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Call it legal but offensive driving
Commercial Appeal ^ | February 5, 2004 | Wendi C. Thomas

Posted on 02/06/2004 6:08:51 PM PST by stainlessbanner

Call it legal but offensive driving

By Wendi C. Thomas
Contact

February 5, 2004

pictureThe Sons of Confederate Veterans is the latest group in Tennessee to get a specialty license plate, one that includes the Confederate flag logo.

The license plates remind me of a T-shirt I had in college that said: "It's a Black Thing, You Wouldn't Understand."

It was an accouterment of my militant phase, when I taped a poster of Malcolm X to my dorm room wall, when I badgered the university in a futile attempt to get it to divest from South Africa, when my friends laughingly dubbed me "Wendela."

My mom wasn't too fond of the "It's a Black Thing" shirt. She worried that others, mainly white people, would see the shirt and think I was a racist.

Any assumption would be unfair, I argued. Clearly, I'm much more than a pithy saying on a piece of cotton, and I had no time for those who would reduce me to a slogan.

I dismissed the conversation as yet another piece of evidence in the case of Wise Young Wendi vs. Woefully Out-of-Touch Mom.

After my indignation faded, as it usually did, I was left with a question.

Was this shirt and its message so important to me that I was willing to risk being labeled, at the least, indifferent to the feelings of white people, and, at worst, a racist?

I decided that no, it wasn't that important. And I got rid of the shirt. I knew it probably would make many white people uncomfortable. And while the comfort of white people wasn't and still isn't my chief concern, it could stifle any honest conversations about race between my classmates and me.

Any reaction my T-shirt provoked is tame compared with the visceral gut-punch many have at the sight of the Confederate flag.

So I have a question for the Sons of Confederate Veterans and others who will spend an extra $35 on these Confederate-flag emblazoned plates.

Is this flag so important to you that you'll risk being seen as, at the least, incredibly insensitive to black people, and, at the worst, a racist?

In the flag's defense, the SCV's Tennessee Division commander Skip Earle of Franklin told The Associated Press, "We have really changed people's minds on what people think the flag stands for."

No, commander, you haven't. When I - and most people - see the flag, it reminds them of a time when people who looked like the Sons of Confederate Veterans could own people who looked like me.

Worse, the flag has been co-opted by white supremacy groups, while those who claim the flag is merely an emblem of a fight for states' rights look away, their hands stuck in the pockets of their Wranglers.

I believe the SCV has a right to these plates, just as I had a right to wear my T-shirt.

And I have to believe that those who hold this emblem so dear are aware of the risks - the chance that others will see them, see the flag, and wonder if they're a white supremacist or a prejudiced wacko.

And that's a risk they're more than willing to take.

Contact Wendi C. Thomas at (901) 529-5896 or send an e-mail.


TOPICS: Editorial
KEYWORDS: confederate; dixie; license; scv; tag; tn
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
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1 posted on 02/06/2004 6:08:52 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: stainlessbanner
Worse, the flag has been co-opted by white supremacy groups

Yea, and the hatchet has been co-opted by lesbians, but that doesn't prevent me from keeping one to chop roots in my flower garden.

Get a life....AND an education.

2 posted on 02/06/2004 6:15:59 PM PST by PistolPaknMama (pro gun Mother's Day 2004! www.2asisters.org)
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To: stainlessbanner
Why do these people yearn for a time when "insensitivity" will be against the law?
3 posted on 02/06/2004 6:17:06 PM PST by tet68
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To: stainlessbanner
How 'bout we call it something else like, "Kiss My Rebel Butt"?
4 posted on 02/06/2004 6:17:39 PM PST by TomServo ("Why does the most evil man in the world live in a Stuckeys?")
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To: stainlessbanner
Any reaction my T-shirt provoked is tame compared with the visceral gut-punch many have at the sight of the Confederate flag

Why does this remind me of my father's favourite saying, "It's not racism unless you're white"???

Why is it okay for blacks (or any other minority group) to promote racial hatred, whilst it's all "wrong" for whites to do the exact same thing?

Believe me, this is not just an American problem. (White)Australians and New Zealanders are subjected to just exactly the same sort of wrong-headed political correctness. It's gone way too far in favour of the "oppressed (???) minorities", IMHO.
5 posted on 02/06/2004 6:17:52 PM PST by KangarooJacqui (Deliver us from evil... vote Conservative.)
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To: PistolPaknMama
hatchet... lesbians...hmmmm I'm having visions of a bad Supercuts chop job.
6 posted on 02/06/2004 6:19:20 PM PST by cyborg
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To: KangarooJacqui
Hopefully Brash will win in New Zealand and send those idiots packing. To compare an insipid slogan to a time honored heritage symbol shows intellectual dishonesty.
7 posted on 02/06/2004 6:20:53 PM PST by cyborg
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To: PistolPaknMama
Hatchet?
8 posted on 02/06/2004 6:24:31 PM PST by doodad
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To: cyborg
somebody who knows about this stuff, some assistance please. Were there not slaves who were offered their freedom if they fough to the confederacy? If that is the case, could then not also join the sons of the confederacy?

If may be sarcastic, but technically it is correct.
9 posted on 02/06/2004 6:24:36 PM PST by longtermmemmory (Vote!)
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To: longtermmemmory; All
http://www.slrc-csa.org/bulletins/marchtothesea.htm
10 posted on 02/06/2004 6:26:18 PM PST by cyborg
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To: doodad; PistolPaknMama
Hatchet?

Yeah....flannel shirts I might understand.
But hatchets?

11 posted on 02/06/2004 6:29:47 PM PST by eddie willers
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To: stainlessbanner
http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a38ae1fc86628.htm

Stuff every freeper must, and US citizen should, know.
12 posted on 02/06/2004 6:39:29 PM PST by H.Akston
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To: cyborg
Hurrah for Mr. Edgerton!
13 posted on 02/06/2004 6:58:27 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: longtermmemmory
ADJT. AND INSP. GENERAL'S OFFICE,
Richmond, Va., March 23, 1865.
GENERAL ORDERS, No. 14.

I. The following act of Congress and regulations are published for the information and direction of all concerned:

AN ACT to increase the military force of the Confederate States.

