Discussion Counting the Confederate Service Records of Black and Mulatto Men

CivilWarTalk

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Welcome to the Discussion thread for Counting the Confederate Service Records of Black and Mulatto Men.

Please keep all discussions here civilized!

If you are interested in seeing the raw information collected for this count, be sure to check out the main thread here:

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/co...vice-records-of-black-and-mulatto-men.142783/
Be sure to check out the "Wrap Up" done by @lelliott19 in Post #1, it gives an accounting of all the records collected as of August 3, 2018. If a new wrap-up is presented we will of course update this post as well!

Evaluation of this data is up to the user!

A spreadsheet is located here.
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
...the same men who had so complacently declared their faith in slave's loyalty were gobbsmacked when even privileged slaves ran off the at first opportunity. The record is crammed with the shocked, stunned & even hurt feelings expressed by slaveholders when their 'people' ran away.
Here is what someone wrote who lived during those times.

New Orleans Times, February 28, 1867:
"The error and infatuation of the Radicals in regard to the loyalty and Unionism of the negroes during the late rebellion would be laughable and ludicrous, if the practical consequences of the delusion were not so grave and serious. Every man who lived in the South during the war, knew that during the prevalence of the enthusiasm for 'the independence of the South,' and indeed, so long as this country was held by the Confederates, there was no class of our population, which was more clamorous and earnest for the war against the so-called invading 'Yankees' than our colored people, 'bond and free.' When volunteer companies were being raised, the slaves clustered around their masters and entreated permission to accompany them to the field. Many ran away to join their masters or the sons of their masters, and served with them during the war. The armies of the Confederacy were cumbered by crowds of them. They would have volunteered en masse if they had been called on to fight under 'the Bonnie blue flag.' When they were refused, the great majority of them remained at home to protect and support the families of their masters whilst they were absent in the field. To aid the Confederate cause they volunteered by thousands, whilst the great majority of those who afterwards joined the Federal armies were either pressed or inveigled into the service.
….
We refer to these among a thousand similar incidents, not with any expectation that they will arrest or correct one of the myriad of fictions of which the histories and the political harangues and partisan theories of the day are chiefly composed--but merely to refresh and keep alive facts that may serve a useful purpose and aid to the honest historian in the future, who may seek to give to posterity the true version of the events of the last five years of excitement, madness and fanaticism."
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Your newspaper article is an excellent example of the fantasies perpetrated by slaveholders both before & after the war. I have several dozen examples in my my files. Slaveholders genuinely believed that their slaves & non-slave holding neighbors would joyfully '...die defending the last ditch to uphold the rights of their more fortunate neighbors.' Even Jefferson Davis' relatively pampered slaves ran off as soon as they got the chance. The most vociferous proponents of the slave as happy, grateful servants who adored their masters, wrote wonderingly of how their most privileged slaves were the first to run off.

I am always curious, what do you suppose the motivation of a man volunteering as a combatant to guarantee the right of other men to buy & sell his family; beat him to a pulp at will & have sex with his women folk would be? Why would anybody do that?
 

Rebforever

Lt. Colonel
Joined
Oct 26, 2012
Your newspaper article is an excellent example of the fantasies perpetrated by slaveholders both before & after the war. I have several dozen examples in my my files. Slaveholders genuinely believed that their slaves & non-slave holding neighbors would joyfully '...die defending the last ditch to uphold the rights of their more fortunate neighbors.' Even Jefferson Davis' relatively pampered slaves ran off as soon as they got the chance. The most vociferous proponents of the slave as happy, grateful servants who adored their masters, wrote wonderingly of how their most privileged slaves were the first to run off.

I am always curious, what do you suppose the motivation of a man volunteering as a combatant to guarantee the right of other men to buy & sell his family; beat him to a pulp at will & have sex with his women folk would be? Why would anybody do that?
Below are some threads that might answer your questions.
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Your newspaper article is an excellent example of the fantasies perpetrated by slaveholders both before & after the war.
The writer of the article never owned any slaves.

I am always curious, what do you suppose the motivation of a man volunteering as a combatant to guarantee the right of other men to buy & sell his family; beat him to a pulp at will & have sex with his women folk would be? Why would anybody do that?
Binge watching 'Roots'?
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
My relations were among the upper five percent of slaves holders. That did not prevent some of them from having very fixed ideas about free labor in Northern states. Bloviating does not require expertise of the subject in question. I have read dozens of letters & newspaper articles like this one. All you have to do is compare this article with the vast collection of descriptions of self-liberating slaves joining USCT & the sea island militias to expose this tissue of lies. Not only did the whites involved in recruiting self-liberated slaves write letters home, but the self-liberated people wrote letters, memoirs & were quoted many times in later years.

