Confederacy created to perpetrate slavery?
From: email@example.com_ (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)
To: email@example.com_ (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org)
RE: Letter dated 11 March 2005 to the Editor
I would suggest to Professor Feller that refugees largely flocked to Union lines for sustenance, the invaders having devastated the countryside. There was precious little food or shelter available anywhere else. Indeed, as the professor points out, actions do sometimes reveal motives.
While black Southerners may or may not have "shunned and hindered" the invading Yankee armies, we know for a fact they did not revolt — as Lincoln may have envisioned when, on 1 January 1863, he issued his so-called Emancipation Proclamation. To the contrary, blacks contributed to the Confederate war effort and supported those white Southerners left behind, in many cases old men, women and children — when they could easily have undertaken actions to undermine and hinder those Professor Feller accuses of perpetrating slavery.
Reading Professor Feller’s admonishments of your paper, I am again struck by the vision and far-sightedness of Irish-born Confederate Major General Patrick Cleburne who, in a January 1864 letter proposing the emancipation and enlistment of black Southerners into the Confederate Army, warned:
"Every man should endeavor to understand the meaning of subjugation before it is too late…It means the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northernschoolteachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the war; will be impressed by the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit objects for derision…The conqueror’s policy is to divide the conquered into factions and stir up animosity among them…
….It is said slavery is all we are fighting for, and if we give it up we give up all. Even if this were true, which we deny, slavery is not all our enemies are fighting for. It is merely the pretense to establish sectional superiority and a more centralized form of government, and to deprive us of our rights and liberties."
Major Robert M White Camp 1250
Sons of Confederate Veterans