Limited Debate Don't Deny Black Confederate Valor

Status
Not open for further replies.

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
29,702
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Also point of correction, the US Supreme Court did rule that secession was unconstitutional....four years AFTER the war ended in 1869. Last time I checked in US law (and any other civilized 1st world legal system) no crime is legally a crime unless it has been declared one by law. Since secession was never formally declared unconstitutional until 1869, it was not illegal in 1861. That was one of the big reasons Jeff Davis was never tried on the charge, or anyone else for that matter.
Even the US government seemed to recognize the seceded States were in fact not part of the United States (you know despite congress and Lincoln claiming otherwise) when they had to be readmitted to a union that, according to their own political leaders, they never actually left. Yeah these little subtle points are tricky, aren't they?
@SouthernFriedOtaku ,

The Supreme Court can only make a ruling AFTER an incident/problem occurs (no pre-crime agents apparently :smile: ) and if the case makes it's way up the legal food chain to the Court. That's why it took four years for Texas v. White to get on the Court's docket.

Another thing. The Supreme Court makes it's rulings based on the laws and precedences of the time the case takes place.

So, in the Court's view, the unilateral secession of the southern slaveholding states in 1861-1865, was not constitutional at that time.

Southerners who led secession already knew they could not look to the Constitution for a legal way to secede from the Union, hence rebellion. And besides, why concern yourself with the constitutionality or legality of unilateral secession? The Confederates didn't, when they proudly proclaimed they were now separated from the Union they were once part of and no longer part of constitutional protections and provisions.

Until our next post,
Unionblue
 
Last edited:

Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!

thomas aagaard

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Messages
3,770
Location
Denmark
Also point of correction, the US Supreme Court did rule that secession was unconstitutional....four years AFTER the war ended in 1869. Last time I checked in US law (and any other civilized 1st world legal system) no crime is legally a crime unless it has been declared one by law. Since secession was never formally declared unconstitutional until 1869, it was not illegal in 1861. That was one of the big reasons Jeff Davis was never tried on the charge, or anyone else for that matter.
Even the US government seemed to recognize the seceded States were in fact not part of the United States (you know despite congress and Lincoln claiming otherwise) when they had to be readmitted to a union that, according to their own political leaders, they never actually left. Yeah these little subtle points are tricky, aren't they?
But bombarding a Federal fort on Federal soil is a crime.

And before you start claiming that fort Sumter was part of South Carolina. It was not, the SC state house legally transferred the area to the federal government back in the 1830ties.
 
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
70
@SouthernFriedOtaku ,

The Supreme Court can only make a ruling AFTER an incident/problem occurs (no pre-crime agents apparently :smile: ) and if the case makes it's way up the legal food chain to the Court. That's why it took four years for Texas v. White to get on the Court's docket.

Another thing. The Supreme Court makes it's rulings based on the laws and precedences of the time the case takes place.

So, in the Court's view, the unilateral secession of the southern slaveholding states in 1861-1865, was not constitutional at that time.

Southerners who led secession already knew they could not look to the Constitution for a legal way to secede from the Union, hence rebellion. And besides, why concern yourself with the constitutionality or legality of unilateral secession? The Confederates didn't, when they proudly proclaimed they were now separated from the Union they were once part of and no longer part of constitutional protections and provisions.

Until our next post,
Unionblue
In truth I don't care about secession, legal or otherwise, merely playing devil's advocate and pointing out what I view as contradictions in logic.
 
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
70
But bombarding a Federal fort on Federal soil is a crime.

And before you start claiming that fort Sumter was part of South Carolina. It was not, the SC state house legally transferred the area to the federal government back in the 1830ties.
I was going to make no such claim, although I would point out that nobody died in the bombardment itself. By today's standards if the US President declared war based on a bloodless attack he would be eaten alive by media and other world leaders for instigation, regardless of who actually started the shooting.
 
