Frederick Douglass Worried After the Civil War that the Role of Black Soldiers Would be Forgotten in Favor of Confederate "Heroes"

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mo
The USCT were obviously United States soldiers. If anybody is to blame for their 130 years of anonymity is the United States government and specifically the United States Army; the same Army that relegated them to segregated menial duties until the Korean War. You can blame Jubal Early and even Sewanee and Vandy for a lot of things, but this one’s not on them and a blind man should be able to see it. Find another scapegoat.
That's where the "southern lost cause" nonsense hits a serious roadblock.....as ex Confederates or white southerners would only be about 1 out of 5 post war Americans.

For any "lost cause" narrative or ignoring the USCT to become popular national policy or narrative.......the 4/5's would have had a rather larger role then the 1/5........so the attempts of some to continuely only blame that 1/5 is a dog that don't hunt........
 

damYankee

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Aug 12, 2011
This is why black history should be taught, period!
Not occasionally, though black history month plays an important roll, but by deleting the experience and contributions of any segment of our population robs all of us of the true history of this nation, it is an experience unlike that of any country in the "old world ".
Like it or not, the events of the age of discovery brought many different people together.
All these hundreds of years later we share a very unique common bond, colonists, explorers, settlers, slave and freedman, native tribesmen, we are the result of that crucible that brought our together ancestors here.
The USCT and the Buffalo Soldiers who followed them deserve to be remembered and honored. Just as the Tuskegee Airmen have.
 

Rhea Cole

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That's where the "southern lost cause" nonsense hits a serious roadblock.....as ex Confederates or white southerners would only be about 1 out of 5 post war Americans.

For any "lost cause" narrative or ignoring the USCT to become popular national policy or narrative.......the 4/5's would have had a rather larger role then the 1/5........so the attempts of some to continuely only blame that 1/5 is a dog that don't hunt........
I am sorry & I do mean sorry to report that the Lost Cause did become the popular narrative of the Civil War. I grew up hearing that twaddle from my mother who had learned it in school. I have attended I don’t know how many lectures on the subject. The UDC provided millions of Lost Cause booklets to Southern schools. Somewhere on my “piling system” I have a copy of the infamous’Your Friend The Klan’ booklet. This topic is the head lice of online forums. There are over 6,000,000 Lost Cause as counter factual pseudo history references online. There really isn’t any reason to go down this rabbit hole again.
 
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I am sorry & I do mean sorry to report that the Lost Cause did become the popular narrative of the Civil War. I grew up hearing that twaddle from my mother who had learned it in school. I have attended I don’t know how many lectures on the subject. The UDC provided millions of Lost Cause booklets to Southern schools. Somewhere on my “piling system” I have a copy of the infamous’Your Friend The Klan’ booklet. This topic is the head lice of online forums. There are over 6,000,000 Lost Cause as counter factual pseudo history references online. There really isn’t any reason to go down this rabbit hole again.
Let's assume for a minute the roughly 6 million ex Confederates were pro "lost cause" and anti USCT for history......and that roughly 4 million ex slaves were anti "lost cause" and pro USCT for history.....

It would be rather amazing to think then the roughly 22 million white northerners weren't the deciding factor and who in fact choose and drove the post war narrative....one can't simply ignore who was by far largest majority in deciding and driving post war policy and narratives. As the tail seldom wags the dog, but in fact the dog is the one wagging it's tail.....little to be sorry about in historically who was actually the majority postwar.

Recognizing who by far the largest majority was postwar, and who decided and drove the narrative isn't denying the narrative at all as you seemingly rambled.....it's simply recognizing to put the blame of what 31-32 million adopted and pursued as a nation on less then 20% of the population is rather false and disingenuous. As policy is driven by majorities, and for say 51% of the nation to have been onboard, it would have actually involved more northerners then southerners........

Yet it has appeared some consistently have pursued another "lost cause," of rather consistently ignoring the role of white northerners postwar.
 
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RobertP

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Let's assume for a minute the roughly 6 million ex Confederates were pro "lost cause" and anti USCT for history......and that roughly 4 million ex slaves were anti "lost cause" and pro USCT for history.....

It would be rather amazing to think then the roughly 22 million white northerners weren't the deciding factor and who in fact choose and drove the post war narrative....one can't simply ignore who was by far largest majority in deciding and driving post war policy and narratives. As the tail seldom wags the dog, but in fact the dog is the one wagging it's tail.....little to be sorry about in historically who was actually the majority postwar.

