Research Black Confederates, how many ?

thomas aagaard

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Location
Denmark
Proving a person's state of mind is difficult at best, impossible most of the time.

Even reading letters, & diaries. More times than not, people write what they think people want to hear. Or worse, they write how they want to be perceived, not necessarily what they really think. There are many examples historically, all the way to present day. Today's equivalent of letters, & diaries, are twitter feeds, & FB postings. They aren't always a great insight into someone's real thoughts. There's plenty of motivations to be deceitful.

I tend to believe peoples actions, much more so than their words. What somebody actually does, is much better insight into who they really are, & what they actually believe vs. what they say. I suspect that has always been the case...
What I write on facebook in a public debate is something I expect (or want) a lot of people to read.

A letter in comparison would usually be addressed to a few persons at the most (if not it is often clear from the letter with a clear wish for it to be publish or similar)

That is simply not comparable to a private diary.
Sure a diary might be written with the plan to shared some of it with family or friends.
But as I mentioned in one case a Danish soldier write about vising women of loose morals... We can be pretty sure that the fact that he paid women for sex is not something he was planning to tell his family. And it is not mentioned in his published memories.
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
I know the name of the unit in that photo. They probably had servants attached to their company, but I also know they had 12 enlisted fmc.
When/where was it taken? and what unit is it?
(Iam not questioning your honesty about it, but am just curious)

I need to revise that post-
"I know the name of the unit in that series of photos. They probably had servants attached to their company, but I also know they had 12 enlisted fmc."
 
Last edited:

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
It won't matter.
Teaser:
Unit Information (2).jpg


What about the other two? :unsure:
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Time magazine on news stands now had a magazine focused on the Civil War with a sub category on black soldiers. In terms of the South it had a bit more verifiable information then I am used to seeing from popular press organs.
Article: "The war ended before Black Confederate regiments could be fielded in combat."

Except for:
Sheridan's Raid, March 1865
Appomattox Campaign, April 1865
Stoneman's Raid, March-April 1865
Mobile Campaign, March-April 1865
 

jcaesar

Private
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
Article: "The war ended before Black Confederate regiments could be fielded in combat."

Except for:
Sheridan's Raid, March 1865
Appomattox Campaign, April 1865
Stoneman's Raid, March-April 1865
Mobile Campaign, March-April 1865
I noticed that as well. The end of it was a bit misleading. Most people would take that to mean no black troops fought. There were battalion sized units that fought though I don't know about regiment sized.

It would be interesting to look in the archives if they came up with official designated numbers/terms to call the units.
 

thomas aagaard

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Location
Denmark
I noticed that as well. The end of it was a bit misleading. Most people would take that to mean no black troops fought. There were battalion sized units that fought though I don't know about regiment sized.

It would be interesting to look in the archives if they came up with official designated numbers/terms to call the units.
If you can find two 30 men companies who are togheter then it is a battalion, so that is not saying much.

But how about sharing your great primary sources on what units, what unit strenght and who commanded the units and how they did.
 

jcaesar

Private
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
My comment was about looking to the army files on names and yes troop sizes not simply newspaper articles which did refer to them as a battalion.

“The appearance of the battalion of colored troops on the Square, yesterday afternoon, attracted thousands of our citizens to the spot, all eager to catch a glimpse of the sable soldiers,” the Enquirer wrote on March 23, 1865.

“The bearing of the ****** elicited universal commendation. While on the Square, they went through the manual of arms in a manner which would have done credit to veteran soldiers, while the evolutions of the line were executed with promptness and precision. As an appropriate recognition of their promptness in forming the first battalion of colored troops in the Confederacy, we suggest to the ladies of Richmond the propriety of presenting the battalion with an appropriate banner.”

https://www.google.com/amp/s/richmo...317568c2-1ba4-5f88-a18a-45d24a900a22.amp.html
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
My comment was about looking to the army files on names and yes troop sizes not simply newspaper articles which did refer to them as a battalion.
The "Hospital Battalion" is mentioned a few times in the official records of the armies. It had four or five companies of which two were composed of black troops. The two companies totaled 150 men. The battalion raised by Majors Turner and Pegram probably had about 100 though there was no official report. Estimates from unofficial sources ranged anywhere from 10 to 200.

