Fighting for Slavery?

Battalion

Banned
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
4,813
Red, we've been through his before. I'm not saying that slavery wasn't a cause for secession. Clearly, however, the national goal of the Confederacy was independence
In the last year of the war at least two representratives (Duncan Kenner, General Polignac) were sent to Europe to propose emancipation in exchange for recognition. So the South was willing to give up slavery, but not independence.
 

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

Potomac Pride

First Sergeant
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Messages
1,664
Location
Georgia
Also known as slavery. This they made clear in their secession conventions, ordinances of secession, etc. It's puzzling why people want to dance around that now. Certainly at the time they had no trouble expressing why, inserting the word "slave" into their new constitution ten times and forbidding any limitations on slavery...one of several "states rights" surrendered.

The Confederate Constitution had been ratified on March 11, 1861 a month before the CSA started a war. So it is reasonable to believe that the majority supported it as opposed to the United States Constitution (under which they were still citizens.)
It is true that the states of the deep south seceded over the issue of slavery. However, secession and war are two different things. The Confederacy maintained they were a separate nation and thus were fighting to prevent subjugation by the Union. After Lincoln's call for troops in April 1861, Jefferson Davis stated in his initial address to the CSA Congress that "The declaration of war made against this Confederacy by Abraham Lincoln......in his proclamation issued on the 15th day of the present month, rendered it necessary....... to devise the measures necessary for the defense of the country." Therefore, the CSA was fighting in order to defend itself from incursion by Union forces.
 

jgoodguy

.
-*- Mime -*-
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
35,538
Location
Birmingham, Alabama

OpnCoronet

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Feb 23, 2010
Messages
10,428
In the last year of the war at least two representratives (Duncan Kenner, General Polignac) were sent to Europe to propose emancipation in exchange for recognition. So the South was willing to give up slavery, but not independence.

...and they were promising something they were not empowered to promise, i.e., Unconstitutional/illegal. Slavery was strictly a matter of state rights. The csa gov't was the gurantor of slavery in every state(and territory) of the csa.
 

KeyserSoze

Captain
Joined
Apr 14, 2011
Messages
5,723
Location
Kansas City
Oh looky! I just looked in the bottom of a rabbit hole and guess what I found? I found a tariff and slavery wasn't attached to it. And in the next hole, I found the Chicago Platform, under it I found self-interest and greed.
And as you were rooting around in the muck at the bottom of the hole for minor excuses you breezed right past slavery, didn't you?
 

KeyserSoze

Captain
Joined
Apr 14, 2011
Messages
5,723
Location
Kansas City
Hmmmmm. If the war aim on the Union in 1861 was to preserve the union, then, clearly, the war aim of the Confederacy was independence. When the war aim of the Union changed to emancipation in 1863, the Confederate war aim remained independence. Now, slavery was a large part of the drive to secede, but that does nothing to change war aims.
The war aim was to preserve the Union from the first day of the war to the last. The reason for the war was the South launched an armed rebellion. See how that works? So on the other hand we have the South seceding and claiming independence. The reason why the South seceded was to defend slavery.
 

KeyserSoze

Captain
Joined
Apr 14, 2011
Messages
5,723
Location
Kansas City
It is true that the states of the deep south seceded over the issue of slavery. However, secession and war are two different things. The Confederacy maintained they were a separate nation and thus were fighting to prevent subjugation by the Union. After Lincoln's call for troops in April 1861, Jefferson Davis stated in his initial address to the CSA Congress that "The declaration of war made against this Confederacy by Abraham Lincoln......in his proclamation issued on the 15th day of the present month, rendered it necessary....... to devise the measures necessary for the defense of the country." Therefore, the CSA was fighting in order to defend itself from incursion by Union forces.
Aren't you forgetting a little kerfuffle called 'Fort Sumter'? Had the Confederacy not launched a bloody rebellion by attacking the fort then there wouldn't have been any call for troops on Lincoln's part. So the first act of war was done by Davis, and the only declaration made by the rebel government.
 

Potomac Pride

First Sergeant
Joined
Oct 28, 2011
Messages
1,664
Location
Georgia
Aren't you forgetting a little kerfuffle called 'Fort Sumter'? Had the Confederacy not launched a bloody rebellion by attacking the fort then there wouldn't have been any call for troops on Lincoln's part. So the first act of war was done by Davis, and the only declaration made by the rebel government.
Thanks for your post but I have not forgotten about Fort Sumter. Since S. Carolina no longer considered itself a part of the USA due to disunion, the state considered any attempt to resupply the fort to be a hostile act by the Union. Lincoln had been warned by his advisers to evacuate the fort and not to resupply it because it would be fired upon. He knew what was going to happen as a result of his decision to reprovision the fort.
 

rpkennedy

Major
Joined
May 18, 2011
Messages
9,753
Location
Carlisle, PA
Thanks for your post but I have not forgotten about Fort Sumter. Since S. Carolina no longer considered itself a part of the USA due to disunion, the state considered any attempt to resupply the fort to be a hostile act by the Union. Lincoln had been warned by his advisers to evacuate the fort and not to resupply it because it would be fired upon. He knew what was going to happen as a result of his decision to reprovision the fort.
South Carolina could consider itself independent but that doesn't make them so. Lincoln had every right to send supplies to Sumter. What made the decision smart was that it put the onus of starting the war on Davis and the CSA.