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
70
Seems to me the rebel States had to be readmitted into the Union, like a criminal re-enters society thru a parole system!

Kevin Dally
But according to Lincoln the "rebel states" were not actually gone from the Union. Then again Lincoln wasn't around when the former Confederate states were re-annexed to the Union. We can argue why that was the case but that would only lead into another tangent and get us further off the original discussion, namely the status of Black Southern Loyalists (aka Black Confederate Veterans).
 
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
70
This is a pretty good debate so far, and I want to think those on both sides of the argument for their civility and for keeping this interesting enough to stick with for so long. Everyone pro and con have raised some good points for their arguments.

In the end I think the status of Black Confederates who served with Confederate military forces as either "soldiers" or "combatants" or other won't be solved by one guy's blog post and debates over the merits of said post's arguments. Government entities have their own rules. American history and memory also plays by its own rules depending on who is in charge of what is deemed to be popular culture. Neither are entirely reliable for one reason or another.
Truthfully, I think the only people best qualified to decide if these men were Confederate soldiers are the Confederate soldiers themselves, the men who actually did the fighting and served with these men. There is more than enough evidence that suggests these men saw these Confederates of Color as one of their own, as a Confederate veteran. I also think based on my own observations alone that the living descendants of these men see the descendants of those same black Confederates as one of their own and no different.
At best the original blogger achieved what might be best described in legal terms as presenting reasonable doubt to the validity of the narrative of those who reject the service of Black Johnny Rebs. As such I might rate his arguments and presentation an A- or solid B+.

Lewis Napoleon Nelson.jpg
 

WJC

Brigadier General
Moderator
Thread Medic
Answered the Call for Reinforcements
Joined
Aug 16, 2015
Messages
12,240
*** Posted as Moderator***
A reminder: the topic of this thread is "Don't deny Black Confederate valor".
Keep this thread on-topic! We have a number of threads discussing Fort Sumter and the legal interpretations involved in the various seizures of Federal property. If you want to add your perspective, do it there.

 

Tin cup

Captain
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
5,901
Location
Texas
Truthfully, I think the only people best qualified to decide if these men were Confederate soldiers are the Confederate soldiers themselves, the men who actually did the fighting and served with these men. /QUOTE]

Problem IS that it WASN'T the "Confederate soldiers" who told the Confederate Government WHO was, or wasn't "soldiers", nor were they the ones that set the official enlistment rules...

Kevin Dally
 

contestedground

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 16, 2016
Messages
1,361
Truthfully, I think the only people best qualified to decide if these men were Confederate soldiers are the Confederate soldiers themselves, the men who actually did the fighting and served with these men.
That position has no standing in the historical record. Had the men of the Iron Brigade decided that John Burns was a soldier, that would not have made him one.

Wanting to believe something is true does not make it true.
 

Viper21

Sergeant Major
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Messages
2,458
Location
Rockbridge County, Virginia
In truth I don't care about secession, legal or otherwise, merely playing devil's advocate and pointing out what I view as contradictions in logic.
Oh, there's plenty of contradictions to go around... :D
This is a pretty good debate so far, and I want to think those on both sides of the argument for their civility and for keeping this interesting enough to stick with for so long. Everyone pro and con have raised some good points for their arguments.

In the end I think the status of Black Confederates who served with Confederate military forces as either "soldiers" or "combatants" or other won't be solved by one guy's blog post and debates over the merits of said post's arguments. Government entities have their own rules. American history and memory also plays by its own rules depending on who is in charge of what is deemed to be popular culture. Neither are entirely reliable for one reason or another.
Truthfully, I think the only people best qualified to decide if these men were Confederate soldiers are the Confederate soldiers themselves, the men who actually did the fighting and served with these men. There is more than enough evidence that suggests these men saw these Confederates of Color as one of their own, as a Confederate veteran. I also think based on my own observations alone that the living descendants of these men see the descendants of those same black Confederates as one of their own and no different.
At best the original blogger achieved what might be best described in legal terms as presenting reasonable doubt to the validity of the narrative of those who reject the service of Black Johnny Rebs. As such I might rate his arguments and presentation an A- or solid B+.

