Category Archives: Slavery

March 21, 1864: Enlisting slaves in Kentucky?

Robert J. Breckinridge The Richmond Daily Dispatch reports that Governor Bramlette of Kentucky opposes union enlistment of Kentucky slaves. He appealed to Robert J. Breckinridge (uncle of John Cabell Breckinridge, but an abolitionist and unionist*) for support, but Breckinridge says … Continue reading

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March 8, 1864: Black troops, and slaves deserting to the north

A couple of items today in the Richmond Daily Dispatch shed light on northern and southern attitudes toward African-Americans. First, we see that four black Union soldiers have been captured, and “very properly” are housed in cells with their white … Continue reading

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February 10, 1864: Are black soldiers “deserters” from the south?

Exchange of prisoners broke down in 1863 because Lincoln insisted that black and white Union soldiers be treated the same. The New York Times says that the Confederates are trying to get the Union to concede a distinction between free … Continue reading

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February 3, 1864: Raise vegetables

Food is running short in the Confederacy, so the Richmond Daily Dispatch reprints an item from another paper advising the planting of collards. White people can eat meat; you can keep your slaves alive on greens. Raise vegetables. –We commend … Continue reading

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January 29, 1864: You may be poor, but at least you’re white

The Charleston Mercury editorializes in the familiar key of white unity in the south. Abolition can have one of three results for the poor white — being murdered by free blacks, murdering the free blacks, or (worst of all) mixing … Continue reading

Posted in Racism, Slavery | 3 Comments

January 12, 1864: Abolishing slavery

Thaddeus Stevens introduced a bill in Congress to abolish slavery as part of reconstruction. Eventually, of course, this required a Constitutional amendment. A bill introduced by Representative STEVENS today, and the consideration thereof postponed till February next, provides that within … Continue reading

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January 6, 1864: Runaways

The Richmond Daily Dispatch runs ads asking for information about runaways every day. I don’t usually notice them that much, but this set had one that caught my attention. Consider Martha, 28 years old with “dark complexion,” who ran away … 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

December 24, 1863: Indian reconstruction

The New York Times reports on efforts to make peace with Indian tribes who affiliated with the Confederates. They will have to free their slaves; the Creeks have already agreed to do so. Washington, Thursday, Dec. 24. As the terms … Continue reading

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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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