Alan posted a well thought out and sourced message. If you have specific differences with his statements and conclusions, please post them in the same controlled and non-emotional way as Alan. George, you seem to be drawn to immediate anger whenever there is any challenge to the position that large numbers of African-Americans were willing participants or Confederate "soldiers". Personally, I hold a position, though less well-read than Alans, that "blacks" did not fight for the Confederacy in large numbers, but were requisitioned for support services, loyal to a master or acted in some other personal or trained role in the Confederate camps. I am also distrusting of the motivation for this position that you and others may hold in varying degrees. I'd like to know from you, what difference this issue means to you? Are you arguing that slaves and freedmen in the South were willing supporters of the institution slavery? That see, "Slavery wasn't all that bad!". That the war was NOT about slavery, "See all the slaves fighting for the South?" If not one black Confederate were found who fought willingly for the South, what difference would that make to you?
For those of us who wish to discuss the constitutional reasons for the American Civil War and attempt to defend the Southern position or find balance between the views and morality of North and South, I find this argument an embarassment and a distraction that automatically undermines the better formed and more provable positions.
George, I won't tolerate the personal attacks and confrontations any more. Alan is not deserving of your most recent response. I took a position with "JackO" earlier and did not get between the two of you, because he was as unreasonable and aggressive as you, but I won't allow you to attack a "real scholar" and a very good person on this site.