Brass Napoleon Award Black Southerners and the Confederate Cause--What the newspapers said: 1861-1865


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According to this article, there were four black men in the 24th South Carolina, two of whom owned slaves. One of them was captured at Missionary Ridge. There might be enough information here to determine who these men were.

Evansville Daily Journal Sep 19, 1864
Pybwc0q.jpg


edit: Could it be this man? https://civilwartalk.com/threads/black-confederate-count.142783/page-3#post-1749691

James Russell
Cook/Private
"Free Negro"
Co. C, 24th South Carolina Infantry
CSR


If it is him, I don't suppose he was cooking when he was captured in the front skirmish line at Missionary Ridge!
 
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19thGeorgia

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According to this article, there were four black men in the 24th South Carolina, two of whom owned slaves. One of them was captured at Missionary Ridge. There might be enough information here to determine who these men were.

Evansville Daily Journal Sep 19, 1864
View attachment 273893

edit: Could it be this man? https://civilwartalk.com/threads/black-confederate-count.142783/page-3#post-1749691

James Russell
Cook/Private
"Free Negro"
Co. C, 24th South Carolina Infantry
CSR


If it is him, I don't suppose he was cooking when he was captured in the front skirmish line at Missionary Ridge!
Great find.
He was reported as either captured or killed. Looks like he may have died in prison as there is no later record of him.

Article: "His first company commander was Captain Apleby."

Company C- Captain Appleby.

Appleby.jpg
 
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1863 summaries, and a few interesting patterns emerge. I need to dig more deeply into 1863 and 1864 than I have. I suspect there's more to find.

The big takeaway here is that there is more discussion of Southern arming of black men than specific reports from the field. There are reports from a couple of battles, and more sighting of black pickets and black artillerists and sharpshooters, and one state discusses arming slaves but then amends that to just employing them in military service.

The editorials are the story of the year, and they start the year as they have the two prior to 1863 discussing in general terms the pros and cons and likelihood of the South arming black men. But then near the end of July, a story emerges about Alexander Stephens supposedly threatening to arm slaves en masse in retaliation for the Union recruiting and arming black soldiers, and the focus of editorials shifts almost entirely to discussion of this possibility, and what would happen if the south armed hundred of thousands of slaves. One other near-editorial category also enters the picture, which I've labeled "the South did it first", and here's where the writers remind the readers of early arming of black men by the South, primarily in New Orleans, but instances are mentioned in other places as well. The Confederate 1st Louisiana may be gone, but they are not forgotten.

Take this as a snapshot of my current holdings. The categorization is not perfect, some articles could easily fit in more than one category. And as I said, I think there's more to be found.

Mass enlistment and arming of slaves, rumors and editorials (July-December) - 21 stories/51 articles
"The South Armed them First" - 18 stories/26 articles
1st Louisiana Native Guard - 8 stories/9 articles​
Memphis/Nashville - 7 stories/14 articles​
Great Bethel - 2 stories/2 articles​
Mobile - 1 article​
Militant Rumors/Reports (free or slave, sometimes unknown, "general" reports with no specific location given) - 17 stories/24 articles
Impressment/Conscription/Drafting - 12 stories/17 articles
Battles - 7 stories/30 articles
Franklin - 4 stories/21 articles​
Gettysburg - 3 stories/9 articles​
Editorials on Arming/Employing black men for military purposes (Jan-July 1863) - 9 stories/17 articles
Slave/unknown status labor - 5 stories/9 articles
black employment in the ranks (musicians, teamsters, cooks, other paid non slave) - 4 stories/7 articles
black artillerists - 3 stories/7 articles
black sharpshooters - 3 stories/4 articles
black pickets - 2 stories/24 articles
Official CSA Government discussion of arming slaves (state/national) - 1 story/2 articles
Guerilla action - 1 article
 
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1864 is proving as involved to categorize as 1861, largely for the reason that so much of the latter portion of the year is taken up with opinions on arming black soldiers by the Confederate Congress or not, and everyone and their brother has their own opinion. Lots of one-off editorials on this topic.

Then there are editorials like this, a commentary on a commentary!

Burlington weekly hawk-eye. (Burlington [Iowa]) 1860-1876, December 24, 1864
MBV54mY.jpg
 
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it was the [ad?] that
It's a little late responding to this thread, but today is the first time I noticed it. I found this same clipping last week while researching at the Rosenberg Library in Galveston. Probably the same place you found it, in the old scrapbooks of newspaper clippings of 1861-62.

