What If The South Had Armed The Blacks Per Clebernes Request, And, Promised Freedom At End Of War?

farmerjohn

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Oct 30, 2019
would it have lengthed the war by two years? maybe a year? or would it have ignted an insurrection? many black looked upon the south as their homeland too. the southern armies as early as spring of '63 were being depleted of manpower. this is a way of replenishing. promise of freedom n possibly 40 acres and a mule? woulda been gr8 motivation.
 

Lampasas Bill

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It might have appealed to some, but what about freedom for their wives and children? Or their parents, brothers and sisters? Would the idea of risking their lives fighting against the North, which had already promised their eventual emancipation, motivate them to fight for the South and perpetuate slavery for others? I can't imagine that love of the "homeland" that held them in bondage would sway many to enlist, unless like many white Union sympathizers, they saw enlistment as opportunity to desert to the North.
 

leftyhunter

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would it have lengthed the war by two years? maybe a year? or would it have ignted an insurrection? many black looked upon the south as their homeland too. the southern armies as early as spring of '63 were being depleted of manpower. this is a way of replenishing. promise of freedom n possibly 40 acres and a mule? woulda been gr8 motivation.
The Confedracy had more then enough problems with white soldiers deserting with their arms, becoming Unionist guerrillas or defecting to the Union Army add less motivated soldiers of color and that's a recipe for disaster.
We have only one documented example of a large group of maybe 200 or so black Confedrate soldiers in combat and that is at Painsville, Virginia towards the very end of the war and those soldiers fired a few volleys at Union Cavalry then surrendered.
Any one can PM me for actual examples of segregated armies.
Leftyhunter
 

Generic Username

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For a timeline on exactly this, see The Black and the Gray by Robert Perkins.

Historically, Jefferson Davis did throw his support behind such in late 1864 and got Lee to come out publicly in favor of it too, with the first units drilling in Richmond right before the close of the war. Of note in this same vein, in early 1865 the C.S. did dispatch a diplomatic mission to both London and Paris seeking recognition in exchange for full emancipation. See Blue and Gray Diplomacy: A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations by Howard Jones, Chapter Requiem for Napoleon—and Intervention -

Yet Kenner’s secret mission was anything but secret. Reports about it appeared in the Richmond Enquirer and Sentinel in late December 1864. Seward notified the Union embassy in London of the mission on January 10, and the news appeared in the Paris press on March 2. Kenner had left Richmond in disguise on January 18, 1865, lamenting that he would have had a better chance in early 1863, when both England and France were well aware of the Confederacy’s diminishing resources and the battles at Gettysburg and Vicksburg had not yet occurred. “I would have succeeded” in securing a £15 million loan when “slavery was the bone of contention.”​
Now, neither Napoleon nor Palmerston showed interest in the proposal. To Kenner and Mason, the emperor explained that he refused to move without England and that he “had never taken [slavery] into consideration” regarding recognition. On March 14, 1865, Mason met with Palmerston for more than an hour at Cambridge House, where the prime minister also rejected the plan, insisting that slavery was not the obstacle to intervention; the Confederacy had not proven its independence on the battlefield. The Richmond Dispatch glumly noted, “No one would receive us as a gift." The responses should not have surprised the Confederacy. Napoleon’s reply contained nothing different from his initial determination to follow the British lead. Palmerston’s argument against recognition correlated with his long conversation with De Leon in the summer of 1862. On neither side of the English Channel did slavery emerge as the critical consideration.
 

leftyhunter

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For a timeline on exactly this, see The Black and the Gray by Robert Perkins.