The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That, in order to provide additional forces to repel invasion, maintain the rightful possession of the Confederate States, secure their independence, and preserve their institutions, the President be, and he is hereby, authorized to ask for and accept from the owners of slaves, the services of such number of able-bodied negro men as he may deem expedient, for and during the war, to perform military service in whatever capacity he may direct.

SEC 2. That the General-in-Chief be authorized to organize the said slaves into companies, battalions, regiments, and brigades, under such rules and regulations as the Secretary of War may prescribe, and to be commanded by such officers as the President may appoint.

SEC 3. That while employed in the service the said troops shall receive the same rations, clothing, and compensation as are allowed to other troops in the same branch of the service.

SEC 5. That nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize a change in the relation which the said slaves shall bear toward their owners, except by consent of the owners and of the States in which they may reside, and in pursuance of the laws thereof.

IV. The enlistment of colored persons under this act will be made upon printed forms, to be furnished for the purpose, similar to those established for the regular service. They will be executed in duplicate, one copy to be returned to this office for file. No slave will be accepted as a recruit unless with his own consent and with the approbation of his master by a written instrument conferring, as far as he may, the rights of a freedman, and which will be filed with the superintendent. The enlistments will be made for the war, and the effect of the enlistment will be to place the slave in the military service conformably to this act. The recruits will be organized at the camps in squads and companies, and will be subject to the order of the General-in-Chief under the second section of this act.

IX. All officers who may be employed in the recruiting service, under the provisions of this act, or who may be appointed to the command of troops raised under it, or who may hold any staff appointment in connection with them, are enjoined to a provident, considerate, and humane attention to whatever concerns the health, comfort, instruction, and discipline of those troops, and to the uniform observance of kindness, forbearance, and indulgence to their treatment of them, and especially that they will protect them from injustice and oppression.

It has been estimated that over 65,000 Southern blacks were in the Confederate ranks. Over 13,000 of these, "saw the elephant" also known as meeting the enemy in combat. These Black Confederates included both slave and free. The Confederate Congress did not approve blacks to be officially enlisted as soldiers (except as musicians), until late in the war. But in the ranks it was a different story. Many Confederate officers did not obey the mandates of politicians, they frequently enlisted blacks with the simple criteria, "Will you fight?" Historian Ervin Jordan, explains that "biracial units" were frequently organized "by local Confederate and State militia Commanders in response to immediate threats in the form of Union raids". Dr. Leonard Haynes, an African-American professor at Southern University, stated, "When you eliminate the black Confederate soldier, you've eliminated the history of the South."

As the war came to an end, the Confederacy took progressive measures to build back up its army. The creation of the Confederate States Colored Troops, copied after the segregated northern colored troops, came too late to be successful. Had the Confederacy been successful, it would have created the world's largest armies (at the time) consisting of black soldiers,even larger than that of the North. This would have given the future of the Confederacy a vastly different appearance than what modern day racist or anti-Confederate liberals conjecture. Not only did Jefferson Davis envision black Confederate veterans receiving bounty lands for their service, there would have been no future for slavery after the goal of 300,000 armed black CSA veterans came home after the war.

In 1864, President Jefferson Davis approved a plan that proposed the emancipation of slaves, in return for the official recognition of the Confederacy by Britain and France. France showed interest but Britain refused.
Free black musicians, cooks, soldiers and teamsters earned the same pay as white confederate privates. This was not the case in the Union army where blacks did not receive equal pay. At the Confederate Buffalo Forge in Rockbridge County, Virginia, skilled black workers "earned on average three times the wages of white Confederate soldiers and more than most Confederate army officers ($350- $600 a year).
During the early 1900's, many members of the United Confederate Veterans (UCV) advocated awarding former slaves rural acreage and a home. There was hope that justice could be given those slaves that were once promised "forty acres and a mule" but never received any. In the 1913 Confederate Veteran magazine published by the UCV, it was printed that this plan "If not Democratic, it is [the] Confederate" thing to do. There was much gratitude toward former slaves, which "thousands were loyal, to the last degree", now living with total poverty of the big cities. Unfortunately, their proposal fell on deaf ears on Capitol Hill.

excerpted from:
http://www.history.umd.edu/Freedmen/csenlist.htm
and
http://www.37thtexas.org/html/BlkHist.html

14 posted on 02/06/2004 7:02:53 PM PST by visualops (I'm still trying to figure out why kamikaze pilots wore helmets.)
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To: H.Akston
Great link. That thread was an ole FR throw-back: LLAN-DDEUSANT
15 posted on 02/06/2004 7:03:24 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: longtermmemmory
could then not also join the sons of the confederacy?

Absolutely. Nelson Winbush, HK Edgerton and other honorable men have joined the SCV.

16 posted on 02/06/2004 7:06:58 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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" US : LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT ! "

I read this on bumper sticker every day here in Houston and think that US is the best country on planet.

If I had that bumper sticker back in 1993 in my birth country Serbia and said same thing i will be accused of ethnic cleansing, genocide or who knows what.

Everything is in the eye of beholder. Imagine T-shirt with line :

" "It's a White Thing, You Wouldn't Understand."

Or : "White Miss America " pageant

Racism 101 or equal rights for every group of people ?
17 posted on 02/06/2004 7:08:18 PM PST by Fredy (Ne moze nam niko nista jaci smo od sudbine - No one can not hurt us, We are stronger than a destiny)
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To: longtermmemmory
This is an inspiring story I think you might enjoy about a man named Chris Columbus: Former Slave's Family Sees Him Honored At Last
18 posted on 02/06/2004 7:14:14 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: longtermmemmory
There are actually a few blacks who have joined the SCV and the UDC (United Daughters of the Confederacy). Many more would be eligible and would be warmly welcomed if they asked to join. There are a surprising number of blacks who are actually not angry, bitter, and hostile because their ancestors were held in slavery. This is particularly true, I find, among those who are historians, genealogy researchers, and reenactors.
19 posted on 02/06/2004 7:14:16 PM PST by Capriole (Foi vainquera)
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To: longtermmemmory
I am currently reading a book entitled "The South was Right" by James ROnald Kennedy and Walter Donald Kennedy.

