Would the South Have Armed Slaves?

Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
121
Well I had already asked the question of how certain people reacted (which you liked my two posts) and what are your thoughts on it.
Sorry if it seems like ive been ignoring your question.
I am more familiar with the military figures than the political/civilian figures and their pov's.
As for politicians and civilian figures:
VP Stevens, Howell Cobb and Robert Toombs as well as Governor Brown were hardline against using slave as soldiers, as well as Davis in particular.
As for Northern figures, such as Douglas or Garrison, I know not for certain. I believe theyd focus on the fact that this is only freedom for those serving in military units, and not those left in the fields.
 
Last edited:

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)

BlueandGrayl

First Sergeant
Joined
May 27, 2018
Messages
1,388
Location
Corona, California
Well said. In a lot of ways the Civil War didn't just ironically result in the empowerment of Blacks in the South (leading to the end of slavery etc) but also an empowerment in the the rest of the US too. This was an era of Black triumph with much of it through self organized groups. Post-reconstruction era resulted in massive backsteps (not just in the South, but pushes backwards elsewhere too in a lot of ways) but much was still gained and the memory of what was achievable was not forgotten. 100 years later those memories inspired further progress everywhere.

In a lot of ways that's a silver lining of the war for the entire US, not just the South. It started a ticking timer on much of Black suppression everywhere.
Really it did not stop segregation occuring in not just the South but the North as well.
 

BlueandGrayl

First Sergeant
Joined
May 27, 2018
Messages
1,388
Location
Corona, California
Sorry if it seems like ive been ignoring your question.
I am more familiar with the military figures than the political/civilian figures and their pov's.
As for politicians and civilian figures:
VP Stevens, Howell Cobb and Robert Toombs as well as Governor Brown were hardline against using slave as soldiers, as well as Davis in particular.
As for Northern figures, such as Douglas or Garrison, I know not for certain. I believe theyd focus on the fact that this is only freedom for those serving in military units, and not those left in the fields.
I'm going to give my best educated guess: I think Abraham Lincoln and the United States will probably be unfazed at seeing the Confederate States enlist black troops into their units just as them and would resume as usual but at the same time they would be surprised to even see the Confederates create Colored Regiments. For Frederick Douglass perhaps he'll have a far less harsh view of the Confederacy and might welcome Cleburne's idea after all he did claim to President Abraham Lincoln to try to convince him to enlist black Union troops by claiming that there were armed black Confederates (frequently used by supporters of this discredited theory) when the Battle of Bull Run I occurred but ultimately he's stay pro-Union and for William Lloyd Garrison since he was a radical even with the Confederacy having enlisted blacks as acutal soldiers and sailors it won't change his mind and for other abolitionists they would see it as ironic for their mortal enemies the Confederates to have actual black soldiers just as the Union is and would welcome it (except more radical examples like Garrison)

And as I brought up earlier, actual black Confederate troops enlisted and fighting against white and black Union troops is going to inevitably bring about a change in race relations sure the South won't be a utopian egalitarian paradise post-war regardless if they win or lose but unlike OTL since blacks fought with whites for the Confederacy I do not think there will as harsh of riots and tension as there was in our timeline but I believe that Reconstruction not going to end disastorously as it did. Your thoughts on either victorious South or a Reconstruction South that had black Confederate soldiers and how it affects race relations?
 

major bill

Colonel
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Messages
13,668
In some/many Confederate states slaves freed to join the Army would have had to leave the state or be sold back into slavery. I fail to see how this would have much changed much.
 
