Limited Debate Don't Deny Black Confederate Valor

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Harvey Johnson

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#1
(The following is from the Southern Fried Common Sense & Stuff blog authored by C.W. Roden.)

In my quarter of a century of Confederate heritage defense, and especially in my 18 years as a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, this writer has had the privilege of meeting various descendants of Confederate veterans from all walks of life. All of them (men, women and children alike) share with me the honor of being the descendant of the Southern citizen soldier -- both the honored dead who fell during the War Between the States (1861-1865) and those who lived on during the Reconstruction Era and beyond as United Confederate Veterans.

As a Southern-born man and Confederate descendant born I am proud to be counted among those who share that unique pride in our common Confederate ancestry, my Southern brothers and sisters who share that same honorable and unique heritage that make us all children of Dixie. It is that Southern heritage that binds us beyond social class, religious creed, and yes, especially skin color.

Edited.

Continued at the link below:

https://southernfriedcommonsense.bl...ing-myth-of-black-confederate-denial.html?m=1
 
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Patrick H

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#2
I've bookmarked your link and will return to finish reading it later. Of course, this is a very contentious subject and I'm sure there are lots of members who are thinking about how to argue points with you without being labeled "deniers.". Personally, I think the contention stems from how people define "Black Confederate." I think it's an interesting topic and I have always had lots of respect for all people who served on both sides, in whatever capacity they served.
 
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#3
I’ve read your definition of “Black Confederate” and have to ask where the point of contention is... I haven’t seen anyone deny that African Americans served the CSA in several capacities, whether of their own free will or as slaves impressed into service. I think the controversy surrounds “soldiers”. Armed men, recognized by the government as being soldiers of the CSA. There have been several claims made that southern African Americans, whether slave or free, took up arms as a part of the Confederate Army/Navy to fight against the United States as a recognized part of the CSA armed forces. I have seen no evidence that this was a widespread phenomenon yet there are claims that thousands of African Americans fought against the government as armed combatants in the service of the CSA. That is the point of contention. We all know that southerners made their slaves drive trains, pilot boats, dig trenches, dig graves, and cook food. At what point were they recognized as soldiers and combatants by the Confederacy?
 

zburkett

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#4
It has always troubled me that the deniers downplay the contribution of Colored Southerners starting before the American Revolution and continuing through today. By clamming they did not exist they do not give credit for their many important contributions. Take your pick, river commerce was largely dependent on skilled Black Pilots and without river commerce this country could not have grown. The cowboys of the Great American West were of every color with a pretty good mixture in many individuals. With all due respect to John Wayne when he was saving the Southwest, the soldiers he lead should have been shown as Buffalo Soldiers, not Irish. And yes, there were Black Confederates who are worthy of the highest honors.
 

Rebforever

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#5
I’ve read your definition of “Black Confederate” and have to ask where the point of contention is... I haven’t seen anyone deny that African Americans served the CSA in several capacities, whether of their own free will or as slaves impressed into service. I think the controversy surrounds “soldiers”. Armed men, recognized by the government as being soldiers of the CSA. There have been several claims made that southern African Americans, whether slave or free, took up arms as a part of the Confederate Army/Navy to fight against the United States as a recognized part of the CSA armed forces. I have seen no evidence that this was a widespread phenomenon yet there are claims that thousands of African Americans fought against the government as armed combatants in the service of the CSA. That is the point of contention. We all know that southerners made their slaves drive trains, pilot boats, dig trenches, dig graves, and cook food. At what point were they recognized as soldiers and combatants by the Confederacy?
Follow the 2 CWT at the bottom of my post.
 

CSA Today

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#6
I’ve read your definition of “Black Confederate” and have to ask where the point of contention is... I haven’t seen anyone deny that African Americans served the CSA in several capacities, whether of their own free will or as slaves impressed into service. I think the controversy surrounds “soldiers”. Armed men, recognized by the government as being soldiers of the CSA. There have been several claims made that southern African Americans, whether slave or free, took up arms as a part of the Confederate Army/Navy to fight against the United States as a recognized part of the CSA armed forces. I have seen no evidence that this was a widespread phenomenon yet there are claims that thousands of African Americans fought against the government as armed combatants in the service of the CSA. That is the point of contention. We all know that southerners made their slaves drive trains, pilot boats, dig trenches, dig graves, and cook food. At what point were they recognized as soldiers and combatants by the Confederacy?
When they were included on a company muster roll.
 
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#7
(The following is from the Southern Fried Common Sense & Stuff blog authored by C.W. Roden.)

In my quarter of a century of Confederate heritage defense, and especially in my 18 years as a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, this writer has had the privilege of meeting various descendants of Confederate veterans from all walks of life. All of them (men, women and children alike) share with me the honor of being the descendant of the Southern citizen soldier -- both the honored dead who fell during the War Between the States (1861-1865) and those who lived on during the Reconstruction Era and beyond as United Confederate Veterans.