Many interesting acts, such as that it was not uncommon for free people of color in the south to own slaves. Many slaves took up arms and fought against northern aggression.

The tone of the book of course is Southern Propanganda and there are a few historical mistakes, but all in all very interesting to here from the other point of view so to speak.

One main issue was that the north derived much of its money selling slaves to southern plantations, but the northern slave trade made even more meony selling slaves to South America. Only about six percent of the slave trade was to the south, the rest to South America and Caribbean.

Much of the monied society up north had its fingers in the slave trade, although I have yet to see any attached names, I wonder if any current northern families are connected to that trade...

something to think about this being Black History Month and all.

20 posted on 02/06/2004 7:18:02 PM PST by abigkahuna
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To: stainlessbanner
Well, Stainless, you know I am behind you. I've posted this info before on other threads, but thought it could stand to be reiterated here:

I live in Maryland, in the most liberal county of that highly liberal state. Things might be different if I lived just a few miles away in Virginia, but I'm stuck here for the moment, and I see some of my role here as educating people. Instead of flying the Confederate Naval Jack (the so-called Battleflag), I display the First National, also called the Stars and Bars. To me this is an important symbol of pride in my Southern, Confederate heritage without creating the anger that makes conversation impossible. People of all races often ask me what those decals on my car and that flag hanging from my house mean, and this begins a conversation that often opens their eyes.

I do understand the impulse to display our beloved Naval Jack on license plates and other places, but this is the route I choose to get people feeling less threatened so that maybe in the future they won't react with such hysteria when they see us fully take pride in our rightful Southern heritage.

21 posted on 02/06/2004 7:24:31 PM PST by Capriole (Foi vainquera)
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To: stainlessbanner
Janet Jackson should have used that line. "Yeah, I showed my breast. It's a black thang. You wouldn't understand."
22 posted on 02/06/2004 7:27:52 PM PST by Enterprise ("Do you know who I am?")
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To: PistolPaknMama
And perhaps the worst of all, the rainbow, the symbol of God's promise to never flood the world again, has been stolen by the fudgepackers.
23 posted on 02/06/2004 7:34:01 PM PST by Blood of Tyrants (Even if the government took all your earnings, you wouldn’t be, in its eyes, a slave.)
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To: stainlessbanner
What a simpleton. The confederate flag is symbolic of something totally different to others. Her t-shirt was a clear message to all. Why should other's who view the flag as part of their history, heritage, and hold it in rememberance of their ancestors that died in that war set it aside because she CHOOSES to be offended. Who cares what she thinks?
24 posted on 02/06/2004 7:52:09 PM PST by MissAmericanPie
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To: stainlessbanner
Looks like the author is still a racist. And yes, "It's a black thing, you wouldn't understand" is racist.
25 posted on 02/06/2004 8:08:42 PM PST by thoughtomator ("What do I know? I'm just the President." - George W. Bush, Superbowl XXXVIII halftime statement)
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Comment #26 Removed by Moderator

To: Fredy
Can I get me a tee shirt which says "it's a southern thing, you wouldn't understand"?
27 posted on 02/06/2004 8:53:14 PM PST by Iwo Jima
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To: tet68
Why do these people yearn for a time when "insensitivity" will be against the law?

Bud, I don't see her arguing that it should be illegal. She's arguing that it's in poor taste -- like her t-shirt. (I've seen a t-shirt that's in even worse taste, which was a backlash against the one she had in school).

You can agree with her or not. (I don't think I have a vote in this, I am a Yankee whose ancestors were all still overseas in 1865, so the deep feeling on both sides over the confederate battle flag doesn't really connect). But she isn't calling for a law against the plates, or the flag, for that matter. I think he's being pretty reasonable.

A lot of people are unaware of just how bad slavery really was. As Clayton Cramer points out, only one state passed a law against masters raping their slaves. Mississippi. In 1859. And, oh, yeah, that was only if she was under 12. In the rest of the slave states (including Union Maryland for example), and at all other times, raping your slaves, even children, was droit du seigneur. A peculiar institution indeed.

I don't think I'm indulging in political correctness here. It's morally wrong now, but it was morally wrong then. And I have to believe that in their hearts even those who defended it knew it.

For the flag ever to mean anything, the SCV and others that would display it need to find a way to separate the inspiration of Lee and Jackson, and the heroism of the Southern soldier, from the institution that was at the core of all the war's issues.

d.o.l.

Criminal Number 18F

28 posted on 02/06/2004 9:10:44 PM PST by Criminal Number 18F
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To: stainlessbanner
re: Confederate Flag

It is White Thing. You would not understand.

29 posted on 02/06/2004 10:23:23 PM PST by Jeff Gordon (arabed - verb: lower in esteem; hurt the pride of [syn: mortify, chagrin, humble, abase, humiliate])
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To: Criminal Number 18F
There are plenty in the pc crowd who would like to outlaw symbols, words, flags, etc. Some laws exist already: hate crime, hate speech.....

The author injected race into the license plate issue where it not need be. It is a piece void of historical facts or reason - just filler based on emotion. I'll bet she couldn't tell you many stars are even on the flag.

30 posted on 02/06/2004 10:44:36 PM PST by stainlessbanner
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To: Ursa63
I'm tired of this rediculous behaviour on the part of the mentally insane liberals. What? Entire swaths of history are to be erased to appease a few cry babies via Federal fiat?

Alot of Americans don't like to see the German swastika, but they don't attempt to enforce their view of it by bullying those that want to wear it. But you can bet if patriotic Americans demanded the Fed erase it from our sight we would be called intolerant and attempting to deny someone their free expression. It's time to throw down this double standard that seeks to strip Americans of every vistage of their culture and history.
31 posted on 02/06/2004 10:54:39 PM PST by MissAmericanPie
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Comment #32 Removed by Moderator

To: Ursa63
College is just something standing between you and your future. Get through it. Many kids come out of their stupor the first time they get a paycheck and see what a bite was taken out of it in taxes.