R
 

Carronade

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
4,508
Location
Pennsylvania
In the last year of the war at least two representratives (Duncan Kenner, General Polignac) were sent to Europe to propose emancipation in exchange for recognition. So the South was willing to give up slavery, but not independence.

The key phrase being "In the last year of the war". As the military situation became hopeless, some southerners were willing to consider ideas that would have been unthinkable a couple of years earlier rather than admit defeat. Some of them even had fantasies about raising (arming.....training.....) armies of slaves who would somehow turn the tide at the eleventh hour.

"the South" as an entity never expressed a willingness to give up slavery, whatever Davis or a couple of envoys vainly knocking on doors in Europe may have dreamed. How many governors, state legislatures, or congressmen endorsed the proposal attributed to "the South"?
 

jgoodguy

.
-*- Mime -*-
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
35,538
Location
Birmingham, Alabama
Battalion said:
In the last year of the war at least two representratives (Duncan Kenner, General Polignac) were sent to Europe to propose emancipation in exchange for recognition. So the South was willing to give up slavery, but not independence.​
...and they were promising something they were not empowered to promise, i.e., Unconstitutional/illegal. Slavery was strictly a matter of state rights. The csa gov't was the gurantor of slavery in every state(and territory) of the csa.
Good point.

OTOH, any recognition would have been contingent on emancipation. I'd question if Davis actually gave any authority to Kenner and Polignac or just sent them off like the Hampton Roads Commissioners without any real authority and with the purpose of quieting political opponents.
 

jgoodguy

.
-*- Mime -*-
Joined
Aug 17, 2011
Messages
35,538
Location
Birmingham, Alabama
In the last year of the war at least two representratives (Duncan Kenner, General Polignac) were sent to Europe to propose emancipation in exchange for recognition. So the South was willing to give up slavery, but not independence.

The key phrase being "In the last year of the war". As the military situation became hopeless, some southerners were willing to consider ideas that would have been unthinkable a couple of years earlier rather than admit defeat. Some of them even had fantasies about raising (arming.....training.....) armies of slaves who would somehow turn the tide at the eleventh hour.

"the South" as an entity never expressed a willingness to give up slavery, whatever Davis or a couple of envoys vainly knocking on doors in Europe may have dreamed. How many governors, state legislatures, or congressmen endorsed the proposal attributed to "the South"?
Exactly.
 

JCM6395

Sergeant
Joined
Sep 12, 2012
Messages
673
Location
Southwest Indiana
In 1861 and 1862 the northern soldiers were recruited by slogans of preserving the Republic and the union. Slavery had little or nothing to do with their motivations. They wanted to teach Johnnie Reb a lesson on being a traitor. The southern soldiers I believe mostly enlisted to keep the **** Yankees out of the neighborhood. Slavery was a thing for the politicians to get worked up about.
 

KeyserSoze

Captain
Joined
Apr 14, 2011
Messages
5,723
Location
Kansas City
Thanks for your post but I have not forgotten about Fort Sumter. Since S. Carolina no longer considered itself a part of the USA due to disunion, the state considered any attempt to resupply the fort to be a hostile act by the Union. Lincoln had been warned by his advisers to evacuate the fort and not to resupply it because it would be fired upon. He knew what was going to happen as a result of his decision to reprovision the fort.
Why wouldn't the attempt to starve Sumter into surrender not be considered an act of war on the part of South Carolina?
 

ole

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Retired Moderator
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Messages
34,431
Location
Near Kankakee
In the last year of the war at least two representratives (Duncan Kenner, General Polignac) were sent to Europe to propose emancipation in exchange for recognition. So the South was willing to give up slavery, but not independence.
Could it have been because the end was near and Davis was getting desperate?
 

EricAJacobson

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
521
From Nathan Bedford Forrest's testimony to the Joint Select Committe:

Q: “What do you think of negro suffrage?”

A: “I am opposed to it under any and all circumstances, and in our convention urged our party not to commit themselves at all upon the subject. If the negroes vote to enfranchise us, I do not think I would favor their disfranchisement. We will stand by those who help us. And here I want you to understand distinctly I am not an enemy to the negro. We want him here among us; he is the only laboring class we have; and, more than that, I would sooner trust him than the white scalawag or carpet-bagger. When I entered the army I took forty-seven negroes into the army with me, and forty-five of them were surrendered with me. I said to them at the start: ‘This fight is against slavery; if we lose it, you will be made free; if we whip the fight, and you stay with me and be good boys, I will set you free; in either case you will be free.’ These boys staid with me, drove my teams, and better confederates did not live.”

The emphasis is mine, and since we often hear about Forrest taking blacks with him to war, I think it is equally important to note what Forrest thought the war was about.
 

EricAJacobson

Sergeant
Joined
Oct 15, 2012
Messages
521
Sorry, I just noticed you posted the same thing I did on page 3. I normally cannot read through the regurgitation of threads such as this, but couldn't help myself and just had to read the whole thing. Now I feel silly, because it seems like I've seen such threads about 8 million times before. And I keep posting....and reading....and......is this room circular???
 


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