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25 August 2014

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turcopolier

Jim Buck

There were many in WW1 who fought for Germany. In re WW2 there is a book out there somewhere called something like "Hitler's Jewish Soldiers." pl

Cee

Col. Lang,

Just ordered your books from Amazon.

turcopolier

khc

My favorite story about that kind of thing has to do with Mr. Jefferson's Black family. Sally Hemings was mostly white and after he died she and two of her sons lived in Charlottesville where the US Census classified them as white while Virginia's laws had considered them to be black enough to be enslaved. pl

Cee

Col. Lang,

He suspected that is race was the case. He was never sure.
His age MAY have been the factor.
This topic came up when his oldest daughter held her wedding reception there a few years ago.

turcopolier

Cee

The family secret that lies at the heart of STT will be clear to you. pl

mistah charley, ph.d.

In reply to Col. Lang

You state about Ph.D.s, "They group themselves in groupthink circles and are quite capable of ignoring truth that might alienate their peers and mentors." I agree, but I think this is a human tendency, not one specific to Ph.D.s in particular.

When I was in grad school, one of my professors said to a class, "Don't read just [name of discipline] - that makes you stupid."

I have tried not to let "my schooling interfere with my education", a phrase often attributed to Mark Twain, but which ought to be credited to the late 19th century author Grant Allen.

http://quoteinvestigator.com/2010/09/25/schooling-vs-education/

The Quote Investigator webpage is an avocation of Garson O’Toole, who has a doctorate from Yale University.

Cee

Col. Lang,

That One Drop Rule again.

You may be interested in One Drop of Blood by Scott Malcomson.

This is about something that happened to a woman in Louisiana

At the age of 48, she discovered something about herself that would make her physically ill for the three days that followed – she was “Colored.” According to her birth certificate, both of her parents were designated “Colored” and therefore she too was Colored.

http://1nedrop.com/susie-guillory-phipps-the-state-of-louisiana-and-the-one-drop-rule/

Cee

Col. Lang,

I look forward to reading them all. Should I start with with STT?

Not yet shipped
Guaranteed delivery by: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 by 8:00pm


Death Piled Hard: A Tale Of The Confederate Secret Services
Lang, W. Patrick
Sold by: Amazon.com LLC

Down the Sky: Volume Three of the "Strike the Tent" Trilogy
Lang, W. Patrick
Sold by: Amazon.com LLC

The Butcher's Cleaver: (A Tale of the Confederate Secret Services.)
Lang, W. Patrick
Sold by: Amazon.com LLC

turcopolier

Cee

The point is that the US Government did not have that rule when Jefferson's sons were categorized in Charlottesville after they were freed in his will. pl

turcopolier

Cee

Volume 1 -The Butcher's Cleaver volume 2 - Death Piled Hard, volume 3- Down the Sky. pl

Swerv21

This is something that routinely infuriates me about MSM's coverage of politics regarding 'red states'. This came up when Carter called critics of Obama's policies 'racist'. I found this odd, and perhaps a little bit too convenient, that it was Carter who had to make this case in the media. I don't think Clinton would ever have done so.

The larger point IMO, and what is usually (deliberately) obscured in the press is that much of the red state opposition comes from cultural and political antipathy. In my mind, Obama is largely a coastal a liberal in his outlook and he generally views red state culture, including the south, with a disdain bordering on contempt. And I'm saying this having voted for him twice.

The reason red state people oppose him may indeed be exacerbated by race, but southern people aren't stupid. They can 'read' Obama's political/ cultural posture pretty easily. By having the race thing dominate the coverage the real grievances that undergird his opposition can be more easily elided.

mistah charley, ph.d.

in reply to Cee

About the one drop rule - my family background is Euro-American, and my brother married a Puerto Rican woman with one black parent and one white (the father, of Spanish origin - out of the picture early). My nieces and nephew are, to use I've seen described as both dated and offensive, "quadroons." I've never heard anyone say this word, actually.

The oldest girl looks just like her mother in terms of coloring, and my nephew, the youngest, is intermediate between his two parents in skin tone. However, the middle child is white and blonde (naturally blonde as a child - I'm not sure if she's using a hair product to maintain it now that she's in her late 20s). If she wanted to, my niece would have no trouble at all "passing". Hypothetically, she could then have children who might be shocked to at some point discover they are "black".

A cousin of mine was doing genealogical research at the provincial archives of Nova Scotia, and one of the staffers there said, "We're all related - even the Chinese."

kao_hsien_chih

Cee,

One drop rule is mostly a product of early 20th century. The first state to adopt it was Tennessee in 1910, according to wikipedia. There was active resistance to such laws in much of the South, I've been tild. A famous historian of the South told me that one important reason some pols opposed was because "that law will turn our best families n*****," quoting what one of them said. Itself an interesting reflection on weird ambiguities of race.

mistah charley, ph.d.

In reply to Swerv21

I'm a Yankee by birth and heritage, but have spent the majority of my life below the Mason-Dixon line. While I agree that some of the antipathy to Obama "comes from cultural and political antipathy", I attribute more of it to racism than you do. You state "By having the race thing dominate the coverage the real grievances than undergird his opposition can be more easily elided".

My view, based not just on the media and the internet, but on many personal interactions these past several years, is that "the race thing" is, for many more people than those that are consciously aware of it, just as real and important a "grievance" as any of the other "cultural and political" factors. Humans are rationalizing animals, not rational animals.

turcopolier

mistah charley phd

Gaithersburg, Maryland is hardly the South. pl

mistah charley, ph.d.

