Free Blacks taken in Pennsylvania

jgoodguy

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As I understand this issue.

* Some number of free blacks were rounded up along with white citizens and held as prisoners.
* War Crimes need some sort of documentation instead of wild speculation.
* Let us avoid modernisms.
* The prisoners were brought back to VA.
* Blacks who admitted to be slaves were sent to slave depots to be picked by owners. Beats the heck how this worked but the laws were written that way.
* Free Blacks were held in various Richmond prisons.
* In the chaos of Richmond's fall records were lost and the free blacks disappear from the historical record.
* There are no records of free blacks being re-enslaved.
There is the rule is in the lack of evidence, there is no evidence to support assertions, allegations and excited talk.
 

jgoodguy

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Is this more like a campfire chat with a flask of whiskey passed around and the conversation starting to distribute the camp or real history?
 

jgoodguy

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JPK Huson 1863 said:
Well it wasn't just newspaper accounts. I don't mean to be argumentative but there sure are documented cases where free blacks were kidnapped before 1863- well before. Why would everyone take a break just for the invasion? Makes no sense.

Why is it not enough for eye witness accounts from Gettysburg's black community to be taken seriously? Why do they not have a voice? And why would Gettysburg civilians make stuff up- I'm not going to do it yet again but there are accounts on the subject- why are they discounted? Why why why- always why.

Also not to be argumentative - on earth does a free black, kidnapped and taken South, document their experience? Any idea ( for one thing ) how many Americans couldn't write, much less prove their identity if need be? Where would be the resources to get their story out? It took 12 years for one man and he had some support and ability to prove what he said.
1. The CSA army operated under military law which allowed individuals to be taken into custody until their status can be determined. It is military law that is operative rather than civilian law. Rhetorically it may be kidnapping for effect, but it is not historically accurate. Remember under military law at this time, the United States Army was taking blacks into custody to free them. The Confederacy was vocally rhetorical about that and some folks snicker at that rhetoric.

2. Under the law which the Pennsylvania Campaign blacks were interned, blacks who admitted to being slaves were sent to slave depots to await being claimed by their masters the rest were interned. IMHO the law was intended to be executed in CSA controlled/claimed areas and not really intended for far away campaigns, but orders are orders.

3. Yes some number of free blacks were rounded up in a war that put 600,000 to 700,000 in graves. The blacks were free in about 18 months, while the others never were freed from their graves.
 

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matthew mckeon said:
The criteria for evaluating evidence of an historical event varies somewhat.

On one side we have consistent contemporary accounts of behavior from multiple sources of an event, an event consistent with previous Confederate practice and beliefs.
But...this event puts the glorious Army of the Northern Virginia, its noble leader and knightly commanders is a somewhat unflattering light. So it doesn't matter what evidence is presented.
As one of the greatest headlines of all time puts it: "The flat earth society has members from around the globe."
Campfire chat or history?
If history, please can the rhetoric or wait until after my breakfast so I can join in.
 

jgoodguy

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matthew mckeon said:
Time and tide wait for no breakfast.

"Free Blacks" I understand the crucial difference that made in 1863, between black people born in PA or another free state and fugitives from VA(for example), for the Confederates. But really, all that black people in Pennsylvania were free, courtesy of the Emancipation Proclamation and their own valiant efforts. The Confederacy obviously did not accept the EP.

That's the difference between the United States and the Confederacy.
Then sir, if rhetoric, there is what if forum and chat for this sort of stuff. For example, history tells us the free blacks swept in the Confederate sweeps were freed at birth in Pennsylvania and not by the EP. This enthusiasm seems to trump history. If you wish to just bash southerners, remember I may be a Unionist but I am also a southerner.
 

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NH Civil War Gal said:
"it will never be certain how many black Pennsylvanians were carried away by the Confederates during the Gettysburg Campaign. The number is at least in the several hundreds. That more African Americans were not kidnapped by Lee’s Army is because those that could prudently fled before their arrival, following the precedent of slaves liberated by Union Army who retreated with it when the fortunes of war shifted to avoid re-enslavement. Fortunately, such moments of African Americans fleeing to remain free were rare during the Civil War, but they did happen, such as during the Confederate invasion of Pennsylvania in June 1863. It was a pity all black Pennsylvanians could not get away from invading rebels, but thankfully their period of bondage would be relatively short (if they lived) compared to the past generations that had been born, lived, and died as slaves."

