Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Emancipation to Help Achieve Southern Independence

Historian Kent Masterson Brown has written that the Confederate lines at Gettysburg contained many black faces, and that some 6,000 to 10,000 black men went with Lee’s army into Pennsylvania and returned South with them. By 1864, there was much discussion and opinion regarding the use of black regiments to help achieve Southern independence. Read more about “African Slavery and the War” at

Bernhard Thuersam, Chairman
North Carolina War Between the States Sesquicentennial Commission
"The Official Website of the North Carolina WBTS Sesquicentennial"

Emancipation to Help Achieve Southern Independence:

“Lincoln has acknowledged that he relies more upon his two hundred thousand Negro soldiers, than upon all the whites at his command. Without them, he says, it would strip the North of its white population to conquer the South and end the war. However this may me, we know that he is making good use of Negro soldiers. When, therefore, we see a Government controlling a population three times greater than ours, buying up European mercenaries and pressing our slaves into its service to save its native population from the ravages of the sword, it becomes a question for us to consider whether our prejudices should longer allow us to condemn the flower of our population, the hope of the country, to be wasted and destroyed, rather than to mould to our use and make subsidiary, to the great ends of independence….the race that has for so long acknowledged our guidance and control.

We believe that an army of two hundred thousand able-bodied slaves….could be organized and induced to fight for their freedom on the Southern side of this question. We should agree to give it to them and a home amongst us for themselves and their posterity in all time to come. If they will fight for freedom by the side of strangers from the North, they will fight better for the same boon in the armies where the sons of their former masters contend for the homes of both master and slave.”

(Lynchburg Virginian, October 8, 1864 editorial; The Gray and the Black, Robert F. Durden, LSU Press, 1972, pp. 76-77)


  1. Such thinking was beyond most of the slaveholders as well as the CSA leadership. It would have required them to open open and forthright which, after observing the treatment of the Native Americans and the uselessness of the treaties they signed, have proven that such actions were beyond their capability.

  2. I'm sure you know the General Stan Watie was the last Confederate General officer to surrender.