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

danny

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Hattiesburg
You made it the issue. Did you even consider that the Tennessee archivists knew that the USCT records and pensions were secure in the National Archives and that unless they acted the Confederate records of that state would have been lost? It’s just silly to blame the obscurity of the USCT to an individual state’s historians, but that’s what you seem to be doing. It’s almost as bad as blaming Early for creating a Civil War narrative the winners unwittingly embraced for well more than a century. But it all serves to make a lot of people feel better about themselves, and that’s the point of it all, isn’t it?
Typical
 

danny

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Location
Hattiesburg
Again a strawman number and argument.......as Douglas was not denying a "lost cause" narrative, nor has anyone in the thread........Douglas was again expressing concern he saw northerners and northern newspapers subscribing to it, which they increasingly did, till it was the majority view and accepted.

If one looks at his comment, and says he was right......it was indeed northerners who subscribed to it till it became a majority view. Douglas was witnessing it happening. Really not sure what part of Douglas's view and "prophecy" you dispute.
Anything that might remotely be considered pro South
 

19thGeorgia

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Joined
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Dubious Dubois

This is probably the genesis of the self-emancipation theory and the role of the USCT:

"The decisive action which ended the Civil War was the emancipation and the arming of the black slave; that, as Lincoln said, 'Without the military help of black freedmen, the war against the south could not have been won.' The freedmen, far from being the inert recipients of freedom at the hands of philanthropists, furnished 200,000 soldiers in the Civil War who took part in nearly 200 battles and skirmishes, and in addition perhaps 300,000 others as effective laborers and helpers.” - W.E.B. Dubois, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880

The Lincoln quote is dubious. As far as I can tell, the only source for it is Dubois. First, it speaks of the war in the past tense, even though there were 150,000 rebels still around when Lincoln was killed. Second, Dubois never met Lincoln. He was born in 1868.
 

DanSBHawk

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Wisconsin
It's absurd to blame the north for "accepting" the Lost Cause. The north wanted to move on, put the war behind, and reconcile. But the south wanted to obsess over their defeat and create a myth to cope with it. That the Lost Cause wasn't discredited earlier had more to do with trying to pacify the losers, than with accepting their myth.

Regarding the subject of the OP, it's obvious that even today there are people who want to diminish the contributions of blacks to the war effort.
 
Joined
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Location
mo
It's absurd to blame the north for "accepting" the Lost Cause. The north wanted to move on, put the war behind, and reconcile. But the south wanted to obsess over their defeat and create a myth to cope with it. That the Lost Cause wasn't discredited earlier had more to do with trying to pacify the losers, than with accepting their myth.

Regarding the subject of the OP, it's obvious that even today there are people who want to diminish the contributions of blacks to the war effort.
It would be no more absurd to condemn or excuse the north then it is to do so to the south for adopting the very same policies and attitude.

I don't see Douglas as being absurd at all for realizing it would be the north, not the south that would decide going forward.....after all any national majority would be decided by 22 million northerners, not 6 million white southerners
 
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19thGeorgia

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Joined
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“Nothing fills me with deeper sadness than to see a Southern man apologizing for the defense we made of our inheritance. Our cause was so just, so sacred, that had I known all that has come to pass, had I known what was to be inflicted upon me, all that my country was to suffer, all that our posterity was to endure, I would do it all over again.” -Jefferson Davis

“We could have pursued no other course without dishonor; and as sad as the results have been, if it had to be done all over again, we should be compelled to act in precisely the same manner.” -Robert E. Lee
 

ForeverFree

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Location
District of Columbia
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?
The Connecticut Twenty-Ninth Colored Regiment, C. V. Infantry
New Haven, Connecticut.


ecticut-twenty-ninth-colored-regiment-c-v-infantry.jpg

The Connecticut Twenty-Ninth Colored Regiment, C. V. Infantry Memorial
Photographer: Richard E. Miller; taken: July 6, 2009


This monument to the much storied Connecticut Twenty-Ninth Colored Regiment is, to me, one of the most visually striking of the USCT memorials. It is in a circular space that features a large obelisk at its center which is partially encircled by eight stone markers that feature the names of regiment members. The obelisk has images of the soldiers and an inscription which tells the history of the regiment. More regiment history is here.