In reply to turcopolier

While I do reside in Maryland, it is "below the Mason-Dixon line" - and in my experience it is rather more similar to Virginia, where I spent important formative years, than it is to Boston or Buffalo, my other long-term locales. Admittedly, most of Montgomery County is cosmopolitan.

Seamus Padraig

Fascinating, Pat! I had always heard that there were some blacks who served with the Confederacy during the CW, but this is a subject almost never raised in modern America. But can it really be true that Nathan Bedford Forrest actually used black soldiers? He was known to be absolutely merciless in his treatment of captured enemy blacks during the war. And he is also believed to have been one of the principal architects of the Klan afterwards. That would be a real bombshell!

turcopolier

Seamus

"enemy blacks" would be the operative phrase. If you read enough memoirs you find that Blacks with the CSA were very hostile to Southern Blacks who had joined the Union Army. They considered them traitors. E. Porter Alexander's memoir contains a fair amount of information on that. As for the klan, the first klan was a resistance organization against military occupation and imposed Black rule. Forrest's name was nidtrumental in creating that and when occupation ended he was publicly in favor of ending it. pl

Stephanie

My understanding is that most of the blacks with Forrest were teamsters. There were a few armed black men in his personal escort. As I recall Forrest told them all forthrightly that slavery was at the heart of the conflict and that if the South won he would free them at war’s end and if the North won they were free anyway. I believe he had papers drafted to that effect lest he die before war’s end with his men still unfreed. I expect those men fought primarily out of loyalty to Forrest (and of course NBF could be a pretty scary fellow). Black soldiers were indeed targeted at Fort Pillow but you have to be careful to distinguish what was truly atrocious and what was blown up out of proportion by propaganda.

Speaking more generally, IMO the term “black Confederate” should be limited to those who actually bore arms and fought for the Confederate government. Teamsters, laborers, other kinds of contractors, servants with the army, etc. – these are people fulfilling essentially the same functions they would have done in ordinary life. (I can think of reasons why such people with the army didn’t try to escape and they don’t necessarily involve commitment to the cause.)

There were others who fought with various militias. I also remember reading about some 40 slaves who held the horses for the cavalry who were armed and fought at Chickamauga. There are many reasons why men choose to fight. I suppose you can call these people black Confederates there’s nothing to stop you, but they certainly weren’t soldiers in the eyes of the government they fought under (not necessarily fought for). Some did ask for pensions, and why not?

While these facts should not be ignored or downplayed, it is hard for me to see how this quite small number of fighting men makes a significant difference to the nature of the conflict. (I also have the impression, which could be mistaken, that for the most part these men were perceived even by the whites they served with as loyal slaves or servants, not loyal fellow soldiers or Confederates.)

Stephanie

Colonel,

I forgot to address my comment to Seamus. My apologies.

turcopolier

stephanie

You discount and demean their service and dismiss their loyalty to their units because you wish to. That is your privilege but it is essentially a political bias expressed in this way. You skip over the fact that they could have deserted to the enemy and were armed. Many soldiers throughout history have fought for causes that did not favor them personally. Indeed that could be said for the whole Confederate Army. Few of the men owned slaves or were likely to do so, but to paraphrase MacArthur, they wrote their name in red on their enemies breast. pl

turcopolier

Stephanie

Confederate Black teamsters were armed. They are the men Lee used to march US Army prisoners south from Pennsylvania. pl

Fred

Stephanie,

"Teamsters, laborers, other kinds of contractors, servants with the army,"

WIthout all those people there would have been no field armies - war over. The Quartermaster General of the US Army was Joseph E. Johnston, who resigned to join his state after President Lincoln's call for volunteers, which is the event that triggered VIrginia to have a second vote on secession (the first having failed). Montgomery Meigss was promoted to replace him. He's the one who had all those people doing things they did in normal life, like the much maligned employees of Halliburton 'deployed' to Iraq. The WAPO has a long write up of him:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/montgomery-meigss-vital-influence-on-the-civil-war--and-washington/2011/06/10/AGTLu3tH_story.html

Stephanie

Fred, I don't question that such people are essential to the functioning of an army. However, it does not make them combatants in the sense under discussion, nor does it even necessarily imply a national or ideological commitment. No doubt a fair number of these blacks saw themselves as Confederates, as would be their right.

As the Colonel points out, the military were out front of the civilians on this issue and if the army had its way there might well have been a significant black presence in the CSA. In the end it didn't happen.

Parenthetically, I see your WaPo article doesn't get around to mentioning the malice aforethought with which Meigs set about making Arlington uninhabitable for the Custis-Lee family after the seizure of the estate, which the government later conceded was illegal. Certainly he was a most capable quartermaster general.

turcopolier

Stephanie
IMO, the real significance of Blacks serving with the CSA lies in the insight this provides us into the actual nature of Southern society at that time. If the South had been the "concentration camp" for Blacks that is depicted in the popular media these men would not have stayed with the army voluntarily. Their significance does not lie in numbers. it lies in their mere existence. You raised the issue of the 175,000 USCT troops that served in the Union Army. it should be noted that the North paid these soldiers substantially less than was paid to White soldiers of the same rank. An additional problem that plagued these troops was the relatively poor leadership provided them in the form of White officers that nobody else wanted or who simply would not have been appointed in White units. A good example was BG Ferrero who commanded a USCT Division at The Crater. He was a former dancing master appointed from civil life who spent the battle cowering in a bunker a mile in the rear while Billy Mahone's tattered killers butchered his men. BTW, some of the Black PWs who were shot in the aftermath of the battle were killed by Blacks from Mahone's trains. In general the USCT troops were used to relieve White troops from security duties along the lines of communications so that they could be employed in front line duties. pl

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