log in or register to remove this ad


Deadlands is retconning the Confederacy away. They lost the war, no longer playable.

Not open for further replies.


No one did. Don't drop baseless charges like that.
My post was in response to Greylord's earlier posts, whose line of the Confederate Battle Flag being "many things to many people" which is something Neo-Confederates trot out a lot. The anecdotal evidence in regards to some African-Americans flying it does happen, but they're invariably outliers and looked down upon in their respective communities; it would be about as common as seeing Armenians flying Turkish flags. I was not inclined initially to read the walls of text with an opening like that, along with other posters quoting his "states rights vs federal rights was at the heart of the issue" thus my response. I apologize for the misconstruction.

The South's reason for going to War was absolutely over their fears of Slavery being ended (and you can blatantly see it in their secession proclamations). However, Lincoln and the North's original reason for going to war had NOTHING to do with Slavery, but with the right of the State to actually secede and whether it could do so. It was about the Union. It was only after several years and seeing that perhaps this purpose was not as strongly a unifier as needed that Lincoln issued the idea of freeing the slaves. At this, it was STILL NOT over slavery perse, as the slaves in the NORTH WERE NOT FREED by this. Slavery continued at full steam in the Northern slave states.
However, I do wish to address this factor.

Technically speaking it's more complicated than this. Four of the border states save Kentucky outlawed slavery before war's end. Kentucky only abolished slavery when the 13th Amendment passed.

This is not to erase the Union hypocrisy at the time, but it was something they still worked to undo gradually rather than something they ended only at the last minute.

Umbran said:
You may not feel it is plausible, but in the canon setting, they did so in 1865. Remember, the war was more deadly than in our world.

And, ideas of this kind it was proposed in the real world: Early in 1864, General Patrick Cleburne proposed enlisting slaves in return for their freedom. And that proposal wasn't just roundly ignored.
It wasn't ignored, but it did meet with significant pushback and hurt him more than it helped. It actually caused Cleburne to stop being promoted as a result and more or less killed his career in the military. President Jefferson David had some choice words about the affair:

...the dissemination or even promulgation of such opinions under the present circumstances of the Confederacy, whether in the Army or among the people can be productive only of discouragement, distraction, and dissension.
Last edited:

log in or register to remove this ad


My post was in response to Greylord's earlier posts, whose line of the Confederate Battle Flag being "many things to many people" which is something Neo-Confederates trot out a lot.
Leaving aside whether Greylord is correct in this statement or not, you have now moved the goalposts. You previously stated that you were addressing your comment to "people in this thread arguing that slavery wasn't the South's primary factor in the Civil War". If Greylord is the intended target of that remark, then you have made a baseless charge, because Greylord stated: " It is undeniable that the South seceded over slavery...they South really only had one argument, which was slavery."

So, not content to drop one baseless bombshell into this thread, you have decided to begin this apology(?) by insinuating that Greylord is some sort of Neo-Confederate? I feel like you are doing the whole "Hitler was a vegetarian, therefore vegetarians are Nazis" logic here. Saying that the Confederate battle flag might mean many things to many people is not something objectionable in and of itself, so there is no reason to assume that just because a Neo-Confederate might also say that Greylord has any sympathy for that cause. Besides, to a neo-Confederate, the flag doesn't mean just anything you want it to mean, but agrees with you that literally does mean white sovereignty, white identity and a white homeland, and not "many things to many people". Are you sure you've actually interacted with neo-Confederates, or do you just assume everyone that defends the flag is a neo-Confederate?

It angers me to see someone in Washington state or Michigan or Pennsylvania flying that flag in a way it doesn't to see it on the ball cap of some kid in Alabama or Tennessee, because the former is much more likely to be a neo-Confederate who believe in white sovereignty than the kid from Alabama, who is by experience mostly just flipping the bird at Northerners as part of an ongoing tribal feud of the "if you hate me, I'm going to hate you right back" sort.


For the people in this thread arguing that slavery wasn't the South's primary factor in the Civil War, I recommend this educational video.

Also the rationale in the Articles of Secession here.

