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Fighting for Slavery?

Discussion in 'Civil War History - Secession and Politics' started by Drew, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Retired Moderator

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    Bit of a problem. The Kenner Mission seems to be lacking credible evidence.

    KENNER'S MISSION TO EUROPE

    edit

    This was a secret mission; only Davis knew of it, so if it was successful, then it has to be gotten through the CSA congress for slave statues and States for a constitutional ratification.

    From the CSA constitution.


     
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  3. KLSDAD

    KLSDAD First Sergeant

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    I'm glad you posted it since I hadn't gone thru the entire regurgitation process myself. I hadn't seen Forrest's quote before in this thread or anywhere else.
     
  4. OpnCoronet

    OpnCoronet Major

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    I agree. Davis was trying to fish in troubled waters, seeing what nibbles he might get, on what kind of bait. On other threads posters have discussed how amenable Davis might really have been to emancipation of southern slaves, i.e., it is probable that he was not as favorable to it, as his last minute concessions at the end of the war, might seem to indicate.
     
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  5. ForeverFree

    ForeverFree Major

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    Is that what the Confederate Congress believed? Did the CC pass legislation which emancipated the slaves in return for their military service?

    - Alan
     
  6. Tin cup

    Tin cup Captain

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    "stand by your own countrymen and race, against the murder and arson, hanging and stealing' that were sure to accompany the 'liberation of the half-civilized cannibal.”
    Pvt. Joseph Bruckmuller, 7 TX. Address delivered to other prisoners at Ft. Douglas Prison, Chicago, June 1862

    "Confound the whole set of Psalm singing 'brethren' and 'sistern' too, if it had not been for them...preaching abolitionism from every northern pulpit...(I)...would never have been soldiering." Pvt. James Williams, 21 AL, to wife, Dec. 20, 1861, Fort Gaines, AL

    Warning his wife of lying: "supinely upon our backs," while "the fair daughters of the South [are] reduced to a level with the flat-footed thick-liped Negro."
    Pvt. John Street, 9th TX, to wife, Feb. 25, 1862, Tishomingo Co., MS.

    “If the negroes are freed the country...is not worth fighting for.... We can only live & exist by that species of labor: and hence I am willing to continue to fight to the last."
    Mississippi soldier William Nugent wrote to his wife Nellie.

    Does that satisfy ya? Seems to me some of the rank and file were for the same goals of the government.

    Kevin Dally
     
  7. BillO

    BillO Captain

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    It's a Polish firing squad and we seem to be doing this silliness more and more.
     
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  8. Red Harvest

    Red Harvest 2nd Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    Kenner couldn't even get back before the fall of Richmond.

    It appears in reading some of what has been written about it that Davis was dangling emancipation in exchange for recognition. Of course, Davis had no real authority to emancipate slaves as the Confederate constitution expressly forbid it and the Confederate Congress was likewise powerless. Only the states in convention could vote to amend the Confederate constitution.

    The amendment process per the CS constitution differs per Article V in that it is driven from the states.
    Of course, what are the chances that 2/3 of the states would accept this condition? How would emancipation take place? What then becomes of all the freedmen? The Confederate states had not even the slimmest inkling of how this might occur. Even in the northern slave states compensated emancipation was rejected in the face of passage of the 13th Amendment.

    And by this time the CSA didn't have any major ports left...so such a Confederacy would be forced to trade cotton through U.S. authorities.

    By 1865 there wasn't any chance the Britain would risk the almost certain loss of Canada through war with the massive, well armed U.S.--a fear it had in 1861 with negligible Federal forces.
     
  9. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Retired Moderator

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    The simple solution is to simply agree that slave grown cotton make the antebellum South fabulously wealth; there were the fire eaters that agitated for 20-30 years for Southern Independence; said fire eaters manipulated the Southern political establishment into secession; the motive for secession was to establish an independent slave nation where the right people would guide their lessers and the slaves with a gentle, enlightened but firm hand without all the pesky Washington DC politics, the ignorant poor, those despicable money grubbing Yankees mucking things up; that most Southern soldiers directly or indirectly support the institution of slavery and would have owned a slave if they could have; that the elites were as deceived as their lessers and died with them in great numbers in a democracy of the dead, the antebellum South ran things for 80 years, made a calculated gamble for independence and almost pulled it off; in the antebellum US, slavery was a economic advantage to the slave owners;it was Constitutionally protected, and while a philosophical evil, it was either socially accepted, a social good or simply morally ignored by the majority of citizens.