You are not alone, but you are rare. Most people you will encounter don't even vote or think about politics or where the nation is heading. Join a conservative group and work for change, one issue at a time.
33 posted on 02/07/2004 1:15:59 AM PST by MissAmericanPie
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Comment #34 Removed by Moderator

To: Capriole
Whats the difference between the different confederate flags?

If you could post a link showing the different confederate flags, I'd really appreciate it.

35 posted on 02/07/2004 7:39:24 AM PST by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant")
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To: Sonny M; stainlessbanner
Sonny, I don't have a clue how to post pictures, let's ask Stainless to do it. Briefly, what is called "the Battleflag" and is the source of so much anger and division is the flag we all associate with the Confederacy--the diagonally-crossed bars bearing the seven white stars representing the seven states of the original Confederacy. However, the First National flag of the Confederacy was actually pretty similar to the US flag: a blue canton with stars on it for the states, and three horizontal bars, red and white and red. Trouble is, this flag was too easily confused with the US flag on the battlefield, with some unfortunate results. So there were subsequent modifications--the Stainless Banner, the Third National (which hardly got used), some folks used the Bonnie Blue (a blue flag with a single white star), etc.
36 posted on 02/07/2004 7:55:03 AM PST by Capriole (Foi vainquera)
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To: doodad
Hatchet?

What's with that little hatchet thingy?
That little "hatchet thingy" is a labyris, a double-bladed axe supposedly carried into battle by ancient female warriors. It has close associations with the Greek goddesses Artemis and Demeter and with the Amazons, a tribe of women renowned for their fearlessness in combat. Today, lesbians wear labyrises (labyrii?) on chains or earrings to symbolize power, strength, and female unity. Oh, and to tip off other lesbians about our sexual orientation.

http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/lesbian_issues/89854

37 posted on 02/07/2004 8:26:03 AM PST by PistolPaknMama (pro gun Mother's Day 2004! www.2asisters.org)
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To: eddie willers
See post 37. :-)
38 posted on 02/07/2004 8:27:39 AM PST by PistolPaknMama (pro gun Mother's Day 2004! www.2asisters.org)
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To: PistolPaknMama
Ok thanks. I have never seen that despite the climate around here. Lots of pink triangles and that = sign thing, but no hatchets. I guess I haven't been down to Little Five Points in a long time.
39 posted on 02/07/2004 8:29:11 AM PST by doodad
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To: Sonny M
Go here....tons of info for you!

http://www.confederateflags.org/

40 posted on 02/07/2004 8:33:50 AM PST by PistolPaknMama (pro gun Mother's Day 2004! www.2asisters.org)
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To: visualops
Did you notice the date on that legislation? Less than 4 weeks before the end of the war? And also Section 5, which said that conscripted slaves would be returned to slavery unless individual states passed laws freeing them after service?

Not only did Jefferson Davis envision black Confederate veterans receiving bounty lands for their service, there would have been no future for slavery after the goal of 300,000 armed black CSA veterans came home after the war.

When did he envision that? Not 6 months before the legislation authorizing black troops was passed, Davis was suggesting that all slaves be expelled to the U.S.

In 1864, President Jefferson Davis approved a plan that proposed the emancipation of slaves, in return for the official recognition of the Confederacy by Britain and France. France showed interest but Britain refused.

A quick look at the confederate constitution would show that Davis lacked the power to emancipate slaves, as did the confederate congress. So such a proposal, if true, was meaningless and was, in fact, a lie.

41 posted on 02/08/2004 6:51:17 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: visualops
It has been estimated that over 65,000 Southern blacks were in the Confederate ranks.

There's no credible evidence that more than a handful of blacks fought for the rebels.

Consider:

FRIDAY, February 10, 1865.

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

SECOND CONGRESS-SECOND SESSION

EMPLOYMENT OF NEGROES AS SOLDIERS

Mr. Wickham, of Virginia, moved the indefinite postponement of the bill. He was opposed to its going to a select committee. If it went to any committee it should go, in the regular channel, to the Committee on Military Affairs. He wished, however, this question of arming and making soldiers of negroes to be now disposed of, finally and forever. He wished it to be decided whether negroes are to be placed upon an equality by the side of our brave soldiers. They would be compelled to. They would have to camp and bivouac together.

Mr. Wickham said that our brave soldiers, who have fought so long and nobly, would not stand to be thus placed side by side with negro soldiers. He was opposed to such a measure. The day that such a bill passed Congress sounds the death knell of this Confederacy. The very moment an order goes forth from the War Department authorizing the arming and organizing of negro soldiers there was an eternal end to this struggle.-(Voice-That's so.)

The question being ordered upon the rejection of the bill, it was lost-ayes 21, noes 53. As this vote was regarded as a kind of test of the sense of the House upon the policy of putting negroes into the army, we append the ayes and noes-the question being the rejection of this bill authorizing the employment of negroes as soldiers:

Ayes-Messrs. Baldwin, Branch, Cruikshank, De Jarnette, Fuller, Garland, Gholson, Gilmer, Lamkin, J. M. Leach, J. T. Leach, McMullin, Miles, Miller, Ramsey, Sexton, Smith, of Alabama, Smith, of North Carolina, Wickham, Witherspoon, Mr. Speaker.

Noes-Messrs. Akin, Anderson, Barksdale, Batson, Bell, Blandford, Boyce, Bradley, H. W. Bruce, Carroll, Chambers, Chilton, Clark, Clopton, Cluskey, Conrad, Conrow, Darden, Dickinson, Dupre, Ewing, Farrow, Foster, Funsten, Gaither, Goode, Gray, Hartridge, Hatcher, Hilton, Holder, Holliday, Johnston, Keeble, Lyon, Pugh, Read, Rogers, Russell, Simpson, J. M. Smith, W. E. Smith, Snead, Swan, Triplett, Villere, Welsh.

If any number of black soldiers had been serving in the ranks of the CSA armies, how did it escape the notice of Congress?

It also escaped the notice of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and others:

Page 246, Confederate Veteran, June 1915. Official publication of the United Confederate Veteran, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the Confederated Southern Memorial Association.

