However if it is then as the Confederacy was failing fast why would Davis and the Congress spend so much time over any issue that was inconsequential? Same with European recognition. If that also was inconsequential that Davis and the leaders of the CSA spent a lot of time and energyu on something that did not matter.
If black soldiers were not needed, or were already being used in sufficient numbers, then the natural response to Cleburne's Memorial would have been, "Gee Pat we are already doing just that!". I guess Cleburne just didn't know the true state of affairs, must have been wildly out of touch. Same too with Johnston and Walker who had strong negative reactions to the proposal, were they out of touch with reality as well, if such measures were already in force?
Clearly many leaders of the CSA thought they needed more men. Lincoln said his goal was to maintain the Union. He said if he could do so by freeing all the slaves he would. If he could do so by freeing no slaves he would do that too. Or if by freeing some and not others the Union would be saved, that would be done, whatever it took to save the Union.
Show me the leader of the CSA adopted this policy when it was still able to do some good: "our goal is Independence first and foremost, if it can be done without freeing any slaves so it will be done, but if we must free every slave to win Independence that too will be done. Or if we must free some but not others we will do whatever it takes, as long as Independence is achieved."
The issue is not what their intentions were when beginning the fight, the issue is what were they willing to sacrifice to achieve their stated goal. If they were not willing to give up slavery to win Independence, then clearly one trumped the other. At the final hour the leadership, and the Richmond editorialist changed their position, but far too late. If no new men were needed, or if the policy was already in force, there would have been no need for any action of any kind along these lines, yert the facts are they did scramble take action in the last weeks to raise additional troops by arming slaves.
Lincoln's re-election was doubtful. Had this action to raise more manpower been adopted when obviously Cleburne and others saw the need, perhaps Sherman may not have reached Atlanta in time to ensure Lincoln's victory.
Anyway Pam, it is not me saying that arming slaves was necessary to win Independence .. it was CSA leaders who said so. And if it was already a matter of routine as George tries to suggest, then there was no need whatsoever at all to even discuss the matter further... yet discuss it they did ,, endlessly, .. and a last minute desperate scramble to impliment a change in policy was done as well by Davis and the other leaders in 1865.
If no more men were needed, only materials, why was Davis bothering to propose to buy 40,000 slaves ? If blacks were already being used as soldiers why would Davis even bother to make a speech in Congress about needed more men in 1865 and to bother to try to get a unneccesary bill passed? Is the consensus of the folks here in this forum that Davis spent the last months of the War doing nothing but fritter away money and debate and propose useless bills? And that RE Lee lent his strong support to something that was completely unnecessary?
Were they all delusional?