As a Southern-born man and Confederate descendant born I am proud to be counted among those who share that unique pride in our common Confederate ancestry, my Southern brothers and sisters who share that same honorable and unique heritage that make us all children of Dixie. It is that Southern heritage that binds us beyond social class, religious creed, and yes, especially skin color.

Edited.

Continued at the link below:

https://southernfriedcommonsense.bl...ing-myth-of-black-confederate-denial.html?m=1
If tens of thousands of black men fought in the Confederate Army why did Southern states impose Black Codes. Edited. They never even had an exception for black Confederate soldiers assuming they even existed.
Leftyhunter
 
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#8
(The following is from the Southern Fried Common Sense & Stuff blog authored by C.W. Roden.)

In my quarter of a century of Confederate heritage defense, and especially in my 18 years as a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, this writer has had the privilege of meeting various descendants of Confederate veterans from all walks of life. All of them (men, women and children alike) share with me the honor of being the descendant of the Southern citizen soldier -- both the honored dead who fell during the War Between the States (1861-1865) and those who lived on during the Reconstruction Era and beyond as United Confederate Veterans.

As a Southern-born man and Confederate descendant born I am proud to be counted among those who share that unique pride in our common Confederate ancestry, my Southern brothers and sisters who share that same honorable and unique heritage that make us all children of Dixie. It is that Southern heritage that binds us beyond social class, religious creed, and yes, especially skin color.

Edited.

Continued at the link below:

https://southernfriedcommonsense.bl...ing-myth-of-black-confederate-denial.html?m=1
Excellent blog post, and in the last few years of researching this subject, I have seen many of the same facts he points out and seen many of the same reactions from people who would rather downplay this topic. It is a controversial one, and as I've said before, the controversy is what drew my attention to it in the first place.

I thought his definitions were quite useful:

So what is the proper definition of a Black Confederate?​
These are the three best examples of how one can best define a Black Confederate:​
(1) Any black male, slave or freeman, who served in the Confederate military in any service capacity (cook, musician, teamster, body servant, or other such service job) who, of his own free will and without coercion, fought in defense of an individual Confederate soldier, a Confederate unit, or acted in defiance against the Union military.
(2) Any black male, slaver or freeman, who served in the Confederate military in any service capacity captured by Union forces, imprisoned in Union prisoner of war camps, and refused despite all efforts by the enemy to take the oath of loyalty, desert, or behave in any way disloyal to the Confederate military, or the Confederacy.
(3) Any black Southern civilian who, of their own free will, volunteered their service, or preformed any action in support of, or in defense of, the Confederacy against the Union invader.
 
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#9
These are the three best examples of how one can best define a Black Confederate:​
(1) Any black male, slave or freeman, who served in the Confederate military in any service capacity (cook, musician, teamster, body servant, or other such service job) who, of his own free will and without coercion, fought in defense of an individual Confederate soldier, a Confederate unit, or acted in defiance against the Union military.
(2) Any black male, slaver or freeman, who served in the Confederate military in any service capacity captured by Union forces, imprisoned in Union prisoner of war camps, and refused despite all efforts by the enemy to take the oath of loyalty, desert, or behave in any way disloyal to the Confederate military, or the Confederacy.
(3) Any black Southern civilian who, of their own free will, volunteered their service, or preformed any action in support of, or in defense of, the Confederacy against the Union invader.
What made them "Confederate"? Were they equal to the whites, were they citizens, could they vote, were they thought of as "Confederate" by laws of the Confederacy? A mule in the Confederacy, or a cow, or horse, were THEY thought of as "Confederate" too?

Kevin Dally
 

John Hartwell

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#10
Individual demonstrations of courage, valor, gallantry, if you will, in any man must be recognized and respected -- men of color acting to the benefit of the Confederacy included.

But, we can't help but be saddened that their valor was wasted on so unworthy a cause -- one for which a principal object was to keep them and their entire race in permanent subjugation (whether they saw it that way or not). Yes, a great many in the North believed in the inferiority of the colored races ... but, they didn't go to war to guarantee it.
 
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#11
Considering there is so little evidence for black confederate men under arms, willfully fighting for a Confederacy dedicated to their oppression, I find conflating that idea with slaves forced to work under threat of bodily punishment disingenuous at best. Going on to say that in rejecting these terms you deny their valor and worth is outright facetious. For the majority of them, it was a major act of valor to quit their servitude, and we know tens of thousands not only left the South but then went on to fight for the United States.

It was illegal for blacks to be under arms for the Confederate Army. Several Confederate states also impressed free blacks, such as Virginia in 1862, to be used for labor.

Defections were common place, because coercion was used against slaves and free blacks both.

From the Encyclopedia of Virginia:

Free blacks in Virginia considered their labors for the Confederacy as coerced and resisted their impressment when possible. Confederates forced William Peters of Rockingham County to labor for the Confederacy, "which I hated to do, but could not help it." He objected, but "they talked about lynchingme if I did not do it." Isaac Pleasants, a free black of Henrico County, "deserted" his labor on the batteries around Richmond after about a month. Robert James, a free black of Henrico County, secured a pass to return home temporarily before being sent to the iron mines, but "I didn't go back, but hid in the woods and kept out of the war."

