Black Armed irregular resistance to theConfederacy

leftyhunter

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Recently we had a thread titled"why no slave uprisings during the Civil War". Some blacks did rise up against their masters and fought Confederate forces deep inside Confederate lines often fighting alongside fellow white Southerners.
Slaves where well known for hiding and feeding escaped prisoners and deserters but they also fought the Confederacy. In Fl a worried CSA officer wrote in Aug 1864"many deserters ..are collected in the swamps and fastness of Taylor. Lafayette. Levy and other counties and have organized with runaway Negros, bands for the purpose of committing depredations upon the plantations and crops of loyal citizens and running of their slaves. These depredatory bands have even threatened the cities of Tallahassee,Madison and Marianna". That same month came word that a band of 500 Union men deserters an Negros where raiding towards Gainsville.
P.169 "Bitterly Divided the Souths inner Civil war David Williams thepress.co
Leftyhunter
 

kepi

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Recently we had a thread titled"why no slave uprisings during the Civil War". Some blacks did rise up against their masters and fought Confederate forces deep inside Confederate lines often fighting alongside fellow white Southerners.
Slaves where well known for hiding and feeding escaped prisoners and deserters but they also fought the Confederacy. In Fl a worried CSA officer wrote in Aug 1864"many deserters ..are collected in the swamps and fastness of Taylor. Lafayette. Levy and other counties and have organized with runaway Negros, bands for the purpose of committing depredations upon the plantations and crops of loyal citizens and running of their slaves. These depredatory bands have even threatened the cities of Tallahassee,Madison and Marianna". That same month came word that a band of 500 Union men deserters an Negros where raiding towards Gainsville.
P.169 "Bitterly Divided the Souths inner Civil war David Williams thepress.co
Leftyhunter
to what state is he referring?
 

NedBaldwin

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From the Official Records:

PORT HUDSON, LA., February 5, 1864 - 10 p. m.

Brigadier-General STONE:

I am informed that a band of armed negroes are committing outrages at or near the Hermitage Landing, across the river, and some of the people ask protection. I have no cavalry to send. I think the people themselves should deal with the matter. I distrust most of them and believe they would betray my force into the hands of the enemy if they could. Some of them are no doubt honest.

GEO. L. ANDREWS,

Brigadier-General of Volunteers.​
 

NedBaldwin

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE, Vicksburg, Miss., August 30, 1863.
General H. W. HALLECK, Washington, D. C.
...
Signs of negro insurrection are beginning to exhibit themselves. Last week some armed negroes crossed the Yazoo in the neighbor- hood of Haynes Bluff, and went up into the Deer Creek country, where they murdered several white men. I cannot learn the full particulars of this occurrence. The negroes who committed this act, however, are not soldiers, but were probably some men from a negro camp occupying plantations near Haynes Bluff. It seems that some of the citizens in that country have attempted to intimidate the negroes by whipping, and (in a few instances) by shooting them. This probably was but a case of retribution.
...
Ulysses S Grant, Major-General
 

NedBaldwin

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HEADQUARTERS OF THE POST, Vicksburg, Miss., February 27, 1864.
Brigadier-General SHEPARD, Haynes Bluff:
SIR: Complaints continue to come in of depredations being committed by armed negroes, probably deserters, in the neighborhood of Oak Ridge. Send a squad under a good officer to pick them up. Let them call on Mrs. McFarland, living there. They have threatened to burn her house.
J. McARTHUR, Brigadier- General.​
 

NedBaldwin

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HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE MISSOURI, Saint Louis, Mo., October 21, 1862.
Brig. Gen. E. A. CARR, Helena, Ark.:
GENERAL: Yours of the 16th, conveying letter of General Holmes and a copy of your answer, is received. It is hardly necessary for me to add anything to the force of your argument. The idea of carrying on war cautiously because the enemy has a weak spot that may be impaired is too shallow to bear consideration. The enemy must be weakened by every honorable means, and he has no right to whine about it. The rebellion must be shaken to its foundation, which is slavery, and the idea of saving rebels from the inevitable consequences of their rebellion is no part of our business while they persist. The use of our soldiers in disarming negroes who had armed themselves was a violation of law, as well as the cause of the capture of some of our men. Free negroes, like other men, will inevitably seek weapons of war, and fearing they may be returned to slavery, they will fight our foes for their own security. That is the inevitable logic of events, not our innovation....