Historically, Jefferson Davis did throw his support behind such in late 1864 and got Lee to come out publicly in favor of it too, with the first units drilling in Richmond right before the close of the war. Of note in this same vein, in early 1865 the C.S. did dispatch a diplomatic mission to both London and Paris seeking recognition in exchange for full emancipation. See Blue and Gray Diplomacy: A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations by Howard Jones, Chapter Requiem for Napoleon—and Intervention -

Yet Kenner’s secret mission was anything but secret. Reports about it appeared in the Richmond Enquirer and Sentinel in late December 1864. Seward notified the Union embassy in London of the mission on January 10, and the news appeared in the Paris press on March 2. Kenner had left Richmond in disguise on January 18, 1865, lamenting that he would have had a better chance in early 1863, when both England and France were well aware of the Confederacy’s diminishing resources and the battles at Gettysburg and Vicksburg had not yet occurred. “I would have succeeded” in securing a £15 million loan when “slavery was the bone of contention.”​
Now, neither Napoleon nor Palmerston showed interest in the proposal. To Kenner and Mason, the emperor explained that he refused to move without England and that he “had never taken [slavery] into consideration” regarding recognition. On March 14, 1865, Mason met with Palmerston for more than an hour at Cambridge House, where the prime minister also rejected the plan, insisting that slavery was not the obstacle to intervention; the Confederacy had not proven its independence on the battlefield. The Richmond Dispatch glumly noted, “No one would receive us as a gift." The responses should not have surprised the Confederacy. Napoleon’s reply contained nothing different from his initial determination to follow the British lead. Palmerston’s argument against recognition correlated with his long conversation with De Leon in the summer of 1862. On neither side of the English Channel did slavery emerge as the critical consideration.
By January 1865 it was obvious the Confedracy was circling the drain. If African Americans were going to be utilized as soldiers it would of been best to do so in 1861 not out of sheer desperation weeks before the war ended.
Leftyhunter
 

Generic Username

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By January 1865 it was obvious the Confedracy was circling the drain. If African Americans were going to be utilized as soldiers it would of been best to do so in 1861 not out of sheer desperation weeks before the war ended.
Leftyhunter

In terms of effect, sure, just pointing out they were already heading into direction but the war ended before this could be done in any sort of large numbers. The timeline linked supposes the Cleburne Memorial is instituted in early 1864, when things are obviously much less direr than they would be a year later.
 

jackt62

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Or perhaps even in early 1864, had Cleburne's proposal been vigorously adopted it might have made some difference. But still, political opposition notwithstanding, the odds of Black enlistment in the Confederate armies was too high a bar for the Confederacy to ever achieve.
 

wausaubob

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For a timeline on exactly this, see The Black and the Gray by Robert Perkins.

Historically, Jefferson Davis did throw his support behind such in late 1864 and got Lee to come out publicly in favor of it too, with the first units drilling in Richmond right before the close of the war. Of note in this same vein, in early 1865 the C.S. did dispatch a diplomatic mission to both London and Paris seeking recognition in exchange for full emancipation. See Blue and Gray Diplomacy: A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations by Howard Jones, Chapter Requiem for Napoleon—and Intervention -

Yet Kenner’s secret mission was anything but secret. Reports about it appeared in the Richmond Enquirer and Sentinel in late December 1864. Seward notified the Union embassy in London of the mission on January 10, and the news appeared in the Paris press on March 2. Kenner had left Richmond in disguise on January 18, 1865, lamenting that he would have had a better chance in early 1863, when both England and France were well aware of the Confederacy’s diminishing resources and the battles at Gettysburg and Vicksburg had not yet occurred. “I would have succeeded” in securing a £15 million loan when “slavery was the bone of contention.”​
Now, neither Napoleon nor Palmerston showed interest in the proposal. To Kenner and Mason, the emperor explained that he refused to move without England and that he “had never taken [slavery] into consideration” regarding recognition. On March 14, 1865, Mason met with Palmerston for more than an hour at Cambridge House, where the prime minister also rejected the plan, insisting that slavery was not the obstacle to intervention; the Confederacy had not proven its independence on the battlefield. The Richmond Dispatch glumly noted, “No one would receive us as a gift." The responses should not have surprised the Confederacy. Napoleon’s reply contained nothing different from his initial determination to follow the British lead. Palmerston’s argument against recognition correlated with his long conversation with De Leon in the summer of 1862. On neither side of the English Channel did slavery emerge as the critical consideration.
It was all BS. Another British politician told Mason and Kenner that Palmerston was lying to their face. Slavery had always been the primary consideration.
 

Joshism

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"If slaves will make good soldiers, our whole theory of slavery is wrong."

Howell Cobb's comment on Cleburne's proposal to emancipate and enlist slaves as soldiers.

