Limited Debate Don't Deny Black Confederate Valor

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19thGeorgia

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THREE MEN NAMED ELLIS: From the Encyclopedia Virginia:
799lrs_5c34ed267132f8d.jpg
Confederate Reunion
Sporting badges from a Confederate reunion, three men named Ellis pose for a photographer. The image is part of the Cook collection at the Valentine Richmond History Center, and it was probably made during the United Confederate Veterans' national reunion that was held in Richmond Virginia in 1907.​
The two men in uniform wear caps with pins that spell out "CAV," perhaps a reference to their having served in the Confederate cavalry. The African American man at center, with his arms on the shoulders of the ex-soldiers, shares a common surname with them and perhaps accompanied the men to war as a body servant. The image conveys the Lost Cause point of view that accentuates the role of African Americans as "faithful slaves," loyal to their masters and the Confederate cause.​
Original Author: Unknown​
Created: ca. 1907​
Medium: Photographic print​

*****

I invite readers to look at this photograph in light of the comments made about camp servants who are commemorated in Confederate Veteran magazine at this link. How does the article from the magazine affect the way you view the photograph?

- Alan
 
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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?
"Men of African descent from the South, had also fought on many occasions, alongside their slave masters and their fellow Caucasian southerners during the war.
There had always existed a close relationship between many Caucasian slave masters families and some of their African American slaves.
Many of them had played together when they were children.
During the war many would fight if necessary beside their masters who were in the Confederate Army.
That is why it has been recently erroneously reported; that there were regiments of ‘negroes’ fighting for the Confederacy.
They were not part of any military unit.
Just some slaves fighting besides their masters."


Click below to 'read' the complete article.

Thanks.

https://chiniquy.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/the-american-civil-war/

ga-57-georgia-regiment Confederates with man of African descent.jpg
 
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As noted in Wiki, Confederate Veteran magazine was "the official organ first of the United Confederate Veterans and later of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the Confederate Southern Memorial Society." It spoke to, about, and for Confederate veterans and their families.

In the Vol XIII, no. 9, issue of the magazine, pages 421-423, an article speaks about issues of commemoration for faithful slaves, servants of Civil War veterans, and ongoing race relations.

The article is titled "White People and Negroes." it begins with this:

View attachment 307170

The article continues, and talks about two men, "Uncle" Jerry Perkins and Jerry May, who were former slaves and Confederate camp servants. The articles notes that the masters of both men were enlisted, but not the two men themselves. Both of them were regular attendees at military reunions.

Both are lauded by CW magazine. Uncle Jerry, during the war, had walked miles to recover the body of his fallen master, and bring it home. Jerry May, who was a mail carrier after the war, was thanked for helping his former mistress get an army pension.

View attachment 307168
View attachment 307169
Confederate Veterans magazine "honors" these former camp servants in its own unique way.

The article features photographs of both men. Right next to the photo of Jerry May, the article ends with a statement about modern day race relations:

These are sincere suggestions to young negroes as to how they may ingratiate themselves into the good will of white people. It would be well for them to consider how they can best advance their highest interests. Those of the South should not forget that the element of their color at the North are no credit to the race as a class, and that the result is fast creating far bitterer prejudices against them in that section than has ever existed in the South.​
If young negroes at the South would accept conditions that cannot be overcome and steadfastly avoid impolite, not to say, impudent methods, they would speedily find friendships... that would be as lasting as it is with their parents.​
It is for the good of all and more for the inferior race that generally good relations exist. The Southern people remember the amiable dispositions of the race, and will be diligent to aid them if they will adopt the only method possible for friendly relations.​
Note that, the actions of "Uncle" Jerry Perkins and Jerry May are specifically and explicitly placed into the context of the race relations of the day. These men are not admired simply because of the service to their masters during the war. They are seen as role models for the "young negroes" of the day.

As stated in the start of the article, young negroes should understand that "aspirations for social equality will ever be their calamity." It is the "old-time negroe(s)" like former camp servants Perkins and May who are the "successful negroes." The "old-time negroe(s)" understood that no matter how "much wealth they accumulated," even "poor white trash" would "no more defer to them than white masters did to their slaves."

Camp servants Perkins and May were exemplars of "the inferior race." The honor given to them was based in part on their acceptance of their place. That is, the honor they were given was qualified and conditional.

We can only guess what these two men, and their friends and families, thought about this recognition they had been given.

Clearly, Confederate Veterans would have denied these men their honor if they had not accepted their inferior status or agitated for racial equality. In point of fact, they were not being honored just for their service during the war; but also for their subservience to the superior race after the war.

