Creole Confererates?

Horrido67

Private
Joined
Sep 29, 2019
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.

I am sorry, but their official policy mattered the most. This is why the idea of using black soldiers was repeatedly struck down by the Confederate government when it was suggested by the likes of Patrick Cleburne. Yes, there were exceptions and oddballs as they always happened throughout the history of mankind. Few free people of color found ways to stay in the Confederate army as combat soldiers by breaking the rules? Absolutely true, because mostly they looked white enough and it defeats the whole discussion over the issue of Black & Mixed-Race Confederate combat soldiers. They 'passed' as a white person in a white society of the South.

My question is : Did the Confederate government officially accept the reality that they were loyal black & mixed-race folks who offered their service as combat soldiers to the Confederacy? You know the answer. They did not until March 1865. It was the Confederate government which failed to give these men chances to prove their worth and grant them a proper recognition. Let this sink in for a moment.

What really disappoints me is that some members who are highly likely intelligent and knowledgeable, thus should know better are so fixated on this legend of Black Confederates and go far as implying that the Confederacy was disorganized rabbles who did not even know their policy of employing black combatants and absolutely failed to implement their official policy of which they made it crystal clear time and time again - no black (combat) soldiers in our army's ranks.
 
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19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
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.....
"Passing as white"

I found men from Confederate rolls who were consistently listed in various census records as mulatto and/or black.

Examples-

John Smith
Census
1850: mulatto
1860: mulatto
1870: black
1880: mulatto

Robert Johnson
Census
1850: mulatto
1860: mulatto
(did not survive the war)

They were not passing as white.

Note: 1850 was the first census that listed everyone in the household. Prior to that time it was only the head of household. The 1890 census was destroyed by fire.
 
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Horrido67

Private
Joined
Sep 29, 2019
"Passing as white"

I found men from Confederate rolls who were consistently listed in various census records as mulatto and/or black.

Examples-

John Smith
Census
1850: mulatto
1860: mulatto
1870: black
1880: mulatto

Robert Johnson
Census
1850: mulatto
1860: mulatto
(did not survive the war)

They were not passing as white.

Note: 1850 was the first census that listed everyone in the household. Prior to that time it was only the head of household. The 1890 census was destroyed by fire.

Like I said, there were exceptions and oddballs as it has happened through the history of mankind and it seems like these people usually fall into one of 3 categories. 1) On the papers, they were mulatto, but looked white enough 2) they were non-combatants such as cook, teamster. In other words, they were NOT combat soldiers 3) Slaves and free men of color who were forced into the Confederate army's war efforts as laborers, servants and other roles.

If some members want to insist that the Confederates were disorganized rabbles who did not even know their policy of not enlisting black combatants and miserably failed to implement their official policy in their own army by claiming there was a significant number of Black Confederate combat soldiers, that's fine.
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Like I said, there were exceptions and oddballs as it has happened through the history of mankind and it seems like these people usually fall into one of 3 categories. 1) On the papers, they were mulatto, but looked white enough 2) they were non-combatants such as cook, teamster. In other words, they were NOT combat soldiers 3) Slaves and free men of color who were forced into the Confederate army's war efforts as laborers, servants and other roles.
I've seen many records like this. It's an example of someone who could probably pass as white-

Joseph Williams
Census
1850: white
1860: mulatto
1870: white
1880: mulatto

Could these pass as white? Probably not. They never did with the census taker-

John Smith
Census
1850: mulatto
1860: mulatto
1870: black
1880: mulatto

William Jones
Census
1850: mulatto
1860: mulatto
1870: mulatto
1880: mulatto

If some members want to insist that the Confederates were disorganized rabbles who did not even know their policy of not enlisting black combatants and miserably failed to implement their official policy in their own army by claiming there was a significant number of Black Confederate combat soldiers, that's fine.
If you mean they didn't have a Race Police to implement the "official" policy, then yes.
 
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Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
If some members want to insist that the Confederates were disorganized rabbles who did not even know their policy of not enlisting black combatants and miserably failed to implement their official policy in their own army by claiming there was a significant number of Black Confederate combat soldiers, that's fine.

With at least one example of a Confederate Congressman and a Confederate General who felt differently about these men serving in the ranks, is it so hard to imagine that others could also have felt differently and looked the other way at a black man or two in the line, carrying a musket?
 
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C.W. Roden

Formerly: SouthernFriedOtaku
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Location
South Carolina, USA, Earth
I am sorry, but their official policy mattered the most. This is why the idea of using black soldiers was repeatedly struck down by the Confederate government when it was suggested by the likes of Patrick Cleburne. Yes, there were exceptions and oddballs as they always happened throughout the history of mankind. Few free people of color found ways to stay in the Confederate army as combat soldiers by breaking the rules? Absolutely true, because mostly they looked white enough and it defeats the whole discussion over the issue of Black & Mixed-Race Confederate combat soldiers. They 'passed' as a white person in a white society of the South.

My question is : Did the Confederate government officially accept the reality that they were loyal black & mixed-race folks who offered their service as combat soldiers to the Confederacy? You know the answer. They did not until March 1865. It was the Confederate government which failed to give these men chances to prove their worth and grant them a proper recognition. Let this sink in for a moment.

