Confederate Retaliatory Act, May 1st 1863

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#1
On May 1st, 1863, in reaction to the Emancipation Proclamation and the raising of black soldiers in the Union Army, the Confederate Congress passed the “Retaliatory Act” which read in part:

“Sec. 4. That every white person, being a commissioned officer, or acting as such, who, during the present war, shall command negroes or mulattoes in arms against the confederate States, or who shall arm, train, organize, or prepare negroes or mulattoes for military service against the confederate States, or who shall voluntarily aid negroes or mulattoes in any military enterprise, attack, or conflict in such service, shall be deemed as inciting servile insurrection, and shall, if captured, be put to death, or be otherwise punished at the discretion of the court
Sec 5. Every person, being a commissioned officer, or acting as such in the service of the enemy, who shall, during the present war, excite, attempt to excite or cause to be excited servile insurrection, or who shall incite or cause to be incited a slave to rebel, shall, if captured, be put to death, or be otherwise punished at the discretion of the court.”


Full text of act: http://hd.housedivided.dickinson.edu/node/39620



Are there any cases, other than massacres such as Ft. Pillow, where white officers of black troops were executed?
 

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Joined
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#3
Not that I'm aware of.

BTW, there's a thread running on Ft. Pillow. You'd better read up on it.
@Drew Thanks! I’ve read through several of the Ft. Pillow threads, very interesting. What I meant by the Ft. Pillow reference is are there instances that weren’t right after the heat of battle when soldiers may be out of control.

As to the Retaliatory Act, I’ve understood that the CSA backed off of these two sections of the law and like you, I am unaware of any white Union officers being executed for leading USCTs and “inciting servile insurrection.” What I’m still not clear on is: was this backing off on the law a directive from the Confederate government or was it more of a situation of CSA officers and troops in the field simply not carrying out enforcement of this law?
 
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#4
What I meant by the Ft. Pillow reference is are there instances that weren’t right after the heat of battle when soldiers may be out of control.
I am not a combat veteran but have personally known many, from every major conflict of America's 20th century (including the Great War, a.k.a., World War One). Soldiers in the heat of battle will behave with barbarity out of adrenaline and fear. You don't get to empty a magazine in the direction of your adversary, stand with your hands in the air to surrender and reasonably expect to live.

I'm sure this happened during the War Between the States, on both sides, but again, I'm not aware of any instance of a white Union officer being thoughtfully tried, convicted and executed for leading black troops.

"Heat of the moment" is a different thing. Perhaps a combat vet will chime in here.
 

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