Creole Confererates?

alba359

Cadet
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
I'm fairly sure there were Creole men in the New Orleans area that were in the Confederacy. I am married to a Creole girl. (I'm of 75% Italian and 25% Irish decent) She has very light skin although many in her family are very dark with African type hair. Her father who was dark was from Diamond Louisiana. I was told that the Barthelemy's in that area were black and the Bartholomew's are white! I looked for her last name (which is Bartholomew) in a book of Louisiana Confederate soldiers. There was one listing of a Confederate soldier named Bartholomew who was described as dark complected. My wife's sister had her DNA test come back as 36% African. I often wonder why the Doctor signed the first Bartholomew's birth certificate white. It Was said that General Beauregard was Creole. P.S. Creole girls are gorgeous!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
I'm fairly sure there were Creole men in the New Orleans area that were in the Confederacy. I am married to a Creole girl. (I'm of 75% Italian and 25% Irish decent) She has very light skin although many in her family are very dark with African type hair. Her father who was dark was from Diamond Louisiana. I was told that the Barthelemy's in that area were black and the Bartholomew's are white! I looked for her last name (which is Bartholomew) in a book of Louisiana Confederate soldiers. There was one listing of a Confederate soldier named Bartholomew who was described as dark complected. My wife's sister had her DNA test come back as 36% African. I often wonder why the Doctor signed the first Bartholomew's birth certificate white. It Was said that General Beauregard was Creole. P.S. Creole girls are gorgeous!

http://historyofthesouth.blogspot.com/2011/
 

thomas aagaard

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Location
Denmark
This is from the official records.
It tell you the official CSA view on the matter.

I fully agree that some was able to pass as whites and serve as such. Just like the reply from the secretary of war, say should be the case.
(But that sort of remove the "black" from "black confederates")

Black Enslistment Seddon Kirby Smith copy.jpg
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
This is from the official records.
It tell you the official CSA view on the matter.

I fully agree that some was able to pass as whites and serve as such. Just like the reply from the secretary of war, say should be the case.
(But that sort of remove the "black" from "black confederates")

View attachment 342856

Two things are often overlooked regarding this exchange, which is held up simply as an example of how "the Confederacy" rejected their services, when it's a bit more than that:

1) What we see here is a Confederate General disagreeing with the Confederate Secretary of War, showing there were differences of opinion among high-ranking Confederates. They were not all of the same mind on the subject of employing, in this case, mixed-race men as soldiers.

2) The company of Creoles were already in existence as a state military unit and "anxious to enter Confederate service", something Maury advocated because their skill merited it. He gives them high praise, they are "admirably qualified" to be artillerists.

Here's the law authorizing these men to form a military company from November 1862. They were in the Alabama state miltia, confined to the city and county of Moblie:

NqXpIC2.jpg
 

thomas aagaard

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 19, 2013
Location
Denmark
The CSA central government in Richmond did see the issue as literately black or white.
So the official policy of the confederacy was just that. And as the government they did reject their service

But in the former french and Spanish possessions the issue was a lot more complex and as such it was similar more complex during the war.

And had the CSA managed to survive Iam sure this would have become a political conflict between the central government in Richmond and the states that had large "mixed" populations. Did they have rights under the CSA Constitution, and if so to what extent?
 

Horrido67

Private
Joined
Sep 29, 2019
Two things are often overlooked regarding this exchange, which is held up simply as an example of how "the Confederacy" rejected their services, when it's a bit more than that:

1) What we see here is a Confederate General disagreeing with the Confederate Secretary of War, showing there were differences of opinion among high-ranking Confederates. They were not all of the same mind on the subject of employing, in this case, mixed-race men as soldiers.

2) The company of Creoles were already in existence as a state military unit and "anxious to enter Confederate service", something Maury advocated because their skill merited it. He gives them high praise, they are "admirably qualified" to be artillerists.

Here's the law authorizing these men to form a military company from November 1862. They were in the Alabama state miltia, confined to the city and county of Moblie:

View attachment 342875

This is the fundamental problem why the honest discussion over the issue of Black Confederate Soldiers is nearly impossible. To the Confederate government, it was a 'black or white' question, yet some people basically don't accept the fact that the Confederate government refused to use blacks / free persons of color as combat soldiers until March 1865.

1. It was irrelevant what few Confederate generals thought of employing black soldiers. It was the official policy of the Confederate government that mattered and Confederate States Secretary of War James Seddon flat-out said about his government's position of employing mixed race & black soldiers. It was not merely a disagreement, but an incident that a government official clarified the government's position on using people of African descent. It happened AGAIN, between Richmond and General Patrick Cleburne. The Confederate government did not want blacks in their army's ranks until March 1865.