What really disappoints me is that some members who are highly likely intelligent and knowledgeable, thus should know better are so fixated on this legend of Black Confederates and go far as implying that the Confederacy was disorganized rabbles who did not even know their policy of employing black combatants and absolutely failed to implement their official policy of which they made it crystal clear time and time again - no black (combat) soldiers in our army's ranks.
I'm sorry but I cannot help being amused by this line of argument against the existence of Black Confederate veterans.
Arguing the official policy of the Confederate government -- a government that the official stance of the United States proclaimed didn't really exist. I for one don't recall finding a document stating that the US Congress officially declared war against anyone in 1861.
Your declaration that the "official policy mattered the most" is laughable unless it is your contention that the Confederate States government was a legitimate legal body and the CSA a foreign power. If they were then you've just conceded the point of the secessionists themselves. If they were just "rebels" then their "official policies" don't really amount to jack.
Do you see it that way? Just curious.

As for the rest I believe that it is the opinion of the Confederate soldier himself -- you know the one fighting the actual battles -- to determine who in their own ranks who shared their hardships, their triumphs, and their losses are the best one to say who qualifies as a fellow soldier. Those individuals who fought with the rest of the Confederate military more than proved their worth time and time again. As for recognition, it is the descendants of the Confederate soldier today who are offering that.

Now then what I cannot help being amused by is the repeated attempts by Deniers to stonewall certain points and reject any evidence beyond that. I demonstrated in my critically acclaimed article destroying Black Confederate Denial historical negationism that the pillars of Denial are built on very weak ground and collapse easily when viewed from a more objective point of view.
The fact there are people still willing to deny their service, that many of them are academics pushing an unsavory social agenda, is what disappoints me.
 

Horrido67

Private
Joined
Sep 29, 2019
I've seen many records like this. It's an example of someone who could probably pass as white-

Which defeats the whole purpose of discussion about 'Black Confederates' as they passed as 'white'.

Could these pass as white? Probably not. They never did with the census taker-

Yes, slaves, body servants, teamsters, cooks, laborers and other non combat soldiers. NOT combat soldiers as their official policy was. Of course, they were genuine few exceptions as it has happened throughout the history of mankind.

If you mean they didn't have a Race Police to implement the "official" policy, then yes.

No, I mean was the Confederate government a dysfunctional rabble? A dysfunctional rabble which failed miserably to implement their official policy of not employing Black combat soldiers and allowed a significant number of black & mixed-race combat soldiers to slip in their army's ranks while they repeatedly rejected suggestions of using black soldiers (e.g Richmond vs Patrick Cleburne)? I would appreciate if you could give a straight and honest answer.
 

Horrido67

Private
Joined
Sep 29, 2019
With at least one example of a Confederate Congressman and a Confederate General who felt differently about these men serving in the ranks, is it so hard to imagine that others could also have felt differently and looked the other way at a black man or two in the line, carrying a musket?

No, it is not so hard. I perfectly understand few Confederate generals and politicians had a different opinion. Nevertheless, when a suggestion was made to the Confederate government, they repeatedly rejected the idea because it was their official policy. They did not want black combat soldiers in their army's ranks until March, 1865.

I do feel sorry for Confederates. They faced a huge manpower problem because their circumstances did not allow them to employ black & mixed race soldiers officially despite the fact that many blacks & mixed-race Southerners were happy to offer their service and few officials and politicians knew that they needed a help from their neighbors of African descent.
 

Horrido67

Private
Joined
Sep 29, 2019
I'm sorry but I cannot help being amused by this line of argument against the existence of Black Confederate veterans.

I am glad that you are entertained.

Arguing the official policy of the Confederate government -- a government that the official stance of the United States proclaimed didn't really exist. I for one don't recall finding a document stating that the US Congress officially declared war against anyone in 1861.
Your declaration that the "official policy mattered the most" is laughable unless it is your contention that the Confederate States government was a legitimate legal body and the CSA a foreign power.

First of all, it is red herring. What does the fact that the Confederate government did not want black combat soldiers in their army's ranks have anything to do with what the Federal government thought of the Confederacy? It is absurd that some people think this is a valid argument. It doesn't matter if they were an group of organized rebels or an actual government. An organization doesn't need to a country to have official policies. Corporates have policies and own set of rules. Charity groups have policies and own set of rules. Hell, I am sure some group of bandits that raid the Federal mints & properties have some rules of their own.

The Confederacy was an organization with rules and policies just like every other well-organized group of people. Now, I ask you the same question that I asked to other members - was the Confederate government a dysfunctional rabble? A dysfunctional rabble which failed miserably to implement their official policy of not employing Black combat soldiers and allowed a significant number of black & mixed-race combat soldiers to slip in their army's ranks?

As for the rest I believe that it is the opinion of the Confederate soldier himself -- you know the one fighting the actual battles -- to determine who in their own ranks who shared their hardships, their triumphs, and their losses are the best one to say who qualifies as a fellow soldier.