View attachment 313959
Agree 100%. My favorite contradiction is those who argue the CSA as illegitimate yet, claim they are the only authority to declare who was a Confederate :eek:

This issue will be debated, & disagreed on, as long as it interests some folks. Like political issues, facts & common sense don't always rule the day.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
29,702
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Oh, there's plenty of contradictions to go around... :D


Agree 100%. My favorite contradiction is those who argue the CSA as illegitimate yet, claim they are the only authority to declare who was a Confederate :eek:

Even the Mafia says it has it's "soldiers" and such in it's criminal organization, but are not recognized as such by the federal government.

This issue will be debated, & disagreed on, as long as it interests some folks. Like political issues, facts & common sense don't always rule the day.
There's a lot to agree with in yours and @SouthernFriedOtaku 's posts, but I do have some issues with the topic, the demand almost, of the thread title.

Of course my main issue is with the repeated attempts, not with all here on this forum, but with those who always use such exceptions as proof that the South did not secede over the issue of slavery. If all are truly interested in bringing to light a sliver of history that until now has received little study, I can get that and even acknowledge there were a few men who could be considered black confederate soldiers. Their story is something that should be examined with reason and fact, without emotional claims made back and forth, for or against.

But the main issue I have with the demand of the thread title is that in some way valor was given and is now being denied. I cannot erase from the historical record that black slaves in the antebellum South were considered property, not citizens. They weren't even considered fully men according to the 3/5ths rule. That one fact tells me valor was not awarded to black slaves, just merely an assigned position in southern, slaveholding society.

Now we see a desire to award certain of these slaves (and some free blacks) a pat on the head for fighting with their white masters in a terrible war, by NOT denying them "valor." We all know that the use of this term in the title is merely a vehicle being used to shame or deride those who question the awarding of this valor, that this award somehow changed the status of the black slave in Confederate/Southern society at the time. I agree these men were at times recognized for their bravery and heroic actions and even afforded comradeship by white soldiers.

But even a dog is rewarded for doing tricks on command. Even a bomb-sniffing dog is rewarded with praise for performing his job.

Now, were the slaves we have seen mentioned in all of these supporting stories, those who were awarded valor, were they set free? Were they given actual citizenship status? Permitted to move about freely or vote in elections or serve on juries? Or were they "praised" and kept as slaves? Beyond the newspaper articles telling their stories of loyalty and devotion to the cause, did they still carry the lawful and legal title of slave property?

I will not deny these men did perform acts of valor, but I will also contend it was not recognized in any way to have meaning of worth or that would change the history of slavery during that war.

In other words, I see no real change in the attitude of whites, no matter how brave or how much valor these slaves attained.

At the end of the day, if the slave or freed black, kept his place, never attempted to be more that a loyal servant and good darkie, pats on the head were all well and good.

No true valor was ever extended or given and therefore cannot be denied.

In my own opinion.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 
Last edited:

Andersonh1

Major
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Messages
7,976
Location
South Carolina
There's a lot to agree with in yours and @SouthernFriedOtaku 's posts, but I do have some issues with the topic, the demand almost, of the thread title.

Of course my main issue is with the repeated attempts, not with all here on this forum, but with those who always use such exceptions as proof that the South did not secede over the issue of slavery. If all are truly interested in bringing to light a sliver of history that until now has received little study, I can get that and even acknowledge there were a few men who could be considered black confederate soldiers. Their story is something that should be examined with reason and fact, without emotional claims made back and forth, for or against.

But the main issue I have with the demand of the thread title is that in some way valor was given and is now being denied. I cannot erase from the historical record that black slaves in the antebellum South were considered property, not citizens. They weren't even considered fully men according to the 3/5ths rule. That one fact tells me valor was not awarded to black slaves, just merely an assigned position in southern, slaveholding society.

