Lack of Confederate OR accounts of blacks in the ranks.


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#43
As apparently Union cooks, teamsters and servents were just as apparently unimportant to Union officers who wrote the OR's...….yet no one seems to deny their existence. I'm at a loss at why folk think its so important to try to make false negative arguments like by something not being mentioned, it didn't exist...… Most OR's dont mention many aspects of an army, yet it doesn't mean the aspects didn't exist, just as the sky was likely blue, even if they didn't think it important to note the sky was blue for tin cup 150 years later.

The one going out of their way to apparently conjure history is you.....once again your original OP stated " blacks/slaves" not once but twice. That slaves were used as cooks, teamsters, servants, laborers is generally acknowledged so if one is including slaves as you did in the OP, not sure your issue with slaves being used. Seems to me to argue or imply NONE existed is as disingenuous as claiming 10,000,000 served. When the evidence suggests they DID exist, even if in limited numbers.

As to folk conjuring them up from nowhere, not sure who you mean by folk.....whenever I have mentioned black confederates their existence has been noted by historians, such as John Noland or Henry Wilson who were guerrillas

To me it seems a disservice to discredit someone's service based on what? It doesn't matter if one served, or 1000 others did, or 100000, it doesn't belittle ones service at all based on how many others of a group served.
It obviously didn't matter much to the confederate Officers writing the Official reports, or their Government at the time, did it. Might want to make THAT fact better known. It is a part of history.

Kevin Dally
 

archieclement

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#44
As it didn't matter to Union officers writing the reports, or their government at the time. Guess that they didn't lavish praise on cooks, teamsters, ect should be made better known......….actually I didn't know it was a secret the support elements generally dont get a a lot of credit.

Edited.

Let me ask you a question if you want to go by OR's. At Gettysburg there was approximately 175,000 combined on both sides. Using both sides OR's how many of the 175,000 have you seen race used to specifically identify the participant? If it doesn't specify a man was white, hispanic, black, mixed...….does it mean he wasnt there or existed likewise?
 
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#45
Col Halbert E. Paine (USA) stated that the Confederate army included a "corps of blacks" at the Battle of Baton Rouge.​
Sounds interesting. Do you know where this is in the OR?

- Alan
Anything on this from the Confederate reports?

Kevin Dally
Gen. Breckenridge (CSA) stated that he was aided by "citizens" of the surrounding country.
Thanks for the reference, I do appreciate it. So Breckenridge himself does not note the presence of black confederates?

This is the correspondence in the OR you cited: first, a letter from Gen Breckenridge to Col Paine:

Letter from Breckenridge.png

CSA Gen Breckenridge claims that "information has reached these headquarters that negro slaves are being organized and armed to be employed against us." He demands a response regarding this and other claims.

USA Col Paine replies:

Letter from Paine.png


Paine says he has been "informed" that a "corps of blacks fought against us in the recent battle of Baton Rogue." It was not an eyewitness account. I take it that there are no other entries in the OR which corroborate this sighting. After some searching, I have found no reference in which Breckenridge ever acknowledges that black troops were under his command or present at the battle. But I am no expert at searching the OR, perhaps others will have better luck.

In an earlier thread, @Andersonh1 cited this text from scholar Arthur Bergeron:

Baton Rougue Native Guard.png


This talks about an African American militia from Baton Rouge. It makes no mention of African American members of the Confederate army at the Battle of Baton Rouge. There is a note that member of the black militia from Baton Rouge "may have fought with Brckenridge's Confederate army." The reporter who mentioned the black rebel apparently did not see a large corps of negroes at the battle.

Was there a black corps in the CSA, or a black militia unit not in the CSA, at the Battle of Baton Rouge? I can only note that based on what I see above, which is certainly not complete in its scope of research, the second-hand claim from Paine regarding a corps of blacks is uncorroborated and dubious.

- Alan
 
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#46
As it didn't matter to Union officers writing the reports, or their government at the time. Guess that they didn't lavish praise on cooks, teamsters, ect should be made better known......….actually I didn't know it was a secret the support elements generally dont get a a lot of credit.