Also the Vice President's Speech on the foundation of said Confederacy.

These all solidly confirm that the enslavement of an entire race of people was what its leaders and rank and file soldiers at the time fought for. Just as what happened in Deadlands pre-1865, with no mention of States' Rights anywhere that didn't involve slavery.
Who's saying that. Definitely not I.

IF you are trying to infer I said anything of the sort, you need to read what I wrote instead of making baseless accusations.

On the otherhand, you might want to investigate why the NORTH went to War and why Kentucky didn't validate the 13th amendment or outlaw slavery as a state until the 20th century. (and of interest, Kentucky was a success for Lincoln who was catering to states like it, originally it tried to play neutral until the south tried to grab it, at which point it turned to the Union. Lincoln was NOT as anti-slavery as people paint him, and in fact tried to cater to slave owners in many instances).

I've stated multiple times that it was OBVIOUS the South's reason was over slavery...

However, that was NOT the North's reason for going to War nor it's purpose in originally pushing forward with it.

[Secondary edit and PS] For those who may be interested in Kentucky and a look at Kentucky AFTER the Civil War and how things went this is an interesting article I found about it...

It took Kentucky 111 Years to abolish Slavery

(in full disclosure it is from what some may consider a "liberal" source. Also as an aside, though I had family in Kentucky, the KKK RULED PARTS of Indiana and similar issues were in Indiana as well in the 1950s-70s, and some persist today from what I hear from those still there, though things are MUCH better and...overall...that period is OVER.).


I would want to bring this back to RPGs though, and as such, focused on the Deadlands. Of more interest in regarding the Deadlands, and I would think just as controversial would be the Utah Territory. Now, slavery was outlawed in territories in 1862, but due to a specific type of culture in the Utah Territory treatement of minorities persisted in regards to their freedoms and ability to exercise those freedoms much like they had prior to the outlawing of slavery. The Utah territory also had a great deal of conflict with the Federal Government including their own War with it (though it was not actually that bloody from what I can find in History about it) almost immediately prior to the Civil War (at which point they were part of the Union's side of things). Furthermore there was constantly a query related to flagrant breaking of bigamy laws and other such Federal Statutes in Utah.

I would think that could be almost as controversial as other items, though perhaps not so much a concern as it is probably not as well known as the issues surrounding the Civil War.
Last edited:


Staff member
Not necessarily. I agree that the War was over Slavery ultimately, and though one could corner the justifications down to slavery, that was not actually the reason everyone gave for the War. It is undeniable that the South seceded over slavery, but the issue that war was actually declared came over the power of dominion, and whether a State could declare certain areas of the US no longer part of the Sovereign nation.
The States rights argument actually does NOT stem from the Southern reasons for the War.

They South really only had one argument, which was slavery.

The States rights argument comes from the North and THEIR reasons for War. Lincoln himself was never interested in actually abolishing slavery, despite the South's preconceptions of it. Indeed, when given the chance during the War he instead emancipated the Slaves of the South, but let the Slave States of the North keep merrily going on (and when they finally DID have that abolished in those states, we see a conflict that is basically ignored [if you can even find books or articles on it today] due to the North's emphasis in later years that they had to be the good guys because the slave holders were in the south (which was untrue). The North had another conflict later over the issue of the abolition of slavery, which though passed in Congress, was heavily contested in some areas leading to some rather large issues NOT covered these days in US history (or at least a majority seem ignorant of the remaining slave states that were part of the North and the issues that came in ending slavery in those areas after the War).

The reason the North went to war was over the question of whether the Southern States actually had the right or power to secede. Lincolns argument was that they DID NOT have that power, and that when they tried to do so, the Federal Government, or Central Government could override such decisions. However, this would end up with having to use force to do so. It was the entire a House Divided and unifying the nation creeds that popped up.

