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Black Confederates
phxnews ^ | January 8, 2004 | Charles Goodson

Posted on 01/08/2004 6:40:27 PM PST by stainlessbanner

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To: stainlessbanner
There has been some great research and discoveries on the black men who fought for the Confederacy.

We found a black lady who served as a cook in the Confederate Army and was on the veteran's pension rolls. Her name was Lavinia Thompson from Springfield, SC. We are forming an Order of Confederate Rose chapter and naming it after her.

21 posted on 01/08/2004 7:34:25 PM PST by PistolPaknMama (pro gun Mother's Day 2004!
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22 posted on 01/08/2004 7:35:35 PM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: stainlessbanner
These days the politically correct of all colors are too close to illiterate to comprehend the possibility of such things as noted here. Whenever I get into discussions of the honorability of people on both sides of the lines I like to bring up these things. Unfortunately, it usually causes conversations to dry up, as is nearly always the case when baseless ideas are voiced by the terminally stupid.
23 posted on 01/08/2004 7:42:57 PM PST by stevem
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To: stainlessbanner
24 posted on 01/08/2004 7:58:13 PM PST by SAMWolf (Ted Kennedy's Bumper Sticker: My other car is underwater.)
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To: stainlessbanner
"it no longer is their history, or my history, but our history."

God Bless 'em!

25 posted on 01/08/2004 8:00:03 PM PST by Gianni
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To: stainlessbanner
This is a very accurate article. I am a Louisiana resident, and a history follower. I have taken many specific history courses in Louisiana History. (Minor and Graduate) This type of story was not old news 20 years ago. But like everything else, lost in the communist liberal press of today. In fact, in polls taken in recent elections here, approximately 20% of the so called ...... "blacks," (AMERICANS!) are conservative. Never mentioned in the "main stream media."

The deconstruction continues!

26 posted on 01/08/2004 8:02:41 PM PST by Draakan
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To: stainlessbanner
Thanks for the post. I can't wait to read all of this when I get home.
27 posted on 01/08/2004 8:08:22 PM PST by dix
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To: stainlessbanner
Stainlessbanner, may I suggest a book written about the "Afro-Virginians" in the War Between the States? It is "Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia" by Ervin L. Jordan, Jr. It's about the slaves and freeholders (men and women) who fought for both sides from Virginia. While is is about Virginia, the same scenario was playing out all across the country. Black men would often go to war with their white "masters", but with muskets, balls, and powder. They "met the elephant" too as Jordan writes. This was printed by the University Press of Virginia in 1996. Fascinating stuff!

On p. xi of the Preface, Ervin Jordan says, "The record of the Civil War is woefully incomplete without consideration of the many roles that African-Americans played."
28 posted on 01/08/2004 8:08:25 PM PST by Humal
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To: stainlessbanner
Cool! Thanks for those links to past threads concerning Blacks serving in the Confederacy.
29 posted on 01/08/2004 8:10:14 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: stainlessbanner
I did a little research and found two items in my collection that might be of interest. One, is an excerpt I scanned from a very old book in my possession, titled, 'Harper's Pictorial History of the Great Rebellion in the United States". Printed By Harper & Brothers in 1866. It is in two volumes and quite large and fully illustrated with hundreds of detailed engravings. It is considered by many historians to be the quinsential historical period account of the war. On page 219, under, "POLICY OF THE CONFEDERATE GOVERNMENT, I found the following excerpt, and scanned the paragraph of interest........

" The Confederates had from the very outset employed slaves and free colored persons in a military capacity. The works before Charleston, commenced late in 1860, were mainly thrown up "by large gangs of negroes from the plantations," and by free negroes of Charleston, of whom 150 in a single day offered their services to the Governor of South Carolina. In April the Lynchburg Republican proposed "three cheers for the patriotic free negroes of Lynchburg," of whom seventy had "tendered their services to the governor to act in whatever capacity may be assigned them in defense of the state." It was triumphantly announced that all the fortifications required for the harbor of Norfolk could be erected by the voluntary labor of negroes. In June the Legislature of Tennessee passed an act authorizing the governor to "receive into the military service of the state all male free persons of color between the ages of fifteen and fifty" and if a sufficient number did not volunteer they were to be impressed. The Southern newspapers of 1861 were full of accounts of colored volunteers. One told of a grand display, held November 23, at New Orleans, where 28,000 troops were reviewed, among whom was a "regiment composed of 1400 free colored men." The works at Manassas Junction were mainly thrown up by the slaves of the neighboring planters. In February, 1862, the Virginia House of Delegates passed a bill ordering the enlistment of free colored persons for six months. On the 10th of March Mr. Foote declared in the Confederate Congress that, when Nashville was surrendered, 1000 or 1500 slaves had been called out and employed on the fortifications. In November, Governor Brown, of Georgia, called for slaves to complete the fortifications of Savannah; if these were not voluntarily tendered, a levy would be made upon every planter in the state of one slave out of five, which would give a working force of 15,000. Subsequent to this time still more stringent measures were taken to bring negroes into the Confederate service. "

