Patrick Cleburne was the Steve Schmidt of his day--well sort of. Above is a trailer for a graphic novel which tells the story of Cleburne trying to convince the archons of the Confederacy that slavery was a military weakness, and the only way to truly defeat the North was to emancipate large numbers of slaves and make them into soldiers. My sense is that, like Schimdt's urging the GOP to embrace gay marriage, this was a pipe-dream. --a very visionary one, but a pipe-dream nonetheless.
Maybe it wasn't one at the start of the War, but by the time Cleburne pitched it (1864), it was just too late. Still, in early 1865, Robert E. Lee and Jeff Davis gave their ascent, and a small regiment was raised, if we can even call it that. This was a few months before Appamottax and CSCT didn't see a lick of action.
I just finished a chapter in Levine's book when he talks about how the slaves, themselves, forced the Confederates to reconsider their own position. I want to preface all of that by giving some idea of the kind of psychological pretzels these guys were twisting themselves into. They basically had conflicting stereotypes of black people--they thought they were cowards who were happily enslaved, faultlessly loyal to their masters, and yet in need of constant armed vigilance.