Gen. Howell Cobb, an unbeliever in this expedient, wrote from Macon, Ga., January 8, 1865: "I think that the proposition is the most pernicious idea that has been suggested since the war began. You cannot make soldiers of slaves or slaves of soldiers. The moment you resort to this your white soldiers are lost to you, and one reason why this proposition is received with favor by some portions of the army is because they hope that when the negro comes in they can retire. You cannot keep white and black troops together, and you cannot trust negroes alone. They won't make soldiers, as they are wanting in every qualification necessary to make one. :

Samuel Clayton, Esq., of Cuthbert, Ga., wrote on January 10, 1865: "All of our male population between sixteen and sixty is in the army. We cannot get men from any other source; they must come from our slaves... The government takes all of our men and exposes them to death. Why can't they take our property? He who values his property more than independence is a poor, sordid wretch."

General Lee, who clearly saw the inevitable unless his forces were strengthened, wrote on January 11, 1865: "I should prefer to rely on our white population; but in view of the preparation of our enemy it is our duty to provide for a continuous war, which, I fear, we cannot accomplish with our present resources. It is the avowed intention of the enemy to convert the able­bodied negro into soldiers and emancipate all. His progress will thus add to his numbers and at the same time destroy slavery in a most pernicious manner to the welfare of our people. Whatever may be the effect of our employing negro troops, it cannot be as mischievous as this. If it ends in subverting slavery, it will be accomplished by ourselves, and we can devise the means of alleviating the evil consequences to both races. I think, therefore, that we must decide whether slavery shall be extinguished by our enemies and the slaves used against us or use them ourselves at the risk of the effects which may be produced upon our soldiers' social institutions. My own opinion is that we should employ tl1em without delay. I believe that with proper regulations they can be made efficient soldiers. They possess the physical qualifications in an eminent degree. Long habits of obedience and subordination, coupled with the moral influence which in our country the white man possesses over the black, furnish an excellent foundation for that discipline which is the best guarantee of military efficiency. We can give them an interest by allowing immediate freedom to all who enlist and freedom at the end of the war to their families. We should not expect slaves to fight for prospective freedom when they can secure it at once by going to the enemy, in whose service they will incur no greater risk than in ours. In conclusion, I can only say that whatever is to be done must be attended to at once."

President Davis on February 21, 1865 expressed himself as follows: "It is now becoming daily more evident to all reflecting persons that we are reduced to choosing whether the negroes shall fight for or against us and that all the arguments as to the positive advantage or disadvantage of employing them are beside the question, which is simply one of relative advantage between having their fighting element in our ranks or those of the enemy."

Would Lee and Davis have had those points of view had there been any number of blacks in ranks?

There is no -credible- evidence of blacks in active rebel service.

"It's pure fantasy,' contends James McPherson, a Princeton historian and one of the nation's leading Civil War scholars. Adds Edwin Bearss, historian emeritus at the National Park Service: 'It's b.s., wishful thinking.' Robert Krick, author of 10 books on the Confederacy, has studied the records of 150,000 Southern soldiers and found fewer than a dozen were black. 'Of course, if I documented 12, someone would start adding zeros,' he says.

"These and other scholars say claims about black rebels derive from unreliable anecdotes, a blurring of soldiers and laborers, and the rapid spread on the Internet of what Mr. McPherson calls 'pseudohistory.' Thousands of blacks did accompany rebel troops -- as servants, cooks, teamsters and musicians. Most were slaves who served involuntarily; until the final days of the war, the Confederacy staunchly refused to enlist black soldiers.

"Some blacks carried guns for their masters and wore spare or cast-off uniforms, which may help explain eyewitness accounts of blacks units. But any blacks who actually fought did so unofficially, either out of personal loyalty or self-defense, many historians say.

"They also bristle at what they see as the disingenuous twist on political correctness fueling the black Confederate fad. 'It's a search for a multicultural Confederacy, a desperate desire to feel better about your ancestors,' says Leslie Rowland, a University of Maryland historian. 'If you suggest that some blacks supported the South, then you can deny that the Confederacy was about slavery and white supremacy.'

"David Blight, an Amherst College historian, likens the trend to bygone notions about happy plantation darkies.' Confederate groups invited devoted ex-slaves to reunions and even won Senate approval in 1923 for a "mammy" monument in Washington (it was never built). Black Confederates, Mr. Blight says, are a new and more palatable way to 'legitimize the Confederacy.'"

-- Wall Street Journal, May 8, 1997

AND:

"There seems to be no evidence that the Negro soldiers authorized by the Confederate Government (March 13, 1865) ever went into battle. This gives rise to the question as to whether or not any Negroes ever fought in the Confederate ranks. It is possible that some of the free Negro companies organized in Louisiana and Tennessee in the early part of the war took part in local engagements; but evidence seems to the contrary. (Authors note: If they did, their action was not authorized by the Confederate Government.) A company of "Creoles," some of whom had Negro blood, may have been accepted in the Confederate service at Mobile. Secretary Seddon conditioned his authorization of the acceptance of the company on the ability of those "Creoles" to be naturally and properly distinguished from Negroes. If persons with Negro Blood served in Confederate ranks as full-fledged soldiers, the per cent of Negro blood was sufficiently low for them to pass as whites."

(Authors note: Henry Clay Warmoth said that many Louisiana mulattoes were in Confederate service but they were "not registered as Negroes." War Politics and Reconstruction, p. 56) p. 160-61, SOUTHERN NEGROES, Wiley

There is -no- credible evidence that even a small number blacks served as soldiers in the rebel armies.

Walt

42 posted on 02/08/2004 5:01:24 PM PST by WhiskeyPapa (Virtue is the uncontested prize.)
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To: WhiskeyPapa
Perhaps it's a topic for those more steeped in the history and documentation of the times.
Part of what I quoted, was from here:
http://www.37thtexas.org/html/BlkHist.html

and the reference given for more info was this man, whose bio I have C&P:
Edward Smith- director, American Studies Program; assistant professor of anthropology

Area of Expertise: Civil rights movement; minorities in education; American Civil War; African American history; community organization; urban policy; Washington, D.C.

