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"Black men in the Confederate army": what the newspapers said - 1861-1865

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by Andersonh1, Sep 12, 2016.

  1. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    With all the discussion about whether black men served as armed soldiers in the Confederate Army, I wanted to start researching contemporary accounts from the war years, 1861-1865, and see what made the newspapers. Thanks to the Library of Congress, there are huge amounts of old papers online, with a pretty good search engine, so it's not hard to find what the papers of the day said. So far I've found rumors, eyewitness accounts, editorials and random references. There was a range of opinion about the topic, just as there is today.

    The purpose of this thread is not to necessarily prove or disprove anything, it's to explore what the news of the day said about the concept. If you want to debate the existence of black Confederates, there are numerous other threads dedicated to that topic. While here, please confine discussion and commentary to posted articles and any observations you may have about them. Any supporting information that tells us about people, places or battles mentioned in an article is also welcome.
     
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  3. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    The daily Evansville journal. (Evansville, Ind.) 1862-1863, May 29, 1862
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    Rutland weekly herald. (Rutland, Vt.) 1859-1877, March 19, 1863
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    Another enrolling notice for North Carolina, which includes "free male negroes and other free persons of color" between the ages of 18 and 60.

    The daily confederate. (Raleigh, N.C.) 1864-1865, April 07, 1864
    [​IMG]
     
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  7. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    The daily Green Mountain freeman. (Montpelier, Vt.) 1861-1865, March 14, 1863
    [​IMG]
     
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  8. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    Ashtabula weekly telegraph. (Ashtabula, Ohio) 1853-1873, April 19, 1862
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    Raftsman's journal. (Clearfield, Pa.) September 02, 1863
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    The tri-weekly herald. (Newberry, S.C.) 1865-1865, March 23, 1865
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    The Lancaster ledger. (Lancaster, S.C.) 1852-1905, October 25, 1864
    [​IMG]
     
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  12. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    Andersonh1,

    Really like the way you keep digging up these articles. Have you had a chance yet to read the book, The Gray and the Black, by Durden?
     
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  13. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    I've just barely started it. As usual I have three or four books going at once, so I'll probably finish the Calhoun biography I'm reading before I really get serious, since the biography has to go back to the library. I did enjoy what I read of the first chapter of the Gray and the Black, so I think I'm going to find the rest of the book valuable if it keeps going in the same vein. His analysis of the Confederate society and particularly the prominent leadership turning towards independence and emancipation before the war ended, only for Southern society to fall back into old habits and attitudes when the Confederacy collapsed was well written. The war wasn't just a catalyst for racial changes in the North, it had begun to do the same in the South, if to a much lesser extent, something Durden understood.
     
  14. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Any first hand accounts of journalists foreign or domestic actually accompanying black Confederate soldiers in battle or even in garrison or a military hospital?
    Leftyhunter
     
  15. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    Any photographs or even drawings of black Confederate soldiers by a respectable national or foreign newspaper or magazine?
    Leftyhunter
     
  16. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    Gallipolis journal. (Gallipolis, Ohio) 1837-1919, May 29, 1862
    [​IMG]
     
  17. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    I haven't seen many photos or drawings of anything in the newspapers. There's the odd map or sketch of a national flag, but that's about it. Similarly, firsthand accounts are pretty rare. I don't get the sense that there are a lot of reporters out in the field observing the war and writing about it from personal observation, or if they do, they put the story on the wire and a lot of newspapers far and wide pick it up and print it. The Associated Press did exist during the Civil War, though I don't know how widespread they were, but it's clear that papers often picked up news from other papers and reprinted it, possibly more often than they gathered their own news.
     
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  18. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Major

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    One would think that if their were black Confederate soldiers their would indeed be first hand accounts. Indeed journalists did observe many battles.
    Leftyhunter
     
  19. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    Speaking of firsthand accounts, I literally just ran across this one while browsing the newspapers this morning.

    The Hillsdale standard. (Hillsdale, Mich.) 1851-1909, July 01, 1862
    [​IMG]
     
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  20. atlantis

    atlantis Sergeant

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    Do the newspapers say if the CS negro troops would be in addition to the authorized strength or are they part of the 400,000 soldiers authorized by CS congress.
     
  21. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    You're talking about the troops authorized by the Confederate Congress in March of 1865, and when the various articles discussing those soldiers give numbers, I believe they're usually counted as additions to the existing army.
     
  22. atlantis

    atlantis Sergeant

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    Thanks, also have you come across any paper saying if these black combat units would be used for defense or offensive operations or both. Trying to get a sense as to how folks back then wanted these troops employed.
     
  23. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    From what I can tell, it would be both. They would act as any other Confederate soldier, in both defensive or offensive operations. There are a few articles about the companies parading in Richmond and going through the manual of arms. One was uniformed and one was not. There's one article I've found about 600 black Confederate troops being put in the Petersburg trenches. There's such a small window of time between the authorization of black soldiers and Lee's surrender at Appomattox that there just isn't a lot of news reporting about these black Confederates.

    Links to some of the articles about the 1865 black Confederate soldiers:

    "Black men in the Confederate army": what the newspapers said - 1861-1865

    "Black men in the Confederate army": what the newspapers said - 1861-1865

    "Black men in the Confederate army": what the newspapers said - 1861-1865

    "Black men in the Confederate army": what the newspapers said - 1861-1865

    "Black men in the Confederate army": what the newspapers said - 1861-1865

    "Black men in the Confederate army": what the newspapers said - 1861-1865

    "Black men in the Confederate army": what the newspapers said - 1861-1865

    http://civilwartalk.com/threads/bla...-the-newspapers-said-1861-1865.129911/page-10

    "Black men in the Confederate army": what the newspapers said - 1861-1865

    "Black men in the Confederate army": what the newspapers said - 1861-1865

    "Black men in the Confederate army": what the newspapers said - 1861-1865
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
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