Category Archives: Black Confederates

January 23, 1865: South won’t really arm slaves

Ever wonder why it’s always the same picture of a “Black Confederate”? **************************************************************** The New York Times points out that, although the South is finally talking about arming slaves, they can’t seriously hope to have a significant number of them … Continue reading

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January 19, 1865: Southern discomfort

The New York Times runs a collection of items from Southern papers critical of Confederate leadership. There’s a very pointed critique of Jefferson Davis. As usual, the Charleston Mercury is appalled at the thought of arming slaves — the editor … Continue reading

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January 13, 1865: Lunacy

As we’ve seen, late in the war proposals were made in several venues that slaves should be enlisted to take up arms for the Confederacy, in return for the promise of freedom. What did the editor of the Charleston Mercury, … Continue reading

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January 12, 1865: Freemen in Savannah

Secretary of War Stanton came down to Savannah, and he met with a group of black leaders to discuss with them what they wanted for their people. He took the opportunity to ask them how Sherman had treated them, as … Continue reading

Posted in Black Confederates, Contrabands, Edwin M. Stanton, Georgia, Racism, Sherman's March, Slavery, William Tecumseh Sherman | Leave a comment

January 4, 1865: Slaves can’t be used as soldiers

Here’s where the slaves were actually going. **************************************************************** The Charleston Mercury reports that one of the responses to Sherman’s success will be calling up “negroes” — but cautions that they can only serve as slaves, “or else we abandon the … Continue reading

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December 27, 1864: Slaves will fight for their beloved masters

The Richmond Daily Dispatch gleefully reports that an opposition paper in the North says that slaves have more reason to fight for the south than the north, especially since they have such affectionate attachment to their masters. Somehow this never … Continue reading

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December 9, 1864: Is it time to arm the slaves?

The editor of the Richmond Daily Dispatch wonders out loud if saving the Confederacy is worth arming and freeing slaves. Despite all the bravado previously displayed, he’s clearly aware that the North is winning the war. Hundreds of thousands of … Continue reading

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January 2, 1864: Cleburne proposes arming slaves.

General Cleburne and large number of his subordinates write to Johnston, recommending that slaves be enlisted as troops and promised emancipation. The letter is long, and I’ve summarized its main points below. Things are going badly for the South, and … Continue reading

Posted in Black Confederates, Emancipation, Joseph Johnston, Patrick Cleburne, Slavery | 2 Comments

October 25, 1863: The French press isn’t buying talk of arming slaves in the South

We often hear claims that there were large numbers of black Confederates, with little historical evidence. During the war there were rumors that the Confederacy would arm slaves, but they were never substantiated then either. A French newspaper editorializes on … Continue reading

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January 21, 1862: More Southern evidence against “Black Confederates”

I published an earlier account, ridiculed by the Dispatch, of a regiment of black Confederate troops; here the Dispatch refers to that story again and adds a couple of accounts of warlike actions by two isolated black Southerners. While the … Continue reading

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