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
121
I'm going to give my best educated guess: I think Abraham Lincoln and the United States will probably be unfazed at seeing the Confederate States enlist black troops into their units just as them and would resume as usual but at the same time they would be surprised to even see the Confederates create Colored Regiments. For Frederick Douglass perhaps he'll have a far less harsh view of the Confederacy and might welcome Cleburne's idea after all he did claim to President Abraham Lincoln to try to convince him to enlist black Union troops by claiming that there were armed black Confederates (frequently used by supporters of this discredited theory) when the Battle of Bull Run I occurred but ultimately he's stay pro-Union and for William Lloyd Garrison since he was a radical even with the Confederacy having enlisted blacks as actual soldiers and sailors it won't change his mind and for other abolitionists they would see it as ironic for their mortal enemies the Confederates to have actual black soldiers just as the Union is and would welcome it (except more radical examples like Garrison)

And as I brought up earlier, actual black Confederate troops enlisted and fighting against white and black Union troops is going to inevitably bring about a change in race relations sure the South won't be a utopian egalitarian paradise post-war regardless if they win or lose but unlike OTL since blacks fought with whites for the Confederacy I do not think there will as harsh of riots and tension as there was in our timeline but I believe that Reconstruction not going to end disastorously as it did. Your thoughts on either victorious South or a Reconstruction South that had black Confederate soldiers and how it affects race relations?
I have to concur with your overall prognosis.
Lincoln would have carried on the war, and Douglas and Garrison would still look down on the Confederates for still imposing slavery on the remaining blacks. However, there might have been abolitionist support for the confederacy, as well as the beginings of genuine diplomatic support from European nations.
As for race relations postwar, i do concur that racism wouldnt have been solved overnight. Though many in the south would begin to sympathize with the blacks, and especially this new class of Free blacks that pops up in society after the war, there'd still be repression of rights by the white majority ( in Georgia for example, home of most of the prominent anti-C.S.C.T. opponents, such as Walker, Brown, and Benning, race riots and lynchings would be common).
 

MattL

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 20, 2015
Messages
2,964
Location
SF Bay Area
Really it did not stop segregation occuring in not just the South but the North as well.
No would said it did. Though any of these things are pointless in absolutes. It's all about the degrees, how much something was done, how widely supported, how many people effected etc. Segegration in the South was objectively different on many levels than elsewhere, so though there is commonality there is in fact quite a bit of difference as well.

With that said my point was that the Civil war period resulted in the empowerment of Blacks in the South and elsewhere including the North. That empowerment didn't persist in it's full capacity but the memory persisted, the empowerment was never fully forgotten. Much like women organizing and involvement with abolition movements as well as them rising to fill the gaps of the men gone to war was never forgotten, in the US as a whole. These things directly effected the various rights movements that followed in the following 100+ years.
 
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
121
Question I have for this thread:
IF a C.S.C.T. was formed early 64, would free blacks in the south join the regiments as well? Were they still a sizable population in the CSA by that point in the war? Would they be privates like the rest? Or would they be non-coms or even a handful of Lieutenants?
(Asking this specifically because of my own project)
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
196
Location
England
Didn't happen and never would have , Simply because some Southern states threatened to secede from the CSA if the recruitment of black troops had happened.

Even if their had been some Black troops their roles within the army would have been pioneer or general dogsbody.

Ironic you have a picture of Cleburne as your avatar he wrote which I'm sure your aware of a long letter to the CSA government asking them to consider black troops which was politely ignored by Davis.

Would they be privates like the rest? Or would they be non-coms or even a handful of Lieutenants?
I doubt the CSA would have implemented ranks for coloured troops I also think they would have struggled to even get white officers to lead black troops , In the North especially around the abolitionist areas like New England it would have been quite the honour to lead black troops and seen from a positive point of view like Robert Gould Shaw of the 54th. In the south it would have been quite the opposite you would have been deemed a failure not good enough to lead white troops.

Of course all this is speculation because it never happened and never would have.
 
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
121
I also think they would have struggled to even get white officers to lead black troops , In the North especially around the abolitionist areas like New England it would have been quite the honour to lead black troops and seen from a positive point of view like Robert Gould Shaw of the 54th. In the south it would have been quite the opposite you would have been deemed a failure not good enough to lead white troops.
Presume they'd be mostly veterans promoted from the ranks.
On a different thread, someone brough up documents regarding a Georgia non-com turned Lt. and Captain who was designated for a command of a "negro troops" and to be promoted colonel.
MUSTER ROLL OF COMPANY A, 64th REGIMENT