I am not hereby saying that persons considered as black Confederates should be thought of this way. I am showing what actual Confederate veterans thought of such men at the time. All of the information I am providing will, I hope, enable us to make accurate interpretations of this part of our history. So for example: what do these comments from Confederate Veteran indicate about the way white Southerns viewed camp servants and other African Americans during the war?

- Alan
"Men of African descent from the South, had also fought on many occasions, alongside their slave masters and their fellow Caucasian southerners during the war.
There had always existed a close relationship between many Caucasian slave masters families and some of their African American slaves.
Many of them had played together when they were children.
During the war many would fight if necessary beside their masters who were in the Confederate Army.
That is why it has been recently erroneously reported; that there were regiments of ‘negroes’ fighting for the Confederacy.
They were not part of any military unit.
Just some slaves fighting besides their masters."
Click below to 'read' the complete article.

Thanks.

https://chiniquy.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/the-american-civil-war/
 
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THREE MEN NAMED ELLIS: From the Encyclopedia Virginia:
Confederate Reunion
Sporting badges from a Confederate reunion, three men named Ellis pose for a photographer. The image is part of the Cook collection at the Valentine Richmond History Center, and it was probably made during the United Confederate Veterans' national reunion that was held in Richmond Virginia in 1907.​
The two men in uniform wear caps with pins that spell out "CAV," perhaps a reference to their having served in the Confederate cavalry. The African American man at center, with his arms on the shoulders of the ex-soldiers, shares a common surname with them and perhaps accompanied the men to war as a body servant. The image conveys the Lost Cause point of view that accentuates the role of African Americans as "faithful slaves," loyal to their masters and the Confederate cause.​
Original Author: Unknown​
Created: ca. 1907​
Medium: Photographic print​

*****

I invite readers to look at this photograph in light of the comments made about camp servants who are commemorated in Confederate Veteran magazine at this link. How does the article from the magazine affect the way you view the photograph?

- Alan
It’s incredibly telling that only two of the three men in the photo are in Confederate uniform.
 
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"Men of African descent from the South, had also fought on many occasions, alongside their slave masters and their fellow Caucasian southerners during the war.
There had always existed a close relationship between many Caucasian slave masters families and some of their African American slaves.
Many of them had played together when they were children.
During the war many would fight if necessary beside their masters who were in the Confederate Army.
That is why it has been recently erroneously reported; that there were regiments of ‘negroes’ fighting for the Confederacy.
They were not part of any military unit.
Just some slaves fighting besides their masters."


Click below to 'read' the complete article.

Thanks.

https://chiniquy.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/the-american-civil-war/

View attachment 307295
No one has debated that slaves were forced to go to war alongside their masters. The debate is over African American SOLDIERS fighting for the Confederacy and being recognized by the Confederate Government as SOLDIERS. Also, by the OP, doing so of their own free will. One poster has forwarded the LA Native Guards as an example, which works with the caveat that this unit was promptly disbanded because they were “colored”.

Thanks for plugging your blog, I’m sure some of the community will find it useful.
 
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Perhaps you didn't actually read the blog post in question. The author never claimed that Black Confederates had any sort of status higher than any other African-American at the time. In fact the article repeats that fine point over and over.
Oh I read the post, but I'll tell you that the blogger is trying to make CONFEDERATES out of those blacks in the Confederate ranks!
They were not!

Kevin Dally
 
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"Men of African descent from the South, had also fought on many occasions, alongside their slave masters and their fellow Caucasian southerners during the war.
There had always existed a close relationship between many Caucasian slave masters families and some of their African American slaves.
Many of them had played together when they were children.
During the war many would fight if necessary beside their masters who were in the Confederate Army.
That is why it has been recently erroneously reported; that there were regiments of ‘negroes’ fighting for the Confederacy.
They were not part of any military unit.
Just some slaves fighting besides their masters."


Click below to 'read' the complete article.

Thanks.

https://chiniquy.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/the-american-civil-war/

View attachment 307295
I can agree with much if what the book states. However the reason there were not many slave revolt's is not so much that slave owners were so kind and wonderful but slaves were physically isolated from slaves on neighboring plantations and there were "Patrollers" basically local part-time Militia or home guards that made sure slaves stayed on their plantations. Also there were slave informants.
Not so sure about J Edger Hoover,Dwight D Eisenhower,Variana Davis and Clark Gable being of partial African descent. It would be necessary to get DNA samples from their relatives and even then it's tricky since all of the above individuals are long dead.
Leftyhunter
 
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Isn't everyone who lives in a Confederacy, a Confederate? That would be all the states.
Many southerners stayed loyal to the United States and would likely be offended by being referred to as a confederate. Also, I think it is fair that the title “confederate” should only apply to citizens of those states, not just the people living there. We don’t consider immigrants or expats living in the US “Americans” until they are citizens.