So, where are the letters home from participants, white & black who witnessed or participated in the events proported in the article you posted. In out years, where are the journals, letters & interviews? Can you produce muster rolls, casualty reports, rations issued, courtsmarshalls, photos & all the military ephemera of black Confederate combatants historians so dearly love? Actually, I know the answer to that question, it is no. Real historians have scoured the archives & have never come up with so much as a scrap of evidence that supports the claim that thousands of slaves served as Confederate combatants. There are truckloads of USCT documents, so there is an example of a legitimate paper trail. The records of black Confederate combatants do not exist for the simple reason there aren't any.
 
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19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
My relations were among the upper five percent of slaves holders. That did not prevent some of them from having very fixed ideas about free labor in Northern states. Bloviating does not require expertise of the subject in question. I have read dozens of letters & newspaper articles like this one. All you have to do is compare this article with the vast collection of descriptions of self-liberating slaves joining USCT & the sea island militias to expose this tissue of lies. Not only did the whites involved in recruiting self-liberated slaves write letters home, but the self-liberated people wrote letters, memoirs & were quoted many times in later years.
Somebody's not telling the truth...

Colonel Thomas W. Higginson, 33rd USCT (1st South Carolina):

"The Southern colored regiments with which the [54th] Massachusetts troops were brigaded were hardly a fair specimen of their kind, having been raised chiefly by drafting, and, for this and other causes, being afflicted with perpetual discontent and desertion." -Army Life in a Black Regiment, p.303

Can you produce muster rolls, casualty reports, rations issued, courtsmarshalls, photos & all the military ephemera of black Confederate combatants historians so dearly love?
There's an entire thread on this.
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/co...vice-records-of-black-and-mulatto-men.142783/
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
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Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
I have no idea why you would interpret this evaluation as a lie. Just who you accuse of a lack of integrity is unclear.

It is common knowledge that USCT & all other regiments made up of green draftees, bonus men & bounty jumpers were, no matter what army they belonged to, inferior to veteran volunteer units. That was the common & ordinary state of affairs during the Civil War. There are thousands of references to that effect in the written record.

I don't know you, so please see this as generic advice. Instead of looking for evidence that supports your predetermined conclusion, (inductive logic) it would be both instructive & very interesting to gather references & let them lead you to an informed conclusion. Also, I don't know where you are from, but impugning the integrity of an informed correspondent without cause is not the act of a gentleman where I am from.
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
I have no idea why you would interpret this evaluation as a lie. Just who you accuse of a lack of integrity is unclear.
I was referring to your sources - not you.

....it would be both instructive & very interesting to gather references & let them lead you to an informed conclusion.
That's what I've done. I use to believe that the USCT were all volunteers (the popular belief) until I started finding items that said otherwise.
 
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Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Now I am confounded. You seriously think that U.S. quartermasters & other officials were conspiring to create some kind of documentary disinformation campaign? Edited.
 
Joined
May 19, 2019
Me and some friends are compiling our own list of black Confederate soldiers. One of them sent some links referencing Third Sergeant James Washington from Terrell's 34th Texas Cavalry, Co. D.
He found him mentioned in someone's blog post and I've found numerous references to Mr. Washington, but no solid evidence of his existence. I'm a little new to this sort of research, so if anyone has proof of this man in particular or pointers on how to go about corroborating similar accounts, any help would be appreciated, thank you!
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
Me and some friends are compiling our own list of black Confederate soldiers. One of them sent some links referencing Third Sergeant James Washington from Terrell's 34th Texas Cavalry, Co. D.
He found him mentioned in someone's blog post and I've found numerous references to Mr. Washington, but no solid evidence of his existence. I'm a little new to this sort of research, so if anyone has proof of this man in particular or pointers on how to go about corroborating similar accounts, any help would be appreciated, thank you!
Not the man in question, but a Confederate field officer nonetheless.

https://www.fold3.com/page/653582594/william-thomas-jones
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
Me and some friends are compiling our own list of black Confederate soldiers. One of them sent some links referencing Third Sergeant James Washington from Terrell's 34th Texas Cavalry, Co. D.
He found him mentioned in someone's blog post and I've found numerous references to Mr. Washington, but no solid evidence of his existence. I'm a little new to this sort of research, so if anyone has proof of this man in particular or pointers on how to go about corroborating similar accounts, any help would be appreciated, thank you!