Joseph Brown of New Kent County escaped impressment by claiming to be unfit for service. Warren C. Cumber of New Kent County secured the aid of a lawyer to escape work on the fortifications at Yorktown on the argument that he needed to tend his crops. Confederate officers threatened to hang John T. Gibbs of Norfolk if he refused to work on the breastworks, but he escaped and boasted that he "never shoveled a spadeful for them." Free blacks resisted their impressment at great peril. Benjamin Summers of Norfolk performed his labor on Confederate fortifications with a ball and chain around his leg. He later attempted an unsuccessful escape and "I was given five hundred lashes and then rubbed down with salt brine.


https://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Free_Blacks_During_the_Civil_War#start_entry

"
 
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#13
I wonder if the author of the article can think for himself, and not just spout of the usual "heritage" talking points?

What many try to do with this blacks, or slaves in the Confederate rank business, is shove aside the true "status" of THOSE folk. The slaves/blacks of the South were property, or were thought of as far beneath the white society membership they were expected to be subservient to.
It's one thing to talk of their accomplishments, where they were, what they did, but it's a disservice to true history to give THEM a status they did not have! They were not "Confederate" like the whites in the ranks, nor were they "soldiers" like the whites in the ranks.

I don't know why folk can't understand that concept.

Kevin Dally
 
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#15
Considering there is so little evidence for black confederate men under arms, willfully fighting for a Confederacy dedicated to their oppression, I find conflating that idea with slaves forced to work under threat of bodily punishment disingenuous at best. Going on to say that in rejecting these terms you deny their valor and worth is outright facetious. For the majority of them, it was a major act of valor to quit their servitude, and we know tens of thousands not only left the South but then went on to fight for the United States.

It was illegal for blacks to be under arms for the Confederate Army. Several Confederate states also impressed free blacks, such as Virginia in 1862, to be used for labor.

Defections were common place, because coercion was used against slaves and free blacks both.

From the Encyclopedia of Virginia:

Free blacks in Virginia considered their labors for the Confederacy as coerced and resisted their impressment when possible. Confederates forced William Peters of Rockingham County to labor for the Confederacy, "which I hated to do, but could not help it." He objected, but "they talked about lynchingme if I did not do it." Isaac Pleasants, a free black of Henrico County, "deserted" his labor on the batteries around Richmond after about a month. Robert James, a free black of Henrico County, secured a pass to return home temporarily before being sent to the iron mines, but "I didn't go back, but hid in the woods and kept out of the war."

Joseph Brown of New Kent County escaped impressment by claiming to be unfit for service. Warren C. Cumber of New Kent County secured the aid of a lawyer to escape work on the fortifications at Yorktown on the argument that he needed to tend his crops. Confederate officers threatened to hang John T. Gibbs of Norfolk if he refused to work on the breastworks, but he escaped and boasted that he "never shoveled a spadeful for them." Free blacks resisted their impressment at great peril. Benjamin Summers of Norfolk performed his labor on Confederate fortifications with a ball and chain around his leg. He later attempted an unsuccessful escape and "I was given five hundred lashes and then rubbed down with salt brine.

https://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/Free_Blacks_During_the_Civil_War#start_entry

"
Very good post. You might be interested in my PM thread on actual segregated militaries.
Leftyhunter
 
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#18
Just saw this and can't wait to read it but walking out the door...I'm tired of those who box African-Americans into those who can't think for themselves back then. Everyone seems to forget that yes the majority would be for the Union but how about the few who were willed farms, property etc. from their masters? I can't say enough how it is impossible to understand the hearts and minds of those who lived over 150 years ago and their personal circumstances! How many those of all races today still cow-tow to those whom they may mostly disagree with but look at the end game? Why is it so hard to believe an African-American back then didn't have a strategy or perhaps believe an unknown future was worse then what they already knew? Many humans have a fear of the unknown in history!
 
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#19
Follow the 2 CWT at the bottom of my post.
Again, the contention isn’t that African Americans were impressed into the Confederate Service. Whether as slaves or of their own free will, many African Americans served the confederacy in a variety of non-combatant roles. To my knowledge, no one has denied this... The point of contention is with the assertion that there were thousands of African Americans in arms fighting against the United States on behalf of and with the approval and recognition of the Confederate Government.
 
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#20
Just saw this and can't wait to read it but walking out the door...I'm tired of those who box African-Americans into those who can't think for themselves back then. Everyone seems to forget that yes the majority would be for the Union but how about the few who were willed farms, property etc. from their masters? I can't say enough how it is impossible to understand the hearts and minds of those who lived over 150 years ago and their personal circumstances! How many those of all races today still cow-tow to those whom they may mostly disagree with but look at the end game? Why is it so hard to believe an African-American back then didn't have a strategy or perhaps believe an unknown future was worse then they already knew? Many humans have a fear of the unknown in history!
Well said.
 
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