High Treason In The Confederacy

Joined
Jun 27, 2017
There is an expression, "the buck stops here". And if you read the report of the trial, civilian, Confederate and U.S. witnesses testified to Wirz's personal involvement in killing and torturing.


General Washington was a traitor--to the British crown. I doubt that he was under any illusion as to what the British would do if they captured him. As Benjamin Franklin said: "We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall hang separately."

You are right the buck stops here. At US Grant's door. He prevailed on Lincoln to stop the practice of prisoner exchanges--rightly so. The practice helped the South. Unfortunately given the Southern economy they were unable to adequately care for their prisoners.

Unfortunately their only options were to keep the prisoners they had and let them starve or release them to rejoin their armies and kill more Southern troops. What would you do?



Un
 

Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
At US Grant's door. He prevailed on Lincoln to stop the practice of prisoner exchanges
You've skipped "the rest of the story"--that is, the United States insisted that black soldiers be treated like white soldiers in the exchanges. CSA refused; the Confederate congress had passed a resolution that black soldiers would not be exchanged.
Unfortunately their only options were to keep the prisoners they had and let them starve or release them to rejoin their armies and kill more Southern troops.
Do you really think that the poor souls languishing in Andersonville were in any condition to rejoin an army? Shall I post some of the pictures for you?
What would you do?
I'm sorry that you have to ask.
 
You are right the buck stops here. At US Grant's door. He prevailed on Lincoln to stop the practice of prisoner exchanges--rightly so. The practice helped the South. Unfortunately given the Southern economy they were unable to adequately care for their prisoners.

Unfortunately their only options were to keep the prisoners they had and let them starve or release them to rejoin their armies and kill more Southern troops. What would you do?

Prisoner exchanges were halted by Stanton's order on July 13, 1863 -- long before Grant had any say about it--and remained that way until early 1865. Grant's name is not even mentioned in connection with the exchanges until April 17, 1864 when as a Lt. General he confirms the policy already in place and opines that they cannot resume until captured USCTs are afforded POW status AND the Confederacy release the corresponding amount of Union prisoners to compensate for the the paroled Confederate prisoners from Vicksburg who violated the cartel agreement when they were put back into service.
 

Viper21

Brigadier General
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Rockbridge County, Virginia
Prisoner exchanges were halted by Stanton's order on July 13, 1863 -- long before Grant had any say about it--and remained that way until early 1865. Grant's name is not even mentioned in connection with the exchanges until April 17, 1864 when as a Lt. General he confirms the policy already in place and opines that they cannot resume until captured USCTs are afforded POW status AND the Confederacy release the corresponding amount of Union prisoners to compensate for the the paroled Confederate prisoners from Vicksburg who violated the cartel agreement when they were put back into service.
An ancestor of mine was captured July 14, 1863 (Falling Waters, MD), & exchanged on March 3, 1864.

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LondonLincoln

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May 12, 2020
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London England
H
How high did treason go in the confederacy. So many were impoverished by the war yet some were not. How could a country with the resources of the confederacy just fall apart.
high treason ...so if you were born in a southern state but believed in the union you were a traitor don’t get that at all but it’s an opinion
 
My overall point is that, rules, laws, or official policy, aren't always followed.
Its always been that way up to and including today. That shouldn't be a surprise to most people. Another couple of examples of private exchanges was with Robert E. Lee's son, General William Henry Fitzhugh Lee, who was shot and captured at Brandy Station. Lee along with 2 captured Confederate captains were exchanged for a Federal General and 2 captains on February 25, 1864. General George Thomas and General Joseph Johnston exchanged 27 mostly wounded soldiers in February, 1864.
 

Rebforever

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Joined
Oct 26, 2012
You are right the buck stops here. At US Grant's door. He prevailed on Lincoln to stop the practice of prisoner exchanges--rightly so. The practice helped the South. Unfortunately given the Southern economy they were unable to adequately care for their prisoners.

Unfortunately their only options were to keep the prisoners they had and let them starve or release them to rejoin their armies and kill more Southern troops. What would you do?



Un
A captain and 2 other Union prisoners requested leave of Anderson Prison to go to Washington and gather medical supplies for Union soldiers.
They were given passes to make the trip. Washington refused the supplies and they returned to the prison with the news.
 

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
If a someone from one of the confederate states joins the US army or navy would that be considered treason to the confederacy, say you escape slavery and enlist in the USCT would you be considered a traitor by confederate authorities. Another example a household servant for Davis or some other high official becomes a union spy, how would confederate authorities view this- simply espionage or a case of treason.
Secession created issue of conflicted loyalty for southern unionists and enslaved people just as confederate defeat created loyalty issues for defeated confederates. This goes to the question of identity is it first to the state or the union which is the correct sequence. Then you have the question of peace feelers being put out there I think sometime in 63, would/could this be construed as disloyalty.
 