    Just one sentence.
     
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  10. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Retired Moderator

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    One of the interesting things to think about is that States either conquered or mostly conquered by US forces were eligible to vote in the CSA. Now just how is the amendment process is going to proceeded if the legislatures of the States or the alternate conventions cannot meet.
     
  11. Red Harvest

    Red Harvest 2nd Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    Even if the Confederate states were somehow in agreement on emancipation, and even if Kenner who arrived and consulted through March somehow got back, there was no time left to enact it even if the Europeans had supported the initiative.

    Communication with the TM was already incredibly slow. It would have taken months just to get the first convention together and then get ratification of enough states even if there was agreement on what to do and how to do it.

    The CSA was in such disarray that I'm not even sure where each of the state legislatures were meeting at the time.
     
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  12. matthew mckeon

    matthew mckeon Brigadier General Moderator

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    Dude, that's a heck of a sentence.
     
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  13. Lazy Bayou

    Lazy Bayou 1st Lieutenant

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    That sentence would give some of William Faulkner's a run for the money. :giggle:
     
  14. matthew mckeon

    matthew mckeon Brigadier General Moderator

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    And like Faulkner's, worth reading!
     
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  15. dvrmte

    dvrmte Major

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    He's in the running with some of Calhoun's.
     
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  16. Nathanb1

    Nathanb1 Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    I really want to get that red pen out.
     
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  17. AUG

    AUG Captain Forum Host

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    But your missing my point. The point is that most Confederate soldiers as individuals did not always fight for that cause, they fought for their own personal reasons. Yes, you could say that one of the main causes why the South seceded was for slavery, but their objective was to gain independence. The soldier's fight was something completely different, it was for whatever he may be fighting for, which were usually his home and family, his state, his land, the North or the South.
     
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  18. Tin cup

    Tin cup Captain

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    I would disagree. I think a lot in the ranks of the Confederate Army would too.

    Kevin Dally
     
  19. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    AUG351,

    I think another point is being missed.

    No matter what the individual reasons soldiers fought for, those reasons were ALWAYS subordinate to the aims and goals of the government that employed them.

    The main reason for secession was slavery and the protection of slavery. Can't be denied, hidden, ignored or minimized. You say that the soldier's fight was something completely different. It doesn't matter if he fought for what he thought was important just to him alone, as he was (and still is) part of a machine that is meant to carry out the goals and objectives of his government. He is employeed as a tool, never asked if he agrees with tactics, strategy, etc. He is marched to a particular spot, formed in ranks for the battle, and then ordered into that battle.

    When I enlisted in 1971, I was of the opinion that our nation should not have been involved in Vietnam. Not once were me and my fellow soldiers ever asked our opinion on Vietnam. We were not asked to vote if we wanted to participate in fighting there or be assigned somewhere else more to our liking. In my entire 20 years of service, I was never officially asked my views on being deployed to the various places I had to serve or what I thought about the conflicts my nation was engaged in. I, like any Confederate soldier, had no choice, unless we decided to desert or stop enlisting in the army.

    I can understand the comfort taken by the idea that one's ancestor did not personally fight for something we find distasteful or wrong today in this century. If you or others are of the opinion your ancestor did not personally believe in slavery and did not own slaves, I see no problem with that.

    But his personal views or his lack of slave property did not prevent the fact that he and every other Confederate soldier fought, at the direction of his government, to preserve and defend that institution. He could not do otherwise when serving as a soldier for that government.

    Sincerely,
    Unionblue
     
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  20. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Retired Moderator

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    Looking at the online evidence, there is no evidence it actually happened outside of Kenner family tradition.

    for example from #81 above.


    General Brent of Baltimore married Kenner's daughter.

    JOSEPH L. BRENT PAPERS

     
  21. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    "The area of slavery must be extended correlative with its antagonism, or it will be put speedily in the 'course of ultimate extinction.'....The extension of slavery is the vital point of the whole controversy between the North and the South...Amendments to the federal constitution are urged by some as a panacea for all the ills that beset us. That instrument is amply sufficient as it now stands, for the protection of Southern rights, if it was only enforced. The South wants practical evidence of good faith from the North, not mere paper agreements and compromises. They believe slavery a sin, we do not, and there lies the trouble." -- Henry M. Rector, Gov. of Arkansas, March 2, 1861, from the Arkansas Secession Convention, page 4.
     

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