Black Southern Support for Secession and War

Two young boys, going off to war, to defend their Land and folks from a criminal invading army. The chances of both of them them coming out alive, or even one, are very slim.

Truth works best, so I am both prodigy of slave owners, and prodigy of a English slave in America.

You want to go back a bit, all of our ancestors have been on both sides of the slave fence.

I am against slavery.

Don’t think people should be hauled off to prison, or executed, for failing to give tribute to USA/Washington DC, and their sub corporations, the “State” “Governments”.

Don’t think folks should be kicked out of their homes, off their land, for failing to pay tribute to the local sub corporations of the USA/WASHINGTON DC corporation.

Against slavery!

That said, here is a story from the Abbeville Institute, which you will have a hard time finding in your 5,-6-or 10 o’clock news.

Daughters best friend’s husband did me a favor the other day, I had met him once before at a kids birthday party.

He is a American of African descent, from Alabama.
In other words, he is Southern like me.
He knows the North had slaves.
He knows there were slaves in the north, after there were none in the South.
He Knows WASHINGTON DC, don’t give a damn about either of our asses, no matter the shade of tan they are.

We cussed yankees a bit just on general principals.

Daughter asked me later what I though of him?
Told her he was just a good ole Southern boy like me, seemed like a good man.

Reminded her that the yankee soldier was raping black women to death, stealing everything the Southerners of African descent had, slave and free alike, and they fought to defend their homes and families, communities just like her and my ancestors did.

And they fought bravely!

The yankee “historians” try to regulate “Black Confederates”, to forced manual labor.

The only known photograph of Confederate troops in formation, is a Negro outfit, they are not caring shovels, but rifles.
They are going into battle to shoot yankee invaders.
They are thought to have been a Texas outfit.

Were they treated as equals, no, but they were treated with more friendship, honest dealings, respect from their Southern people, even if that were their owner, than they did at the hands of the invading yankee horde, and better then they received at the hands of Uncle Sugar in the aftermath of that illegal war.

John C Carleton
——————————

Sooner or later any student of the War for Southern Independence will run across discussion of “black Confederates,” which may well be the most controversial topic related to the war. From an objective standpoint it might seem odd that there is any controversy at all. The South had a large black population in 1861, mostly slave but some free, and these men and women held a diverse set of opinions, just as the white population did. Simply playing the odds will tell us that someone among the four million black men, women and children in the South would choose to support secession. Slaves had little choice in whether they participated in supporting the war effort (though they had more options than might be expected) but while the “free men of color” as they were often called were not treated as equals by the white population, they were often skilled tradesmen and businessmen who owned property, and many had family who had lived in their home state for several generations, so they had deep roots in the South. Some were veterans of past military conflicts. The idea that they would have an interest in the outcome of the war and might well choose to side with their home states over an invading army should surprise no one, especially early in the conflict before Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation changed the calculation by making freedom for the black population into a wartime goal of the Union.

The controversy arises because modern racial politics get injected into the discussion of the past. Historians who should be objective are not, and they insist that black Confederates are “a myth”, and those who promote the “myth” do so because they want to deny slavery as the cause of the war. If black men fought for the south, this line of thinking goes, then the war could not have been about slavery, because black men would not have fought for that cause. Some even insist that no one at all believed in black Confederates until the late 1970s, when the growing attention given to black Union troops in popular culture forced modern Confederate defenders to invent tens of thousands of black troops of their own.

It has been refreshing for me to get away from these modern claims and to spend some time researching what the population who was alive during the war believed. There are many sources of information to choose from, including the Official Records, service records of the enlisted men themselves, post-war pension records, etc., but for the purposes of this article I’m going to focus on a source that I rarely see examined in any depth, contemporary newspapers, a source some of these historians dismiss as almost entirely unreliable. I disagree. Both Northern and Southern newspapers from 1861 to 1865 had a lot to say about black involvement in the Confederate war effort. Willing or unwilling, free or slave, combatant or camp servants, the participation of the non-white population of the South in the war effort was known and reported by both sides, and editors were not hesitant to give their opinions.

A word of caution is appropriate here. There was fake news in the 19th century just as there is today. It’s certainly true that not everything printed in the newspapers was factual. Opinion and editorial comment are often mixed with reporting, so that has to be taken into account. Perhaps most importantly, when discussing what the newspapers said about black support for Southern secession and war, it is important to remember that the reader is nearly always an outsider looking in. We are given an account of what black men are doing, but rarely are we given his stated reasons why he is doing it. We are left to make whatever inferences and deductions that we can, if indeed we can judge motives at all. I think we can in fact make some observations based on the press coverage.

For the purposes of this article, I’m going to steer clear of actual combat stories in favor of what the newspapers can tell us about black support for the war effort on the home front, where the fog of war can be largely avoided. All newspaper articles quoted here are from 1861. I’m only scratching the surface of this topic. There are many more examples than can possibly be given in the limited space available here.

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Black Southern Support for Secession and War

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