General Cleburne’s Proposal to Arm Slaves, David Seibert, Historical Marker Database, July 14, 2011.
General Cleburne’s Proposal to Arm Slaves Marker
Inscription: Here on January 2, 1864, Gen. Patrick Cleburne proposed arming slaves in exchange for their freedom to alleviate the manpower shortage facing the Confederacy. Almost all the other generals present opposed the idea of black Confederate soldiers because it violated the principles upon which the Confederacy was founded. Gen. Patton Anderson said the proposal “would shake our governments, both state and Confederate, to their very foundations,” and Gen. A.P. Stewart said it was “at war with my social, moral and political principles.” Considering the proposal treasonous, Gen. W.H.T. Walker informed President Jefferson Davis, who ordered any mention of it to be suppressed. In March 1865, with defeat looming, the Confederate Congress approved enlisting slaves, but few did and none saw combat. Conversely, nearly 200,000 free African Americans served in the U.S. armed forces.
Erected 2011 by the Georgia Historical Society, the Georgia Battlefields Association and the Georgia Department of Economic Development for the Civil War 150 commemoration. The marker stands in front of the Cook-Huff House, used by General Joseph Johnston as his headquarters in January 1864 while he planned his defenses for the campaign for Atlanta. Johnston was appointed to command the Army of the Tennessee in late December 1863. Marker is at or near this postal address: 314 North Selvidge Street, Dalton GA 30720.
Image and Text Source: Historical Marker Database