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

Andersonh1

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Same story as the Bedford Inquirer above, printed on the same day. "... negroes, free and slaves, are being armed in the Cotton States to resist the Union forces."

Delaware gazette. (Delaware, Ohio) 1855-1886, February 07, 1862
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This story will appear in many papers over the next week or two, including the final line. "A free negro attached to McCleary's company killed a Lincolnite."

Memphis daily appeal. (Memphis, Tenn.) 1847-1886, February 07, 1862
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19thGeorgia

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This story will appear in many papers over the next week or two, including the final line. "A free negro attached to McCleary's company killed a Lincolnite."

Memphis daily appeal. (Memphis, Tenn.) 1847-1886, February 07, 1862
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Not "passing as white."


"McClary's Co."

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Andersonh1

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George W. Julian of Indiana gave a speech in which he discussed the part being played by the black population of the South. "... Slavery is an element of positive strength to the rebels" he said, unless the Union turned that element to their own advantage. The slaves are raising food for the army, and "those not fit to bear arms oversee the plantations". One million are "capable of bearing arms", so Julian is clearly looking at the slaves as potential soldiers, because "they cannot be neutral." They have to aid one side or the other.

In other words, this representative is clearly saying that either the Union takes steps to make use of the slave population, or the South will. He lists off the ways in which the South uses the slaves, saying in each case that the North should do the same:

- building fortifications
- raising the provisions
- employed as cooks, nurses, teamsters and scouts
- organized as regiments to "shoot down our loyal white soldiers"

Chicago daily tribune. [volume] (Chicago, Ill.) 1860-1864, February 08, 1862
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Andersonh1

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In the midst of a long speech about fraud in government contracts, Van Myck of NY denounced the policy of returning slaves to their owners, and mentions "the slaves who fired on our wounded soldiers over the Potomac, at Ball's Bluff", making this the second story to mention black Confederates at the battle of Ball's Bluff.

The New York herald. [volume] (New York [N.Y.]) 1840-1920, February 08, 1862
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Andersonh1

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Discussion of enrolling free blacks "into the military service of Virginia" leads to one delegate, Mr. Rives, saying he would prefer to convert them all into slaves. There is no doubt more context to his statement, but it is not given here.

Evening star. (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, February 10, 1862
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Unnamed sources claim that the Native Guard are "well drilled" but have no arms, because the arms are locked up. But they can't arm the militia because "the supply is exhausted". Two different explanations for the lack of state military being armed make me wonder which can be believed?

Chicago daily tribune. (Chicago, Ill.) 1860-1864, February 11, 1862
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Andersonh1

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Here is another notice that free black men are being impressed, with the Raftsman's Journal dismissing the Petersburg newspaper's back-patting over all the volunteers. "They [the black men] have Hobson's choice - go willingly or be forced."

Raftsman's journal. [volume] (Clearfield, Pa.) 1854-1948, February 12, 1862
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Frederick Douglas gives a lecture on how black men are involved in the war, and "exhibits" a "rebel negro in his regimentals", a deserter from Dixie. I've seen it speculated that this man was John Parker (interviewed here: https://civilwartalk.com/threads/bl...s-said-1861-1865.129911/page-177#post-2325828 ), but if so he is not named in this short article.

Rochester, New York Union & Advertiser, February 12, 1862
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Andersonh1

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The stories about Van Wyck mentioning "slaves firing on wounded soldiers" at Ball's Bluff continues to appear.

The daily dispatch. [volume] (Richmond [Va.]) 1850-1884, February 12, 1862
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So does the story about a free black man with McCleary's company "killing a Lincolnite."

The Lancaster ledger. (Lancaster, S.C.) 1852-1905, February 12, 1862
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The Creole Guards in Mobile are ordered to be a part of the parade for Washington's birthday.

Mobile Register, February 13, 1862
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Andersonh1

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Five weeks after the parade took place, this newspaper cites the Bowling Green Courier's story on the military review in New Orleans as proof that the Confederates have black soldiers. The story notes that the "large regiment" of free black men is "partly officered" by black men, armed and in uniform, and were well drilled. They note the presence of Jordan Noble among them, and that they were treated the same as every other company of soldiers.

