Category Archives: Slavery

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

Posted in Emancipation, Reconstruction, Slavery | Leave a comment

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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July 10, 1863: The Southern Church Justified in its support of the South in the present War.

The Richmond Daily Dispatch lauds John Randolph Tucker, a Virginia lawyer and politician who argued that the southern churches and (white) southern people were right to favor slavery and secession. “The Southern Church Justified in its support of the South … Continue reading

Posted in Causes of the war, Slavery, Virginia | 2 Comments

July 5, 1863: Implementing the surrender of Vicksburg

The surrender of Vicksburg was an involved process. Grant commandeered every printing press in town to print parole forms; the final total was over 29,000, which is a lot of paperwork. He also had to reiterate his terms with regard … Continue reading

Posted in James B. McPherson, John C. Pemberton, Mississippi, Slavery, Ulysses S. Grant, Vicksburg | Leave a comment

April 9, 1863: Why should a colored man enlist?

From Douglass’s Monthly, April 1863, an admonition to black men to join the Union army and fight for freedom. WHY SHOULD A COLORED MAN ENLIST? This question has been repeatedly put to us while raising men for the 54th Massachusetts … Continue reading

Posted in Frederick Douglass, Slavery, U.S. Colored Troops | Leave a comment

April 2, 1863: Does the south want to reopen the slave trade?

The Confederate constitution required abolition of the slave trade, but it appears that they’re dragging their feet. Surprisingly, secretary of state Judah Benjamin refuses to entertain abolition by treaty, which will surely hurt the prospects for recognition of the Confederacy … Continue reading

Posted in Judah Benjamin, Shiloh, Slave trade, Slavery | Leave a comment

March 26, 1863: Irish won’t fight for slaves

I always take reports of Northern disunity from the Richmond Daily Dispatch with a grain of salt. Still, there’s considerable evidence of enmity between recent Irish immigrants and freed blacks at the time. The Yankee Irish soldiers. –An Irish Legion … Continue reading

Posted in Abolitionism, Racism, Slavery | Leave a comment

March 24, 1863: Runaway

Meanwhile, in Virginia, the Richmond Daily Dispatch runs ads for runaways every day. Somehow the misguided blacks imagine they’ll be better off free than enslaved. Five Hundred Dollars Reward. –I will pay $500 reward for the apprehension and delivery to … Continue reading

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February 19, 1863: Fighting for the negro.

The Richmond Daily Dispatch ridicules the North for fighting to free African-Americans. After all, they’re better off as slaves, right? Fighting for the negro. One of the few indications of reason and common sense which has been given by any … Continue reading

Posted in Abolitionism, Emancipation, Slavery | Leave a comment