Counterpoint CS department of state and Robert Toombs.

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Should Robert Toombs stayed on as head of state dept. I believed he was against attacking fort Sumter and thus was a pragmatic individual well suited for conducting foreign policy.
Would like to hear other views on the subject.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Should Robert Toombs stayed on as head of state dept. I believed he was against attacking fort Sumter and thus was a pragmatic individual well suited for conducting foreign policy.
Would like to hear other views on the subject.
It probably wouldn't of mattered . Nations recognize other nations and or civil war factions in a given nation with military and logistical support it it is in there interest to do so.
Cash and carry sales do not equal military or logistical support. At no time could the Confederacy convince any nation to recognize it or give military or logistical support other then cash and carry sales.
Leftyhunter
 

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
It probably wouldn't of mattered . Nations recognize other nations and or civil war factions in a given nation with military and logistical support it it is in there interest to do so.
Cash and carry sales do not equal military or logistical support. At no time could the Confederacy convince any nation to recognize it or give military or logistical support other then cash and carry sales.
Leftyhunter
Lefty would he have been suited though for dealing with issues like prisoner exchange or dealing with issue of foreign owned property in the CSA. I agree recognition absent victory was unrealistic still there is much work to be done even for an unrecognized state, example Rhodesia .
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Lefty would he have been suited though for dealing with issues like prisoner exchange or dealing with issue of foreign owned property in the CSA. I agree recognition absent victory was unrealistic still there is much work to be done even for an unrecognized state, example Rhodesia .
We will have to discuss Rhodesia via PM as it's modern politics. Prisoner exchange broke down because Davis refused to exchange USCT troopers and the Union realized it was a strategic mistake to exchange prisoners. Nonetheless due to popular politcal pressure late in the war the Union had to resume exchanging prisoners.
Leftyhunter
 

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
We will have to discuss Rhodesia via PM as it's modern politics. Prisoner exchange broke down because Davis refused to exchange USCT troopers and the Union realized it was a strategic mistake to exchange prisoners. Nonetheless due to popular politcal pressure late in the war the Union had to resume exchanging prisoners.
Leftyhunter
Given that many USCT were fugitive slaves, how could Davis exchanged them, which opens the question could someone like Toombs been able to finesse it and keep the exchange going.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Given that many USCT were fugitive slaves, how could Davis exchanged them, which opens the question could someone like Toombs been able to finesse it and keep the exchange going.
I think your first sentence shows that Toombs or anyone else could not finesse the issue. Diplomats basically sell a product and that product is their nation or attempt to create a new nation.
For example Benjamin Franklin sold the idea of the rebel colonies in North America to the King of France that it would behoove the French to recognize the Colonial Rebels.
I have a previous thread that I can bump up that argues that the failure of the Confederacy to win diplomatic recognition should not be blamed on Slidell and Mason.
Nations don't take sides in a civil war solely due to the brilliance of an individual diplomat but more importantly do so based on their perceptions of national interest.
Leftyhunter
 

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
I think your first sentence shows that Toombs or anyone else could not finesse the issue. Diplomats basically sell a product and that product is their nation or attempt to create a new nation.
For example Benjamin Franklin sold the idea of the rebel colonies in North America to the King of France that it would behoove the French to recognize the Colonial Rebels.
I have a previous thread that I can bump up that argues that the failure of the Confederacy to win diplomatic recognition should not be blamed on Slidell and Mason.
Nations don't take sides in a civil war solely due to the brilliance of an individual diplomat but more importantly do so based on their perceptions of national interest.
Leftyhunter
So was there anyone in the confederacy who could have been their Ben Franklin. btw I think Seward did an outstanding job for Lincoln.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
So was there anyone in the confederacy who could have been their Ben Franklin. btw I think Seward did an outstanding job for Lincoln.
It's less a case of Franklin being brilliant then the fact that there were considerable tensions between France, Spain and the Netherlands vs the UK. A good eighty plus years later the Geo Politcal situation had changed plus West European countries had significant trade and investment ties with the United States. There simply wasn't an overwhelming need to recognize the Confederacy.
Leftyhunter
 

Kenneth Almquist

Corporal
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Should Robert Toombs stayed on as head of state dept. I believed he was against attacking fort Sumter and thus was a pragmatic individual well suited for conducting foreign policy.
Would like to hear other views on the subject.
As far as I know, there are no primary sources which indicate what position (if any) Toombs took on attacking Fort Sumter. Pleasant A. Stovall, in his biography of Toombs published in 1892, claims that Toombs strongly opposed the attack. Stovall doesn't cite his sources so his claims are hard to evaluate.
Given that many USCT were fugitive slaves, how could Davis exchanged them, which opens the question could someone like Toombs been able to finesse it and keep the exchange going.
Prisoner exchange was negotiated between the opposing armies. The State Departments of the United States and the CSA were not involved because the United States and the CSA did not have diplomatic relations. Robert Ould, who represented the Confederacy starting in 1862, seems to have been quite capable.

The USCT were free men under United States law. If a slave enlisted in the U.S. military, the slave was freed. That was considered to be a matter of military necessity; the military command structure was set up to direct free men, not slaves.

Many of the USCT were slaves under Confederate law. In fact all blacks were presumed to be slaves under Confederate law; if no owner could be located captured black soldiers were sold with the proceeds going to Confederate government.

I don't see any way to finesse this difference. The idea that U.S. soldiers should be subject to laws of a military adversary when those laws were in contradiction to U.S. law was never going to fly. As for the possibility of the Confederacy treating captured black soldiers as prisoners of war, here is Meredith's report of Ould's response (OR series 2, volume 6, page 226, August 25, 1863):

To my demand that all officers commanding negro troops, and negro troops themselves, should be treated as other prisoners of war, and be exchanged as such, Mr. Ould declined acceding, remarking that they (the rebels) would die in the last ditch before giving up the right to send slaves back to slavery as property recaptured, but that they were willing to make exceptions in the case of free blacks. He could not exactly tell me how his authorities intended to distinguish between the two (free and slave), but presumed that evidence as to the fact of freedom would be taken into consideration. As their laws put slave and free upon the same footing no comment is necessary.​

When Ould expresses a willingness to “die in the last ditch” before conceding the issue, I think he's expressing the political realities of the Confederacy. Essentially, the soldier exchange issue was too closely tied to the issue of slavery. The only way to resolve it was for one side or the other to win the war.
 

John S. Carter

Sergeant Major
Joined
Mar 15, 2017
Should Robert Toombs stayed on as head of state dept. I believed he was against attacking fort Sumter and thus was a pragmatic individual well suited for conducting foreign policy.
Would like to hear other views on the subject.
By 1860 even if the voice of God came from Haven it would have had any effect on the actions of the South. As for Toombs he should have been President rather than Davis .Toombs was a realist man ,Davis liked to be liked/agreed with and he choose generals on that bases. As for foreign policy ,the only policy was KING COTTON .But then how would he compare to the skill level of Stewart. It was Stewart's policy that kept Europe from recognizing the Confederacy by using the issue of slavery and a possible war. Then there was the fact which he presented was that the North had more to offer while the Confederacy was blockaded .So even Toombs as SEC. of STATE would have made no difference. Once more it made no difference as to Sumter or his being pragmatic , what did the Conf. have to offer when slavery and Davis where their Albatross.
 
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