2. What's the point? Again, it did not matter if a mixed race unit of state militia wanted to serve in the Confederate army or even assist them. The Confederate government rejected their offer. This wasn't the first time either. When a Louisiana militia unit of free men of color offered their service to the Confederate army for escorting US POWs through Louisiana, the Confederate army again declined their offer. It did not matter how fondly Confederate generals said about these militia units. They weren't part of the Confederate army and the Confederate government did not want them in their army's ranks until March, 1865.
 
Last edited:

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
This is the fundamental problem why the honest discussion over the issue of Black Confederate Soldiers is nearly impossible. To the Confederate government, it was a 'black or white' question, yet some people basically don't accept the fact that the Confederate government refused to use blacks / free persons of color as combat soldiers until March 1865.

Part of the problem with this statement is that you are using a very modern "top down" point of view, as if the view of the Confederate government is all that matters here, and sanctioned enlistment in the CS army the only thing that "counts". That enables you to completely dismiss the fact that there were in fact black and mixed race soldiers in the Confederate States, sanctioned by various states at various times. Not many, but they were there. The creole soldiers of Mobile are one example, and General Maury was open-minded enough to see their skill with artillery (meaning they had to have used and demonstrated that skill in some way) to recommend them for national service, which they wanted.

I don't know how significant it is that in late 1863 a group of mixed-race individuals in Mobile wanted to fight for the Confederate States, but it is post-Emancipation Proclamation, and yet they still didn't side with the Union.
 
Last edited:

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Louisiana Native Guard
A black militia unit armed by the Confederates-
"no real plan for their use was decided upon until April 24, when news of Farragut's fleet steaming upriver spurred a subordinate of General Lovell [CSA] to hastily distribute old muskets to the Native Guards and post them along the Esplanade side of the French Quarter." -New Orleans after the Civil War by Justin A. Nystrom, p.25
 

uaskme

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Location
SE Tennessee
This is the fundamental problem why the honest discussion over the issue of Black Confederate Soldiers is nearly impossible. To the Confederate government, it was a 'black or white' question, yet some people basically don't accept the fact that the Confederate government refused to use blacks / free persons of color as combat soldiers until March 1865.

1. It was irrelevant what few Confederate generals thought of employing black soldiers. It was the official policy of the Confederate government that mattered and Confederate States Secretary of War James Seddon flat-out said about his government's position of employing mixed race & black soldiers. It was not merely a disagreement, but an incident that a government official clarified the government's position on using people of African descent. It happened AGAIN, between Richmond and General Patrick Cleburne. The Confederate government did not want blacks in their army's ranks until March 1865.

2. What's the point? Again, it did not matter if a mixed race unit of state militia wanted to serve in the Confederate army or even assist them. The Confederate government rejected their offer. This wasn't the first time either. When a Louisiana militia unit of free men of color offered their service to the Confederate army for escorting US POWs through Louisiana, the Confederate army again declined their offer. It did not matter how fondly Confederate generals said about these militia units. They weren't part of the Confederate army and the Confederate government did not want them in their army's ranks until March, 1865.

Something we can all agree on? The Confederate policy on black troops in 65 was similar to the early policy of the Federals, late 62 early 63!
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
thomas aagaard said:
So the official policy of the confederacy was just that...
Even with this "official policy," thousands of free blacks and slaves managed to serve in the Confederate army.
Very few were discharged because of race or color. Usually, the officer making the discharge would call the enlistment irregular or improper - rarely would they call it illegal.
 
Last edited:

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
There is more to the Maury appeal on behalf of the Creoles than the OR account alone tells us.

An Alabama representative, Mr. Dargan, introduced a bill to allow Creoles in Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Florida enlist into the Confederate army as a result of the failure of Maury's appeal to the Secretary of War. General Maury's appeal is mentioned in the second paragraph of this story. It was the Creole men themselves who had "applied to him to be received into service". Dargan said he had taken the matter before the Secretary of War, who said the matter had to come through the military. So General Maury took the request to the Secretary of War, who still refused, but Mr. Dargan did not care what the world thought and intended to allow these men to enlist. He was "anxious to bring into service every free man, be he who he may, willing to strike for our cause. He saw no objection to employing Creoles; they would form a potent element in our army."

I don't know the final fate of this bill. It was introduced, read, and referred to committee.