Oh okay, I respect your belief. However, it was actually the Confederate government which organized the Confederate army with their silly laws, rules and polices which decided who could actually serve in the Confederate army and it excluded blacks from joining the Confederate army as combat soldiers until March, 1865.

I mean you could build a time machine and personally ask James Seddon, the longest-serving Confederate Secretary of War, why did he say that their position would not allow "the employment as armed soldiers of negro" or you can give a visit to Mr. Jefferson Davis who vehemently opposed Gen. Patrick Cleburne's proposal of arming blacks during the war and tell him that the Confederacy is much more than the Confederate government and it is soldiers who decide the matter, not Mr. Davis and his 'government'. Yeah, good luck with that.

Those individuals who fought with the rest of the Confederate military more than proved their worth time and time again. As for recognition, it is the descendants of the Confederate soldier today who are offering that.

And the Confederate government refused to give them chances to prove their worth and proper recognition until March, 1865. Anyway, I think It is great that the descendants of the Confederate soldiers try to honor every participant. What I don't like is that their attempt to use these exceptions and oddballs to peddle this myth that a significant number of black & mixed-race combat soldiers slipped into the Confederate army's ranks despite of their official policy as if the guys in Richmond were compete idiots.

Now then what I cannot help being amused by is the repeated attempts by Deniers to stonewall certain points and reject any evidence beyond that. I demonstrated in my critically acclaimed article destroying Black Confederate Denial historical negationism that the pillars of Denial are built on very weak ground and collapse easily when viewed from a more objective point of view.
The fact there are people still willing to deny their service, that many of them are academics pushing an unsavory social agenda, is what disappoints me.

The bottom line is that the Confederate government had an official policy of not employing blacks as combat soldiers until March, 1865, yet here is some stubborn gentlemen (and no doubt ladies) who refuse to accept this very simple fact, yet bring up oddballs and exceptions to claim that a significant number of black Confederate combat soldiers served in the Confederate army and speak as if the Confederate government was a group of compete idiots who couldn't even implement their own policy in their army.
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
The bottom line is that the Confederate government had an official policy of not employing blacks as combat soldiers until March, 1865, yet here is some stubborn gentlemen (and no doubt ladies) who refuse to accept this very simple fact
The first time we hear this "official" policy is November 1863 (Seddon).
 

Horrido67

Private
Joined
Sep 29, 2019
The first time we hear this "official" policy is November 1863 (Seddon).

No, Confederate Secretary of War James Seddon confirmed an "existing" official policy in November 1863 by clarifying his government's position on employment of black combat soldiers when General Maury tried to apply an exemption for creoles in Mobile, AL.
 
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unionblue

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Joined
Feb 20, 2005
Location
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
The first time we hear this "official" policy is November 1863 (Seddon).

"We?" Does that mean "you" only recognize this "official" policy going into effect in November 1863?

So we are to ignore all the laws and customs of the Confederate States prior to 1863 which did not permit the arming of slaves? The established criteria by the Confederate War Department that only permitted whites to serve?

Sounds a bit selective to me.

Unionblue
 

C.W. Roden

Formerly: SouthernFriedOtaku
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Location
South Carolina, USA, Earth
The Confederacy was an organization with rules and policies just like every other well-organized group of people. Now, I ask you the same question that I asked to other members - was the Confederate government a dysfunctional rabble?

Well considering how badly the CS Government largely bungled running a war, their own internal policies and how often President Davis and his own Vice President and much of the congress butted heads....you probably already have the answer to that question and don't need MY help, LOL!
 

C.W. Roden

Formerly: SouthernFriedOtaku
Joined
Dec 3, 2019
Location
South Carolina, USA, Earth
And the Confederate government refused to give them chances to prove their worth and proper recognition until March, 1865. Anyway, I think It is great that the descendants of the Confederate soldiers try to honor every participant. What I don't like is that their attempt to use these exceptions and oddballs to peddle this myth that a significant number of black & mixed-race combat soldiers slipped into the Confederate army's ranks despite of their official policy as if the guys in Richmond were compete idiots.

Just because some individuals were left out of the historical narrative until recently didn't mean they didn't exist. Until the early 1970s unless you were a serious student of American history I doubt your 3rd grade history book would have told you that upwards to 5,000 or so African-Americans fought with the Continental Army, and many more with the British and Hessian forces during the American Revolutionary War.
The fact that descendants of these Confederate veterans are working to show their service today is not "peddling a myth" anymore than historians telling people who previously didn't know anything about the "Hidden Figures" women who worked with NASA in the 60s and 70s about how they helped put men on the moon -- oops, some folks think THAT last part is a myth too, huh? LOL!
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
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.
The CSA relied on the states to raise troops. This was especially true in the early part of the war. The states used their own regulations of which some allowed blacks to serve.
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.
No. I've seen about ten photos of black or "mulatto" men who were enlisted in the army as private - not cook, musician or teamster. I would say only one or two of the ten could "pass" as white.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2010
Location
Kingsport, Tennessee
enlisted in the army as private - not cook, musician or teamster

w.t.jones.jpg


This man was elected 2nd Lieutenant of Company C 35th NC Infantry. One of the "Immortal 600".
 
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