Cleburne's proposal essentially never left the Army of Tennessee.

Cobb delivered that remark a year later during the winter of 1864-65 when the Confederates were debating the black enlistment bill that passed in Feb 1865.

And he hit the nail square in the head.
 
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Why fight to maintain the peculiar institution if you have to do away with the peculiar institution in order to maintain it? I cannot see the country agreeing to it.
Yet that the US was maintaining it didn't seem to deter the early USCT. Nor did colonies maintaining it, seem to deter blacks from taking the opportunity in the RW.
 

A. Roy

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By January 1865 it was obvious the Confedracy was circling the drain. If African Americans were going to be utilized as soldiers it would of been best to do so in 1861 not out of sheer desperation weeks before the war ended.

I think you're right. For southern emancipation to work, it would have to have been undertaken earlier in the war. Better still would have been to undertake emancipation before getting yourself ensnared in secession and rebellion. But that would have required a very unlikely ideological adjustment.

Roy B.
 

leftyhunter

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Yet that the US was maintaining it didn't seem to deter the early USCT. Nor did colonies maintaining it, seem to deter blacks from taking the opportunity in the RW.
Not aware of many African Americans fighting for the Colonial Rebels yes there were a few but I haven't seen any numbers. Lord Dunsmore did recruit slaves in 1775 by promising themselves and their families freedom if the fought in the British Army. In the War of 1812 the British had " Colonial Marines" based on the same concept and briefly refered to in the Star Spangled Banner.
Yes there was slavery in the Border States in January of 1863 on the other hand it was clear slavery was on its last legs plus now was a chance for ex Slaves to get some much needed payback in the USCT.
Leftyhunter
 

Generic Username

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It was all BS. Another British politician told Mason and Kenner that Palmerston was lying to their face. Slavery had always been the primary consideration.

The Earl in question was neither PM nor Foreign Secretary, and was relating his opinion in 1865 about events in 1862 he was not privy to at all; indeed, he had no real political position then or in 1865. Palmerston said it played no role and his, as well as Russell's, documentation proves this to be accurate. Blue and Gray Diplomacy: A History of Union and Confederate Foreign Relations by Howard Jones:

Thus the mediation effort came to a temporary standstill as Palmerston opted to await word of additional southern conquests on the battlefield. The Union would finally realize what most contemporaries already knew—that the Confederacy had demonstrated its separate status at First Bull Run and had now reaffirmed that truth by holding Richmond after the setbacks at Forts Henry and Donelson. Second Bull Run had driven home this point, and the two armies under Lee and McClellan would shortly engage each other again. What harm could come from postponing mediation a few days? The prime minister appeared to be correct. “It is evident,” he soon wrote Russell, “that a great conflict is taking place to the north-west of Washington, and its issue must have a great effect on the state of affairs. If the Federals sustain a great defeat they may be at once ready for mediation, and the Iron should be struck while it is hot. If, on the other hand, they should have the best of it, we may wait awhile and see what may follow.”​
Initial reports from America indicated that northern and southern forces were on the verge of a major battle in Maryland, one that could put the final touches on a mediation offer that, for the first time, contained peace terms stipulating the Union’s dissolution. Palmerston had informed Gladstone of Russell’s support for a plan that included French and Russian involvement and would go before the cabinet for approval. The three powers should propose an armistice requiring the Union to lift its blockade and negotiate a peace premised on southern separation. Russell then stated the stronger position recently introduced by the prime minister. To Gladstone, the foreign secretary advocated an “offer of mediation to both parties in the first place, and in the case of refusal by the North, to recognition of the South.” In an inexplicable attempt to maintain goodwill while licensing interference in American domestic affairs, Russell recommended that “a [renewed] declaration of neutrality” accompany a proposed mediation “on the basis of separation and recognition.”​
 

Generic Username

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An idea I've been discussing with @Saphroneth is of a war between the Anglo-French and the Union over the St. Albans Raid in late 1864. This would result in the destruction of the Army of the Potomac and Sherman's March to the Sea force given they both were dependent on sea-based lines of supply that would be rapidly cut by the Royal Navy. This would give the C.S.A. the breathing room needed to implement further recruitment and probably win recognition, via the general emancipation offer.
 

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