My copy came out a little better. The last sentence reads in part: "........ it was their aid that ......"

One item I would like to point out regarding the article is the sentence that reads: "Almost every company passing through this place has more or less negroes [sic.] in it armed and in the ranks."

Many slave owners took a slave with them into service to cook, do camp chores, etc. Most folks probably think it was just the officers who took a body servant with them. It would not be uncommon for these slaves to be marching along with their masters while carrying his rifle. I can say this with some conviction as I have original letters written by a 44 year old ancestor, a private in the ranks, who took a young slave named Frank with him to war and is mentioned in several letters. On his way to Galveston in September of 1863, his battalion even passed through Navasota. My point is, some of these witnesses who saw blacks carrying a rifle may not have seen a slave actually enlisted into Confederate service.

030 CW Scapbook #2-MS76-0041_Feb1862.JPG
 
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It's a little late responding to this thread, but today is the first time I noticed it. I found this same clipping last week while researching at the Rosenberg Library in Galveston. Probably the same place you found it, in the old scrapbooks of newspaper clippings of 1861-62.

My copy came out a little better. The last sentence reads in part: "........ it was their aid that ......"

One item I would like to point out regarding the article is the sentence that reads: "Almost every company passing through this place has more or less negroes [sic.] in it armed and in the ranks."

Many slave owners took a slave with them into service to cook, do camp chores, etc. Most folks probably think it was just the officers who took a body servant with them. It would not be uncommon for these slaves to be marching along with their masters while carrying his rifle. I can say this with some conviction as I have original letters written by a 44 year old ancestor, a private in the ranks, who took a young slave named Frank with him to war and is mentioned in several letters. On his way to Galveston in September of 1863, his battalion even passed through Navasota. My point is, some of these witnesses who saw blacks carrying a rifle may not have seen a slave actually enlisted into Confederate service.

View attachment 292211
Good image and good analysis. I've added it to my files.
 
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byron ed

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Here's one more for today, from the Cass County Republican, March 19. 1863. It discusses the need for the Union to enlist black men because the Confederacy has already been using their slaves...
More important is how accurately this article explains the situation generally, no agenda, good reporting. To read it fully, the article is actually rather lukewarm in it's support of enlisting blacks; making as big or more of a deal out of what the risk is.
 
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I find it interesting that the writer of this commentary refers to the 20,000 slaves conscripted into the Confederate army as laborers as "working soldiers". He seems to recognize that they will not be on the field with muskets in hand, but he also still refers to them as soldiers.

And of course, he views the addition of free and slave to the Confederate army as "the death of slavery".

Evansville daily journal. (Evansville, Ind.) 1863-1866, March 09, 1864
KlhN1np.jpg
 
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Here's my snapshot of 1864. This is the year for which I have the least articles and clearly need to do some more research work. Regardless, we see the same pattern we saw in 1863: a few battle reports and a lot of opinions about what mass enlistment means for the CSA. Honestly, I could probably break down the editorials by topic in 1863 and 1864 the same way I do for battle reports, but I realize that my categorization could certainly stand some refinement.

It's interesting to see a number of accounts about Stones River, which occurred Dec 62-Jan 63. Here in 1864 several people were looking back and recalling black participation in that battle on the Confederate side.

"Specific eyewitness accounts" differ from both battle and "militant rumors" in that armed black men among the Confederate military is reported, and we get specifics both on who made the report and where they claim to have seen these men. It's not a vague allegation, it's very specific.

The "naval combat" contains mention of the death of Moses Dallas, though the story is not solely about him.

Mass enlistment and arming of slaves, political speeches and editorials - 47 stories/58 articles
Impressment/Conscription/Drafting/Enrolling - 17 stories/25 articles
Official CSA Government discussion of arming slaves (state/national) - 14 stories/24 articles
Militant Rumors/Reports (free or slave, sometimes unknown, "general" reports with no specific location given) - 8 stories/14 articles
Specific eyewitness Accounts/correspondence - 2 stories/6 articles
Battle of Stones River - 3 stories/4 articles
Battle at Kelly's Ford - 2 stories/3 articles
Public Opinion on arming slaves - 2 articles
Confederate soldiers' opinions on arming the slaves - 2 articles
Naval Combat - 1 article
Monetary Contributions - 1 article
 
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