Journal of the Congress of the Confederate States of America, 1861-1865 [Volume 6]​
SEVENTEENTH DAY--MONDAY, December 28, 1863.​
Page 567​
Mr. Dargan introduced A bill to receive into the service of the Confederate States that portion of the population of Alabama, Louisiana, and Florida known as and called "creoles;" which was read first and second times and referred to the Committee on Military Affairs.​

Weekly national intelligencer. [volume] (Washington [D.C.]) 1841-1869, January 21, 1864
NJTbtS3.jpg
 
Last edited:

wbull1

First Sergeant
Official Vendor
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
Even with this "official policy," thousands of free blacks and slaves managed to serve in the Confederate army.
Very few were discharged because of race or color. Usually, the officer making the discharge would call the enlistment irregular or improper - rarely would they call it illegal.

Yes, individual blacks served as soldiers in the Confederate Army. The total number was probably a few thousand. It would be foolish and inaccurate to deny that as some historians have.
 

Horrido67

Private
Joined
Sep 29, 2019
Part of the problem with this statement is that you are using a very modern "top down" point of view, as if the view of the Confederate government is all that matters here, and sanctioned enlistment in the CS army the only thing that "counts". That enables you to completely dismiss the fact that there were in fact black and mixed race soldiers in the Confederate States, sanctioned by various states at various times. Not many, but they were there. The creole soldiers of Mobile are one example, and General Maury was open-minded enough to see their skill with artillery (meaning they had to have used and demonstrated that skill in some way) to recommend them for national service, which they wanted.

I don't know how significant it is that in late 1863 a group of mixed-race individuals in Mobile wanted to fight for the Confederate States, but it is post-Emancipation Proclamation, and yet they still didn't side with the Union.

There is nothing modern about it. Practice of the government setting up enlistment standards and policies for their army is older than the Confederacy itself. The Confederate government did not want blacks as combat soldiers in their army's ranks until March, 1865. It was their official policy. Period. Yes, there were few black & mixed-race soldiers who looked white enough to 'pass' in the Confederate army, but as @thomas aagaard said, that kinda removes 'black' from 'black confederates' since they were able to enlist as they looked 'white' enough. Yes, there were slaves and free persons of color who did various menial tasks, but they were not combat soldiers. Yes, there were black & mixed race state militia units that offered their service to the Confederate army, but the Confederate government refused their offer. Yes, there were Confederate officers and generals who were more inclined to embrace an idea of employing black combat soldiers, but again the Confederate government flat-out said no, repeatedly.

It is all because the Confederate government had an official policy of not employing black combat soldiers in their army ranks. This is a historical fact that matters the most.

If some determined members have a problem with their official policy, they should invent a time machine and go back to 1860s during the American Civil War and tell Confederates that

"Look friends, can you please tone down a bit on not wanting black soldiers in your ranks. I am from the 21st century where slavery is already abolished, blacks have equal rights as whites and it is trendy to make American history more 'inclusive' for minorities. However, you guys are making our efforts of peddling legends of black Confederate soldiers very difficult since your government is too blunt about not favoring blacks as combat soldiers in the Confederate army until March, 1865. It would be great if you guys could remain ambiguous as possible on this subject so I could cherry-pick quotes from few military officers and generals, testimonies of old private soldiers decades after the War, black & mixed race state militia units and black laborers to say that the Confederate army was officially a vibrant, multicultural army that fully embraced its multi-ethnicity and gallantly fought the menaces of racist Yankee invaders, which is more acceptable to our 21st point of view. Thank you."
 
Last edited:

unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
Yes, individual blacks served as soldiers in the Confederate Army. The total number was probably a few thousand. It would be foolish and inaccurate to deny that as some historians have.

And yet that number given in no way negates the historical fact that the South seceded over the issue of slavery and the very real fact to keep, maintain, and even expand that institution.
 

wbull1

First Sergeant
Official Vendor
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
It would be incredibly naive to think that every member of any group that numbered in the million would totally agree about anything. Best estimates I have read suggest that less than 1% of Confederate soldiers were black. Blacks in the Union forces accounted for about 10% of the larger army and they enlisted at a higher rate than their proportion of the general population. Blacks and immigrants swelled the Union ranks. There was nothing comparable in the Confederate forces.
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
Yes, there were black & mixed race state militia units that offered their service to the Confederate army, but the Confederate government refused their offer. Yes, there were Confederate officers and generals who were more inclined to embrace an idea of employing black combat soldiers, but again the Confederate government flat-out said no, repeatedly.

It is all because the Confederate government had an official policy of not employing black combat soldiers in their army ranks. This is a historical fact that matters the most.

I don't see anyone here denying the official policy of the CS government with regard to who could and could not serve in the ranks, though I would again say that that policy is not the final word on the subject and not the only thing that matters here. The question is this: do you think the men and officers who were told "no" simply gave up and went home, or did they find a way to serve anyway? Clearly in some cases they found other avenues to fight or support the war effort, despite the official government policy.
 
Top