What follows is an interview of former slave, Tom Hawkins. It was conducted in 1938 as part of the Federal Writers' Project. Mr. Hawkins, interviewed in his mid to late 70s when he lived in Athens, Georgia. After a short introduction by the interviewer, Mr. Hawkins tells his own story. Tom
George Washington Albright was born enslaved to a Mississippi planter, but later served in the Reconstructed legislature. While in bondage, his mother secretly taught him to read and write. During the war, he took part in a secret organization bringing news of freedom to the enslaved people of the South. After the war ended, not only was he part of the new Mississippi government, he helped to organize free schools for the former slaves. When the Ku Klux Klan began to push back, he helped to form black militias to beat them back.
Mr. Albright goes on to explain why poor whites decided to side with the rich whites rather than with blacks and their own self-interests. He also explains why, by the 1900s, he could no longer consider himself part of the Republican Party.
Through much of the South, Confederate Memorial Day continues to be celebrated. With ceremony and paid time off, the adherents to the Southern Cause have long come together to remember the Confederate dead, lament their defeat in the Civil War, and wax prejudicial about black Americans. Let's take a look
As April has been proclaimed to be "Confederate Heritage Month," we at This Cruel War wish to observe it from the perspective of history. We will begin this exploration by delving into Confederate President Jefferson Davis' repulsion of even the thought of black United States troops - a practice that
The 1856 election pitted James Buchanan against John Fremont, the latter remembered as a radical abolitionist. From the Deep South came the warnings of disunion should the progressive Republican candidate win. However, at the time of the election, his personal politics on slavery went mostly unstated. In the build up
This Cruel War is a blog dedicated to studying the Civil War, it’s causes and repercussions. While these “repercussions” are generally noted as events taking place during Reconstruction or the Jim Crow era, in actuality, the repercussions of the Civil War are still being felt today. From the debate over
This Cruel War is a blog dedicated to studying the Civil War, it's causes and repercussions. While these "repercussions" are generally noted as events taking place during Reconstruction or the Jim Crow era, in actuality, the repercussions of the Civil War are still being felt today. From the debate over
Beginning in 1860, many United States citizens actively took part in levying war against their national government. Many others gave aid and comfort to those who had, until just prior, pledged allegiance to the United States. And yet, at the end of that conflict, not a single one of them was found guilty of treason in a Federal court. Let’s dig into what treason actually means, how it had been applied previous to the Civil War, and why even the rebel leaders were not found guilty of treason.
Prior to the Civil War, black American slaves had fought in every conflict. Sometimes they were forced, other times they were allowed to volunteer, and were even granted freedom as a reward for their service. This reward descended from a long tradition of emancipating slaves who risked their lives for their masters in a time of war. Usually, the prospect of freedom was the only reason for a slave to fight.
During the Civil War, a few Confederate citizens offered their slaves so that they might be used not only for digging trenches, but in combat. Never in any such discussion was the idea of emancipation entertained. Quite the contrary – the promise to keep the slaves enslaved following the conflict was floated in hopes of gaining favor. Nevertheless, all offers were refused until the very end.
In this short piece, let’s take a look at the history of slavery in American warfare, as well as the refusal of the Confederate government to arm its slaves.
One of the largest obstacles in the justification of slavery was none other than Thomas Jefferson, an enslaver himself. Though Jefferson owned upwards of 600 slaves throughout his lifetime, he was also a vocal advocate of gradual emancipation. He called slavery an "execrable commerce," an "assemblage of horrors," a "cruel