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/a-unique-nc-confederate-a-towns-150-year-old-secret.139361/
 
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19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Me and some friends are compiling our own list of black Confederate soldiers. One of them sent some links referencing Third Sergeant James Washington from Terrell's 34th [aka 37th] Texas Cavalry, Co. D.
He found him mentioned in someone's blog post and I've found numerous references to Mr. Washington, but no solid evidence of his existence. I'm a little new to this sort of research, so if anyone has proof of this man in particular or pointers on how to go about corroborating similar accounts, any help would be appreciated, thank you!
I've seen that name too. Iirc it was from the old "37thTexas" website of many years ago - but there is no Washington on the muster rolls of that unit.
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Using the Wayback Machine...

Here is the source of the James Washington claim. It says he was in the 35th TX Cav, but there's no one by that name on the rolls of the 35th.
"Existing fragmentary unit rosters of Terrell's commands collected by author John Spencer, including that of the 37th, showed them to be of multiracial makeup including White, Black, Brown and Red Confederates. One Company was commanded by Capt. Jose Rodriguez and the 35th had a Black 3rd Sergeant, James Washington."
https://web.archive.org/web/20070226121203/http://www.37thtexas.org/html/UnitHist.html
 
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NDR5thNY

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Nov 17, 2019
Location
Lumberton, NC
I ran across an interesting article on William T. Jones a freed slave who joined the 35 TH NC and was voted 3 rd Lt. He was captured and went to Ft Delaware where he made Moonshine and sold it to the guards. He returned to Carthage NC and bought the a buggy making business and was a prominent citizen in Carthage. You can google a former slave in Carthage NC in the Confederate Army and pull up the story. He must have been a fascinating man!
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
I ran across an interesting article on William T. Jones a freed slave who joined the 35 TH NC and was voted 3 rd Lt. He was captured and went to Ft Delaware where he made Moonshine and sold it to the guards. He returned to Carthage NC and bought the a buggy making business and was a prominent citizen in Carthage. You can google a former slave in Carthage NC in the Confederate Army and pull up the story. He must have been a fascinating man!
https://www.fold3.com/page/653582594/william-thomas-jones

https://www.wral.com/lifestyles/travel/video/9190699/
 

Tom Elmore

1st Lieutenant
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Jan 16, 2015
Some references to negro body servants with Confederate units.

Mr. Robert A. Marshall, Delaplane, VA, in the Richmond Times Dispatch, Sept. 14, 1913.

View attachment 403018

He also recorded some incidents of Mr. Dave Lane, body servant to brothers Thomas and James Marshall (of Fairfield, Fauquier County, VA, serving as privates with Co. E, 12th VA Cavalry, Laurel Brigade):
View attachment 403020


I see reference of many similar camp servants, etc. in the "Laurel Brigade." For example, Pvt. James A. Walker of the US 2nd Maryland captured on the 3rd of December, 1863 by the Confederates, and who escaped near Brock’s Gap on the 5th, saw among them what appeared to be “three companies of negro troops, cavalry, armed with carbines. They were not engaged in the attack, but were stationed with the reserve. The guards, he reports, freely admitted to the prisoners that they were accompanied by negro soldiers, stating, however, that the North had shown the example.” [Evening Star, Washington, DC, 1-19-1864.]

Even in the CS infantry: Even in the Confederate infantry negro camp servants could be found in numbers, and well armed. Union soldier Henry S. White noted after his capture by Confederate troops, “plenty of negroes were in the army in Confederate uniform with muskets in their hands. When we asked if the negroes were not soldiers, they said they were servants to planter’s sons, and when on a march carried their arms.” Henry S. White, Prison Life Among the Rebels: Recollections of a Union Chaplain, Edward D. Jervey, ed. (Kent, OH, Kent State University Press, 1990), 18.

James Marshall,
Hernando, FL
Arms on the march were typically not loaded, so in those cases being "well-armed" has little meaning. Besides, they would likely be closely monitored since to replace a lost or stolen weapon would cost a private more than two months of pay.
 
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