Additional Information: Smith is a third generation Washingtonian and the director of the American Studies program in the College of Arts and Sciences, where he has taught since 1969. He is also a Civil War, African-American cultural heritage, and art history lecturer and study tour leader for the Smithsonian Institution, the National Geographic Society, the National Park Service, and the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. He has been a visiting classics tutor at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, a visiting professor at the John Glenn Institute of Ohio State University, a lecturer for the James Madison Memorial Foundation, a guest curator for the National Building Museum and a lecturer for the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Smith has served as a consultant to numerous federal agencies, including the U.S. Senate, and in 1977 and 1978 he took a leave of absence from teaching to work at the White House as a presidential speechwriter during the Carter administration. His writings have appeared in the Yale Review, the Washington Post, the Military Review, the Gettysburg National Battlefield Journal, the Wall Street Journal, Washington History, and the Lincoln Review and numerous other publications. He is the founder and codirector of the American University Civil War Institute, a frequent contributor to the “Civil War Page” of the Washington Times and is currently writing two books on the Civil War. Smith is also an honorary cabinet member of the Jefferson Davis Presidential Library and Museum in Beauvoir, Mississippi, a member of the Board of Directors of the Abraham Lincoln Institute of the Library of Congress, and is a member of Mount Vernon’s Advisory Council of George Washington Scholars. In 1991, he was awarded American University’s Distinguished Faculty Award. In 1997, he was selected for AU’s faculty award for “Outstanding Service to the University Community.” Also in 1997 the mayor of Dallas, Texas, awarded him a mayoral proclamation for his contributions to Civil War scholarship. Most recently was made a distinguished honorary member of the Virginia Sons of Confederate Veterans and an endowed scholarship has been named in his honor at the University of Richmond to further the study of the Civil War era and beyond.

He sure seems a credible source of information on Black history and the Civil War.

The rest of the info:
1. The "Richmond Howitzers" were partially manned by black militiamen. They saw action at 1st Manassas (or 1st Battle of Bull Run) where they operated battery no. 2. In addition two black "regiments", one free and one slave, participated in the battle on behalf of the South. "Many colored people were killed in the action", recorded John Parker, a former slave.

2. At least one Black Confederate was a non-commissioned officer. James Washington, Co. D 35th Texas Cavalry, Confederate States Army, became it's 3rd Sergeant. Higher ranking black commissioned officers served in militia units, but this was on the State militia level (Louisiana)and not in the regular C.S. Army.

3. Free black musicians, cooks, soldiers and teamsters earned the same pay as white confederate privates. This was not the case in the Union army where blacks did not receive equal pay. At the Confederate Buffalo Forge in Rockbridge County, Virginia, skilled black workers "earned on average three times the wages of white Confederate soldiers and more than most Confederate army officers ($350- $600 a year).

4. Dr. Lewis Steiner, Chief Inspector of the United States Sanitary Commission while observing Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson's occupation of Frederick, Maryland, in 1862: "Over 3,000 Negroes must be included in this number [Confederate troops]. These were clad in all kinds of uniforms, not only in cast-off or captured United States uniforms, but in coats with Southern buttons, State buttons, etc. These were shabby, but not shabbier or seedier than those worn by white men in the rebel ranks. Most of the Negroes had arms, rifles, muskets, sabers, bowie-knives, dirks, etc.....and were manifestly an integral portion of the Southern Confederate Army."

5. Frederick Douglas reported, "There are at the present moment many Colored men in the Confederate Army doing duty not only as cooks, servants and laborers, but real soldiers, having musket on their shoulders, and bullets in their pockets, ready to shoot down any loyal troops and do all that soldiers may do to destroy the Federal government and build up that of the rebels."

6. Black and white militiamen returned heavy fire on Union troops at the Battle of Griswoldsville (near Macon, GA). Approximately 600 boys and elderly men were killed in this skirmish.

7. In 1864, President Jefferson Davis approved a plan that proposed the emancipation of slaves, in return for the official recognition of the Confederacy by Britain and France. France showed interest but Britain refused.

8. The Jackson Battalion included two companies of black soldiers. They saw combat at Petersburg under Col. Shipp. "My men acted with utmost promptness and goodwill...Allow me to state sir that they behaved in an extraordinary acceptable manner."

9. Recently the National Park Service, with a recent discovery, recognized that blacks were asked to help defend the city of Petersburg, Virginia and were offered their freedom if they did so. Regardless of their official classification, black Americans performed support functions that in today's army many would be classified as official military service. The successes of white Confederate troops in battle, could only have been achieved with the support these loyal black Southerners.

10. Confederate General John B. Gordon (Army of Northern Virginia) reported that all of his troops were in favor of Colored troops and that it's adoption would have "greatly encouraged the army". Gen. Lee was anxious to receive regiments of black soldiers. The Richmond Sentinel reported on 24 Mar 1864, "None will deny that our servants are more worthy of respect than the motley hordes which come against us." "Bad faith [to black Confederates] must be avoided as an indelible dishonor."

11. In March 1865, Judah P. Benjamin, Confederate Secretary Of State, promised freedom for blacks who served from the State of Virginia. Authority for this was finally received from the State of Virginia and on April 1st 1865, $100 bounties were offered to black soldiers. Benjamin exclaimed, "Let us say to every Negro who wants to go into the ranks, go and fight, and you are free Fight for your masters and you shall have your freedom." Confederate Officers were ordered to treat them humanely and protect them from "injustice and oppression".

12. A quota was set for 300,000 black soldiers for the Confederate States Colored Troops. 83% of Richmond's male slave population volunteered for duty. A special ball was held in Richmond to raise money for uniforms for these men. Before Richmond fell, black Confederates in gray uniforms drilled in the streets. Due to the war ending, it is believed only companies or squads of these troops ever saw any action. Many more black soldiers fought for the North, but that difference was simply a difference because the North instituted this progressive policy more sooner than the more conservative South. Black soldiers from both sides received discrimination from whites who opposed the concept .

13. Union General U.S. Grant in Feb 1865, ordered the capture of "all the Negro men before the enemy can put them in their ranks." Frederick Douglass warned Lincoln that unless slaves were guaranteed freedom (those in Union controlled areas were still slaves) and land bounties, "they would take up arms for the rebels".

