Pat Cleburne was only repeating ideas he had heard from someone else, in order for him to go out on a limb and publically say those ideas he had to feel comfortable he had sympathic listeners. He did not formulate these ideas in a vacuum. The Confederate camps must have been abuzz with debate. The writings of the day point to a pre-idea of the justness of slavery based on the happiness of the slave and a later realization that those ideas were incorrect. The letters home from Confederate soldiers questioning 'why did Tom wanting to go off with the Yankees?' was a frequent query. When the realization came that they 'wanted' go, they wanted to leave the family, the expressing of pain and hurt was often found. The proof was the reaction to the end of salvery, retribution was light, the change was helped by the feelings of the majority of Southerners to finally let it go. General Forrest, supposed to be the cold blooded killer of hundreds of blacks, watched thousands of slaves walk off the plantations and head North, and with the military ability to stop it, did nothing. At the end of the war, except for some left over radicals hardly anyone tried to stop the exodus and the popular reaction was a big sigh of relief the burdon was finally gone.