Confederate Officers Willing To Lead Black Troops

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Luke Freet

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
I and other members have discussed at length the playability of the Confederate deciding to recruit colored regiments. I do not wish to discuss the playability of this scenario.
So, if the confederates decided to recruit colored troops, either just Freeman or offering slaves freedom for their service, who would be willing to cpmmand these units?
 
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Luke Freet

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Commanders were in short supply anyway by 1865, so it is an interesting question.
This is supposed to be any and all officers during tje war. Could be as early as 1862, with volunteer units like the Louisiana Native Guard.
 

AndyHall

Colonel
Joined
Dec 13, 2011
It's an interesting question that I hadn't thought much about. But before we start talking about generals and field officers, we need to talk about company-grade officers and NCOs. The U.S. Army managed this by (1) recruiting volunteers for officer positions in the new USCT regiments, and (2) usuallly selecting veterans for those positions -- veteran white non-coms for company grade officers, and veteran white company-grade officers for field grade in the USCT. (For the latter case, think about Shaw with the 54th Massachusetts, although that was originally a state unit, not U.S. Army.) Corporals and Sergeants appear initially to have been appointed based on enlistees who could read and write, and had some position or stats in civilian life. The U.S. Army saw this (correctly, I think) as the means of finding the best leadership for the USCT units at all levels, and giving them the best chance of success in an army that was deeply skeptical of the whole thing. The prospective officers had to volunteer; if you want a project to work, you start by staffing it with people who believe in it.

I have no idea how that would've worked out for the Confederacy.
 
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Andersonh1

Major
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
I've seen here and there in various places that there were a number of CS officers willing to lead black regiments. Majors J. W. Pegram and Thomas Turner were in charge of recruiting and training in Richmond under the March 1865 law. A Dr. Chambliss and Captain Grimes raised a company from some Richmond hospital employees which predated the March 1865 law by a few weeks (I think Virginia authorized black soldiers shortly before the CS national government did) and spent some time on the front lines at Petersburg. Beyond that, I'd have to dig a bit more to find more names.
 

Luke Freet

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
It's an interesting question that I hadn't thought much about. But before we start talking about generals and field officers, we need to talk about company-grade officers and NCOs. The U.S. Army managed this by (1) recruiting volunteers for officer positions in the new USCT regiments, and (2) usuallly selecting veterans for those positions -- veteran white non-coms for company grade officers, and veteran white company-grade officers for field grade in the USCT. (For the latter case, think about Shaw with the 54th Massachusetts, although that was originally a state unit, not U.S. Army.) The U.S. Army saw this (I think, correctly) as the means of finding the best leadership for the USCT units at all levels, and giving them the best chance of success in an army that was deeply skeptical of the whole thing. The prospective officers had to volunteer; if you want a project to work, start by staffing it with people who believe in it.

I have no idea how that would've worked out for the Confederacy.
That's the big issue
The Union, home to many of the Abolitionists who the Confederacy despised, had an ample supply of willing commanders for the U.S.C.T.
The Confederates would most likely have to assign officers to command the newly formed companies. Maybe they'd get some volunteer officers and NCO's here and there.
 

Luke Freet

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
I've seen here and there in various places that there were a number of CS officers willing to lead black regiments. Majors J. W. Pegram and Thomas Turner were in charge of recruiting and training in Richmond under the March 1865 law. A Dr. Chambliss and Captain Grimes raised a company from some Richmond hospital employees who predated the March 1865 law by a few weeks and spent some time on the front lines at Petersburg. Beyond that, I'd have to dig a bit more to find more names.
I have heard of Turner, Dr. Chambliss and Grimes and their recruitment attempts in '65. I don't know much about Dr. Jackson Chambliss or Grimes (don't even know what his full name was) and why they were willing to lead these units.
I have also heard of Capt Edward Bostwick (of Wallace's SC Brigade), Capt. George P. Ring (6th Louisiana), and Capt. Thomas McCardell (64th Ga) were assigned commissions to raise black troops.
 