I also have an original copy of 'HARPERS WEEKLY- A JOURNAL OF CIVILIZATION', from Jan. 10, 1863. This northern paper was considered the 'LIFE' magazine of it's time, with reporters and sketch artists employed throughout the war and in every theatre of the conflict. It was the most read journal of the period.

On the front cover of this particular issue is avery interesting a engraving. It is entitled, "Rebel Negro Pickets as Seen Through a Field-Glass". It is a large round engraving showing two black Confederate soldiers, one sitting and one standing. They are fully uniformed in gray, and armed to the teeth, with musket rifles and bayonets.

I found a small gif of this issue on the web, as it is too big to scan the whole front cover....

But here is my scan of the front illustration...

There is a description of the engraving on the upper left corner of the paper, and this is what it says,.........


"So much has been said about the wickedness of using the negroes on our side in the present war, that we have thought it worth while to reproduce on this page a sketch sent us from Fredericksburg by our artist, Mr. Theordore R. Davis, which is a faithful representation of what was seen by one of our officers through his field-glass, while on outpost duty at that place. As the picture shows, it represents two full-blooded negroes, fully armed, and serving as pickets in the rebel army. It has long been known to military men that the insurgents affect no scruples about the employment of their slaves in any capacity in which they may be found useful. Yet there are people here at the North who affect to be horrified at the enrollment of negroes into regiments. Let us hope that the President will not be deterred by and squeamish scruples of the kind from garrisoning the Southern forts with fighting men of any color that can be obtained."

I hope this information is of interest.
30 posted on 01/08/2004 8:19:58 PM PST by Main Street (Stuck in traffic.)
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To: stainlessbanner
I recognize H. K. behind that flag! I had the honor of introducing him as the guest speaker at the Lee-Jackson Day ceremony in Baltimore a couple of years ago (I was the Commander of the host SCV Camp at the time). He is quite an engaging speaker and was visibly disappointed that he did not draw any protesters in the home city of the NAA(L)CP.

God Bless the South!
31 posted on 01/08/2004 8:33:11 PM PST by RebelBanker (Deo Vindice)
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To: stainlessbanner; Non-Sequitur; WhiskeyPapa; Ditto
At a time of virtually total war and in a part of the world where Blacks made up a large part of the working population it's not surprising that Blacks, free or slave did much of the work for the Confederate Army. And some of those who played music or cooked or drove or hauled freight for the Confederate army may have picked up a gun in a battle, as personal servants, slave or free may have done. But it wasn't as major a phenomenon as the article makes out.

Some of the items are downright silly: anecdotal items strung together to make a case, not a serious consideration of significant facts. Douglass would make much of rumors of Black Confederates to get concessions from the Union government. Northerners would credit all manner of rumors of what was going on in the South, and may not always have distinguished troops from laborers.

Davis's last ditch feelers to gain foreign recognition shouldn't be valued more than they deserve. There was still enough support for slavery to frustrate such plans up to the last desperate weeks of the war.

It's not hard to believe that some slaves stood by their masters. But such loyalty didn't add up to what the author wants to make out of it: a vote of confidence in the Confederacy.

Wages of free black workers at one defense plant say little about the overall condition of Blacks in the Confederacy. Black Union troops, contrary to this article, did eventually receive pay equality with White troops. We have only the author's word that the same was true of Black workers with the Confederate army, and it's doubtful that he'd make the same claim about slaves under army control.

