1. Welcome to the CivilWarTalk, a forum for questions and discussions about the American Civil War! Become a member today for full access to all of our resources, it's fast, simple, and absolutely free! If you aren't ready for that, try posting your question or comment as a guest!
  2. Wreaths Across America Charity Drive 2015
    Current Tally: $105.00 / Our Goal: $1500.00

    Please help us honor and remember our veterans in
    Antietam National Cemetery, Sharpsburg, Maryland!

Two of the First Black Officers in the Union Army

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by east tennessee roots, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. Honor Bound

    Honor Bound Private

    Aug 16, 2013
    I agree, and don't necessarily argue against that point. For the purposes of the realities of the time period, my point is that I don't think that we should assume based on looks (not that you're saying this) that mixed race black-white soldiers considered themselves to be white, particularly given the history of the country at the time. If we find evidence that an individual listed as "black" on a civil war schedule actually self-identified as white, then I don't think we should call that person black. However, absent such declarations, I don't think we have enough to call soldiers who are otherwise listed as black and among "colored" civil war troops as anything but. Also, in the event that it is clear that particular mixed race black-white soldiers identified as white over black, I think that we should also be clear about, for historical purposes, why they were listed as being black in the first place.

  2. (Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
  3. cash

    cash Brev. Brig. Gen'l

    Feb 20, 2005
    Right here.
    I'll end this particular diversion from the main topic of the thread with this. Confederate law until near the end of the war prohibited enlisting anyone who was not white as a soldier. Therefore, anyone enlisted as a soldier before the law was changed would be identifying as white. I didn't mean to hijack the thread, but I thought that one comment should have been explored for its impact in this area.
  4. godofredus

    godofredus Sergeant Major

    Apr 17, 2013
    I keep coming back to John Wayles Jefferson to show just how stupid these racial categories are:


    John Wayles Jefferson, born John Wayles Hemings (May 8, 1835 – July 12, 1892), was a successful businessman before and after the American Civil War, in which he served in the Union Army and was promoted to the rank of colonel. The son of a former slave and his wife, he was of predominately white ancestry, and his family had been accepted in the white community of Madison, Wisconsin after moving there in 1852. A businessman who owned a hotel in Madison, Wisconsin in the 1850s, after the war Jefferson achieved wealth as a cotton broker in Memphis, Tennessee. Jefferson is believed to have been the grandson of Sarah (Sally) Hemings, a slave, and her master Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States.

    He was the eldest son of Eston Hemings (1808–56), a freedman who was seven-eighths European in ancestry and "white" under Virginia law, and Julia Ann Isaacs Hemings (1814–1889), a free woman of color. His family moved from Charlottesville, Virginia toChillicothe, Ohio in 1836. They moved to Madison, Wisconsin in 1852, where they took the surname Jefferson

    Even if you are so stupid as to say the Hemings children were fathered by another Jefferson, and not Thomas Jefferson, it still shows a man with one drop of Negro blood was passing for white.....

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
Similar Threads Forum Date
ANV Kidnapping Blacks split from Why was Grant dubbed a "butcher" and Lee was not? Civil War History - General Discussion Nov 19, 2015
Black Friday special, 40% off at Fold3.com Researching Your Civil War Ancestry Thursday at 11:20 PM
Colorized Civil War images - Huge Black Friday Sale! Sutlers & Soldiers Classified Ads Wednesday at 9:52 PM
Black soldiers in white units Civil War History - General Discussion Tuesday at 10:05 PM
Pre Civil War Northern black militia companies Civil War History - General Discussion Nov 16, 2015

Share This Page