SAML. R. CURTIS, Major- General.​
 

major bill

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Should the Union Army have supported the practice by sending weapons and supplies to the irregulars?
 

leftyhunter

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Should the Union Army have supported the practice by sending weapons and supplies to the irregulars?
The USN did supply Unionist Guerrillas along the Southern Atlantic coast of Fl. I loaned the book about it to a friend but see the thread on the 2nd Fl Us. Bitterly divided also mentions this. I would have to double check I seem to recall at least one Union commander in Al did supply Unionist guerrillas. As far as supplying all irregulars including black ones that is easier said then done. How would the reach them? True Col.Kirk of the 3rd Nc Mounted Infantry US did recruit CSA deserters in Nc from his base in Tn. My thread Questions about differences between Union vs CSA guerrillas has more details. Even in WW2 their where major difficulties by the allies in supplying irregulars. When I get back home from work I will see what I can do to more fully answer the question. Unfortunately for the Union irregulars their was no Office of Strategic Services to coordinate supplies. It was an individual command decision.
Leftyhunter
 
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brass napoleon

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"The idea of carrying on war cautiously because the enemy has a weak spot that may be impaired is too shallow to bear consideration. The enemy must be weakened by every honorable means, and he has no right to whine about it. The rebellion must be shaken to its foundation, which is slavery, and the idea of saving rebels from the inevitable consequences of their rebellion is no part of our business while they persist."

Great quote. Always liked Samuel Curtis. :thumbsup:
 
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Given the scale of the ACW these sorts of incidents are certainly possible, everything from organized behind-the-lines special operations to plain outlawry.

I would be cautious about statements like "word has been received." In one the writers says, "I cannot learn the full particulars..." War is rife with rumor and amplification and a simple assault can be inflated to an armed insurrection. Given the terror of Africans held by Southerners they can be expected to make the most of any form of resistance.
 

leftyhunter

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Given the scale of the ACW these sorts of incidents are certainly possible, everything from organized behind-the-lines special operations to plain outlawry.

I would be cautious about statements like "word has been received." In one the writers says, "I cannot learn the full particulars..." War is rife with rumor and amplification and a simple assault can be inflated to an armed insurrection. Given the terror of Africans held by Southerners they can be expected to make the most of any form of resistance.
Two Union regiments that used deserters for what we would call special operation was the 2nd and 3rd Nc mounted Infantry US led by 24 year old Col.Kirk. I have some info on him in my thread about Union vs CSA guerrillas. The second would be the 2nd Fl Cavalry US which was partnered with a USCT Regiment. Their may of been others.
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leftyhunter

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In Mo which of course was not part of the Confederacy none the less many slaves took up arms prior to the EP to ensure their freedom then escape to Kn. "Indeed white Kansans often led the raids or led them to sanctuary.' Col.Guitar of the 9th MSM ordered runaway slaves arrested and brought back to their masters. Gen. Richard Vaughn who commanded the district of Lexington wrote in May 1863 "Hundred of Negros revery week run from their master'. These Negros are all armed and as the citizens are unarmed they take their horse ,mules oxen and wagons by the hundreds. Gen Vaughn complained that regular Union soldiers would not stop them. "A Savage Conflict the decisive role of guerrillas in the Civil War Professor Sutherland Univ of North Carolina Press p.129-130.
Leftyhunter
 
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major bill

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In the North it would be called armed resistance, in the South it might be called armed insurrection. Regardless of the term used, the armed resistance caused some concern in the South but I do not see where it greatly impacted the war. It would appear the Confederate States primary used second line troops and home guard type units to respond to the problem. The slaves who slowed down production and provided the Union with intelligence probaley impacted the outcome of the war to a larger extent than the armed resistance.
 

leftyhunter

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In the North it would be called armed resistance, in the South it might be called armed insurrection. Regardless of the term used, the armed resistance caused some concern in the South but I do not see where it greatly impacted the war. It would appear the Confederate States primary used second line troops and home guard type units to respond to the problem. The slaves who slowed down production and provided the Union with intelligence probaley impacted the outcome of the war to a larger extent than the armed resistance.
True their was black armed resistance but nothing compared to white armed resistance. The White Unionists simply had much more men and much more arms. They where opposed be regular CSA troops from time to time and where a major threat which I and others discussion the other thread. It is notable that when given the opportunity despite tremendous risks blacks would eagerly fight for their freedom. On the other hand fear of a slave rebellion tied down a lot of militia so they can't work their civilian jobs. All in all a win -win for the Union.
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major bill

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"(It is) difficult to find words of description... of the wild and terrible consequences of the negro raids in the ob sure ...theatre of war ... In the two counties of Carrituck and Camden, thee are said to be form five to six hundred negroes, who are not in the regular military organization of the Yankees, but who, outlawed and disowned by their masters, lead the lives of banditte, roving the country with fire and committing all sorts of horrible crimes upon the inhabitants."

From the Richmond Daily Examiner, January 14 1864, quoted in Aptheker. "Maroons." Maroon societies, 165.
 
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