Sir Moses Ezekiel does sound like an interesting character. It's worth noting, though, that segregationist Woodrow Wilson dedicated the monument. "Black Confederates" -- real or imagined -- don't add up to racial equality or integration, as we understand such ideas.

32 posted on 01/08/2004 8:37:07 PM PST by x
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To: x
"It's not hard to believe that some slaves stood by their masters. But such loyalty didn't add up to what the author wants to make out of it: a vote of confidence in the Confederacy."

My Italian great grandfather Carlo Victorio Lombardi was Officer in the 39TH U.S.C.T. (United States Colored Troops) and was killed in the mine explosion right after the Battle of Ft. Fisher (A Confederate Fort) in 1865. So I'm no Rebel Flag waver. But if that article is more accurate, than your above statement. Much is made today in black history of the few black slave rebellions in the South prior to the Civil War. Yet, during the Civil War, a prime time for the Southern black population to rise up in rebellion against their masters. They did not.

I know that there was much hope and expectations in the North that the Southern blacks would violently rise up against the South, as it would greatly speed the end of the war. But, again, they did not, despite the Federal governments attempts both in the Northern papers and by Northern plants in the South to agitate such an uprising.
33 posted on 01/08/2004 9:10:49 PM PST by Main Street (Stuck in traffic.)
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To: SAMWolf; stainlessbanner
OMG, I don't believe it--finally, a WBTS artist who knows how to draw a horse! Had to rub my eyes. . .

Thanks, Sam. And thank you, Stainless, for posting this article. I will enjoy having these references to summon when I argue with all the fools who inevitably will argue this point.

34 posted on 01/08/2004 9:29:22 PM PST by Capriole (Foi vainquera)
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To: Capriole
You're welcome. Here's a couple more of Bob Graham's works.

Bob Graham began re-enacting the Civil War in 1992 as a rider with the 2nd South Carolina Cavalry, an experience that has given him newfound respect for both the Confederate cavalrymen and the animals they rode. His cavalry re-enactment experience actually helped Graham to hone his artist's skills. "When I look back on some of the early paintings of horses I did, they look to me like potatoes with toothpicks for legs," he explains. "they actually look sort of unnatural, with this huge body on top pf legs that seem to go every which way. But, as I spent more time with them, I began to recognize their differences. Now, painting a horse is like doing a portrait. You see the differences in their veins, in the way their nostrils flare, or how some horses' manes flip up on the ends."

35 posted on 01/08/2004 9:37:25 PM PST by SAMWolf (Ted Kennedy's Bumper Sticker: My other car is underwater.)
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To: stainlessbanner
There is no credible proof that more than a handful of blacks fought for the CSA.


FRIDAY, February 10, 1865.




Mr. Wickham, of Virginia, moved the indefinite postponement of the bill. He was opposed to its going to a select committee. If it went to any committee it should go, in the regular channel, to the Committee on Military Affairs. He wished, however, this question of arming and making soldiers of negroes to be now disposed of, finally and forever. He wished it to be decided whether negroes are to be placed upon an equality by the side of our brave soldiers. They would be compelled to. They would have to camp and bivouac together.

Mr. Wickham said that our brave soldiers, who have fought so long and nobly, would not stand to be thus placed side by side with negro soldiers. He was opposed to such a measure. The day that such a bill passed Congress sounds the death knell of this Confederacy. The very moment an order goes forth from the War Department authorizing the arming and organizing of negro soldiers there was an eternal end to this struggle.-(Voice-That's so.)

The question being ordered upon the rejection of the bill, it was lost-ayes 21, noes 53. As this vote was regarded as a kind of test of the sense of the House upon the policy of putting negroes into the army, we append the ayes and noes-the question being the rejection of this bill authorizing the employment of negroes as soldiers:

Ayes-Messrs. Baldwin, Branch, Cruikshank, De Jarnette, Fuller, Garland, Gholson, Gilmer, Lamkin, J. M. Leach, J. T. Leach, McMullin, Miles, Miller, Ramsey, Sexton, Smith, of Alabama, Smith, of North Carolina, Wickham, Witherspoon, Mr. Speaker.