Now we see a desire to award certain of these slaves (and some free blacks) a pat on the head for fighting with their white masters in a terrible war, by NOT denying them "valor." We all know that the use of this term in the title is merely a vehicle being used to shame or deride those who question the awarding of this valor, that this award somehow changed the status of the black slave in Confederate/Southern society at the time. I agree these men were at times recognized for their bravery and heroic actions and even afforded comradeship by white soldiers.

But even a dog is rewarded for doing tricks on command. Even a bomb-sniffing dog is rewarded with praise for performing his job.

Now, were the slaves we have seen mentioned in all of these supporting stories, those who were awarded valor, were they set free? Were they given actual citizenship status? Permitted to move about freely or vote in elections or serve on juries? Or were they "praised" and kept as slaves? Beyond the newspaper articles telling their stories of loyalty and devotion to the cause, did they still carry the lawful and legal title of slave properety?

I will not deny these men did perform acts of valor, but I will also contend it was not recognized in any way to have meaning of worth or that would change the history of slavery during that war.

In other words, I see no real change in the attitude of whites, no matter how brave or how much valor these slaves attained.

At the end of the day, if the slave or freed black, kept his place, never attempted to be more that a loyal servant and good darkie, pats on the head were all well and good.

No true valor was ever extended or given and therefore cannot be denied.

In my own opinion.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
My personal view is that if it wasn't given then, we have a chance to recognize it now, and should. I agree with you that the status of those men at the time should not be downplayed or forgotten, but we can do what should have been done then, and acknowledge valor during wartime.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
29,702
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
My personal view is that if it wasn't given then, we have a chance to recognize it now, and should.

I agree, as long as this aspect of their service is NOT exploited for a modern agenda to twist history out of factual reality.


I agree with you that the status of those men at the time should not be downplayed or forgotten, but we can do what should have been done then, and acknowledge valor during wartime.
In effect, I don't think we have denied these men valor in the present day. If their individual stories are reflected with honesty, fact, and context, that valor might become far more recognizable to us and acknowledged with real clarity vice clouded agendas.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
 
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
70
In effect, I don't think we have denied these men valor in the present day. If their individual stories are reflected with honesty, fact, and context, that valor might become far more recognizable to us and acknowledged with real clarity vice clouded agendas.

Sincerely,
Unionblue
I see nothing in the original blog post that suggests the writer holds any agenda beyond honoring the Southern dead, which he views these black men as no different than any other man who wore gray or butternut. Also I might point out that while I disagree with him on the idea that Black Confederate Deniers are promoting a "conspiracy theory" about so-called "Lost Cause apologists" I have to point out that Deniers likewise haven't proven that there is such an organized agenda by the modern SCV and UDC to use Black Confederate service to downplay the role of slavery in the war in the first place. All I see are people showing respect for the dead. The arguments made by the blogger and evidence presented in the post showing that Black Confederate Veterans who passed away and were buried and treated with the same respect as their white counterparts argue strongly that this didn't simply come about in recent memory, as many who deny their service claim.
 
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
70
That position has no standing in the historical record. Had the men of the Iron Brigade decided that John Burns was a soldier, that would not have made him one.

Wanting to believe something is true does not make it true.
There are plenty of living US Veterans today who served with people attached to their units in foreign wars who would take you to task on that point.
 
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
70
*** Posted as Moderator***
A reminder: the topic of this thread is "Don't deny Black Confederate valor".
Keep this thread on-topic! We have a number of threads discussing Fort Sumter and the legal interpretations involved in the various seizures of Federal property. If you want to add your perspective, do it there.
You are correct, and I apologize if I contributed to discussion that get us off track. I admit it is easy to lost oneself in debate, especially over an issue this complicated.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.


Fewer ads. Lots of American Civil War content!
JOIN NOW: REGISTER HERE!
Top