Very interesting and not a well known history of Maroon communities. I do know that escaped slaves did join the Seminoles in Florida and one major Indian band that I disguised in the thread on Civil War Inians in the Indian Territory now present day Oklahoma.
Your right Maroons are more associated with Jamaica. If you can post any armed resistance by them and ir attempts by the Union to arm them that would really enhance this thread.
Here's a few snippets of sources. Will add on more later
Confederate Brigadier-General R. F. Floyd asked Governor Milton of Florida on April 11, 1862, to declare martial law in Nassau, Duvar, Clay, Putnam, St. John’s and Volusia Counties, “as a measure of absolute necessity, as they contain a nest of traitors and lawless negroes.” 49 In October, 1862, a scouting party of three armed whites, investigating a maroon camp containing one hundred men, women, and children in Surry County, Virginia, were killed by these fugitives. 50 Governor Shorter of Alabama commissioned J. H. Clayton in January, 1863, to destroy the nests in the southeastern part of the state of “deserters, traitors, and runaway Negroes.” 51 Colonel Hatch of the Union Army reported in August, 1864, that “500 Union men, deserters, and negroes were . . . raiding towards Gainsville,” Florida. The same month a Confederate officer, John K. Jackson, declared that: Many deserters. . .are collected in the swamps and fastnesses of Taylor, La Fayette, Levy and other counties [in Florida], and have organized.
A Confederate newspaper noticed similar activities in North Carolina in 1864. It reported: [It is] difficult to find words of description ... of the wild and terrible consequences of the negro raids in this obscure . . . theatre of the war . . 7o counties of Currituck and Camden, there are said to be from 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 banditti, roving the country with fire and committing a sorts of horrible crimes upon the inhabitants.
This present theatre of guerrilla warfare has, at this time, a most important interest for our authorities. It is described as a rich country. . . and one of the most important sources of meat supplies that is now accessible to our armies. . . •
Maroons continued to exist, however, and to fight for their freedom. Incidents such as those in Ashepoo in 1816, Williamsburg County in 1819, Georgetown in 1820, and Jacksonborough in 1822 all produced the same results. Maroons and militiaman fought, with the latter winning each time. Even so, maroons continued to exist. These activities continued even during the Civil War, when a maroon community attacked near Marion in June 1861 demonstrated the existence of maroons up until emancipation.
The Dismal Swamp:Virginia/North Carolina:
Their own struggle for freedom spanned generations at that point, and it was bravely maintained until Union gunboats arrived in 1862 and the centuries-old fight again merged with another war against slaveholders. While the mass of the Union Army fought in Northern Virginia, former slaves, maroons and white Unionists undertook a guerrilla war to disrupt Confederate power in areas surrounding the swamp.
Many maroons who left the swamp to fight did not become regulars in the Union Army, but rather maintained their status as guerillas in the region. Dismal Swamp guerillas helped provision Union forces with beef and corn obtained in their plantation raids. Perhaps as important, dozens of maroons emerged from the swamp and served as scouts necessary for passage through the swamp. Moreover, maroon fighters already busy “spread[ing] terror over the land,” in the words of a North Carolina woman, loosely joined forces with the Confederate deserter Jack Fairless and his “Wingfield Buffaloes.” From their base on the North Carolina edge of the Great Dismal, guerrilla bands set off on regular campaigns into northeastern North Carolina, both to plunder and make good on their explicit pledge to “clear the country of every slave.”
So successful, in fact, were the maroons and other Buffaloes in commandeering supplies and helping to liberate bondsmen in the region that by mid-1863, a hastily organized local white “home guard” made desperate attempts to destroy their increasingly fortified base, or at least hit the guerrillas where it might hurt them the worst. Suggesting that they were aware of the crucial link between the maroons of the swamp and the guerrilla fighters, the home guard braved a direct assault on a deep-swamp maroon community, surprising the noncombatant group and killing many swampers in the process. Their attempts on the Buffalo base camp on the Chowan River were less successful. After initial forays in March failed to eject the Buffaloes, a larger force of partisan and regulars the next month found that the Buffaloes had dispersed back into the depths of the swamp ahead of the attack. All that greeted the frustrated Confederates was simple note pinned to a tree: “A leetle too late.”
The Carolinians must have already felt the truth of that note. Besides missing their guerrilla targets, by the fall of 1863 the Confederates were also rapidly losing ground in the region to Unionists. For the most part, the home guard had done a miserable job protecting the nominally pro-Confederate home front from Union-allied guerrillas. Indeed, the incompetence of the home guard only served to provoke further maroon reprisals on the civilian population.