The memorial was erected in 2008 by the Descendants of the Connecticut 29th Colored Regiment, C.V. Infantry, Inc. The sculpture was designed by Ed Hamilton of Louisville, Kentucky.

connecticut-twenty-ninth-memorial.jpg

From the obelisk on the monument site
Source: 29th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry Regiment (Colored) website

- Alan
 
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ForeverFree

Major
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Location
District of Columbia
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?
KY was a Union border state:

Colored Soldiers Monument (AKA Kentucky African American Civil War Veterans Monument)
Frankfort, Kentucky

This is one of oldest memorials dedicated to the USCT, and one of a handful built before 1990. I believe this is the only Kentucky monument to black soldiers that participated in the American Civil War. The monument is located in Frankfort, Kentucky’s Green Hill Cemetery. (Another important site for USCT history in Kentucky is the Camp Nelson Civil War Heritage Park and Museum.)

Kentucky did not allow the recruitment of blacks until 1864. Slaves who enlisted were immediately emancipated, giving them a huge incentive to (escape and) join the army. In 1865, the families of slaves who enlisted were also emancipated. In total, 23,703 blacks from Kentucky would join a total of 23 Union regiments. This would provide the Union Army one-third of its total forces from the state of Kentucky. Only Louisiana provided more black troops than Kentucky.

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Colored Soldiers Monument
Source: Wikipedia



The monument was dedicated on July 4, 1924. It was erected by the Colored Women’s Relief Corps No. 8 of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). The GAR was a Union veterans group. The memorial consists of a limestone column with a concrete base. The column is inscribed with the names of 142 black soldiers from central Kentucky, and also, the seal of the Grand Army of the Republic.

- Alan
 
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ForeverFree

Major
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Location
District of Columbia
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?
MD was a Union border state:

In Memory of More Than 400 Prominent United States Colored Troops from Kent County
Chestertown, Maryland


This monument is located in Chestertown, Kent County, Maryland, which is in the state’s Eastern Shore area. It is dedicated to the colored troops from the county who fought in the Union army.

At the time of the war, Maryland’s black population was roughly half slave, half free. The war, which led to a Union army presence in the state; the abolition of slavery in nearby Washington, DC in 1862; the Emancipation Proclamation; and black enlistment (negroes in the state were allowed to enlist in mid 1863; enlisted slaves were immediately freed) all destabilized slavery in the state. State politicians recognized this. Effective November 1864, a re-written Maryland constitution abolished slavery. Maryland provided 8,718 men to the USCT; some of the 3,269 who enlisted in the District of Columbia were no doubt from Maryland.

kent-county-maryland-colored-soldier-monument.jpg

United States Colored Troops Monument in Kent County, MD
Photographer: Bill Pfingsten; taken: October 19, 2007


The Chestertown monument consists of a large obelisk granite(?) headstone and a stone bench. The monument has the inscription, “In Memory of more than 400 prominent United States Colored Troops from Kent County, Maryland who bravely displayed extraordinary acts of heroism as they faithfully served their country with courage & honor in an attempt to gain freedom & equality in their preservation of the Union during the Civil War (1861-1865). Like an eagle that flies in the sky above, always protecting the land we love.”

The monument was erected in 1999 by American Legion Parker White Post 143, Chestertown, Maryland.

The monument is in Chestertown, Maryland, near Cross Street (Maryland Route 289), on the left when traveling south, in the city’s Monuments Row.

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Memorial Day, 2010, in Chestertown, MD, at the monument to Colored Soldiers
From the Blog
Reflections on Delmarva’s Past

- Alan
 
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ForeverFree

Major
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Location
District of Columbia
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?
Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument
Cleveland, Ohio


The Cuyahoga County Soldiers’ and Sailors Monument, a Civil War memorial in downtown Cleveland, Ohio, is somewhat unique: it presents images of white and black men in the Union military. That is not common among Civil War monuments and memorials, which usually depict white service men or black service men, but not both. This is enabled in part due to the huge size and scope of the monument, which allows space for more content than other, smaller constructions.

The very informative Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument website describes the monument, which was completed in 1894:

The Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument commemorates the American Civil War; it consists of a 125′ column surrounded at its base by a Memorial Room and esplanade. The column, topped with a statue of the Goddess of Freedom, defended by the Shield of Liberty, signifies the essence of the Nation for which Cuyahoga County veterans were willing to and did give their lives. Four bronze groupings on the esplanade depict, in battle scenes, the Navy, Artillery, Infantry and Cavalry.
Inside the Memorial Room are four bronze relief sculptures: Women’s Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Aid Society, Beginning of the War in Ohio, Emancipation of the Slaves and End of the War at City Point, Va…
This is the “Emancipation of the Slaves” bronze relief sculpture in the monument’s Memorial Room:

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“Emancipation of the Slaves” section of the Cuyahoga County Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, Cleveland, OH: A black soldier takes an oath of allegiance to the United States; Abraham Lincoln offers him freedom and a rifle.
Image Source: © Dave Wiegers Photography, see here. Wiegers has done a number of photos of monuments to Abraham Lincoln.


