You said this:
" Cleburnes proposal was not as many claim an effort to solely increase the fighting manpower of the Army of Tennessee, but to also reward those blacks who were already doing so and serving well. "
Accepted. But, the question is not whether blacks were already in service, or that they didn't deserve reward. The question is, was his proposal a useful proposal to answer an urgent legitimate need? And if so, why was Cleburne's proposal not acted upon in an effective manner? THAT is the question that has been asked in this recent discussion and is continuously being avoided and danced around.
Cleburne thought it was both legitimate and urgent. He was silenced and told not to raise the issue any further. Why?