Black Confederate grave in Charleston Neck a curiosity

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jgoodguy

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From The Post and Courier newspaper:

Black Confederate grave in Charleston Nec a curiosity.

http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20130806/PC16/130809625/1009/black-confederate-grave-in-charleston-neck-a-curiosity&source=RSS

Unionblue
According to records, his service began in 1862. He is listed as serving under R.B. Simons, who started out the war as a private in Buist’s Company of the 17th S.C Militia, before taking on other assignments, including in Company A of 18 Battalion, S.C. Artillery, often referred to as the Siege Train Artillery Battalion. Neither Middleton’s age nor middle name were listed in the application.

Randy Burbage, a local re-enactor and national officer in the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said Middleton’s role during the war would have been of high value.

“A cook is pretty important member,” he said. “He still had to feed the soldiers,” and that “this is his home too.”
Looks to be a slave to R.B. Simons.
 
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Battalion

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From The Post and Courier newspaper:

Black Confederate grave in Charleston Nec a curiosity.

http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20130806/PC16/130809625/1009/black-confederate-grave-in-charleston-neck-a-curiosity&source=RSS

Unionblue
But a Black Confederate slave, to be sure.
A Black Confederate slave cook of high value to the Conederacy.
Frederick Douglass did say that "the negro is the stomach of the rebellion."

- Alan
This appears to be a very old headstone. Probably set in the early 1900s.

And they called him a Confederate Soldier.
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Civilwarcrow

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This appears to be a very old headstone. Probably set in the early 1900s.

And they called him a Confederate Soldier.
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Who is "they", when was this stone put on,by whom ??? Don't think, faithful slave, would look as good as "soldier" but it could be more accurate...
 
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This appears to be a very old headstone. Probably set in the early 1900s.

And they called him a Confederate Soldier.
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Yep, that's what they called him.

This is from an earlier post:

The definition of soldier -before, during and since the Civil War, in both the North and South- was and is enlisted.
Nothing more or less.
Was this man enlisted as a soldier?

Look up his pension records. I guarantee it, if there is one for him or his spouse, it is a servant's pension, not a soldier's pension. I guarantee it.

- Alan
 

ForeverFree

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Don't know. He applied for a pension in April 1923....
http://www.archivesindex.sc.gov/onlinearchives/ViewImage.aspx?imageNumber=S12608801981a.jpg&recordId=231009
....so some time after that date.
Was this man enlisted as a soldier?

Look up his pension records. I guarantee it, if there is one for him or his spouse, it is a servant's pension, not a soldier's pension. I guarantee it.

- Alan
Battalion,

When I wrote my post, I had not seen your post #10. Your research proves my point. Louis B. Middleton was not a Confederate soldier.

This is a pension app for a Confederate soldier:

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The app has information about when the soldier enlisted, regiment and battalion information, and other stuff.

This is the Louis B. Middleton app:

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The form requests a pension under the "Act of 1923." As mentioned in this article on black Confederate pensioners, 1923 is the year that South Carolina approved pensions for "black noncombatants," ie, servants, cooks and the like. On the form, there is no request for info about enlistment date or regiment number. Rather, the form asks under whom the person served.

Clearly, Middleton was not applying for a pension as a soldier, he was applying as a servant.

So: why doesn't his gravesite identify him as a Confederate cook, instead of the Confederate soldier description? I do not know the answer to that question. Maybe he did act as a combatant, who knows. But it's certainly more... of an honor... to be seen as soldier, then as a cook/faithful servant.

- Alan
 
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I feel I need to add this one comment. I have no problem at all with Middleton getting a gravesite that notes he had some role in the War. The problem, as always, is in describing his service properly and respectfully.

Saying that somebody is a "soldier" carries with it the expectation that such person is, or can be, called to give his life to his nation's cause. That was not expected of a cook. As far as I know, cooks were not given rifles or drilled in combat.

Let's be for real: if Louis Middleton was white, then in all probability, he would not have been a cook. He would have enlisted as a soldier, been given a gun, and eventually signed for a soldier's pension. But various conditions in the South prevented that. (This is based on the assumption he was of fighting age.)

I do understand that as a military cook, he was subject to more risks than someone who was not out in the field. And I feel it's right to acknowledge that. But I don't think the way to acknowledge that is to imply that he was assuming the same risks as the guys who were charging into open battlefields. Or to imply that social conditions in his section allowed him to do things he could not do, and be things that he could not be.

I trust that Middleton is resting in peace. It is for the living to wrestle with the nature of his "service."

- Alan
 
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