William H. Gleason, in his History of Cuyahoga County soldiers’ and sailors’ monument, describes this sculpture:

Upon entering the building from Superior Street, the visitor is struck with an effective group of life-size figures in a cast bronze panel, seven by ten feet, representing the Emancipation of the Slave. The central figure in full relief is Abraham Lincoln, his right hand extended holding the shackles that have been taken from the bondsman kneeling at his feet, while with the left he hands him the gun and accoutrements. This feature explains more clearly the law which authorized Lincoln to issue the proclamation, and also required the Government to employ the slave as a soldier. On the right hand of the President stand Salmon P. Chase and John Sherman, the financial men of the war period, and on the left are Ben. Wade and Joshua R. Giddings, who were Lincoln’s main stays in the anti-slavery movements.
In the background, in bas-relief, are represented the Army and the Navy. Overhead is the closing paragraph of the proclamation, written by Chase and adopted by Lincoln, “And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God.”
Although Abraham Lincoln is clearly a “central figure” in this piece, the same can be said for the black man in front of him. The black man is on one knee with his right hand up: he is taking an “oath on bended knee,” a gesture that signifies his loyalty and service to his new country. In the piece he is being given a gun; this represents not just a weapon, but empowerment. The message is unmistakeable: this man is no longer a slave, but a soldier who will fight for his nation, and for freedom.

This is one of the monument’s exterior sculptures:

mortar-practice-grouping-soldiers-sailors-monument.jpg

A section of the Cuyahoga County Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, Cleveland, OH. A group of sailors prepare a mortar shell for firing.
Image Source: Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument website.


This is one of four “groupings” of military men that are depicted on the monument. Per the History of Cuyahoga County soldiers’ and sailors’ monument, “The Navy group, “Mortar Practice,” represents a scene near Island No. 10 on the Mississippi River, where an officer and five men are loading a mortar, preparatory to shelling the intrenchments.”

- Alan
 
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ForeverFree

Major
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Location
District of Columbia
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?

African American Civil War Monument in Decatur, Illinois. This monument commemorates the entire African American Civil War experience, and includes images of Colored Troops, slaves, freedmen/contrabands, and Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

IMG_5724.jpg
 
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ForeverFree

Major
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Location
District of Columbia
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?
Not a monument, but a marker:

28th Regiment USCT​

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Location: Virginia Avenue & McCarty Street, Indianapolis. (Marion County, Indiana)

Installed: 2004 Indiana Historical Bureau, Indiana War Memorials Commission, Andrew & Esther Bowman, and African American Landmarks Committee of Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, Inc.


- Alan
 

ForeverFree

Major
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Location
District of Columbia
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ForeverFree

Major
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Location
District of Columbia
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?
All Wars Memorial to Colored Soldiers and Sailors
Philadelphia, PA


ldiers_and_Sailors_-_Philadelphia%2C_PA_-_DSC06524.jpg


Per wiki: This monument is a "memorial in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania that honors the state's African American servicemen who fought in American conflicts from the American Revolutionary War to World War I. Commissioned by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 1927, it was created by sculptor J. Otto Schweizer and dedicated July 7, 1934.In 1994 it was relocated from a remote site in West Fairmount Park to its present prominent site in Logan Square, along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway."

The sculptures feature men in WWI uniforms.

- Alan
 
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ForeverFree

Major
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Location
District of Columbia
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?

In Delaware, a Union border state: African American Medal of Honor Recipients Memorial, Wilmington, DE.

6bc08c14-6213-45c2-9fd9-dd510773a0b8_l.jpg

The monument memorializes African Americans who've won the Medal of Honor, including Civil War Medal winners. The sculpture on the right depicts USCT member Sgt. William Harvey Carney.

- Alan
 
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ForeverFree

Major
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Location
District of Columbia
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?