Recognizing who by far the largest majority was postwar, and who decided and drove the narrative isn't denying the narrative at all as you seemingly rambled.....it's simply recognizing to put the blame of what 31-32 million adopted and pursued as a nation on less then 20% of the population is rather false and disingenuous.
Do you remember Flip Wilson and his “the Devil made me do it” routine? Like all great comedy it was so funny because of the truth in it. Well, among the current crop of historians Jubal Early is that Devil who made the rest of the country embrace his Lost Cause narrative for over 100 years. Despite being the winning side with 5 times the population, better schools, smarter people and comparative wealth they just had no other choice. Jubal Early made them do it!

 
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19thGeorgia

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Ole Jube

Lee: "my bad old man"

1612966389384.png
 
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Rhea Cole

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Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee

The History of "The Lost Cause" 1,570,000,000 Citations Say It All

Lost Cause Book Add.jpeg
The term "The Lost Cause" begins with the book written by Edward A. Pollard & published in 1866. That is the first time the phrase appears in print. In an earlier posting, I made a mistake, I said that a Google search would result in 6,000,0000 references. The actual number is 1,570,000,000. Every single one of them begins with something similar to, "...the Lost Cause is an American pseudo-historical, negatitonist ideology that advocates the belief that the cause of the Confederate States during the American Civil War was a just & heroic one."

"The term swiftly came into common use as a reference not only to military defeat of the "southern way of life" - a phrase that generally referred to the South of the antebellum period, when plantation slavery was still intact."

"When describing the Lost Cause, historians have employed the terms "myth," "cult," "civil religion," "Confederate tradition." & "celebration" to explain this southern phenomenon."

Encyclopedia of Alabama

So, now that we have established what the "Lost Cause" really is, perhaps we can move onto something that has not been settled history for over a century.

The Lost Cause was exactly what Fredrick Douglas was referring. Unfortunately, he was only too right.

Introduction Jubal Early.jpeg


Lieutenant General
Jubal Anderson Early
C.S.A.
AUTOBOIGRAPHICAL SKETCH AND NARRATIVE
OF THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES
1912
As is glaringly obvious from the introduction of Jubal Early's autobiographical sketch, he was root, stem & branch a propagandist for the "Lost Cause" pseudo-history. Library of Congress


 
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19thGeorgia

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Joined
Apr 4, 2017
That's where the "southern lost cause" nonsense hits a serious roadblock.....as ex Confederates or white southerners would only be about 1 out of 5 post war Americans.

For any "lost cause" narrative or ignoring the USCT to become popular national policy or narrative.......the 4/5's would have had a rather larger role then the 1/5........so the attempts of some to continuely only blame that 1/5 is a dog that don't hunt........
Instead of the "lost cause" it was the North's own racism that put the USCT on history's back shelf.
 

jackt62

Captain
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Jul 28, 2015
Location
New York City
In younger days, my interest in the CW was first piqued by the Centennial observances from 1961-1965. Although not old enough then to understand the complexities and details of the war's history, I can certainly recall the virtual lack of information or memorialization of the USCT, or of the African American experience with slavery. That probably started to change around the 1990's with newer scholarship and social awareness of the important role played by Black Americans and the critical impact of slavery in bringing on the conflict. So unfortunately, Frederick Douglas was absolutely correct; it took over 100 years after the end of the CW for the dominant "Lost Cause" narrative to become diminished and replaced by objective and long overdue credit for the role of African American soldiers.
 

Rhea Cole

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Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
In younger days, my interest in the CW was first piqued by the Centennial observances from 1961-1965. Although not old enough then to understand the complexities and details of the war's history, I can certainly recall the virtual lack of information or memorialization of the USCT, or of the African American experience with slavery. That probably started to change around the 1990's with newer scholarship and social awareness of the important role played by Black Americans and the critical impact of slavery in bringing on the conflict. So unfortunately, Frederick Douglas was absolutely correct; it took over 100 years after the end of the CW for the dominant "Lost Cause" narrative to become diminished and replaced by objective and long overdue credit for the role of African American soldiers.
You are absolutely correct. As a National Park living history volunteer, I went to “black powder” parks from Wilson’s Creek to Kennesaw Mountain to fire cannons. The museums exhibits at those parks fared from the run up to the centennial in 1960. You would have been justified in concluding that with the exception of a single photo of figures dressed in rags, no black people lived in the South at all. If you toured a plantation house, the slaves were not even mentioned.