GEORGIA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY

ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA

C. S. A.

FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA

McCardell, Thomas F. (or McCardle)-2nd Sergeant in Co. A,

64th Regiment Ga. Inf., February 16, 1863 . Transferred to Co. C, April 4,

1863 , and elected 1st Lieutenant. Sick in Virginia Hospital,

Petersburg, Va., June 7, 1864 . In Confederate States Hospital,

Petersburg, Va., June 8, 1864 . In General Hospital No. 4, Rich-

mond, Va., August 24, 1864 , with wound in left hand. In General

Hospital, Howard's Grove, Richmond, Va., September 10, 1864 . Ten-

dered resignation October 5, 1864 . Elected Captain. The Board of

Examiners of Sorrel's Brigade certified that McCardell was

qualified to command a regt. of Negro troops, March 24, 1865 . Cap-

tured at Chesterfield Court House, Va., April 1, 1865 , and sent to

Johnson's Island, Ohio. Released at Johnson's Island, Ohio, June

19, 1865 . "
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/confederate-officer-asks-to-recruit-black-troops.121885/page-3

I believe similar promotions to occur.
Also, many of these assignment would most likely be a "get rid of the annoying ones" scenario as well.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
196
Location
England
Presume they'd be mostly veterans promoted from the ranks.
On a different thread, someone brough up documents regarding a Georgia non-com turned Lt. and Captain who was designated for a command of a "negro troops" and to be promoted colonel.
MUSTER ROLL OF COMPANY A, 64th REGIMENT

GEORGIA VOLUNTEER INFANTRY

ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA

C. S. A.

FULTON COUNTY, GEORGIA

McCardell, Thomas F. (or McCardle)-2nd Sergeant in Co. A,

64th Regiment Ga. Inf., February 16, 1863 . Transferred to Co. C, April 4,

1863 , and elected 1st Lieutenant. Sick in Virginia Hospital,

Petersburg, Va., June 7, 1864 . In Confederate States Hospital,

Petersburg, Va., June 8, 1864 . In General Hospital No. 4, Rich-

mond, Va., August 24, 1864 , with wound in left hand. In General

Hospital, Howard's Grove, Richmond, Va., September 10, 1864 . Ten-

dered resignation October 5, 1864 . Elected Captain. The Board of

Examiners of Sorrel's Brigade certified that McCardell was

qualified to command a regt. of Negro troops, March 24, 1865 . Cap-

tured at Chesterfield Court House, Va., April 1, 1865 , and sent to

Johnson's Island, Ohio. Released at Johnson's Island, Ohio, June

19, 1865 . "
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/confederate-officer-asks-to-recruit-black-troops.121885/page-3

I believe similar promotions to occur.
Also, many of these assignment would most likely be a "get rid of the annoying ones" scenario as well.
But nothing happened and never would have , The whole point of the War from a Southern point of view was to protect states rights which of course included slavery I think the fact they were toying with the idea late 1864-1865 just smacks of desperation , They had already been warned by very prominent figures in states like Texas , South Carolina and Georgia that arming black troops would make those states leave the CSA , It just wasn't going to happen.

By late 1863 you see the Black troops issue being raised as confederate manpower starts to dwindle , Lee had been turned back at Gettysburg , Bragg had lost a boatload of men at Chickamauga and Vicksburg had fallen it would have been the perfect time to enlist and arm black troops but as we all know this undertaking met with a resounding NO.

Even very senior army officers were ignored like Lee and Cleburne it just was not going to happen due to the superiority complex of most senior CSA government officials , I mean why leave the Union in the first place if your going to grant freedom to any coloured man who enlists , Does that mean Jack from the plantation can just leave and join the army , I think not.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
121
@Luke Freet, assuming the South/Confederacy still loses the Civil War while having black troops how do you view Reconstruction.
I honestly have no clue how the Reconstruction period could either get better or worse in our timeline given the circumstances.
I doubt it would change many opinions in the south of the black population. Thinking to post-Great War Germany, an exceptionally high percentage of German Jews fought in the trenches, and they were still being blamed for "stabbing the country in the back" by many conservative groups, not just the Nazis. I'd think they'd find excuses to discriminate and persecute the newly freed blacks and even the ones who fought for them.
 

major bill

Colonel
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Messages
13,668
I see no real reason that slaves who fought for the Confederacy would necessarily need to be freed for that service. The law passed by the Confederate legislature in fact clearly supported slaves who would become soldier would not be granted their freedom.
 
