"Don't you just love it. It is just like reading the Bible, I don't like that scrpture so I'll just ignore that verse. Or that doesn't fit my ideal of what I believe, so I'll condeam someone elses beliefs because they don't believe the same way I do. "
I FULLY agree with you on this. The thing I found extraordinary is that the 'pick and choose verses - reject some verses" method is exactly what you were doing in your Douglass post above. It was a believe Matthew Chapter 6 v 08 but reject Matthew Chapter 7 v 12, only using Douglass as your sources to accept here reject there.
From the book, Confederate Emancipation, by Bruce Levine.
In a January 1865 speech in New York, Douglass had warned the North that slaves might fight for the Confederacy if Jefferson Davis made them a good enough offer. Southern blacks, Douglass had predicted, would fight for whichever side "will nearest approach the standard of justice and magnanimity toward the negro." But of course, Douglass knew quite well which side that would be. He was using the specter of black Confederate soldiers to gain additional leverage with the Republicans, to frighten the Union into further strengthening its own commitment to black rights. As Douglass later made clear, he actually regarded Davis's plan (The Negro Soldier Bill) as evidence of a kind of "madness" precisely because it "called upon the Negro for help to fight against the freedom which he so longed to find, for the bondage he would escape--against Lincoln the emancipator for Davis the enslaver." Confederate leaders could convince themselves slaves might accept such an absurd offer, Douglass noted, only because "the South was desperate," and "desperation discards logic."
So why use Douglass.. when CSA sources can be used?
I am not questioning whether free blacks enlisted, or that some slaves served willingly. My starting point is the CSA military who advised using slaves in very large numbers in exchange for freedom, advice not taken until tyoo late, and even then in a tepid measure.
Another question that one of you raised was if Union cooks and teamsters etc were considered soldiers, why not CSA cooks etc be consided soldiers. Fair enough question, but Union soldiers were operating in enemy country had had no access to civilian labor as the CSA did so the Union fighting men had to cook etc for themselves when they were not in battle. They had no other convenient option that to do menial labors themselves in enemy territory. In home bases and barracks in friendly home territory, they frequently hired civilians to do these same jobs, and these hired persons were not considered soldiers. The CSA almost always operated in supportive home territoy with available civilian labor, which was often done exclusively by blacks.
Later the Union forces did use "contraband" escaped slaves to perform such non-combat duties, when these escaped slaves came into their lines in large numbers, in exchange for the food and shelter and protection they received untl something could be arranged for them. But no one would have considered these civilian laborers to be soldiers.