Noes-Messrs. Akin, Anderson, Barksdale, Batson, Bell, Blandford, Boyce, Bradley, H. W. Bruce, Carroll, Chambers, Chilton, Clark, Clopton, Cluskey, Conrad, Conrow, Darden, Dickinson, Dupre, Ewing, Farrow, Foster, Funsten, Gaither, Goode, Gray, Hartridge, Hatcher, Hilton, Holder, Holliday, Johnston, Keeble, Lyon, Pugh, Read, Rogers, Russell, Simpson, J. M. Smith, W. E. Smith, Snead, Swan, Triplett, Villere, Welsh.

If any number of black soldiers had been serving in the ranks of the CSA armies, how did it escape the notice of Congress?

It also escaped the notice of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and others:

Page 246, Confederate Veteran, June 1915. Official publication of the United Confederate Veteran, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the Confederated Southern Memorial Association.

Gen. Howell Cobb, an unbeliever in this expedient, wrote from Macon, Ga., January 8, 1865: "I think that the proposition is the most pernicious idea that has been suggested since the war began. You cannot make soldiers of slaves or slaves of soldiers. The moment you resort to this your white soldiers are lost to you, and one reason why this proposition is received with favor by some portions of the army is because they hope that when the negro comes in they can retire. You cannot keep white and black troops together, and you cannot trust negroes alone. They won't make soldiers, as they are wanting in every qualification necessary to make one. :

Samuel Clayton, Esq., of Cuthbert, Ga., wrote on January 10, 1865: "All of our male population between sixteen and sixty is in the army. We cannot get men from any other source; they must come from our slaves... The government takes all of our men and exposes them to death. Why can't they take our property? He who values his property more than independence is a poor, sordid wretch."

General Lee, who clearly saw the inevitable unless his forces were strengthened, wrote on January 11, 1865: "I should prefer to rely on our white population; but in view of the preparation of our enemy it is our duty to provide for a continuous war, which, I fear, we cannot accomplish with our present resources. It is the avowed intention of the enemy to convert the able­bodied negro into soldiers and emancipate all. His progress will thus add to his numbers and at the same time destroy slavery in a most pernicious manner to the welfare of our people. Whatever may be the effect of our employing negro troops, it cannot be as mischievous as this. If it ends in subverting slavery, it will be accomplished by ourselves, and we can devise the means of alleviating the evil consequences to both races. I think, therefore, that we must decide whether slavery shall be extinguished by our enemies and the slaves used against us or use them ourselves at the risk of the effects which may be produced upon our soldiers' social institutions. My own opinion is that we should employ tl1em without delay. I believe that with proper regulations they can be made efficient soldiers. They possess the physical qualifications in an eminent degree. Long habits of obedience and subordination, coupled with the moral influence which in our country the white man possesses over the black, furnish an excellent foundation for that discipline which is the best guarantee of military efficiency. We can give them an interest by allowing immediate freedom to all who enlist and freedom at the end of the war to their families. We should not expect slaves to fight for prospective freedom when they can secure it at once by going to the enemy, in whose service they will incur no greater risk than in ours. In conclusion, I can only say that whatever is to be done must be attended to at once."

President Davis on February 21, 1865 expressed himself as follows: "It is now becoming daily more evident to all reflecting persons that we are reduced to choosing whether the negroes shall fight for or against us and that all the arguments as to the positive advantage or disadvantage of employing them are beside the question, which is simply one of relative advantage between having their fighting element in our ranks or those of the enemy."

Would Lee and Davis have had those points of view had there been any number of blacks in ranks?

There is no -credible- evidence of blacks in active rebel service.

"It's pure fantasy,' contends James McPherson, a Princeton historian and one of the nation's leading Civil War scholars. Adds Edwin Bearss, historian emeritus at the National Park Service: 'It's b.s., wishful thinking.' Robert Krick, author of 10 books on the Confederacy, has studied the records of 150,000 Southern soldiers and found fewer than a dozen were black. 'Of course, if I documented 12, someone would start adding zeros,' he says.

"These and other scholars say claims about black rebels derive from unreliable anecdotes, a blurring of soldiers and laborers, and the rapid spread on the Internet of what Mr. McPherson calls 'pseudohistory.' Thousands of blacks did accompany rebel troops -- as servants, cooks, teamsters and musicians. Most were slaves who served involuntarily; until the final days of the war, the Confederacy staunchly refused to enlist black soldiers.

