Book Review Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth by Kevin M. Levin

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
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Apr 4, 2017
I was just trying to make the point to Tin Cup that if, as he said, the opinion of those who wanted to arm the slaves did not matter at that point, because the war was almost over, then for the same reason Cobb's opinion given at the same time shouldn't matter either.

I do think that since the CS Congress voted to arm the slaves that the opinion of those who wanted that to happen should be quoted and emphasized more than the opinion of those who did not want that to happen. Undue emphasis is given to the losing side in the debate.
"Undue emphasis is given to the losing side in the debate."

Yeah, they only quote those on that side of the debate. I suppose it serves a purpose.
 
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unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
"Undue emphasis is given to the losing side in the debate."

Yeah, they only quote those on that side of the debate. I suppose it serves a purpose.

It would really benefit all involved in this vote to read the books, The Gray And The Black: The Debate On Emancipation, by Robert F. Durden, and Confederate Emancipation: Southern Plans To Free And Arm Slaves During The Civil War, by Bruce Levine.

I think there is enough historical sources given by each book to show just how difficult it was to bring about the vote on arming slaves to fight for the Confederacy.

In Durden's book, we see the ongoing fervent debate on whether to arm slaves raging in the period press of the time, the Southern press, by Southerners. In Levine's book, we see a detailed history given on the idea of arming slaves to fight for the Confederacy, even in the early days of the war, rejected and refused, until the specter of defeat forces the unthinkable to the forefront of that debate.

I encourage you all to avail yourselves of these sources, to give you a more detailed background on just how tough this debate was and how the desire to keep the institution of slavery to the very last breath, cost the Confederacy it's life.

Unionblue
 

Andersonh1

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It would really benefit all involved in this vote to read the books, The Gray And The Black: The Debate On Emancipation, by Robert F. Durden, and Confederate Emancipation: Southern Plans To Free And Arm Slaves During The Civil War, by Bruce Levine.

I have the Gray and the Black, because you recommended it if I recall. It's been a while since I read it, but it's a good one.

I think there is enough historical sources given by each book to show just how difficult it was to bring about the vote on arming slaves to fight for the Confederacy.

It was, no doubt, but in the end a majority decided that it needed to happen. Yes, without the dire situation in the war, they probably wouldn't have, but it was the dire situation in the war that pushed Lincoln to declare emancipation and to begin to arm the slaves for the Union cause.

"It had got to be," said he [Lincoln], "Mid-summer, 1862. Things had gone on from bad to worse, until I felt that we had reached the end of our rope on the plan of operations we had been pursuing; that we had about played our last card, and must change our tactics, or lose the game! I now determined upon the adoption of the emancipation policy;​
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
I have the Gray and the Black, because you recommended it if I recall. It's been a while since I read it, but it's a good one.



It was, no doubt, but in the end a majority decided that it needed to happen.

I think we should both agree a bare majority of one in the Senate vote. As for the CSA civilian population, who can say? It seems the greatest push for black Confederate soldiers came from those Representatives whose States had been overrun by Union forces. Those CSA States mostly clear of Union forces did not feel the need for such measures as arming former slaves.

Yes, without the dire situation in the war, they probably wouldn't have, but it was the dire situation in the war that pushed Lincoln to declare emancipation and to begin to arm the slaves for the Union cause.

I agree, but again, we should be clear about what each side was offering. On the Union side, if a former slave enlists, his master cannot reverse his enlistment and eventually his family is going to be freed also. With the CSA, there is still the provision that a slave can serve only with the permission of his master and no clear indication he will be freed at the end of his service.

Big difference, in my own view, and supported by the two books I mention above.



"It had got to be," said he [Lincoln], "Mid-summer, 1862. Things had gone on from bad to worse, until I felt that we had reached the end of our rope on the plan of operations we had been pursuing; that we had about played our last card, and must change our tactics, or lose the game! I now determined upon the adoption of the emancipation policy;​
Again, no argument from me. If Lincoln had not seriously considered the idea of enlisting blacks, free and slave, I have serious doubts about the Union remaining whole.

But Lincoln did have differences that seemed to matter to a majority of the slave population.

The Confederacy tried too little, too late.

Unionblue
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Your choice, @19thGeorgia .

By posting what you found of Free Blacks who have been killed or wounded in battle and comparing it to the TOTAL number of Free Blacks in the States that made up the CSA, would it have any meaning by giving those figures?
It would have meaning to compare it to the number of free black males of military age in the states I have searched. That's about five states.
 

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
It would have meaning to compare it to the number of free black males of military age in the states I have searched. That's about five states.

So, why not post the figures you already have in comparison to the total number of Free Blacks in the CSA?

At least, it would give us an idea of how your search for such is progressing.
 
Joined
Jun 16, 2016
"Undue emphasis is given to the losing side in the debate."

Yeah, they only quote those on that side of the debate. I suppose it serves a purpose.

I don't think students of the issue quote only the losing side of the debate, but I welcome evidence to the contrary ... and define "they." Names, please.

Thank you.
 
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