The daily Gate City. (Keokuk, Iowa) 1855-1916, February 14, 1862
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In Virginia there is some discussion about the employment of free black men in the "public service" and who is exempt.

The daily dispatch. [volume] (Richmond [Va.]) 1850-1884, February 15, 1862
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Andersonh1

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Ten black deserters from the Confederate side arrive at Camp Hamilton, and one was armed and had been involved in the New Market Bridge skirmish.

The daily dispatch. (Richmond [Va.]) 1850-1884, February 17, 1862
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Here is that context about the "convert all free black men to slaves" comment. A bill enrolling free black men was under discussion and subject to amendments, and Mr. Rives proposed an amendment to cut the enlistment term in half, because the men being enrolled were the sole source of support for their families who would suffer from their absence for so long. When another delegate objected to the reduction because white men could be drafted for two years, so he saw no reason that black men could not serve for six months, Rives seems to have felt the need to defend himself from being "too sympathetic" to the black population in the district he represented.

The national Republican. (Washington, D.C.) 1860-1862, February 19, 1862
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Andersonh1

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Henry Currier, free black man, had the job of keeping the telegraph wires between Savannah and Fort Pulaski up and running, despite the Union troops apparently cutting them whenever possible. He had to run to avoid capture while out in the channel, and when the Federal troops couldn't catch him after a few miles, they tried to shoot him, but he escaped.

Yorkville enquirer. February 20, 1862
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A reprint of the story from the Bowling Green Courier citing the presence of the Native Guard in the New Orleans military review of January 8 as proof that "the confederates are training negroes as soldiers".

Muscatine weekly journal. (Muscatine, Iowa) February 21, 1862
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Andersonh1

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General Branch wants to hire free black men to work on fortifications at Newbern, and puts an appeal in the newspapers. He wants to "take the spade" from the soldiers and give them muskets and replace them with "patriotic private citizens." He emphasizes that it's a paid volunteer job, so this is not conscription.

The western Democrat. February 25, 1862
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The Louisville Democrat is not in favor of arming slaves to fight for the Union, and the fact that the South is doing it does not justify the North in doing the same.

Clearfield Republican. (Clearfield, Pa.) 1851-1937, February 26, 1862
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Andersonh1

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Here is another report mentioning the Native Guard marching in what was probably the anniversary parade for Louisiana's secession. While the New Orleans papers "proudly record the fact" that no distinction was made between white and black soldiers, the writer sarcastically intimates that it was just because they needed the men to fight. Once the fighting was over, they'd go back to being slaves, while of course this particular group of Southern black men were free and not slaves.

The Potter journal. (Coudersport, Pa.) 1857-1872, February 26, 1862
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Another newspaper notes the presence of the Native Guard in the military parade, leading them to conclude that "the rebels have no tender sensibilities on the score of employing colored men as soldiers."

Bedford inquirer. (Bedford, Pa.) 1857-1884, February 28, 1862
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Andersonh1

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A discussion of armed black men in the South concludes that they're all free blacks, and any slave that is allowed to fight is given his freedom. The writer goes on to say that "an extremity" in the South would offer slaves emancipation in return for fighting, figuring they could make up for the loss in slaves later.

Fremont journal. (Fremont, Sandusky County [Ohio]) 1853-1866, February 28, 1862
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Here's another mix of truth and rumor.

Watertown republican. (Watertown, Wis.) 1860-1906, February 28, 1862
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Andersonh1

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March 1862 opens with a want ad for "two colored cooks" for the Irish volunteers in Savannah. No "camp slaves" there.

Daily morning news. (Savannah, Ga.) 1850-1864, March 05, 1862
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"... Slave and free colored labor" called for by General Branch. That's two calls for free black employment.

Semi-weekly standard. (Raleigh, N.C.) March 05, 1862
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The "free colored soldiers" of New Orleans appeared in many newspapers during the year or so that they were in existence.

The Potter journal. (Coudersport, Pa.) 1857-1872, March 05, 1862
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