Further, as the CSA government was never a legal enterprise and amounted to nothing more than a failed rebellion, only those citizens actively supporting the rebellion can really be called “confederate”.

I short, just because a person was living in a state at the time it rebelled does not qualify that person as a confederate.
 
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Many southerners stayed loyal to the United States and would likely be offended by being referred to as a confederate. Also, I think it is fair that the title “confederate” should only apply to citizens of those states, not just the people living there. We don’t consider immigrants or expats living in the US “Americans” until they are citizens.
Further, as the CSA government was never a legal enterprise and amounted to nothing more than a failed rebellion, only those citizens actively supporting the rebellion can really be called “confederate."
I short, just because a person was living in a state at the time it rebelled does not qualify that person as a confederate.
In 2019 "Confederate" or "Confederacy" might be invective, but Confederate did not become a bad word until after the war. That's how war propaganda works. Edited.

I don't think you can find anyone in 1860 offended by referring to the states as part of a confederacy or themselves as confederates.
People referred to the government created by the Constitution as a confederacy from Madison, Hamilton and Jefferson to the inaugural addresses of Polk and Pierce. So, the founders were Confederates. (lol) The CSA Constitution is modeled on the USA Constitution, based on the work of the same founders and framers, so how can only one version of it be called a confederacy? There is no historical basis for people of the "Yankee" persuasion trying to take vicarious umbrage on behalf of people in history who voiced no objection to the label.

Union and Confederacy in plain English (and in antebellum times) are not mutually exclusive. A confederacy is a union (a union of states, in this case). The AoC, A1, says the style (name) of this Confederacy is the United States. In that article, confederacy is a "form" of government, and the United States is a label. In modern semantics, the label, the United States, shortened to "the Union,"or just "Union" is somehow perceived as a separate form of government from Confederacy. And Union is a good word, while confederacy is a bad word.

The notion that slaves would fight for the masters or see the state as their homeland may sound strange to modern ears, but you should consider, for example, James Armistead. The histories I have read said that he was motivated to fight by seeing the British destroy property in Richmond.
 

19thGeorgia

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Looks like a lot of folk are stuck on the word citizen - "there can't be any BC soldiers because they were not citizens, etc."

The great majority of the USCT were not citizens. Native Americans who joined the US army were not citizens. And probably a large number of whites in that army were not citizens.

The 'citizen test' doesn't work. Sorry.
 
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During those times, all natives of a state (bond or free) owed their allegiance to that state.
Any violation was counted as treason.
Slaves owed their service to their masters, not the state. There were Southerners who would call slaves who supported the Union traitors, but the claim was legally dubious.

From the Library of Virginia:
Can an enslaved person commit treason? The case of Billy
16bd775f561df85bc3db2b82de03eb13.jpg

Independence made white Americans citizens of a new nation, but enslaved people did not enjoy most of the rights of citizenship. Did that mean that they could not commit treason? In 1781 the Prince William County Court tried an enslaved man named Billy for treason for attempting to escape to the British and supplying them with "aid and comfort."
Billy was tried and convicted in Prince William County on May 8, 1781. The court sentenced him to death by hanging and ordered that his head be mounted on a pole at the intersection of public roads.
Three of the justices of the peace appealed to governor Thomas Jefferson to issue a reprieve. They argued that slaves were not citizens and therefore could not commit treason. The executor of the estate of Billy's owner also petitioned the Virginia House of Delegates for Billy's pardon. On June 14, 1781, the General Assembly pardoned Billy because he was not a citizen.
What is treason?
The 1776 Virginia law defined treason as going to war against the Commonwealth of Virginia or providing its enemies with "aid and comfort" or other support. Conviction required either a confession in court or testimony by two eyewitnesses.
Why didn't Thomas Jefferson pardon Billy?
The Virginia treason act of 1776 granted the power to issue pardons in cases of treason to the General Assembly, not to the governor.