14. On April 4, 1865 (Amelia County, VA), a Confederate supply train was exclusively manned and guarded by black Infantry. When attacked by Federal Cavalry, they stood their ground and fought off the charge, but on the second charge they were overwhelmed. These soldiers are believed to be from "Major Turner's" Confederate command.

15. A Black Confederate, George _____, when captured by Federals was bribed to desert to the other side. He defiantly spoke, "Sir, you want me to desert, and I ain't no deserter. Down South, deserters disgrace their families and I am never going to do that."

16. Former slave, Horace King, accumulated great wealth as a contractor to the Confederate Navy. He was also an expert engineer and became known as the "Bridge builder of the Confederacy." One of his bridges was burned in a Yankee raid. His home was pillaged by Union troops, as his wife pleaded for mercy.

17. As of Feb. 1865 1,150 black seamen served in the Confederate Navy. One of these was among the last Confederates to surrender, aboard the CSS Shenandoah, six months after the war ended. This surrender took place in England.

18. Nearly 180,000 Black Southerners, from Virginia alone, provided logistical support for the Confederate military. Many were highly skilled workers. These included a wide range of jobs: nurses, military engineers, teamsters, ordnance department workers, brakemen, firemen, harness makers, blacksmiths, wagonmakers, boatmen, mechanics, wheelwrights, etc. In the 1920'S Confederate pensions were finally allowed to some of those workers that were still living. Many thousands more served in other Confederate States.

19. During the early 1900's, many members of the United Confederate Veterans (UCV) advocated awarding former slaves rural acreage and a home. There was hope that justice could be given those slaves that were once promised "forty acres and a mule" but never received any. In the 1913 Confederate Veteran magazine published by the UCV, it was printed that this plan "If not Democratic, it is [the] Confederate" thing to do. There was much gratitude toward former slaves, which "thousands were loyal, to the last degree", now living with total poverty of the big cities. Unfortunately, their proposal fell on deaf ears on Capitol Hill.

20. During the 50th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1913, arrangements were made for a joint reunion of Union and Confederate veterans. The commission in charge of the event made sure they had enough accommodations for the black Union veterans, but were completely surprised when unexpected black Confederates arrived. The white Confederates immediately welcomed their old comrades, gave them one of their tents, and "saw to their every need". Nearly every Confederate reunion including those blacks that served with them, wearing the gray.

21. The first military monument in the US Capitol that honors an African-American soldier is the Confederate monument at Arlington National cemetery. The monument was designed 1914 by Moses Ezekiel, a Jewish Confederate. Who wanted to correctly portray the "racial makeup" in the Confederate Army. A black Confederate soldier is depicted marching in step with white Confederate soldiers. Also shown is one "white soldier giving his child to a black woman for protection".- source: Edward Smith, African American professor at the American University, Washington DC.

22. Black Confederate heritage is beginning to receive the attention it deserves. For instance, Terri Williams, a black journalist for the Suffolk "Virginia Pilot" newspaper, writes: "I've had to re-examine my feelings toward the [Confederate] flag started when I read a newspaper article about an elderly black man whose ancestor worked with the Confederate forces. The man spoke with pride about his family member's contribution to the cause, was photographed with the [Confederate] flag draped over his lap that's why I now have no definite stand on just what the flag symbolizes, because it no longer is their history, or my history, but our history."

Resources:

Charles Kelly Barrow, et.al. Forgotten Confederates: An Anthology About Black Southerners (1995). Currently the best book on the subject.

Ervin L. Jordan, Jr. Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia (1995). Well researched and very good source of information on Black Confederates, but has a strong Union bias.

Richard Rollins. Black Southerners in Gray (1994). Excellent source.

Dr. Edward Smith and Nelson Winbush, "Black Southern Heritage". An excellent educational video. Mr. Winbush is a descendent of a Black Confederate and a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV).

This fact page is not an all inclusive list of Black Confederates, only a small sampling of accounts. For general historical information on Black Confederates, contact Dr. Edward Smith, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20016; Dean of American Studies. Dr. Smith is a black professor dedicated to clarifying the historical role of African Americans.


I am sure many would take any info availble to make their various points. I am solely interested in the truth, which is fascinating whomever it may happen to "benefit".
43 posted on 02/08/2004 8:08:50 PM PST by visualops (I'm still trying to figure out why kamikaze pilots wore helmets.)
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To: stainlessbanner
hy·poc·ri·sy
(h-pkr-s)
n. pl. hy·poc·ri·sies
  1. The practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; falseness.
  2. An act or instance of such falseness.

44 posted on 02/08/2004 8:16:45 PM PST by Psycho_Bunny
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To: visualops
He sure seems a credible source of information on Black history and the Civil War.

Fortunately, many of the original records survive:

"Mr. Wickham said that our brave soldiers, who have fought so long and nobly, would not stand to be thus placed side by side with negro soldiers. He was opposed to such a measure. The day that such a bill passed Congress sounds the death knell of this Confederacy. The very moment an order goes forth from the War Department authorizing the arming and organizing of negro soldiers there was an eternal end to this struggle.-(Voice-That's so.)

Gen. Howell Cobb, an unbeliever in this expedient, wrote from Macon, Ga., January 8, 1865: "I think that the proposition is the most pernicious idea that has been suggested since the war began. You cannot make soldiers of slaves or slaves of soldiers. The moment you resort to this your white soldiers are lost to you, and one reason why this proposition is received with favor by some portions of the army is because they hope that when the negro comes in they can retire. You cannot keep white and black troops together, and you cannot trust negroes alone. They won't make soldiers, as they are wanting in every qualification necessary to make one."

That statement makes an interesting contrast with this one:

"I know as fully as one can know the opinions of others that some of the commanders of our armies in the field who have given us some of most important successes, believe the emancipation policy and the use of colored troops, constitute the heaviest blow yet dealt the rebellion, and that at least one of those important successes could not have been achieved when it was but for the aid of black soldiers...So far as tested, it is difficult to say they are not as good soldiers as any."