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Luke Freet

Sergeant
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Nov 8, 2018
There was also serveral attempt to organize a unit of Mobile Creoles, firs by G. Cleveland Huggins in April of 62, and another in '63 by Col. Henry Maury (or it may have been General Dabney Maury).
Plus the signers of the Cleburne Proposal, mostly Cleburne's subordinates.
Plus Colonel Leon von Zinken of Louisiana, commanding Columbus Georgia, requested to recruit black troops some time before Congress passed the act.
And someone from a list of Officers from the AoNV who requested permission for an assignment to black units (though some called it false)
 
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Luke Freet

Sergeant
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Nov 8, 2018
Rummaging through Lee's Colonels
Interesting passage:
"DEARING, ST. CLAIR. b. Ga., June 1833. Lt., U.S. Army, 1855-1861. ... Lt. of Cavalry, Nov. 1864. In April 1865, Dearing was endeavoring to raise colored troops in Ga" (Krick 102-103)
Hopefully I will find more snippets like these. If I do, i will make another post.
 
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Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
I and other members have discussed at length the playability of the Confederate deciding to recruit colored regiments. I do not wish to discuss the playability of this scenario.
So, if the confederates decided to recruit colored troops, either just Freeman or offering slaves freedom for their service, who would be willing to cpmmand these units?
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/confederate-officer-asks-to-recruit-black-troops.121885/page-2#post-1327407

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/confederate-officer-asks-to-recruit-black-troops.121885/#post-1283466
 

Luke Freet

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
Thank you for linking that other thread.
I have seen it before and done some interaction, and the one piece that really fits the conversation is the document on page 3 describing Captain Thomas McCardell. Plus a few privates detailed as clerks and overseers.
J. C. Naler, given the date of the letter, is in all likelihood making the request as an excuse to desert. At that point in the war, i wouldn't blame him.
 
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leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
I and other members have discussed at length the playability of the Confederate deciding to recruit colored regiments. I do not wish to discuss the playability of this scenario.
So, if the confederates decided to recruit colored troops, either just Freeman or offering slaves freedom for their service, who would be willing to cpmmand these units?
I am not aware of any segregated army that had a problem recruiting qualified officers .
Leftyhunter
 

Luke Freet

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
I am not aware of any segregated army that had a problem recruiting qualified officers .
Leftyhunter
Keep in mind: might not be a bright idea to give a Colonel with the same temperment as W. H. T. Walker command of a Black regiment. Looking at low-medium rank officers, between Lieutenant and Colonel, who at some point expressed a willingness to raise and/or lead a black regiment for the Confederate cause.
 

leftyhunter

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Joined
May 27, 2011
Location
los angeles ca
Keep in mind: might not be a bright idea to give a Colonel with the same temperment as W. H. T. Walker command of a Black regiment. Looking at low-medium rank officers, between Lieutenant and Colonel, who at some point expressed a willingness to raise and/or lead a black regiment for the Confederate cause.
No doubt some discretion is called for. However has you know actual segregated armies had no problems recruiting qualified officers.
Leftyhunter
 
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OldReliable1862

Sergeant
Forum Host
Joined
Jul 2, 2017
Location
Georgia
As I've said before, there seems to be a correlation between the younger officers and more of a willingness to recruit black troops. I'd think "boy generals" like John C. Carter and John C. C. Sanders would be interested, but it's an utter shot in the dark.
 

Luke Freet

Sergeant
Joined
Nov 8, 2018
As I've said before, there seems to be a correlation between the younger officers and more of a willingness to recruit black troops. I'd think "boy generals" like John C. Carter and John C. C. Sanders would be interested, but it's an utter shot in the dark.
I have noticed this as well
I have also noticed that some of them like Cleburne, Zinken, and Ruggles were outsiders.
Of course, do not want to merely assume any officer under 30 or born outside the CSA would be willing to command a negro regiment.
 
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