The remodeled NPS museums & the honest depiction of the lives of slaves that are now ubiquitous at historic plantations. At Belmeade Mansion in Nashville, you can take a backstairs tour showing the house from the servant’s point of view.

My quarter century of answering visitor’s questions has left me with no illusions about how pervasive the Lost Cause fallacies still are. Fortunately, these days the people holding those erroneous beliefs look like me.
 
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Location
mo

The History of "The Lost Cause" 1,570,000,000 Citations Say It All

View attachment 390532
The term "The Lost Cause" begins with the book written by Edward A. Pollard & published in 1866. That is the first time the phrase appears in print. In an earlier posting, I made a mistake, I said that a Google search would result in 6,000,0000 references. The actual number is 1,570,000,000. Every single one of them begins with something similar to, "...the Lost Cause is an American pseudo-historical, negatitonist ideology that advocates the belief that the cause of the Confederate States during the American Civil War was a just & heroic one."

"The term swiftly came into common use as a reference not only to military defeat of the "southern way of life" - a phrase that generally referred to the South of the antebellum period, when plantation slavery was still intact."

"When describing the Lost Cause, historians have employed the terms "myth," "cult," "civil religion," "Confederate tradition." & "celebration" to explain this southern phenomenon."

Encyclopedia of Alabama

So, now that we have established what the "Lost Cause" really is, perhaps we can move onto something that has not been settled history for over a century.

The Lost Cause was exactly what Fredrick Douglas was referring. Unfortunately, he was only too right.

View attachment 390535

Lieutenant General
Jubal Anderson Early
C.S.A.
AUTOBOIGRAPHICAL SKETCH AND NARRATIVE
OF THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES
1912
As is glaringly obvious from the introduction of Jubal Early's autobiographical sketch, he was root, stem & branch a propagandist for the "Lost Cause" pseudo-history. Library of Congress


Yes Douglas was correct in that the Northern majority would willingly embrace it, they did early on and certainly did after the turn of the century with the rise of the 2nd Klan......the question isn't if it become popularly adopted.....but by who and how, and the majority of America....which was in fact northern....... certainly is the how and who.....


So to always or only put southern in front of any mention of what became the national narrative in "lost cause" is rather misleading. It was more accurately "Americas lost cause" then any "southern lost cause" who was actually a distinct minority.
 
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Rhea Cole

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Joined
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Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Yes Douglas was correct in that the Northern majority would willingly embrace it, they did early on and certainly did after the turn of the century with the rise of the 2nd Klan......the question isn't if it become popularly adopted.....but by who and how, and the majority of America....which was in fact northern....... certainly is the how and who.....


So to always or only put southern in front of any mention of what became the national narrative in "lost cause" is rather misleading. It was more accurately "Americas lost cause" then any "southern lost cause" who was actually a distinct minority.
What about-ism is, I suppose, comforting in a certain way. The 1, 570, 000,0000 cations online will serve for what I have to say on the subject.
Congrats, that's one (actually it's called the Robert Gould Shaw Memorial and has soldiers of the 54th in the background).

30 regiments of USCT were raised in the North.

Where is number two?
I will google that & let your u know... oh yea, you could do that yourself.
 
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Location
mo
What about-ism is, I suppose, comforting in a certain way. The 1, 570, 000,0000 cations online will serve for what I have to say on the subject.

I will google that & let your u know... oh yea, you could do that yourself.
Yes, acknowledging reality is ussually comforting, much better then trying to ignore the rather obvious majority. History is indeed about the actual majorities setting policy, rather then disengenious agenda or bias driven talking points that ignores who actually constituted that majority.

So when half the country in 1865...1870...or 1880 was not "southern" as in white southerners from ex Confederate states......see little reason to continuely falsely suggest it was. As it remains the majority of the country that set our national views and attitudes was in fact not "southern"
 
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jackt62

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Location
New York City
The remodeled NPS museums & the honest depiction of the lives of slaves that are now ubiquitous at historic plantations. At Belmeade Mansion in Nashville, you can take a backstairs tour showing the house from the servant’s point of view.
Not to mention Jackson's Hermitage, which when I visited, has as you know, explicit exhibits of his treatment of Native Americans and the role of Black slaves.
 

