I had to toss this up on the blog.
I’m currently engaged in an exchange on a Civil War ListServ in which someone else has compared the labor provided to the Confederacy by African-Americans (let’s take, for example, a personal body servant) to the labor provided by American POWs (let’s say, as in the case of an American civilian who was a POW to the Japanese during WW2). Like I’ve said here plenty of times, we have to look at each person and situation, one by one, but I think there are several instances in which a personal body servant, or even a cook acted in a manner that would not have all been the case for a POW from WW2. I even think there are distinct differences in the manner in which labor was performed for the fact that there was a relationship between slave and slaveowner. One would not, I think, find a similar relationship in “forced labor relations” in a Japanese POW camp filled with civilians. I think it’s like comparing apples to oranges. I think that the typical reaction of a body servant (of a Confederate soldier) had more to do with personal relationship than it had to do with the “Cause.”