Category Archives: Slavery

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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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

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