View single post by borderuffian
 Posted: Fri Feb 19th, 2010 03:09 pm
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Joined: Fri Mar 13th, 2009
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borderuffian wrote:  

Here's the part of the Steiner report that mentions black Confederates. 

The only item worthy of notice or debate would be- 

"Most of the negroes had arms, rifles, muskets, sabres, bowie-knives, dirks, etc."

Nothing unusual about the rest.  3,000 black servants, teamsters, cooks intermingled within a Confederate army would be rather typical.

"Wednesday September 10 [1862].—At four o’clock this morning the rebel
army began to move from our town, Jackson’s force taking
the advance. The movement continued until eight o’clock p.m.,
occupying sixteen hours. The most liberal calculations could not
give them more than 64,000 men. Over 3,000 negroes must be
included in this number. 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, sabres, bowie-knives, dirks, etc. They were supplied, in
many instances, with knapsacks, haversacks, canteens, etc., and
were manifestly an integral portion of the Southern Confederacy
Army. They were seen riding on horses and mules, driving wagons,
riding on caissons, in ambulances, with the staff of Generals,

and promiscuously mixed up with all the rebel horde. The fact was
patent, and rather, interesting when considered in connection
with the horror rebels express at the suggestion of black soldiers
being employed for the National defence."

pages 10-11-

Some have complained that there is nothing that corroborates the report of Steiner.

Actually, Arthur Fremantle's Three Months in the Southern States does exactly that. This is the same army (ANV) that Steiner reported on only 9 months before-

"25th June [1863]....we watched two brigades pass along the road. They were commanded, I think, by Semmes and Barksdale, and were composed of Georgians, Mississippians, and South Carolinians. They marched very well, and there was no attempt at straggling; quite a different state of things from Johnston's men in Mississippi. All were well shod and efficiently clothed. In rear of each regiment were from twenty to thirty negro slaves, and a certain number of unarmed men carrying stretchers and wearing in their hats the red badges of the ambulance corps..."


At that time regiments were averaging about 400 men-

As a percentage the 20 to 30 blacks per regiment as described by Fremantle is very close to the Steiner numbers-


20 / 400 = 5.0% or

30 / 400 = 7.5%


3000 / 64000 = 4.7%  (Steiner's numbers were for the entire army)

He doesn't say anything about them being armed but does report on meeting servants that were armed. This one with a rifle-

"6th July....I saw a most laughable spectacle this afternoon-viz., a negro dressed in full Yankee uniform, with a rifle at full cock, leading along a barefooted white man, with whom he had evidently changed clothes. General Longstreet stopped the pair, and asked the black man what it meant. He replied, "The two soldiers in charge of this here Yank have got drunk, so for fear he should escape I have took care of him, and brought him through that little town." The consequential manner of the negro, and the supreme contempt with which he spoke to his prisoner, were most amusing. This little episode of a Southern slave leading a white Yankee soldier through a Northern village, alone and of his own accord, would not have been gratifying to an abolitionist..."


Apparently, General Longstreet saw nothing unusual about an armed black Confederate.

Last edited on Tue Jul 20th, 2010 11:57 pm by borderuffian

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