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
121
I see no real reason that slaves who fought for the Confederacy would necessarily need to be freed for that service. The law passed by the Confederate legislature in fact clearly supported slaves who would become soldier would not be granted their freedom.
Then even if they were able to mobilize those units in 1865, if Grant and Sherman and every other union force decided to sit back for a year, even then, it would have failed.
Desertion would be the rule with slave regiments, not the exceptions. The slaves would need something in exchange for their service. Why would they fight for the COnfederates if they were gonna just put them back in the fields, when the guys on the other side say you will be a free man if you desert?
 

2/241

First Sergeant
Joined
Sep 24, 2016
Messages
608
Location
200 yards from the brewery
I see no real reason that slaves who fought for the Confederacy would necessarily need to be freed for that service. The law passed by the Confederate legislature in fact clearly supported slaves who would become soldier would not be granted their freedom.
ok getting Your head shot off for what is not Your cause vs killing Your white officers and handing over Your gun to the next man in blue?
such a unit won't work to raise troops that way is a selfinflicted gunshot to the head
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2016
Messages
196
Location
England
The other issue with Black Southern troops is who would compensate the owners of said slaves after all it was the very same owners who went to war in the first place to protect their property , If 20 men on a plantation want to join the CSA army that's $10,000 thousand dollars or in todays money around $280,000 I doubt very much the CSA would have paid compensation on such a vast scale.

Also why would any slave fight for a country that wants to keep slavery as part of its constitution , They might have personally gained their freedom what about their loved ones , wives , sons , daughters.

I don't deny their were some black southern soldiers, Boys who were brought up and raised with white boys but these were very rare cases.

Nope to me personally I think the issue of Southern Black soldiers was fantasy because in reality it just would not have worked.
 
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
121
The other issue with Black Southern troops is who would compensate the owners of said slaves after all it was the very same owners who went to war in the first place to protect their property , If 20 men on a plantation want to join the CSA army that's $10,000 thousand dollars or in todays money around $280,000 I doubt very much the CSA would have paid compensation on such a vast scale.

Also why would any slave fight for a country that wants to keep slavery as part of its constitution , They might have personally gained their freedom what about their loved ones , wives , sons , daughters.

I don't deny their were some black southern soldiers, Boys who were brought up and raised with white boys but these were very rare cases.

Nope to me personally I think the issue of Southern Black soldiers was fantasy because in reality it just would not have worked.
Going by the stipulations in Cleburne's proposal:
He specified that, if they had any, the enlisted slave's loved ones would be released into freedom as well.
As for compensation: no idea. May be some gunpoint diplomacy in place of compensation. Either way, the plantation owners had to be smart enough to know that this was their last chance to save their "lifestyle", so some lost manpower on their regard would be a drop in the bucket compared to the **** they have to worry about if the north won; at that point, everyone was worried the Union would destroy the southern way of life entirely and give all their land over to the free blacks, while the white former confederates would die out, their children given a Yankee education and the confederate soldiers who fought and died valiantly would be treated as traitors and villains.
The greatest assumption I made when considering the Cleburne proposal to be enacted was that level heads would prevail in the end, and all that posturing by men like Clement Stevens was hyperbolic or mere posturing.
 

BlueandGrayl

First Sergeant
Joined
May 27, 2018
Messages
1,388
Location
Corona, California
So "The Meteor" is the official name of your story unique though. You are so far in the Background Info stages. You are not the only CWTer to do a Civil War alternate history novel(s), Jeffrey Evans Brook wrote the Shattered Nation trilogy (the self-titled novel, Blessed Are the Peacemakers, and House of the Proud) of which the POD is the same as yours (minus the black Confederate troops enlisting and Cleburne proposal) in which the Confederate Army wins at the Battle of Atlanta in Georgia and Abraham Lincoln loses the 1864 presidential election to George B. McClellan who decides to end the war by negotiating a peace treaty with Jefferson Davis and thus they win. Patrick Cleburne in that novel.

