At a time when statues are being torn down, Pat Cleburne deserves respect when he realized that Confederate prospects were dim. In January 1864 he proposed to enlist slaves and emancipate them and their families even if that ended the peculiar institution. His peers were shocked.
They were not ready to bite the bullet.

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Thank you for saying this, we, as historians can only hope that sense will descend upon those who seek to eradicate history-although I won't hold my breath.!!

Greetings Tim, other readers.

The war was not about slavery.  Slavery existed both North & South.  The Emancipation Proclamation was a war measure to shift a resource from the South to the North.  Slaves in the North were not all finally freed until long after the Civil War.

If a slave was behind Union lines, he was still in bondage.  If a Slave was in the South, he was still in bondage.   If a Southern slave was "freed" by the Union Army, he was again back in slavery - but not quite so as not knowing which way the whole thing was going, they were called "contrabands" as initially coined by Burnside I believe.

There were many movements to free the slaves before the Civil War broke out - IN Virginia!   That is until the abolitionists got to railing that slaves should rise up and kill their masters, the Virginia legislature shelved that idea.     

Robert E. Lee freed his wife's slaves (he didn't own any himself) in 1862 in accordance with his father in laws will (were not we in the middle of the Civil War then?

U.S. Grant did not free his slaves until AFTER the Civil War.

Lincoln wanted to send the freed slaves to colonies in Africa or in South America.  Brazil had slavery on a much smaller scale even AFTER 1865!

This was not an isolated idea.  Texas Ranger and Confederate Colonel Rip Ford stated in his memoirs that "No one was stepping forward to buy the slave his freedom."   

In that day and age, the "average" working man made .50 to a $1 a day.   Slave prices ranged from $800 to $1500!

Who brought the slave to the American shore?   The Dutch, the British (made dang good money too!) and finally the New Englanders got into it, building ships, then running those ships back and forth.  New England bankers financed the cost of a slave. Who sold the blacks" ?  Black Islamic Kente tribe.   One didn't even need to go ashore.  They would bring the slaves out to the ship! British outlawed slave trade (not slavery) in about 1805 followed by the U.S. in 1808.

Two inventions ensured a continuation of slavery: the Cotton Gin, and the Sugar Press.   Using slave labor at hand, slaves 9or one person) could do more tan multiple people for the same task. One inventor was himself (free)  black.    

Nathan Bedford Forrest was a slave trader before the Civil War and had just under 200 blacks who rode with him!  I think only one did not serve with him throughout the war.  If he was so foul, why did these blacks ride with him?  Surely at some point, a black on a horse could find away to escape! 

Modern historians looking over the fact that when Forrest passed away, his funeral was attended by 10,000 whites and they figure the 3,000 blacks were there to see what the big deal was.  NB Forrest was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.  The KKK of recent years and even post Civil War after about 5 to 10 years conjures up some bad images.  BUT these new incarnations were not the KKK he was part of.    

While you seek to have Cleburne exonerated for any possible misdeeds done in the past, there are many noteworthy men (and women) who fought for the South which is a stigma today as to stain any and all good done by that individual in their lifetime. In the way President Lincoln put forth the statement of the state of war, he gave no Southerner (who was a Unionist at heart) the option of peace on any level.  If one was in the South and found to be a Unionist, they were sent North to leave all their worldly wealth in the hands of the Confederates.  Just who in the North would help them,  Who would compensate them for their loss?

So much for us to relearn and so little time to do it. 

It was Ben Butler who called them contraband of war

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