A. Lincoln

Walt

45 posted on 02/09/2004 2:21:27 AM PST by WhiskeyPapa (Virtue is the uncontested prize.)
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To: visualops
4. Dr. Lewis Steiner, Chief Inspector of the United States Sanitary Commission while observing Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson's occupation of Frederick, Maryland, in 1862: "Over 3,000 Negroes must be included in this number [Confederate troops]. These were clad in all kinds of uniforms, not only in cast-off or captured United States uniforms, but in coats with Southern buttons, State buttons, etc. These were shabby, but not shabbier or seedier than those worn by white men in the rebel ranks. Most of the Negroes had arms, rifles, muskets, sabers, bowie-knives, dirks, etc.....and were manifestly an integral portion of the Southern Confederate Army."

Ah yes, Dr. Steiner wrote a phamplet, which also contained:

"The most intense hatred seems to have been encouraged and fostered in the men's hearts towards Union people, or Yankees as they style them; and this word Yankee is employed with any and every manner of emphasis possible to indicate contempt and bitterness. The men have been made to believe that "to kill a Yankee" is to do a duty imperatively imposed on them. The following incident will illustrate this:

A gentleman was called aside, while talking with some ladies, by an officer who wished information as to shoes. He said he was in want of shoes for his men, that he had United States money if the dealers were so foolish as to prefer it, or he would procure them gold; but if they wouldn't sell, he was satisfied to wait until they reached Baltimore, where he had no doubt but that shoes in quantity could be procured. No reply was made. Changing the subject, he inquired how the men were behaving. The answer was very well; there was no complaint, although some few had been seen intoxicated on the street. "Who gave them the liquor," said the officer. "Townsmen who sympathize with you and desire to show their love for you." "The only way to do that," said the officer, "is to kill a Yankee: kill a Yankee, sir, if you want to please a Southerner." This was uttered with all imaginable expression of vindictiveness and venom."

A clergyman tells me that he saw an aged crone come out of her house as certain rebels passed by trailing the American flag in the dust. She shook her long, skinny hands at the traitors and screamed at the top of her voice, "My curses be upon you and your officers for degrading your country's flag." Her expression and gesture as described to me were worthy of Meg Merilies.

The Confederates have been seizing horses from our farmers, tendering Confederate scrip in payments. They allege military necessity injustification of this seizure. Military necessity is a convenient cloak for any outrage whatever."

Three of the buildings on the hospital grounds were taken possession of by the Confederates for the accommodation of their sick. These soon threw themselves on the beds, with their filthy clothing and boots. In a few hours a marked contrast could be noticed between the neatness of the wards containing the Union soldiers and those occupied by the rebels."

The experience of one week with the Rebel Army satisfies me that the men are in a high state of discipline and have learned implicit obedience. When separated from their officers they do not show the same self-reliance that our men possess,—do not seem able to discuss with intelligent ease the political subjects which claim every man's attention at this time.

All of them show a lack of energy and spirit, a want of thrift and cleanliness, which are altogether paradoxical to our men. A constant fear of their officers is associated with their prompt obedience of orders. Many, while they expressed their contempt for "the Yankees," would lament the war and express a desire to throw down their arms and return to their homes, if they could only do this without molestation. Jackson's name was always mentioned with a species of veneration, and his orders were obeyed with a slavish obedience unsurpassed by that of Russian serfs.

The men generally looked sturdy when in ranks, yet a cachectic expression of countenance prevailed, which could not be accounted for entirely by the unwashed faces that were, from necessity or choice, the rule. Those who have fallen into our hands show worn-out constitutions, disordered digestions and a total lack of vital stamina. They do not bear pain with any fortitude, and their constitutions seem to have very little power of resistance to disease. The rate of mortality in the rebel sick and wounded is double or treble that found in the Hospitals containing our men."

Sunday, September 14th.—Major-General Banks' corps d'armee, commanded by Brigadier-General A. S. Williams passed through town this morning on its way to the front. The men were in the best possible spirits, all eager for the fray. They are fighting now for and among people who appreciate their labors, and who welcome them as brothers. Brigadier-General Gordon said that "the reception of the troops by the citizens of this place was equal to a victory in its effects upon the men of his command."

The veteran troops were all in vigorous health, and the new levies made up of strong, athletic men, whose intelligent faces beamed with strong desire to press rapidly upon the retreating foe. We had never greater reason to be proud of our army."

-- Dr Lewis Steiner, United States Sanitary Commission.

Now, the USSC was not a government organization, and Dr. Steiner was not a military officer. For instance, his 64,000 rebels were actually only about 45,000. But his comments are interesting.

He called Antietam a great Union victory also.

There is no credible evidence that more than a handful of blacks fought for the rebels.

Walt

46 posted on 02/09/2004 2:37:30 AM PST by WhiskeyPapa (Virtue is the uncontested prize.)
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To: visualops
1. The "Richmond Howitzers" were partially manned by black militiamen. They saw action at 1st Manassas (or 1st Battle of Bull Run) where they operated battery no. 2. In addition two black "regiments", one free and one slave, participated in the battle on behalf of the South. "Many colored people were killed in the action", recorded John Parker, a former slave.

Here is a Link listing the Confederate Order of Battle for First Bull Run. In addition to explaining why the Richmond Howitzers are not included, can you please identify which regiments were the Black ones?

47 posted on 02/09/2004 4:13:45 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: Ursa63
Post #32 is one of the finest I have ever seen on this site and I have been here since the beginning. Very, VERY well said.
48 posted on 02/09/2004 5:41:51 AM PST by rebelyell
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To: Non-Sequitur
This isn't my research.
I linked to a page, so go read it there, where they show the sources.
Like I told Whiskey-guy, I'm not gunning for anyone.
longtermmemory posed a question about slaves serving in exchange for freedom. The googling I did turned up the first document I posted. There were some interesting lines in it about black recruiting, so I posted the other stuff, and in my other post, listed the bio of who is apparently the main source. If it's all a fabrication, I find it odd there are so many books and other media on the topic, but anything is possible. Some other time if I have the inclination I'll do some more searching.
I will say if you google for "Richmond Howitzers" you'll find plenty of references to 1st Manassas.
49 posted on 02/09/2004 6:05:36 AM PST by visualops (I'm still trying to figure out why kamikaze pilots wore helmets.)
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To: visualops
So you aren't sure how much, if any, is true?
50 posted on 02/09/2004 6:30:45 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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