Black involvement in the Confederate army was varied:
Cook, Teamster, Musician- Enlisted or hired out by slaveowner.
Cook, Teamster, Musician- Enlisted or hired.
Here's an account of a free black who was a servant in the Confederate army-
"Enlisting in the Palo Alto Confederates from his home in Palo Alto, Mississippi, at age 17, Andrew Martin Chandler was mustered into Company F. of Blythe's 44th Mississippi Infantry. He participated in several campaigns with 19 year old Silas Chandler, his childhood playmate, friend and former slave of his parents.
Andrew was captured ar Siloh and was held prisoner in Ohio. While there Silas made repeated trips home to Mississippi to bring Andrew needed goods. Andrew was later exchanged, he and Silas went home and returned to their old unit. Andrew was later wounded at The Battle of Chickamauga. After this battle, while in a battlefield hospital, surgeons prepared to amputate Andrew's leg. Silas used a gold coin, (given to him by Andrew's mother to take care of him if anything happened), to bribe the surgeons staff to release Andrew. Silas carried Andrew on his back several miles and loaded him on a railroad boxcar headed for Atlanta. In Atlanta, Silas took him to a regular hospital where his leg and probably his life was saved by Silas's attention. Silas stayed with Andrew and took daily care of him until his family could join him.
The following is from a 1950 typed transcript of handwritten notes made from an interview with Andrew Martin Chandler in 1912: Andrew told the story of Silas Chandler that served with him in the Confederate Army. He said that Silas was a former slave that was owned by his parents and given his freedom papers just before the War. Even though Silas was granted his freedom, he insisted on going to war with Andrew his childhood friend. Silas told Andrew he was older and could watch out and protect him if needed. Even though Silas was still considered Andrew's servant by the other men and blacks in the unit, Andrew said that Silas displayed just as much hatred for the Yankees and fought as hard as any other soldier in the unit...."
Just last week, I saw on Antiques Roadshow, the original duguerrotype of the famous Chandler Boys that we have probably all seen. The owner is the direct descendent (gg grandson) of Andrew and has reconnected with the gg grandson of Silas and they are now friends...really neat segement..