Sources: 1) David G. Smith, “The Capture of African Americans during the Gettysburg Campaign,” in , ed. Peter Wallenstein and Betram Wyatt-Brown (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2005), 137-51; 2) James M. Paradis, . Sesquicentennial Edition (Lanham, Md.: The Scarecrow Press, 2013), 31-33.
Thanks for this contribution and especially sources.
 

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NH Civil War Gal said:
1) David G. Smith, “The Capture of African Americans during the Gettysburg Campaign,” in Virginia’s Civil War, ed. Peter Wallenstein and Betram Wyatt-Brown (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2005), 137-51; 2)
 

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Gettysburg Campaign,” in Virginia’s Civil War, ed. Peter Wallenstein and Betram Wyatt-Brown (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2005), 137-51; 2)


Note the if claimed to be free.
Slave Raids is modernity.


The CSA Congress ordered the recapture of African Americans runaway slaves by the army and the CSA Army took into custody all blacks to comply.
 

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matthew mckeon said:
I'm not trying to "bash" southerners. Of course, I don't have much admiration for the Confederacy as a project, I don't think that's a secret. But I try to achieve an understanding of individuals. These individuals have a different background than 21st century people, and are bound to think and act differently than we do. There's no point is getting mad at them. They can't hear you, and probably wouldn't care if they could. But there's no point in trying to whitewash the things they did either.
Thanks for your diligence.
 

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Gettysburg Campaign,” in Virginia’[/img]
 

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Gettysburg Campaign,” in Virginia’[/img]
 

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Folks
Reality check.
Evidence also applies North of the Mason Dixon line, I expect more of my Unionist comrades than complaining about evidence.
 

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matthew mckeon said:
Yup.
If African Americans escaped from slavery in Virginia(for example) and fled to PA, they were covered by the EP. And the Confiscation Acts as well. Obviously the Confederacy didn't accept these laws. The Army of Northern Virginia was not in the emancipation business.

These people were free. They lived as free people. They had freed themselves, which is more than you or I have ever had to do. It was a terrible thing to enslave them again.
Technically the EP did not cover PA. The EP freed slaves where the Union army was with exceptions. OTOH the ANV did not recognize the EP as the CSA did not. The EP being military law was trumped by the CSA military law which got trumped whenever the United States army showed up.
 

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matthew mckeon said:
If the African Americans concerned were residents of the state of Pennsylvania, they were free because PA didn't have slavery. If they were fugitives from Virginia or another Confederate state, they were free because of the Emancipation Proclamation.

The Emancipation Proclamation wasn't "military law." It wasn't promulgated by the Army, it wasn't an Army regulation. It was an executive order, or proclamation. In the eyes of the United States government, they were free people.

As far as the Army of Northern Virginia was concerned, or the Confederacy as a whole, they were defending and maintaining the sacred institution of slavery. No surprises there.

But the experience of African Americans living free lives in Pennsylvania is being a free person and trying to build a life, then being descended on and being force marched back into slavery. What a terrible thing.

There is some discussion on another thread about the term "slave" as opposed to "enslaved" Because "enslaved" suggests the act of enslaving someone previously free. Well, there's not much question that free people, living in Pennsylvania, citizens of the United States, according to the attorney general of the USA, were by the Confederacy, through its instrument, the Army of Northern Virginia.
Need official document from US DA or post num with it. Thanks
 

jgoodguy

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I offer the following into evidence.
From thread
Evaluation of evidence re [url=https://studycivilwar.wordpress.com/2015/12/01/the-plight-of-african-americans-in-the-path-of-the-army-of-northern-virginia-in-the-gettysburg-campaign/]The taking of blacks by the ANV during the Pennsylvania campaign[/url] post #125

jgoodguy said:
The taking of African Americans by the ANV was a human tragedy. War is a secession of human tragedies.
The following is unquoted for readability

Assume a government agent has the power of arrest. Can that agent be called a kidnapper in the performance of his duties? This is the crux of the kidnapping issue.

