C.S.C.T., Black Confederate Units, a Conclusion

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Luke Freet

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So, many of you may know of several threads Ive made or commented in regarding the Cleburne Proposal and the possibility of the Confederates recruiting black troops into the ranks in early '64 and possibly earlier. After many a discussion and much thought and research, I have come to these conclusions:
The Cleburne Proposal's implementation would have been nearly impossible. In the Confederate constitution is a clause that denies the Confederate government to even bring up the slavery issue, which would have been vital to the proposal's success (giving the recruited slaves their freedom and their families if they stayed true to the cause). In addition, while many in the army were supportive of the concept, there were plenty of other officers and politicians who were downright appalled at the concept even being considered. If implemented, the Confederacy would have likely have imploded into its own civil war, in the middle of the war with the north.
Also unreasonable would be the insinuation by Cleburne that the implementation of this plan would dry up recruitment pools in the north, particularly of runaway slaves and immigrants. Maybe runaways would decrease in number, but it wouldn't be stopped, and the insinuation that the USCT troops would run back to the south to protect their "homeland" is...well, deserving of words people will debate me on for being too harsh. And I am quite certain that the influx of immigrants and their support in the war effort had little to do with the issue of slavery and instead was more so for the purpose of economic possibilities (of all things Cleburne, as an Irish immigrant who left home for the same purposes should have realized this).
In a vacuum, the proposal makes sense in regard to the dire state the confederate's manpower was and how they needed to be pragmatic rather than dogmatic if they wanted to free themselves from "northern tyranny". However, looking behind the curtain and looking at the situation, it was downright impossible for the confederacy to do such a thing, at least in early 1864.
 

matthew mckeon

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So, many of you may know of several threads Ive made or commented in regarding the Cleburne Proposal and the possibility of the Confederates recruiting black troops into the ranks in early '64 and possibly earlier. After many a discussion and much thought and research, I have come to these conclusions:
The Cleburne Proposal's implementation would have been nearly impossible. In the Confederate constitution is a clause that denies the Confederate government to even bring up the slavery issue, which would have been vital to the proposal's success (giving the recruited slaves their freedom and their families if they stayed true to the cause). In addition, while many in the army were supportive of the concept, there were plenty of other officers and politicians who were downright appalled at the concept even being considered. If implemented, the Confederacy would have likely have imploded into its own civil war, in the middle of the war with the north.
Also unreasonable would be the insinuation by Cleburne that the implementation of this plan would dry up recruitment pools in the north, particularly of runaway slaves and immigrants. Maybe runaways would decrease in number, but it wouldn't be stopped, and the insinuation that the USCT troops would run back to the south to protect their "homeland" is...well, deserving of words people will debate me on for being too harsh. And I am quite certain that the influx of immigrants and their support in the war effort had little to do with the issue of slavery and instead was more so for the purpose of economic possibilities (of all things Cleburne, as an Irish immigrant who left home for the same purposes should have realized this).
In a vacuum, the proposal makes sense in regard to the dire state the confederate's manpower was and how they needed to be pragmatic rather than dogmatic if they wanted to free themselves from "northern tyranny". However, looking behind the curtain and looking at the situation, it was downright impossible for the confederacy to do such a thing, at least in early 1864.
Luke, I was ready to fly off the handle with the CSCT thread title. But your post makes perfect sense to me. I think Confederate advocates of recruiting and arming black soldiers(according to Bruce Levine's Confederate Emancipation, a few such advocates existed early on) faced a Catch 22. If the situation was looking up for the South they wouldn't take such an extreme step, if the situation was dire(as in the winter of 64-65) it was too late.
 
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Carronade

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Hopefully someone can help me with the name, but one prominent Confederate said that if blacks can be soldiers, our whole philosophy is wrong.
 

leftyhunter

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So, many of you may know of several threads Ive made or commented in regarding the Cleburne Proposal and the possibility of the Confederates recruiting black troops into the ranks in early '64 and possibly earlier. After many a discussion and much thought and research, I have come to these conclusions:
The Cleburne Proposal's implementation would have been nearly impossible. In the Confederate constitution is a clause that denies the Confederate government to even bring up the slavery issue, which would have been vital to the proposal's success (giving the recruited slaves their freedom and their families if they stayed true to the cause). In addition, while many in the army were supportive of the concept, there were plenty of other officers and politicians who were downright appalled at the concept even being considered. If implemented, the Confederacy would have likely have imploded into its own civil war, in the middle of the war with the north.
Also unreasonable would be the insinuation by Cleburne that the implementation of this plan would dry up recruitment pools in the north, particularly of runaway slaves and immigrants. Maybe runaways would decrease in number, but it wouldn't be stopped, and the insinuation that the USCT troops would run back to the south to protect their "homeland" is...well, deserving of words people will debate me on for being too harsh. And I am quite certain that the influx of immigrants and their support in the war effort had little to do with the issue of slavery and instead was more so for the purpose of economic possibilities (of all things Cleburne, as an Irish immigrant who left home for the same purposes should have realized this).
In a vacuum, the proposal makes sense in regard to the dire state the confederate's manpower was and how they needed to be pragmatic rather than dogmatic if they wanted to free themselves from "northern tyranny". However, looking behind the curtain and looking at the situation, it was downright impossible for the confederacy to do such a thing, at least in early 1864.
Another major issue with the Confederacy using black troops was that especially by 1864 Confederate troops were deserting and or defecting to the Union Army or joining Unionist and freelance bandits.
Why would formerly enslaved people be more loyal to the Confederacy then free white men?
Leftyhunter
 
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