Marker Monday: General Cleburne’s Proposal to Arm Slaves

General Cleburne’s Proposal to Arm SlavesToday’s #MarkerMonday recognizes General Cleburne’s Proposal to Arm Slaves. On Jan. 2, 1864, during the Battles for Atlanta, Major General Patrick Cleburne issued a proposal to the Army of the Tennessee that suggested the Confederates arm slaves in exchange for their freedom. By that point, the South’s forces had dwindled significantly and the Confederacy was desperate for new soldiers. Almost every other general vehemently opposed Cleburne’s suggestion. Once Jefferson Davis learned about it, he ordered for any mention of the notion to be suppressed. Over a year later, in March 1865, the Confederate Congress approved the conscription of slaves. However, with defeat looming, very few were enlisted and none ever saw combat.

Explore the links below to learn more about General Patrick Cleburne.

Full Marker Text
Civil War Trust, Gen. Patrick Cleburne