More details from the Encyclopedia Virginia:

The Prince William County Court indicted "Billy, alias Will, alias William" for "feloniously and traitorously" waging war on April 2, 1781, from an armed vessel against the new state of Virginia. Many African Americans joined the British forces, who had offered freedom to slaves willing to serve the Crown, although other blacks actively supported the American cause. Billy pleaded not guilty and testified that he had been forced to board the vessel against his will and had never taken up arms on behalf of the British. On May 8, 1781, however, four of six Prince William County oyer and terminer judges convicted Billy of treason and sentenced him to hang. They placed his value at £27,000 current money.​
Within a week of the verdict Henry Lee (1729–1787) and William Carr, the two dissenting judges, and Mann Page, one of Tayloe's executors, argued to Governor Thomas Jefferson that a slave, being a noncitizen, could not commit treason. Lee and Carr wrote that a slave "not being Admited to the Priviledges of a Citizen owes the State No Allegiance and that the Act declaring what shall be treason cannot be intended by the Legislature to include slaves who have neither lands or other property to forfiet." Their argument about citizenship was very similar to one made on March 19, 1767, by Arthur Lee in his influential public letter on slavery directed to Virginia's legislators and published in William Rind's Virginia Gazette. In Billy's defense Henry Lee and William Carr also contested the evidence used against him. Billy received a gubernatorial reprieve until the end of June, and the legislature pardoned him on June 14, 1781...​
Billy's treason trial was neither the first nor the last such prosecution of a bondsman during the American Revolution. In Norfolk County in 1778 a slave named Bob faced charges of treason and robbery. Like Billy he pleaded not guilty but received the death sentence, and he may have been hanged. During the same period at least one other slave, a man named Sancho, was found guilty of warlike action against the state and hanged, while still another, Jack, may have escaped execution. Similar judicial actions against supposed treason occurred during times of public peril. In the aftermath of Nat Turner's Rebellion, Southampton County justices in October 1831 heard the charge of treason against Jack and Shadrach, only to dismiss the charge tersely: "a slave cannot be tried in this court for Treason."​
This exemption of enslaved people from treason prosecutions appears to have prevailed in Virginia during the American Civil War (1861–1865) as well.
- Alan
 
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During those times, all natives of a state (bond or free) owed their allegiance to that state.
Any violation was counted as treason.
This is a broadside from the war, asking for the use of slaves by the CSA:

42418d1cc51a2218475e9021e22afc99.jpg


Note that, Colonel Adams is asking for Planters to provide their Negroes. The colonel is not asking the slaves themselves.

slave-labor-needed-for-the-confederacy-jpe.jpg


This Poster/ broadside asks slave-owners west of the Mississippi River to hire their slaves out to the Confederacy: “The negro men our enemy would arm against us, can be well employed as teamsters, cooks, mechanics, and laborers.” (Source: National Archives, War Department Collection of Confederate Records, Title #17439_2008_001_PR.)

Note that this is dated September 1863, after the CSA had instituted its draft. (A comment in the broadside says "You cheerfully yield your children to your country, how can you refuse to hire your servants?") The government could not draft slaves because, in part, they were not citizens.

Still, the CSA needed labor, and impressment and other policies would enable the CSA to use slave property. An unknown number of slaveholders resisted that policy. It was quite common for slaves to be hired out by their masters to work outside their homes, but providing labor to the military was another story. Owners feared that slaves would get sick, injured, or even die while doing strenuous work under hazardous conditions. Owners were also afraid that slaves might exploit their situation to find ways to escape.

image5-jpg.jpg

Claim receipt for compensation to a slave owner, Peter Gaillard Stoney of South Carolina, for the loss of his slave Toby. Toby died while building military fortifications in the Charleston area.
Source: railsplitter.com, a site for the sale of Civil War era collectibles. See here, item number 894. This document had an estimated value of $200-300.


In 1864, a slave known as Toby paid the ultimate price for his "service" to his master. He died while building fortifications in South Carolina. The monetary compensation for the loss – $1900 – indicates that Toby was considered a valuable slave. (Although perhaps inflation played a role.) The payment went to the owner, who might have felt the loss of a slave – perhaps someone considered a loyal slave – on different levels.

It is unclear if Toby’s family received a share of the monies, or what they thought of his "sacrifice," or what they thought of the cause of southern independence, or about their duties, if any, to the Confederate state.

- Alan
 
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Looks like a lot of folk are stuck on the word citizen - "there can't be any BC soldiers because they were not citizens, etc."

The great majority of the USCT were not citizens. Native Americans who joined the US army were not citizens. And probably a large number of whites in that army were not citizens.

The 'citizen test' doesn't work. Sorry.
As far as a majority of the USCT'S not being United States citizens, that would be incorrect. In 1863, the Attorney General of the United States released a written legal opinion that stated free Blacks were in fact, citizens of the United States. The legal opinion was never challenged in court and therefore held the weight of law.
 
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