Viper21

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Its always been that way up to and including today. That shouldn't be a surprise to most people. Another couple of examples of private exchanges was with Robert E. Lee's son, General William Henry Fitzhugh Lee, who was shot and captured at Brandy Station. Lee along with 2 captured Confederate captains were exchanged for a Federal General and 2 captains on February 25, 1864. General George Thomas and General Joseph Johnston exchanged 27 mostly wounded soldiers in February, 1864.
Depends on the topic I suppose... :wink:
 

jackt62

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Location
New York City
If a someone from one of the confederate states joins the US army or navy would that be considered treason to the confederacy, say you escape slavery and enlist in the USCT would you be considered a traitor by confederate authorities.
As far as the Confederacy was concerned, Confederate soldiers who crossed the picket lines to desert and joined the US Army were considered "traitors." These were so-called "galvanized Yankees" (although the term mostly referred to Confederate POWs who enlisted in the US). In 1864, General Pickett executed 22 Union captives, who he claimed were former Confederate soldiers. For slaves who fled bondage, the situation was just as bad or worse. Slaves were still subject to state laws that proscribed harsh punishments for those who were recaptured.
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2017
If a someone from one of the confederate states joins the US army or navy would that be considered treason to the confederacy, say you escape slavery and enlist in the USCT would you be considered a traitor by confederate authorities. Another example a household servant for Davis or some other high official becomes a union spy, how would confederate authorities view this- simply espionage or a case of treason.
Secession created issue of conflicted loyalty for southern unionists and enslaved people just as confederate defeat created loyalty issues for defeated confederates. This goes to the question of identity is it first to the state or the union which is the correct sequence. Then you have the question of peace feelers being put out there I think sometime in 63, would/could this be construed as disloyalty.
You dont quite get the basic point. Treason is a legal question. A crime. Before you can approach that issue you have to decide a much simpler question. Did the Constitution create a unitary nation where the various states relinquished the sovereignty or was it an ad hoc collection of seperate states acting jointly.

This legal question was decided on the battlefield by the surrender of the Southern armies. Might makes right. Unfortunately this simple action led to even greater ambiguity. Following the cessation of hostilities, the southern states were occupied entities. The victorious northern states passed the 3 civil rights amendments. This created a legal dilemma. If secession is legal then for them to go into effect they must be ratified by 3/4 of the Northern states (15). If it is not legal then the number rises to 30.

To make doubly sure the North required the returning southern states to ratify these amendments as a condition of their being readmitted to the Union and allowing lthem Congressional representation. On a more personal lesson, if I break into your home and force you at gunpoint to sign over your car title can I be arrested for car theft--after all your signature is on the paper. Or I force you to sign a check, can you stop payment...after all that is your signature.

T
 

Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Did the Constitution create a unitary nation where the various states relinquished the sovereignty or was it an ad hoc collection of seperate states acting jointly.
Immediately after the Revolution, the Colonies did establish a collection of confederated states--under the Articles of Confederation. But that didn't work very well and the states revised their relationship under the Constitution. The Constitution forbade entering into a confederation in Article 1, Section 10. All signatories understood: the East, the West (as added), and the South. As late as 1851 Southern bodies repeated this and, as late as 1861, Southern individuals such as Robert E. Lee did too.
This legal question was decided on the battlefield by the surrender of the Southern armies
While the Confederacy certainly lost on that issue, the legal point was settled in the Supreme Court: Texas v. White.
if I break into your home and force you at gunpoint to sign over your car title
But it was the forces of rebellion that instituted violence with the acts of seizure and aggression that led up to Fort Sumter--where the first blood was drawn. There was no housebreaking; there is an old expression: "Beware the anger of a patient man".
 
On a more personal lesson, if I break into your home and force you at gunpoint to sign over your car title can I be arrested for car theft--after all your signature is on the paper. Or I force you to sign a check, can you stop payment...after all that is your signature.

T
Yes, just off the top of my head, the theft would be a larceny by conversion and your other actions would be extortion, felonious assault and felony firearm.
 

Will Carry

First Sergeant
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Jun 1, 2015
Location
The Tar Heel State.
Bragg, who had left the US army 5 years earlier, led an armed mob to seize US military property in New Orleans months before Lincoln was inaugurated and days before Louisiana claimed to secede. So Lincoln had not yet called on anybody to do anything when Bragg attacked the US. He was a criminal and traitor.

Lee quit the army rather than abide by his oath.
He was unprincipled, seeing opportunity for glory by betraying the flag
One of the things that bothers me is that Robert. E. Lee is often portrayed as a kind gentile grandfatherly figure but that doesn't match with his fighting spirit. He was a bad @$$. Born to kill, yet he was very religious. It makes my head hurt.
 

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
If you take a oath to defend the CS constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic it would be treason to surrender your army to the US without authorization as Lee did in April of 65.
 

shooter too

Private
Joined
Mar 4, 2021
One of the things that bothers me is that Robert. E. Lee is often portrayed as a kind gentile grandfatherly figure but that doesn't match with his fighting spirit. He was a bad @$$. Born to kill, yet he was very religious. It makes my head hurt.

Most Great generals are not born to kill it comes with the training, and it becomes sorta like trying to take a bone away from a determined dog. Ya' have to figure out the weak points in the jaws to make them let go, w/o getting bit.

Coating it in religion though as certain factions did and still do today is esp. stomach turning to me.
 

Fairfield

Sergeant Major
Joined
Dec 5, 2019
Coating it in religion though as certain factions did and still do today is esp. stomach turning to me.
Perhaps all factions a certain amount of this. All armies seem to believe that they are on the side of God. Who would put his life at risk to defend something shabby and dishonest? This is why internal propaganda is so important: either to convince soldiers that they fight for a cause worth dying for or to convert that cause into something more admirable.
 

shooter too

Private
Joined
Mar 4, 2021
All armies seem to believe that they are on the side of God.

Or have it continuously barked at them, from higher ranks.

Who would put his life at risk to defend something shabby and dishonest?


Lots through history, up until this very day.

This is why internal propaganda is so important: either to convince soldiers that they fight for a cause worth dying for or to convert that cause into something more admirable.


Indeed.
 
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