Hello I'm Mark Mr MIN, Man of TIN. Based in S.W. Britain, I'm a lifelong collector of "tiny men" and old toy soldiers, whether tin, lead or childhood vintage 1960s and 1970s plastic figures.
I randomly collect all scales and periods and "imagi-nations" as well as lead civilians, farm and zoo animals. I enjoy the paint possibilities of cheap poundstore plastic figures as much as the patina of vintage metal figures.
Befuddled by the maths of complex boardgames and wargames, I prefer the small scale skirmish simplicity of very early Donald Featherstone rules.
To relax, I usually play solo games, often using hex boards. Gaming takes second place to making or convert my own gaming figures from polymer clay (Fimo), home-cast metal figures of many scales or plastic paint conversions. I also collect and game with vintage Peter Laing 15mm metal figures, wishing like many others that I had bought more in the 1980s ...
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6 thoughts on “Black Cowboys, Time Tunnels, Earworms and the Old Town Road”
It makes sense to include some black cowboys. Also how many knew there were black and Hispanic Confederates? I have a unit of the 33rd Texas cavalry which was mostly Hispanic.
Interesting – I had heard of the American Coloured Troops (in the film Glory) but not Confederates. This complicates the American Civil War as a Slavery vs States Rights argument!
There weren’t. That’s an urban myth with almost no foundation. Please don’t spread it.
There was one militia unit raised by black slaveowners in New Orleans; while the Confederates allowed it to train and parade it was not allowed to go into action and was disbanded before the capture of the city. At least a tenth of its complement eventually served in US colored regiments. There were also several regiments of black troops raised a month before the end of the war; they never finished training and would almost certainly have deserted en masse the moment they got to a combat zone. They were also recognized, by Robert E. Lee himself, as a deathknell to the purpose of the war. The purpose of the rebellion was to maintain slavery, at any cost, and this is made absolutely clear in most of the states’ articles of secession and the Confederate constitution.
Beyond that, there were tons of slaves, manservants and free laborers behind the lines, a few of which are rumored to have been permitted weapons. And the “one drop” rule suggests that there might have been hundreds or thousands of part-blacks in the Confederate army who could pass as white, but they wouldn’t have dared admit it.
Fascinating – 150 years on the Civil War still has the possibility to stir up dissent, myth and controversy. States Rights vs. slavery etc. Witness the disagreements recently over retaining statues of Confederate leaders in some Southern states.
Hispanic (Mexican / Texan) units I could sort of understand being a fluid and chaotic border territory, recently made part of America.
The presence of marginal units is always an odd one, especially for the gaming table. One of my retired colleagues at work used to tell me of attempts to create obscure German WW2 units made up of different nationals including aggrieved Irish, Indian and British nationals. Some of it must have been mostly a propaganda exercise for the press and camera.
The presence of black Confederate troops makes little sense.
Why should they fight for (the society and economics of a South supported by) Slavery? It brings to mind a phrase I sometimes hear about “it make as much sense as Turkeys voting for Christmas (or Thanksgiving)” about supporting and fighting for something that is clearly not to your own advantage.
However I am sure that I have seen photographs of the South and troops / officers where you can see slaves who, with no choice as landowners’ property, were obviously dragged along into support roles as servants, cooks, pioneers (and agricultural labour). No wonder so many escaped if they could to the North.
Equally fascinating was the divided views in Britain (sitting on top of this in Canada) about being dragged into the war through the naval actions / blockades, the people who built the Blockade Runner ships in Scotland (which generated a rattling yarn by Jules Verne!) and the complex union and labour issues over the economic crisis in Northern English mill towns when the cotton trade dried up.
Edinburgh even has an Scottish American War Memorial (Union troops) https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Calton_Burial_Ground
Queen Victoria’s government had an issue about not getting dragged in on the North or the South side, issuing a proclamation of neutrality after the 1861 Trent Affair. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trent_Affair
Perry Miniatures does an 1861 British range of a 28mm figures of a fictional Possible British Intervention Force of Victorian troops https://www.perry-miniatures.com/index.php?cPath=23_81&osCsid=cb45e7nmep13ch6rjo267j0296
In the case of the blacks of New Orleans, they were the richest in the South, and some were slaveowners (sometimes of their own family, whom they had bought out of slavery). They were the ONLY blacks who actually had a stake in the success of the Confederacy, and their support, if temporary, was genuine.
The Confederate military still rejected them, which says quite a bit about its motives.
[…] A wider, more historically accurate and more diverse range of cowboys can be seen here from my blog post in 2019: https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/16/black-cowboys-time-tunnels-earworms-and-the-old-town-r… […]