It would be interesting to look in the archives if they came up with official designated numbers/terms to call the units.

"Colored Troops"

Richmond Examiner, March 27, 1865
RichmondExam27mar1865a.jpg

RichmondExam27mar1865.jpg


Richmond Examiner, March 20, 1865
RichmondEx20mar1865.jpg
 

jcaesar

Private
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
"Colored Troops"

That was one of the three terms authorized by the ANV for use from my search on the topic.

Hd Qs CS Armies
27th March 1865
Lt Gen RS Ewell
Commdg General,

General Lee directs me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 25th inst: and to say that he much regrets the unwillingness of owners to permit their slaves to enter the service. If the state authorities can do nothing to get those ****** who are willing to join the army, but whose masters refuse their consent, there is no authority to do it at all. What benefit they expect their ****** to be to them, if the enemy occupies the country, it is impossible to say. He hopes you will endeavor to get the assistance of citizens who favor the measure, and bring every influence you can to bear. When a ***** is willing, and his master objects, there would be less objection to compulsion, if the state has the authority. It is however of primary importance that the ****** should know that the service is voluntary on their part.

As to the name of the troops, the general thinks you cannot do better than consult the men themselves. His only objection to calling them colored troops was that the enemy had selected that designation for theirs. But this has no weight against the choice of the troops and he recommends that they be called colored or if they prefer, they can be called simply Confederate troops or volunteers.

Everything should be done to impress them with the responsibility and character of their position, and while of course due respect and subordination should be exacted, they should be so treated as to feel that their obligations are those of any other soldier and their rights and privileges dependent in law & order as obligations upon others as upon theirselves. Harshness and contemptuous or offensive language or conduct to them must be forbidden and they should be made to forget as soon as possible that they were regarded as menials. You will readily understand however how to conciliate their good will & elevate the tone and character of the men….

Very respy.
Your obt. servt.
Chaarles Marshall
Lt. Col & AAG

Link
 

DanSBHawk

1st Lieutenant
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
General Lee directs me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 25th inst: and to say that he much regrets the unwillingness of owners to permit their slaves to enter the service. If the state authorities can do nothing to get those ****** who are willing to join the army, but whose masters refuse their consent, there is no authority to do it at all. What benefit they expect their ****** to be to them, if the enemy occupies the country, it is impossible to say. He hopes you will endeavor to get the assistance of citizens who favor the measure, and bring every influence you can to bear. When a ***** is willing, and his master objects, there would be less objection to compulsion, if the state has the authority. It is however of primary importance that the ****** should know that the service is voluntary on their part.
That pretty much sums up why it was never going to work.

And this is March '65, mind you. A month before the confederate surrender.

And actually, it appears it was the end of March. The very end of the war.
 

jcaesar

Private
Joined
Aug 28, 2020
The files did report many landowners were ‘reluctant’ to free their slaves and the ANV hadn't been given legal authority by the state for compulsory seizure.

Even if they did have such authority and they had thirty thousand CT by that point it wouldn’t have changed the course of the war of course, but I do wonder how much it would have changed the post war. Society changing decisions in the course of a war didn’t come easy.

Hd. Qts. CS Armies
30th March 1865
Lt Gen RS Ewell
Commdg General,

General Lee directs me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 29th inst: and to say that he regrets very much to learn that owners refuse to allow their slaves to enlist. He deems it of great moment that some of this force should be put in the field as soon as possible, believing that they will remove all doubts as to the expediency of the measure. He regrets it the more in the case of the owners about Richmond, inasmuch as the example would be extremely valuable, and the present posture of military affairs renders it almost certain that if we do not get these men, they will soon be in arms against us, and perhaps relieving white Federal soldiers from guard duty in Richmond. He desires you to press this view upon the owners.

He says that he regards it as very important that immediate steps be taken to put the recruiting in operation, and has so advised the department. He desires to have you placed in general charge of it, if agreeable to you, as he thinks nothing can be accomplished without energetic and intelligent effort by someone who fully appreciates the vital importance of the duty….

Very respy
Your obt servt
Charles Marshall
Lt col & AAG

Link
 
Last edited:
Top