In modern Civil War histories such as these two books:
One sees at long last attention paid to how nuanced and gruesome the US Civil War actually was. People are now willing to acknowledge that 10% of the South's white population of military age, and 80% of the South's black population of military age not only fought in the Union armies but were the keys to its victories. The degree to which overlooking this makes the history of the era incomprehensible starts with Lincoln's successor Andrew Johnson. Without an understanding of Johnson as the only Senator from a Confederate state to stay in the Senate and his experiences as Tennessee's military governor during the war, seeing why Abe Lincoln picked him seems impossible.
George H. Thomas, the second-greatest general of the war after Ulysses S. Grant and the only other strategist during the war aside from Grant of note, was a Virginian and the most anti-slavery for ideological purity definitions of that concept general in the US high command. Grant shifted to become a defender of Civil Rights as a means of Northern states retaining a moral advantage over the losers. Thomas was always anti-slavery, and he was always against state's rights.
There were several movements of Southern Unionists during the war. 200,000 Southern whites served in the ranks of Blue. In the ranks of Grey this makes up for every single soldier Lee killed in his headlong attacks. There were anti-CS guerrillas that by 1864 controlled ever-larger chunks of the Confederacy. Most of these people were far from anti-racist, they in fact were often anti-secession but never anti-slavery with the few significant exceptions. It's why these people did not do well in the postwar scenario.
Southern slaves ran away to Union lines, and were already undermining slavery for the full year preceding the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Northern blacks volunteered to fight but were refused. Blacks from the South served to the tune of 300,000 soldiers, in bitter battles where their skill and tenacity far outpaced their white brethren. They fought heroically, and refused to accept the Lincoln Administration's attempts to pay them less than white troops (that firebrand of an issue actually goes back to 1863-4, Lincoln never gave them what they rightfully should have had). Black soldiers in the Civil War always risked massacres as a result of Jefferson Davis's precursor to the WWII Commissar Order. They were the bravest and noblest troops the Union had, and never broke against the Confederate soldiers opposed to them.
But to the planters and leaders who dragged the South into the maelstrom, this was an unforgivable set of rival coalitions against them. This is why the Bourbons were as vicious as they were. This is why Reconstruction saw the terrorism and emergence of the ur-totalitarianism of the KKK and White League and Red Shirts. The ex-Confederates could neither forgive nor forget. This is why white liberal histories (trigger warning-there is a lynching postcard that has some major trigger risks with it in the post linked): http://dneiwert.blogspot.com/2006/12/eliminationism-in-america-vi.html
Put Civil War-era violence against blacks thus: ( cut for larger font difference )
Because without including Fort Pillow, the Battle of the Crater, and the history of USCT units in general it's easy to attribute violence to lynching alone, not to bring up the racial massacres during the Civil War by Confederate soldiers. It's easy to paint the abolition of slavery as having nothing to do with racial violence. It's easy to claim the KKK were the first fascists and overlook where they were no different than the CS Army they were a veterans' club of
This rant brought to you by Halialkers Productions, you may now return to your daily DW.