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

Taylin

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I doubt the war would have been prolonged much more as the CSA would have had less forced manpower in the fields and factories that supplied the already desperate armies in the fields of late 1864 early 1865.

Also I have to wonder how quickly this process would be brought about after Cleburnes proposal. If I'm not mistaken it would have required a constitutional amendment, as Article 1, Section 9, Clause 4 of the CSA constitution stated: "No bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law denying or impairing the right of property in negro slaves shall be passed."
 
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mo
Except it was obvious has Union troops in Border States stoped returning escaped slaves and Missouri banned slavery well before the 13th Amendment.
Leftyhunter
Again wouldn't think wartime measures meant anything as long as what would pass politically as law or policy change. As it doesn't. States had volunterily gave up slavery before as you know, without it doing one iota nationally.
 

JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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But but but I keep hearing the word ' enlistment '? Please don't make me go dig this up- I sure can but my files are a shambles at the moment.

Black troops would have been a matter of er- ' donations ' by slaveholders, is the thing. There wasn't any serious scramble to offer up the free help, either. Also by the time any real consideration was given the ' proposal ' it was 1865- wasn't it actually March when the Conf. government was still batting it around? I didn't get that from a web site, it's from following the releases in Southern newspapers of the era. Check it out. You'll also see the terms- clearly calls for ' donations '. Slaveholders also had to pony up for uniforms and transportation to Texas, to training camp.

No calls for enlistment by black civilians.
 

Andersonh1

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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.

There were slaves who would have signed up if offered freedom for service, and fought well. There were some who would have refused. There were some who would have taken the earliest opportunity to go to the other side. I think the reaction would be much the same as we can see in other areas of the Confederate war effort with each man responding differently.

Would it have prolonged the war? Possibly. My impression is that with the blockade, supplies and food for the army had reached critical levels by the end of the war, so there may not have been arms and food for the increased number of troops even if large numbers had been recruited. Now if slaves and free black men had been enlisted and armed early in the war, that would have created an entirely different situation, both in terms of the military and in terms of the social situation. There may never have been an Emancipation Proclamation to drive a wedge between white and black Southerners if black men were already serving as armed soldiers in the CS army in large numbers.
 

Joshism

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Now if slaves and free black men had been enlisted and armed early in the war, that would have created an entirely different situation, both in terms of the military and in terms of the social situation. There may never have been an Emancipation Proclamation to drive a wedge between white and black Southerners if black men were already serving as armed soldiers in the CS army in large numbers.

If the Confederacy had been willing to openly enlist black men as soldiers from the beginning they never would have seceded in the first place.

Any effort, especially widespread, by Southern whites to perpetuate pseudo-slavery following emanicaption (however emanicaption arrived) was going to "drive a wedge between white and black Southerners" - those for whom slavery itself had not already driven a wedge. Those that bore whip scars on their backs or had their children sold off or had been raped by their owners were probably less inclined to forgive and forget, no matter how they were emancipated.
 

jackt62

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Assume that enslaved southern Blacks would have enlisted in the CSA had that option been available. But that's a big if to digest, particularly since more and more enslaved persons decided that fleeing to Union lines, or waiting for liberation were a surer bet than to bind their fate with a southern slaveocracy whose track record regarding African Americans was not good, to say the least.
 

jackt62

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Another thought on this; given the horrendous experience that befell USCT units who came into contact with southern troops on many battlefields, how would the rank and file Confederate soldier have felt about African Americans in their armies?
 

leftyhunter

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Another thought on this; given the horrendous experience that befell USCT units who came into contact with southern troops on many battlefields, how would the rank and file Confederate soldier have felt about African Americans in their armies?
At best we could have a PM thread on how well did actual Southern white troops in the modern era get along with African American troops and or other nations that had segregated socities when they utilized people of African descent in their armies.
Leftyhunter
 

Rhea Cole

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Armed slaves were the nightmare from the inner circle hades that slave-holders visited in their sleep every night & woke them in the dark in fear for their lives. Journals, letters, panic, & violent over reaction to even a rumor of armed slaves loose in the neighborhood by slave-holders should color any proposed large scale arming of the enslaved population.

Today, few if any, are aware of the slave revolt in Louisiana that killed numerous white families. The memory was fresh & raw among slave-holders. The counter attack was brutal in the extreme. Heads on stakes lined the river for miles. That is what Southern whites imagined armed slaves meant to them.
 

leftyhunter

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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.
Even by early 1864 it's far to late for black Confedrate soldiers to make a difference. The Confedrate Army already was suffering from severe losses and didn't have the strength to mount a significant offensive operation. The Naval blockade was always getting tighter.
If after the Firing on Ft Sumter the Confedracy renounced slavery and granted full and complete citizenship to all Southeners then most likely the Confedracy could if enlisted a large amount of soldiers of color. Of then why would the Confedracy seceede in the first place?
Leftyhunter
 

Rhea Cole

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Even by early 1864 it's far to late for black Confedrate soldiers to make a difference. The Confedrate Army already was suffering from severe losses and didn't have the strength to mount a significant offensive operation. The Naval blockade was always getting tighter.
If after the Firing on Ft Sumter the Confedracy renounced slavery and granted full and complete citizenship to all Southeners then most likely the Confedracy could if enlisted a large amount of soldiers of color. Of then why would the Confedracy seceede in the first place?
Leftyhunter
You are absolutely correct. Root stem & branch the Confederacy was about slavery. In South Carolina, anyone raising armed slaves would have been subject to the death penalty.
 

Rhea Cole

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You don’t have to go to Europe.
In defense of @farmerjohn did a European nation that practiced a form of slavery also utilize large numbers of African soldiers?
Why yes indeed they did but anyone who wants to know about that would have to PM me as It's modern politics.
Leftyhunter
You don’t have to go to Europe. The Empire of Brazil enlisted/pressed both freemen & slaves.
 

Irishtom29

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Kent, Washington
In defense of @farmerjohn did a European nation that practiced a form of slavery also utilize large numbers of African soldiers?
Why yes indeed they did but anyone who wants to know about that would have to PM me as It's modern politics.
Leftyhunter

Slave soldiers themselves aren't unknown, the Janisarries and Mamluks come to mind. But the protection of slavery wasn't the purpose of the governments they served and slavery in their societies wasn't race based. And those soldiers were given a status above that of the general population and they could gain great power, especially in the case of Mamluks.
 

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