Then we the matter of another, more well-known Civil War alternate history novel known as Southern Victory (aka Timeline-191) by Harry Turtledove (How Few Remain, The Great War/American Empire trilogies, and Settling Accounts quartet: 11 books between 1997-2007) in The Great War: American Front Cleburne also makes a cameo with him still alive by 1914 without the Battle of Franklin alongside another Confederate general Stephen Ramseur hearing a speech by Confederate President Woodrow Wilson declaring its commitment to the Entente (the TL-191 versin of our timeline's Entente) in the First Great War (TL-191's World War I).
 

BlueandGrayl

First Sergeant
Joined
May 27, 2018
Messages
1,388
Location
Corona, California
So like we previous discussed @Luke Freet I would say that if the South/Confederacy still ends up losing but with black troops (slave or free) fighting side by side with white troops against white and black Union troops, then an ATL Reconstruction is going to have Southerners divided over how to treat the blacks: the pro-C.S.C.T. and the anti-C.S.C.T. factions would debate endlessly over whether blacks can be accepted as citizens and while there would still be groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the White League there would also be ex-Confederates (supporting the C.S.C.T. and commanding them) that would at least make their fellow blacks their own citizens.
 
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Messages
121
So "The Meteor" is the official name of your story unique though. You are so far in the Background Info stages. You are not the only CWTer to do a Civil War alternate history novel(s), Jeffrey Evans Brook wrote the Shattered Nation trilogy (the self-titled novel, Blessed Are the Peacemakers, and House of the Proud) of which the POD is the same as yours (minus the black Confederate troops enlisting and Cleburne proposal) in which the Confederate Army wins at the Battle of Atlanta in Georgia and Abraham Lincoln loses the 1864 presidential election to George B. McClellan who decides to end the war by negotiating a peace treaty with Jefferson Davis and thus they win. Patrick Cleburne in that novel.

Then we the matter of another, more well-known Civil War alternate history novel known as Southern Victory (aka Timeline-191) by Harry Turtledove (How Few Remain, The Great War/American Empire trilogies, and Settling Accounts quartet: 11 books between 1997-2007) in The Great War: American Front Cleburne also makes a cameo with him still alive by 1914 without the Battle of Franklin alongside another Confederate general Stephen Ramseur hearing a speech by Confederate President Woodrow Wilson declaring its commitment to the Entente (the TL-191 versin of our timeline's Entente) in the First Great War (TL-191's World War I).
I have not looked into Shattered Nation , i'll check that one out (my original plan was basically the same thing you described: The AoT winning a decisive victory at Atlanta, bringing the end of the Lincoln adminastration and all that, and having the focus of the story being Patrick Cleburne campaigning to end slavery; I dropped this for the C.S.C.T. angle, felt i had more i could do with that)
As for Turtledove, that series was what INSPIRE me to start this project in the first place. Loved his little cameo at the start of American Front, but I felt like, given his disposition on arming slaves, he'd be an outspoken supporter of manumission. Not that he was an ardent abolitionist in real life, but, given he was willing to openly suggest recruiting slaves and freeing them to save his country, he'd probably develop in that direction (though of course, I can only guess).


So like we previous discussed @Luke Freet I would say that if the South/Confederacy still ends up losing but with black troops (slave or free) fighting side by side with white troops against white and black Union troops, then an ATL Reconstruction is going to have Southerners divided over how to treat the blacks: the pro-C.S.C.T. and the anti-C.S.C.T. factions would debate endlessly over whether blacks can be accepted as citizens and while there would still be groups like the Ku Klux Klan and the White League there would also be ex-Confederates (supporting the C.S.C.T. and commanding them) that would at least make their fellow blacks their own citizens.
It WOULD make the debate on the causes of the war even MORE furious. Definitely give more credence to the Lost Cause movement.
 

Similar threads




(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Top