-- Judah Benjamin argued for the first time publicly that slaves should be freed by each state because additional soldiers were needed to win the war.
-- A highly-publicized letter from General Lee to Congressman Barksdale dated February 18, 1865, that supported the drafting and then emancipating of slaves “turned the tide” on this issue.
-- On March 4 and 6, the Virginia legislature agreed that slaves and free blacks could fight in the Confederate army, but their military service would not result in emancipation.
-- The Confederate Army and Davis managed to overcome the opposition by the Virginia legislature and the Confederate Congress to emancipation by adding to army regulations that slaves could fight if they so desired and if their masters submitted a written approbation that the slave could be freed after the war.
-- By mid-March, free and enslaved blacks were being recruited formally in Richmond. The newspapers noted that they seemed to be capable soldiers.
-- In Lee’s last letter to Davis, dated April 2, he wrote that he was glad that blacks were being trained.
All the above prove unquestioanably that armed slaves as soldiers, ifnit was being done, was extremely rare and extremely controversiaon and it took extraordinary action by davis and Lee and others in February March and April 1865, to even start the process, and it was done over very strong opposition.
Now, then you ask me to post the provisions of the bill which you yourself post!!!
“The measure that ultimately was enacted, introduced by Representative Barksdale of Mississippi on February 10, 1865, the day after Benjamin’s speech, made no provision for emancipating slaves. It merely authorized the President to accept from the owners of slaves the services of such a number of able-bodied Negro men as he may deem expedient to perform military service in whatever capacity he may direct....[N]ot more than twenty percent of the male slaves between the ages of eighteen and forty-five should be called from...any one state. This crucial last section of the law stated that nothing in this act shall be construed to authorize a change in the relation which the said slave shall bear toward their owners, except by consent of the owners and of the states in which they may reside and in pursuance of the laws thereof.”
There you have it George. The last ditch attempt for Independence, we need more men, let's use slaves, legistation:
"It merely authorized the President to accept from the owners of slaves the services of such a number of able-bodied Negro men as he may deem expedient to perform military service in whatever capacity he may direct"
In other words, if a slaveholder wishes to donate slaves to the Cause, to help secure our Glorious Independence.we are now authorized to accept them. Period.
Now that is some effective legislation to raise the manpower isn't it?
The legislation "made no provision for emancipating slaves". And even then: “[E]xtraordinary efforts” were required to pass this proposal." Davis and Lee were “disappointed by the legislation,” but still supported the arming and emancipating of slaves although “time was running out.”
So that was the best Congress would do., as far as they were willing to go. We will accept your donations of slaves to fight. They will not be promised emancipation, and will remain slaves after we win. The institition will remain.
In other words, slaves can now ( as of February 1865) be used to fight, as armed soldiers, but they will be fighting to maintain their own bondage and that of their wives and children, and will be returned to their owners afterwards for him to use as he sees fit.
When they desperately needed men, and many of them, and able ones, and willing to fight, that is where they drew the line. We will take donations from slaveholders and return whatever slaves aren't killed. I bet that drew an impressive response of "volunteers".
You arm a man still a slave, tell him he will still be a slave if he manages to live, and what do you think the result would be? Especially when the choice is not even his to make!!! The choice of whether he was to fight was left to "massa". Do you think he would stand up and fight for the slavemasters victory, with no incentive to his own freedom or that of his wife and children?
It is all a moot point, the war was done. The fork was stuck. The CSA leadership had waited far too long to make a move on arming slaves, had resited it, and ignored the pleas of generals in the field, and met strong almost violent resistance to the idea since Cleburne Hindman and others first proposed it, and the end resulkt was so weak and tepid it would never have been effective.
The CSA had a shot at independence only if they had the manpower to secure it. At every step and turn of events they refused to do the painful things needed to gain that manpower. Some diehards even in this debate over this incredible weak and ineffective bill said a South without slavery is not worth having.
The men who passed this legislation could have passed a bill that promised freedom to any slave willing to stand up and fight for his own freedom, and for southern Independence. The slave population was in the millions and was almost half the entire population of the South , in some places they were even a majority. The manpower was there.
If the bill was needed in 1865, and clearly by then Lee and Davis were begging for passage, it was even mnore needed in 1863 when the subject was first brought up, and whennit might have done the mosty good. Had strong measures been taken then in 1863 it would have been more effective.
clearly they were offered a choice, exchange emancipation for securing independence and the choice they selected, even in the last months was no emacipation.
Everything you just posted proves it beyond doubt. There would be no emancipation. Davis even tried to get authorization BUY 40,000 slaves to use immediately as soldiers and couldn't get even that through congress. Their answer was "we will take donations, and those donated will remain slaves".