Black Confederates in Butternut and Gray

The Confederacy’s policy of arming slaves went through fascinating twists and turns. On January 11, 1865, Lee conceded that “military necessity” necissitated arming slaves “without delay.” But bureaucracy does not progress rapidly; President Davis did not sign enabling legislation until March 13 — about three weeks before Lee surrendered at Appomattox, a case of “too little, too late.”

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