African American Soldiers Monument, Danbury, Connecticut. This monument is dedicated “to the memory of the black soldiers of Greater Danbury who served in the 29th and 30th Regiments Conn. Volunteer Infantry during the Civil War 1981-1865.” The back of the monument bears 70 names from the 29th Conn., and honors 16 who were killed in service, as well as nine names from the 30th Conn., including three who were killed. The monument also lists a dozen names from other Connecticut and New York regiments and the U.S. Navy, including one soldier who lost his life.

p1140458.jpg


- Alan
 

ForeverFree

Major
Joined
Feb 6, 2010
Location
District of Columbia
Dubious Dubois

This is probably the genesis of the self-emancipation theory and the role of the USCT:

"The decisive action which ended the Civil War was the emancipation and the arming of the black slave; that, as Lincoln said, 'Without the military help of black freedmen, the war against the south could not have been won.' The freedmen, far from being the inert recipients of freedom at the hands of philanthropists, furnished 200,000 soldiers in the Civil War who took part in nearly 200 battles and skirmishes, and in addition perhaps 300,000 others as effective laborers and helpers.” - W.E.B. Dubois, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880

The Lincoln quote is dubious. As far as I can tell, the only source for it is Dubois. First, it speaks of the war in the past tense, even though there were 150,000 rebels still around when Lincoln was killed. Second, Dubois never met Lincoln. He was born in 1868.
This is an authentic Lincoln quote:

Executive Mansion,​
Washington, August 26, 1863.​
Hon. James C. Conkling​

My Dear Sir.​
Your letter inviting me to attend a mass-meeting of unconditional Union-men, to be held at the Capitol of Illinois, on the 3d day of September, has been received. It would be very agreeable to me, to thus meet my old friends, at my own home; but I can not, just now, be absent from here, so long as a visit there, would require.​
...But to be plain, you are dissatisfied with me about the negro. Quite likely there is a difference of opinion between you and myself upon that subject. I certainly wish that all men could be free, while I suppose you do not...​
You dislike the emancipation proclamation; and, perhaps, would have it retracted. You say it is unconstitutional--I think differently. I think the constitution invests its Commander-in-chief, with the law of war, in time of war. The most that can be said, if so much, is, that slaves are property. Is there--has there ever been--any question that by the law of war, property, both of enemies and friends, may be taken when needed? And is it not needed whenever taking it, helps us, or hurts the enemy? Armies, the world over, destroy enemies' property when they can not use it; and even destroy their own to keep it from the enemy. Civilized belligerents do all in their power to help themselves, or hurt the enemy, except a few things regarded as barbarous or cruel. Among the exceptions are the massacre of vanquished foes, and non-combatants, male and female.​
...The war has certainly progressed as favorably for us, since the issue of proclamation as before. I know, as fully as one can know the opinions of others, that some of the commanders of our armies in the field who have given us our most important successes believe the emancipation policy and the use of the colored troops constitute the heaviest blow yet dealt to the Rebellion, and that at least one of these important successes could not have been achieved when it was but for the aid of black soldiers.
Among the commanders holding these views are some who have never had any affinity with what is called abolitionism or with the Republican party policies but who held them purely as military opinions. I submit these opinions as being entitled to some weight against the objections often urged that emancipation and arming the blacks are unwise as military measures and were not adopted as such in good faith.
You say you will not fight to free negroes. Some of them seem willing to fight for you; but, no matter. Fight you, then exclusively to save the Union. I issued the proclamation on purpose to aid you in saving the Union. Whenever you shall have conquered all resistence to the Union, if I shall urge you to continue fighting, it will be an apt time, then, for you to declare you will not fight to free negroes.​
I thought that in your struggle for the Union, to whatever extent the negroes should cease helping the enemy, to that extent it weakened the enemy in his resistence to you. Do you think differently? I thought that whatever negroes can be got to do as soldiers, leaves just so much less for white soldiers to do, in saving the Union. Does it appear otherwise to you? But negroes, like other people, act upon motives. Why should they do any thing for us, if we will do nothing for them? If they stake their lives for us, they must be prompted by the strongest motive--even the promise of freedom. And the promise being made, must be kept.
Peace does not appear so distant as it did. I hope it will come soon, and come to stay; and so come as to be worth the keeping in all future time. It will then have been proved that, among free men, there can be no successful appeal from the ballot to the bullet; and that they who take such appeal are sure to lose their case, and pay the cost. And then, there will be some black men who can remember that, with silent tongue, and clenched teeth, and steady eye, and well-poised bayonnet, they have helped mankind on to this great consummation; while, I fear, there will be some white ones, unable to forget that, with malignant heart, and deceitful speech, they strove to hinder it.​
Yours very truly​
A. Lincoln​

- Alan
 
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