View single post by Johan Steele
 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 05:57 pm
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Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352


Joined: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006
Location: South Of The North 40, Minnesota USA
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Under normal circumstances my reply would be in red, but for some reason I cannot do so from this PC so my replies are in Bold, if there is confusion my apologies.

This website, http://www.usgennet.org/usa/mo/county/stlouis/blackcs.htm offers the following:
Albert; thank you very much for the link, it is appreciated.   The above site originated from another and has been heavily cut and pasted around the web over the years; large amounts of the original info is distorted or outright fabricated.


1. The "Richmond Howitzers" were partially manned by black militiamen. They saw action at 1st Manassas (or 1st Battle of Bull Run) where they operated battery no. 2. In addition two black “regiments”, one free and one slave, participated in the battle on behalf of the South. “Many colored people were killed in the action”, recorded John Parker, a former slave.   Albert; when pressed no one is able to provide the unit designation of the two black Regiments.  The realit is that there were some Black men in the ranks of the CS at Bull Run; about a Company worth of Creoles from New Orleans.  I've seen no history of the Richmond howitzers that corroborates that a battery or a section was crewed by black men.  There were ample servents in the Richmond Howitzers though.

2. At least one Black Confederate was a non-commissioned officer. James Washington, Co. D 35th Texas Cavalry,  Confederate States Army, became it’s 3rd Sergeant. Higher ranking black commissioned officers served in militia units, but this was on the State militia level (Louisiana) and not in the regular C.S. Army. The Bl;ack men who were officers in the Louisiana Native Guards were never mustered into CS service, paid, armed or equipped by either the state of Louisiana or the CS.  Roughly 1/3 of the Louisiana Native Guard would serve in the USCT.

3. Free black musicians, cooks, soldiers and teamsters earned the same pay as white confederate privates. This was not the case in the Union army where blacks did not receive equal pay. At the Confederate Buffalo Forge in Rockbridge County, Virginia, skilled black workers "earned on average three times the wages of white Confederate soldiers and more than most Confederate army officers ($350- $600 a year).   I have never seen a pay sheet for a "Black Confederate Soldier."  I oft see the claim that black men were paid the same as whites in the CS army.  Whites were rareley enough paid as it was and I don't buy it.  It's a recent invention; certainly not a period one.


4. Dr. Lewis Steiner, Chief Inspector of the United States Sanitary Commission while observing Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson's occupation of Frederick, Maryland, in 1862: "Over 3,000 Negroes must be included in this number [Confederate troops]. These were clad in all kinds of uniforms, not only in cast-off or captured United States uniforms, but in coats with Southern buttons, State buttons, etc. These were shabby, but not shabbier or seedier than those worn by white men in the rebel ranks. Most of the Negroes had arms, rifles, muskets, sabers, bowie-knives, dirks, etc.....and were manifestly an integral portion of the Southern Confederate Army."   The probelm w/ this is no one else corroborates it, certainly not the men who would have been fighting them, capturing or burying them and not the men who would have served beside them.


5. Frederick Douglas reported, “There are at the present moment many Colored men in the Confederate Army doing duty not only as cooks, servants and laborers, but real soldiers, having musket on their shoulders, and bullets in their pockets, ready to shoot down any loyal troops and do all that soldiers may do to destroy the Federal government and build up that of the…rebels.”   I believe Douglass had an agenda when he said this, he wanted black men in US service badly and he eagerly repeated a second hand story that cannot be tracked to its origin.


6. Black and white militiamen returned heavy fire on Union troops at the Battle of Griswoldsville (near Macon, GA). Approximately 600 boys and elderly men were killed in this skirmish.   I've studied Griswoldsville heavily; there are no period references to ANY black men in the ranks.  By either the men who were inflicting the casualties or the men who would have been beside them.  I have a real problem w/ the original author of the quote, no footnotes and when queried on his sources he grew quite upset.



7. The Jackson Battalion included two companies of black soldiers. They saw combat at Petersburg under Col. Shipp. "My men acted with utmost promptness and goodwill...Allow me to state sir that they behaved in an extraordinary acceptable manner."


8. 14. On April 4, 1865 (Amelia County, VA), a Confederate supply train was exclusively manned and guarded by black Infantry. When attacked by Federal Cavalry, they stood their ground and fought off the charge, but on the second charge they were overwhelmed. These soldiers are believed to be from "Major Turner's" Confederate command. Verifiable and quite true, the same men as above in #7... counted twice by the original author.


Blacks did serve in the Confederate armed forces as soldiers and sailors. However, not to the extent that they comprised a great percentage of the army's numbers.  I agree wholeheartdedly and I've said so many times.  My own research points to somewhere in the neighborhood of 1300-1400.  Other legitimate research has come up w/ numbers of 13,000 and I can agree w/ the methodology that came up w/ such a number; though I believe it very high.

Since the winners write the history, it is my opinion that the subject of black confederates has been "deleted", to some extent, from fact. After all, why would the winners, who fought for emancipation (remember the Proclimation?), admit that blacks fought for the confederacy? To admit this would de-value the cost in Federal lives lost during the conflict.  I don't quite see it so, the history of the USCT was heavily downplayed after the war and they have never really been given their due by either side of the scrap.  The best respect they were given was by the men who fought beside them and those who commanded them.  IMO the Lost Cause movement had to do everything possible to push the idea that slavery had anything to do w/ the war to the rear... and the myth of the Black Confederate does that.

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