French Revolution, the American Civil Rights Movement and the 1960 hippie or counterculture reformation on religious belief, personal identity, freedom of speech, music and the arts, fashion, alternative technology or environmentalism and decentralised media.​

The emancipation of enslaved southerners led a to real time social and economic revolution, and would have political consequences later on.

It was possible to be a part of the war, and not this social revolution, and vice versa. There were certainly soldiers who were part of the War's military conflict, but had no experience with the social revolution; and there were enslaved people who were caught up in the social revolution, and never experienced war directly.

Again, the war and the social revolution were concurrent and inter-related; but they were two different things that had different impacts on different people. The idea of this period as a time of social revolution is under-appreciated, and many people focus on the war solely, or mostly, from a military perspective. But a lot of Civil War scholarship does focus on these social, political and economic aspects of the period.
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In the prologue to her book Confederate Reckoning, McCurry states

Something stunning—epic even —transpired in the American South between 1860 and 1865. Then, in a gamble of world historical proportions, a class of slaveholders, flush with power, set out to build an independent proslavery nation but instead brought down the single most powerful slave regime in the Western world and propel the emergence of a new American Republic that we redefined the very possibilities of democracy at home and abroad.

In the process, too, they provoked precisely the transformation of their own political culture they hoped to avoid by secession, bringing into the making of history those people –the South's massive unfranchised population of white women and slaves —whose political dispossession they intended to render permanent.​

I don't think McCurry is saying that slave resistance "won the war." Rather, she is making the point that the Confederate project - "to build what's something entirely new in the history of nations: a modern proslavery and anti-democratic state, dedicated to the proposition that all men were not created equal", in her words - was in fact foiled during the course of the war. The wartime Confederacy was not able to sustain its slave society, in part due to the actions of enslaved people themselves. During the war, enslaved southerners were freed in different ways at different times under different circumstances. This sometimes directly aided the US military (e.g., perhaps 150,000 black southerners in the US army) but not always. Many women and children gained freedom, but of course were not soldiers or sailors. (And of course the Union had something to do with it, as emancipation was used, as Lincoln put it, to give negroes a "motive" to "stake their lives" for the Union cause.)

The CSA's end game of enlisting black soldiers, to be accomplished with slave masters' voluntary manumission of black southern recruits, illustrates the collapse of the Confederacy's project for creating a pro-slavery society. McCurry's thesis, I interpret, is that the Confederacy's goal of maintaining a slave society during a time of war was certain to be problematic, if not outright doomed to fail. Her book describes how slavery did come under serious challenge during the war, something the CSA should have anticipated, but did not, and perhaps could not given the mindset of its leaders.

- Alan
 
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leftyhunter

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los angeles ca
Your last sentence is proof of the excellent quote by @Don Dixon " that the Confederacy was to stupid to be a nation".
The Confederate leaders failed to remember that during the Revolutionary War the British did offer emancipation in exchange for military service and they did recruit some black soldiers.
The Confederate leaders failed to note that black slaves when given the opportunity black slaves can and will effectively take up arms to fight for their freedom ,Haiti and Jamaica being prime examples.
Leftyhunter
 

ForeverFree

Major
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Location
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The Confederate leaders failed to remember that during the Revolutionary War the British did offer emancipation in exchange for military service and they did recruit some black soldiers.
The Confederate leaders failed to note that black slaves when given the opportunity black slaves can and will effectively take up arms to fight for their freedom ,Haiti and Jamaica being prime examples.
Leftyhunter

You are correct. A problem with many Confederates was that they had this notion that enslaved southerners were content with being enslaved. They believed (or wanted to believe) that enslaved southerners were obedient out of "servile" instincts, rather than coercive force. Even after the war, some Confederates blamed slave resistance on the influence of Yankees, as opposed to any inherent desire on the part of enslaved southerners for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

After the war, Jefferson Davis released his two volume book The Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government. From Chapter XXVI of the book:

In his message to Congress ... on December 8, 1863, President (Abraham Lincoln) thus boasts of his proclamation:

"According to our political system, as a matter of civil administration, the General Government had no lawful power to effect emancipation in any State, and for a long time it had been hoped that the rebellion could be suppressed without resorting to it as a military measure. . . .

