But the issue here is arming slaves to fight as soldiers. The South desperately needed manpower. They had a huge number of able-bodied men in bondage. These men were a potential source for fresh troops and men like Cleburne and Oates and General Thomas C. Hindman and others pushed for adopting a policy of offering emancipation to any slave willing to fight for his freedom and their independence.
It was vigorously opposed by the CSA government, until finlly in 1865 they president and congress finally voted to begin arming slaves. But here is another distinction we have yet to mention in this discussion. The bill that finally passed allowing armed slave regiments to be formed, did not conscript the slaves themselves, but it only allowed a slaveholder to donate his slaves to serve as soldiers, and therew as no provision in the bill to offer for emancipation in exchange.
In effect they were only offering a slaveholder, not the slave, the choice to permit his slave to be allowed to fight as an armed soldier, who would be fighting to keep himself, his wife and his children as slaves, with maybe only a vague a hope he might be granted freedom someday for his willingness to become cannon fodder. That was the final legislation passed on the issue. and the vote was close.
So there it is: even in the final throes of the last days of a quickly falling confederacy and with the leadership grasping at the last desperate straws, when it came down to making a choice between emancipation of slaves or their own independence, the leadership of the CSA clearly chose that maintaining slavery trumped independence.