Rhea Cole

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Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Yes, acknowledging reality is ussually comforting, much better then trying to ignore the rather obvious majority. History is indeed about the actual majorities setting policy, rather then disengenious agenda or bias driven talking points that ignores who actually constituted that majority.
I defer to the Encyclopedia of Alabama.
Not to mention Jackson's Hermitage, which when I visited, has as you know, explicit exhibits of his treatment of Native Americans and the role of Black slaves.
it is impressive, isn’t it? The enslaved persons are treated with dignity. It think it is a very balanced & informative. When I have gone there with school groups made up of, as my Grannie used say, every color but blue, the narrative they heard was another world compared to the my childish experiences.
 
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Location
mo
I defer to the Encyclopedia of Alabama.

it is impressive, isn’t it? The enslaved persons are treated with dignity. It think it is a very balanced & informative. When I have gone there with school groups made up of, as my Grannie used say, every color but blue, the narrative they heard was another world compared to the my childish experiences.
Pretty sure alabama isn't representive of either the nation's population or policies as a whole.

Again it's rather simple math and demographics.....If the majority of the United States accepts something....and white southerners are roughly 17% of the population....it remains it took 34% of the non southern population to reach 51%. So about two "northerners" for ever "southerner". So it would make little sense to target the minority, while apparently ignoring (thereby excusing) the majority.

Though personally I suspect well over 51% of the United States of that period was racist by today's standards, and had little issue adopting a lost cause narrative. After all belittling your opponent.......belittles the victors and their accomplishments as well.

As I said earlier, don't think Douglas considered himself a spokesman for ex Confederates at all, so his comments would be directed to those northerners allready moving to adopt a "lost cause" narrative, and ignoring his.
 
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Rhea Cole

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Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Pretty sure alabama isn't representive of either the nation's population or policies as a whole.

Again it's rather simple math and demographics.....If the majority of the United States accepts something....and white southerners are roughly 17% of the population....it remains it took 34% of the non southern population to reach 51%. So about two "northerners" for ever "southerner". So it would make little sense to target the minority, while apparently ignoring (thereby excusing) the majority.

Though personally I suspect well over 51% of the United States of that period was racist by today's standards, and had little issue adopting a lost cause narrative. After all belittling your opponent.......belittles the victors and their accomplishments as well.

As I said earlier, don't think Douglas considered himself a spokesman for ex Confederates at all, so his comments would be directed to those northerners allready moving to adopt a "lost cause" narrative, and ignoring his.
1,
Pretty sure alabama isn't representive of either the nation's population or policies as a whole.

Again it's rather simple math and demographics.....If the majority of the United States accepts something....and white southerners are roughly 17% of the population....it remains it took 34% of the non southern population to reach 51%. So about two "northerners" for ever "southerner". So it would make little sense to target the minority, while apparently ignoring (thereby excusing) the majority.

Though personally I suspect well over 51% of the United States of that period was racist by today's standards, and had little issue adopting a lost cause narrative. After all belittling your opponent.......belittles the victors and their accomplishments as well.

As I said earlier, don't think Douglas considered himself a spokesman for ex Confederates at all, so his comments would be directed to those northerners allready moving to adopt a "lost cause" narrative, and ignoring his.
OK, 1,560,000,000 citations, pick one that suits you.
 
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mo
1,

OK, 1,560,000,000 citations, pick one that suits you.
I don't need a citation to realize 6 million is not the majority of 31 million......again it's rather basic math......if you find one claiming otherwise, I would rather easily dismiss it as false, as it would not compute.

And policy and attitudes in the United States has always been driven by majorities. Which most definitely involved far more northerners then southerners as to what narrative was commonly accepted for decades.

Nor was Douglas referring to the encyclopedia of alabama....what was actually the OP was Douglas expressing concerns to northerners as to what he already saw them doing. Which would have been the cause of his concern....Which was clearly laid out in the article the OP is actually about........"That Southern newspapers raised Lee up to the heights of a secular saint was odious enough in Douglass’s eyes, but when Northern papers depicted him as a noble man of principle, he worried that Lee’s battalions of the Lost Cause were winning the fight for the hearts of the White North and the restoration of the Southern “nobility” to power." as indeed substantial numbers of northerners were embracing the narrative and tiring of reconstruction.

That would be the how and why it became the common narrative.......because northerners were willing to embrace it making it commonly accepted, also why reconstruction was ultimately dropped. Because white northerners were indeed the majority, and the 6 million white ex confederates a minority ally to the majority.
 
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