"Of those who were slaves at the beginning of the rebellion, full one hundred thousand are now in the United States military service, about one half of which number actually bear arms in the ranks, thus giving the double advantage of taking so much labor from the insurgent cause, and supplying the places which otherwise must be filled with so many white men. So far as tested, it is difficult to say they are not as good soldiers as any."

Let the reader pause for a moment and look calmly at the facts presented in this statement. The forefathers of these negro soldiers were gathered from the torrid plains and malarial swamps of inhospitable Africa. Generally they were born the slaves of barbarian masters, untaught in all the useful arts and occupations, reared in heathen darkness, and, sold by heathen masters, they were transferred to shores enlightened by the rays of Christianity.

There, put to servitude, they were trained in the gentle arts of peace and order and civilization; they increased from a few unprofitable savages to millions of efficient Christian laborers. Their servile instincts rendered them contented with their lot, and their patient toil blessed the land of their abode with unmeasured riches. Their strong local and personal attachment secured faithful service to those to whom their service or labor was due. A strong mutual affection was the natural result of this life-long relation, a feeling best if not only understood by those who have grown from childhood under its influence.

Never was there happier dependence of labor and capital on each other.

The tempter came, like the serpent in Eden, and decoyed them with the magic word of "freedom."​

I think those words speak for themselves.

- Alan
 
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ForeverFree

Major
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Location
District of Columbia
In her book Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South, Stephanie McCurry talks about a slave "outbreak" at the plantations of CSA president Jefferson Davis and his brother Joseph Davis.

McCurry notes that Jefferson Davis and his brother Joseph owned two plantations (Brierfield and Hurricane) located on the Mississippi River about twenty miles south of Vicksburg. In February 1862, Jefferson advised his brother to move the slaves and other valuable property further inland, where they would be safer against a Union attack along the river. In May 1862, after New Orleans fell, Joseph took several pieces of property – including house slaves – by fly boat off the plantation, and eventually wound up in Choctow County, AL.

That led to events which would cause “Jefferson Davis (to) watch helplessly from Richmond as his elder brother, Joseph, struggled vainly to beat back the challenge of their slaves’ bid for freedom,” as McCurry puts it. Immediately after Joseph Davis left,

…the Davis slaves made their move, responding not to the immediate presence of the Union army (which was not yet near), but to the signal that (the departure of) Joseph Davis had sent about the shifting balance of power. No sooner had Joseph pushed off from the dock than the remaining slaves seized control of the two plantations, sacking the Hurricane plantation, destroying the cotton, carrying off every article of value, and refusing to work. They would retain control of the plantation, indeed would refuse to be forced off even later by federal troops, seizing a rough and ready freedom while still on their home plantation. By the end of May 1862, Jefferson and Varina Davis received a series of lurid accounts of events on Brierfield plantation. “Negroes at Brierfield…said to be in a state of insubordination…”​

Sometime later, Joseph Davis had Confederate forces conduct a raid against the plantation. The slaves had armed themselves, and shot at the Confederate raiders. At least fifteen slaves were captured, and some were killed. The Confederate lieutenant who led the raid claimed that “almost all the slaves on Davis plantations had guns and newspapers.” The slaves at the Davis plantations became part of the uncounted casualties in their own war for southern independence.

McCurry further describes the aftermath for Jefferson Davis:

While the battle was raging, Jefferson Davis retained his composure, at least publicly. But the blow had to have been staggering. His slaves had led federal soldiers to the farm where his private family possessions were concealed, despoiling his property and pointing out place after place where his valuables were hidden. A crowd of thousands (so it was said) had gathered to watch the boxes torn open and emptied of their contents, books and papers strewn all over the yard and through the woods for miles, fine carpets cut to pieces and carried off for saddle blankets… His image-the image of the Confederate president-had been desecrated by Union soldiers… and the Brierfield slaves had celebrated the fourth of July alongside not their masters, but the school marms and other disciples of the Freedman’s cause.”​

- Alan
 
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