Confederate General Order 25. March 6, 1863.
The Congress of the Confederate States of America do enact, That every person connected
with the army or navy of the Confederate States, arresting or coming into
possession of any slave, by capture from the enemy, or otherwise than by lawful
authority, shall immediately report the same to the commanding officer of the post
or brigade or station to which he may be attached.
The soldiers had the power of arrest and it proceeded in a chain of command from the CSA government through the commanding officer to the common officer and soldier.

On March 21, 1863 Lee sent out a circular to all his subordinate commanders ordering them to comply with General Orders No. 25. (National Archives citation:“W. H. Taylor to General, 21 March 1863, Orders and Circulars Issued by the Army of the Potomac and the Army and Department of Northern Virginia, C.S.A., 1861-1865, NA Microfilm M921, reel I, frame 1391)

From the CSA Congress to the CSA Army Adjutant to General Lee and from HQ to the officers and men of the ANV.

Can said agent ever be said to kidnap in the performance of his duty?

An agent performing his duty under the laws of his country is not kidnapping.
The catching of slaves by slave catchers is not kidnapping in a slave republic or in its army of occupation.

But what about US law.

Does a Rebel Army marching into US territory have to obey US civil laws? The US Supreme Court say no.

DOW v. JOHNSON. 100 U.S. 158 (, 25 L.Ed. 632)
This doctrine of non-liability to the tribunals of the invaded country for acts of warfare is as applicable to members of the Confederate army, when in Pennsylvania, as to members of the National army when in the insurgent States. The officers or soldiers of neither army could be called to account civilly or criminally in those tribunals for such acts, whether those acts resulted in the destruction of property or the destruction of life; nor could they be required by those tribunals to explain or justify their conduct upon any averment of the injured party that the acts complained of were unauthorized by the necessities of war. It follows that, in our judgment, the District Court of New Orleans was without jurisdiction to render the judgment in question, and the special pleas in this case constituted a perfect answer to the declaration. See Coleman v. Tennessee, 97 U. S. 509; Ford v. Surget, id. 594; also LeCaux v. Eden, 2 Doug. 594; Lamar v. Browne, 92 U. S. 187; and Coolidge v. Guthrie, 2 Amer. Law Reg. N. S. 22.
In brief the assertion of Military Necessity becomes almost universal free pass for all kind of things.

Justice in Blue and Gray: A Legal History of the Civil War By Stephen C. Neff P19
In a situation of belligerency, there could be no criminal prosecution of enemy soldiers for carrying out lawful orders of their sovereign . Enemies in short have to be defeated, but not punished.
Even in modern times, military necessity covers a lot of sins.
Military Necessity
Military necessity is a legal concept used in international humanitarian law (IHL) as part of the legal justification for attacks on legitimate military targets that may have adverse, even terrible, consequences for civilians and civilian objects. It means that military forces in planning military actions are permitted to take into account the practical requirements of a military situation at any given moment and the imperatives of winning. The concept of military necessity acknowledges that even under the laws of war, winning the war or battle is a legitimate consideration, though it must be put alongside other considerations of IHL. -
In the 19th century Military Necessity allowed that a number of Union and Confederate actions were legal: Grants Vicksburg Campaign, Sherman's March to the Sea and the ANV Pennsylvania Campaign. While technically legal it was tragic in human terms. War is tragic in its execution. Yes martial law proceeds out of the business ends of rifle muskets & bayonets and exists only where it can be enforced by force, it is nevertheless recognized as law.

Fugitive slaves that were free by virtue of the Emancipation Proclamation or by reaching Pennsylvania and free under US and Pennsylvania law were not free under the state of martial law that traveled with the ANV.