"Some blacks carried guns for their masters and wore spare or cast-off uniforms, which may help explain eyewitness accounts of blacks units. But any blacks who actually fought did so unofficially, either out of personal loyalty or self-defense, many historians say.

"They also bristle at what they see as the disingenuous twist on political correctness fueling the black Confederate fad. 'It's a search for a multicultural Confederacy, a desperate desire to feel better about your ancestors,' says Leslie Rowland, a University of Maryland historian. 'If you suggest that some blacks supported the South, then you can deny that the Confederacy was about slavery and white supremacy.'

"David Blight, an Amherst College historian, likens the trend to bygone notions about happy plantation darkies.' Confederate groups invited devoted ex-slaves to reunions and even won Senate approval in 1923 for a "mammy" monument in Washington (it was never built). Black Confederates, Mr. Blight says, are a new and more palatable way to 'legitimize the Confederacy.'"

-- Wall Street Journal, May 8, 1997


"There seems to be no evidence that the Negro soldiers authorized by the Confederate Government (March 13, 1865) ever went into battle. This gives rise to the question as to whether or not any Negroes ever fought in the Confederate ranks. It is possible that some of the free Negro companies organized in Louisiana and Tennessee in the early part of the war took part in local engagements; but evidence seems to the contrary. (Authors note: If they did, their action was not authorized by the Confederate Government.) A company of "Creoles," some of whom had Negro blood, may have been accepted in the Confederate service at Mobile. Secretary Seddon conditioned his authorization of the acceptance of the company on the ability of those "Creoles" to be naturally and properly distinguished from Negroes. If persons with Negro Blood served in Confederate ranks as full-fledged soldiers, the per cent of Negro blood was sufficiently low for them to pass as whites."

(Authors note: Henry Clay Warmoth said that many Louisiana mulattoes were in Confederate service but they were "not registered as Negroes." War Politics and Reconstruction, p. 56) p. 160-61, SOUTHERN NEGROES, Wiley

There is -no- credible evidence that even a small number blacks served as soldiers in the rebel armies.


36 posted on 01/09/2004 1:09:27 AM PST by WhiskeyPapa (Virtue is the uncontested prize.)
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To: stainlessbanner

"Gentle stranger, drop a tear,
The C.S.A. lies buried here:
in Youth it lived and propered well,
But like Lucifer it fell:
Its body here, its soul in -- well
E'en if I knew I wouldn't tell.

Rest C.S.A. from every strife,
Your death is better than Your life:
And this one line shall grace your grave --
Your death gave freedom to the slave."


37 posted on 01/09/2004 1:20:27 AM PST by WhiskeyPapa (Virtue is the uncontested prize.)
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To: stainlessbanner

38 posted on 01/09/2004 1:25:45 AM PST by WhiskeyPapa (Virtue is the uncontested prize.)
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To: x; stainlessbanner; WhiskeyPapa; Ditto
Davis's last ditch feelers to gain foreign recognition shouldn't be valued more than they deserve. There was still enough support for slavery to frustrate such plans up to the last desperate weeks of the war.

Davis's last ditch feelers, if true, were meaningless since constitutionally Davis lacked the authority to end slavery. Neither he nor the confederate congress could make any law whatsoever affecting slave ownership. His promises, if made, were empty and were only a ruse.

39 posted on 01/09/2004 3:34:17 AM PST by Non-Sequitur
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To: stainlessbanner
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 USSC was a civilian organization.

I got so tired on hearing about Dr. Steiner that I found his phamplet online. Let's quote Dr. Steiner by all means.

"Jackson's name was always mentioned with a species of veneration, and his orders were obeyed with a slavish obedience unsurpassed by that of Russian serfs.

The men generally looked sturdy when in ranks, yet a cachectic expression of countenance prevailed, which could not be accounted for entirely by the unwashed faces that were, from necessity or choice, the rule. Those who have fallen into our hands show worn-out constitutions, disordered digestions and a total lack of vital stamina. They do not bear pain with any fortitude, and their constitutions seem to have very little power of resistance to disease. The rate of mortality in the rebel sick and wounded is double or treble that found in the Hospitals containing our men."

-- Dr. Lewis Steiner, 1862


40 posted on 01/09/2004 4:31:21 AM PST by WhiskeyPapa (Virtue is the uncontested prize.)
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