In December 1863 Gen. Edward A. Wild led a raid through the swamp against white communities in North Carolina in December, but already that fall local residents were already declaring 1863 the “year of the black flag.” The Dismal Swamp counties in North Carolina passed resolutions addressed to the Confederacy formally withdrawing their support for the home guard and demanding they be officially recalled. The Buffalo’s adversaries would thereafter be no more than a dwindling clutch of vigilantes lacking even the support of a sympathetic civilian population. The Civil War thus came to an early end in the region around the southern Great Dismal Swamp.
When Burnside arrived in coastal North Carolina, he had issued a declaration to its white residents, promising non-interference with slavery. In part, it read:
The mission of our joint expedition is not to invade any of your rights, but to assert the authority of the United States, and thus to close with you the desolating war brought upon your State by comparatively a few bad men in your midst. . . . They impose upon your credulity by telling you of wicked and even diabolical intentions on our part – of our desire to destroy your freedom, demolish your property, liberate your slaves, injure your women, and such like enormities – all of which, we assure you is not only ridiculous but utterly and wilfully false.
Not only did white Southerners in coastal North Carolina refuse to believe Ambrose Burnside, but so did their slaves. As at Port Royal, South Carolina, the previous November, many North Carolina planters in the path of Union forces in February and March 1862 fled for the interior leaving their slaves behind. The slaves greeted Burnside’s army as liberators, manifestly not what the general had intended. Gen. Burnside reported from New Bern on March 21:
I appointed General Foster military governor of the city and its vicinity and he has established a most perfect system of guard and police. Nine-tenths of the depredations on the 14th after the enemy and citizens fled from the town were committed by the negroes before our troops reached the city. They seemed to be wild with excitement and delight. They are now a source of very great anxiety to us. The city is being overrun with fugitives from the surrounding towns and plantations. Two have reported themselves who have been in the swamps for five years. It would be utterly impossible if we were so disposed to keep them outside of our lines, as they find their way to us through woods and swamps from every side. By my next dispatch I hope to report to you a definite policy in reference to this matter, and in the meantime shall be glad to receive any instructions upon the subject which you may be disposed to give.
So among the slaves liberated around New Bern in March 1862 were two maroons that emerged to greet their reluctant liberators. While they preferred the swamp to slavery, when freedom came they readily rejoined civilization. For these maroons, the arrival of Burnside’s army must have been particularly joyous as it was a double liberation, both from slavery and their wilderness exile. No doubt, other maroons too would be able to come home as free people in the months and years that followed as Union forces penetrated further into the South.
Sources: 1) https://cwemancipation.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/maroons-return-from-exile/ 2) http://www.gilderlehrman.org/search/collection_pdfs/01/88/6/01886.pdf; 3) http://www.simmonsgames.com/research/authors/USWarDept/ORA/OR-S2-V1-C4.html
There were thousands of Maroons at any given point up from the earliest slave arrivals until the end of the Civil War. Many were in Louisiana, in areas that were not too far away from the city centers but were difficult to access.
“Slave owners were afraid that the presence of Maroons would corrupt the people, because they said that they noted insolence among the slaves," Diouf says. "It was like ‘well if you’re doing all this to me, then you know I can go and join the Maroons.’”
That’s what made the government crack down on the largest nomadic maroon settlement in Louisiana, St. Malo, lead by Jean Malo, one of the only identifiable Maroon leaders in the United States.
While most Maroon groups didn’t break into double digits, St. Malo had a population of more than 50, until it was ultimately defeated by the Spanish under Governor Esteban Miro. They captured Malo and fellow organizers and hanged them, making an example of the rebels against the slave system.
“It’s the psyche of they were ready to do anything to be free, according to their own rules, without having to live in a northern society where they were second, third, fourth class citizens, even if they were nominally free," Diouf says.
"It’s not the kind of pseudo freedom of living in a city in the South where you pass as a free man or a free woman, but you are not. This is the real freedom. And to a planter you know who could not understand why a Maroon did not return when, you know, if he had been sick, he had frostbite, it was a very difficult time. And the man told him ‘I taste how it is to be free, and I didn't come back.’"
The maroons or "outlyers," as contemporaries called them, maintained their cohesion for years, sometimes for more than a generation. They made forays into populated farming sections for food, clothing, livestock, and trading items. Sometimes they bartered with free blacks, plantation slaves, and nonslaveholding whites, and in a few instances white outlaws joined them, although this was rare.
It is estimated that at least fifty maroon communities were active in the South between 1672 and 1864.
Hidden Americans: Maroons Of Virginia And The Carolinas by Hugo P. Leaming
American Negro Slave Revolts by Aptheker, Herbert
The 36th Infantry United States Colored Troops in the Civil War: A History and Roster
Maroon and Slave Communities in South Carolina before 1865
Maroons in Antebellum New Orleans: Independence at any Cost