This was not the most successful theme to hold many to the war effort, and the morale surrounding this was flagging. Lincoln eventually brought a more unified theme of freeing those slaves in the Rebellious states, but showed no desire at the time to abolishing it in those states that had NOT seceded. Kentucky in fact refused to support the amendment abolishing slavery, which leads to an interesting historical conflict of a Northern State still trying to hold onto the idea of States rights, which invariably they lost due to the preponderance of evidence from the Civil War regarding the Federal Government over-riding a States power in many issues (and we still see this type of local vs. Sovereign govt. today with Sanctuary cities that refuse to support the Federal Government mandates and the issues surrounding this).

This is why it is, in many ways very IRONIC that these positions on what the war was about reversed sides after the War in the 20th century. At that point the North would say it was all about Slavery, and the south would say it was about States Rights, specifically, whether a State could take power in itself to secede and ignore Federal mandates with the Civil War showing that the Federal Govt. held sovereignty and if nothing else, utilize force to make a State follow those mandates.

The North's reason to go to war was NOT actually about Slavery at all. The reversal of how each side saw the war in the 20th century is perhaps a bigger irony, in that it was the South then looking at it form the States Rights angle, and the North looking at it from the Slavery angle.

Anyways, waaay off topic. I do enjoy history, especially on this, but I think it also illustrates one of the reasons the Creator of Deadlands pointed out to retconning things. Instead of discussing the game, we are discussing the history of the US and perhaps conflicting views of it. Maybe it did not happen at a lot of tables, but invariably there were probably a few that got derailed on this very topic. Rather than playing the game and having fun, they got caught up in the minutia of history and historical differences. With that in mind, it convinces me that perhaps the decision to recon was even more wise that I thought at first, as it hopefully makes people have more fun focusing on the game itself, rather than variances with history.
In case you missed it, while the States Rights argument may have originated in the North, Southerners did latch onto it as well, and with vigor. It is a frequent assertion of modern Southern apologists trying to minimize the importance of slavery as the primary root cause of the South’s secession & rebellion.

And this isn’t new, it was contemporaneous. Several of the secessionist states argued that the North's reluctance to enforce the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 (mandating that fugitive slaves be returned to the South) meant that the compact that formed the USA was no longer satisfactory, and the states had the right to secede. They made that argument in their articles of secession.

So I stand by my statement.
Last edited:


Yes, slavery is abolished as response of alternate history and supernatural events. In the beginning of the war the situation and war goals were as in history which includes slavery. (Not to mention that their decision to free slaves in exchange for military service isn't quite as alternate as one first thinks as people have shown).

That is a completely different scenario than "Hitler was a nice guy and the Holocaust never happened" what you posted above.
It’s really not. Deadlands reframes the Confederacy as being mostly nice guys who weren’t really racist (that was just a few mean landowners). And while it doesn’t deny slavery happened, it massively reduces its importance to and impact on Confederate institutions, economy, and society. In Deadlands, the CSA ends slavery before the North.

As someone once commented, in a setting with zombies and ghosts, the CSA is the least realistic thing in Deadlands.


Staff member
As someone once commented, in a setting with zombies and ghosts, the CSA is the least realistic thing in Deadlands.
Yeah, I can see that!:D

However, at this point, I have to say as a gamer of color, the CSA’s presentation in Deadlands didn’t bug me any more than some of the other stuff I saw in mainstream RPGs. (The Caucasian Egyptians in a D&D book springs to mind.:rolleyes: ) And it definitely doesn’t compare to the fringe stuff out there.

Nonetheless, I still see this current move as a positive one,


The States rights argument comes from the North and THEIR reasons for War. Lincoln himself was never interested in actually abolishing slavery, despite the South's preconceptions of it.
I think it's important to be careful about this sort of claim - it can come across as very simplistic and thus wrong.

Lincoln clearly opposed the spread of slavery, as well as the Dred Scott decision. While he didn't campaign on a platform of abolition, that doesn't mean he had no views about it or interest in it. But he may - for instance - have taken the (probably plausible) view that the Federal Government had no legal means to abolish slavery in those staes that wished to institute or maintain it.

Which way would have have voted had he been able to vote on a hypothetical 13th Amendment that preceded the Civil War? I think it's a strong claim to say that he would have opposed it.

Not open for further replies.

NOW LIVE! 5 Plug-In Settlements for your 5E Game