What about free blacks? From the evidence provided so far, some were freed upon notification of their status by soldiers and officers of the ANV. Others were freed upon arriving in VA. Neither case constitutions kidnapping. CSA governmental procedures were followed in a regular manner.

What about free blacks not freed immediately. That would be False Arrest. That is a civil offense, not a crime and not actionable under martial law. It is speculative that some free blacks were enslaved by misadventure, but that would happen in the CSA and by parties unrelated to the ANV. Also tangible evidence rather than speculation that it happened to the Pennsylvania blacks arrested by the ANV would be essential.

What about taking African Americans into personal procession without the intent of following orders. The individuals that do it are guilty of disobeying orders and committing fraud. The order "The captured contrabands had better be brought along with you for further disposition." Indicates that at the highest levels of the ANV orders were being issued to insure compliance with CSA law. Disobedience to orders is speculative requiting evidence that it happened, not that it was conspired or thought of as in the letter of Col. William Steptoe Christian

In Summary.
I
1. The ANV was acting as the agent of their Country in the arrest of African Americans.
2. They are immune from civil criminal actions by marital law.
3. Kidnapping is a civil criminal action.
Therefore the ANV was not kidnapping.

II
1. The ANV was acting as the agent of their Country in the arrest of African American property.
2. The laws of the Commander of the ANV was supreme law AKA martial law.
3. The commander ordered the collection of African American property belonging to Southern Slave Owners.
4. Said African American property was collected.
Therefore the ANV was not kidnapping.

III
1. The ANV was acting as the agent of their Country in the arrest of African Americans.
2. The laws of the Commander of the ANV was supreme law AKA martial law.
3. The commander ordered the collection of African American property belonging to Southern Slave Owners.
4. Incidental non property African American's were collected and released at various times and places.
5. #4 Constitutes the civil tort of False Arrest unrecognized under marital law.
Therefore the ANV was not kidnapping.
 

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[url=https://civilwartalk.com/goto/post?id=2021757]matthew mckeon said:[/url]
Then why did you ask? Never mind, I know the answer to that.
[url=https://civilwartalk.com/goto/post?id=2021757]matthew mckeon said:[/url]
Some version of "they were just following orders?" Is this supposed to make it smell better?

And I love the use of weasel words like "collecting." They're not people, they're stamps!

Yup, this cloud of legal sounding buzz words definitely makes it all better.
3,155 plus United States soldiers lay stinking in the sun, 4,708 plus Southern boys far from home also stank. Roughly 3 million slaves stunk from their toil under the lash. There is no record of any free black dying from this. No record of enslavement. Like the legality of secession, we have trod this before.

No evidence is still no evidence even from the Nothern Advocates.
 

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JPK Huson 1863 said:
http://www.gdg.org/gettysburg magazine/gburgafrican.html

Referenced this site quite a few times before. It's excellent, researched and sourced. I'm not clear on why this is such a contentious topic. Members here know their ancestors' experiences at Gettysburg inside out, backwards and sideways. I'm one of them. Some of that information comes from non-official sources like family letters, some from era books and accounts. I've never had anyone here challenge these experiences, all I've received here at CWT is help and encouragement.

" From the linked site above. Sourced , if anyone wishes to see the article. No one checked name tags to ascertain ' contraband ' but it wasn't required- these community members were free. Why that label matters so much I have no idea. Please do not explain all about how, because humans were property ' legally ' it was just fine to swipe someone.

Why may not the experiences of Gettysburg's black community be heard and those wishing to know more encouraged?
They are heard, and there numerous books and articles about that. However, if not accurately presented then opponents will tear into the accounts, expose the falsehoods and then the story is lost. We can summarize it as a tragedy of war, but Kidnapping is mere rhetoric intended for dramatic effect rather than history.
 

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matthew mckeon said:
Evidence of what? People living in PA and MD got forced into slavery? There's plenty of evidence of that. What, or why, is there is a sticking point about this? Its appalling.

Maybe its the vocabulary. "Collecting" "fugitives" sounds cleaner than "Kidnapping American citizens in order to force them into perpetual servitude."
I appreciate your passion on this matter.
 
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