During Desert Storm one might find references to soldiers of the 1st armored division in reports, how many sailors have you seen mentioned by name that got the tanks there to make it possible have you heard? Or Air force pilots named who ferried the troops? Even civilian pilots of chartered flights...... If they aren't mentioned or named......does it mean they didn't exist?

Let me ask you a question if you want to go by OR's. At Gettysburg there was approximately 175,000 combined on both sides. Using both sides OR's how many of the 175,000 have you seen race used to specifically identify the participant? If it doesn't specify a man was white, hispanic, black, mixed...….does it mean he wasnt there or existed likewise?
As a matter of fact, we do know the race of Union men involved in battles, by their regiment designation. If a US Colored Troop regiment was involved, we know the enlisted men in that regiment were "colored," almost always of African descent.

Beyond that, there are many many many references to slaves and negroes all through the OR. African Americans were not invisible in the OR, they are talked about A LOT. So much so that it raises a red flag if their race is not mentioned.

- Alan
 

archieclement

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#47
As a matter of fact, we do know the race of Union men involved in battles, by their regiment designation. If a US Colored Troop regiment was involved, we know the enlisted men in that regiment were "colored," almost always of African descent.

Beyond that, there are many many many references to slaves and negroes all through the OR. African Americans were not invisible in the OR, they are talked about A LOT. So much so that it raises a red flag if their race is not mentioned.

- Alan
I already noted earlier we generally can tell if a unit was segregated, no way to tell in non segregated units, as the OP specifically included slaves, they wouldn't be in segregated units, but serving in whatever unit their owner was, or as teamsters ect if hired or leased. But even in USCT their would also be white men, so unless specifically noted one couldn't assume with accuracy race.

If one is making a claim NONE existed, it would require being able to ascertain with 100% accuracy the race of everyone. To say NONE sets a high bar of burden to substantiate, I believe they existed in small numbers personally, and dont see the need by some to belittle their efforts or service personally. If I serve my community or country, it doesn't matter how many others served at all, as far as to if I did.
 
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#48
I already noted earlier we generally can tell if a unit was segregated, no way to tell in non segregated units, as the OP specifically included slaves, they wouldn't be in segregated units, but serving in whatever unit their owner was, or as teamsters ect if hired or leased. But even in USCT their would also be white men, so unless specifically noted one couldn't assume with accuracy race.
I was responding to your comment:

Let me ask you a question if you want to go by OR's. At Gettysburg there was approximately 175,000 combined on both sides. Using both sides OR's how many of the 175,000 have you seen race used to specifically identify the participant? If it doesn't specify a man was white, hispanic, black, mixed...….does it mean he wasnt there or existed likewise?
I know that the US solders were white because the OR indicates there were no USCT at the battle. I can deduce things from the OR that are not necessarily expressed in the written word. If I know there were no USCT at Gettysburg, for example, I can assume all the Union men were white, I don't need somebody to say, "well, the guys who fought were white." Things happen within a context, and when you know that context, you can get more out of the OR. Just sayin'.

- Alan
 
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thomas aagaard

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#49
As apparently Union cooks, teamsters and servents were just as apparently unimportant to Union officers who wrote the OR's...….yet no one seems to deny their existence. .
They are not enlisted as soldiers... so not comparable to the many thousands of black enlisted men in the CSA armies that where there... is some people are to be believed.

When the Union started to enlist black men, they do show up in the OR.
 

archieclement

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#50
I was responding to your comment:



I know that the US solders were white because the OR indicates there were no USCT at the battle. I can deduce things from the OR that are not necessarily expressed in the written word. If I know there were no USCT at Gettysburg, for example, I can assume all the Union men were white, I don't need somebody to say, "well, the guys who fought were white." Things happen within a context, and when you know that context, you can more out of the OR. Just sayin'.

- Alan
So your saying free black men were specifically prohibited from enlisting in the US army or in northern state troops before the creation of USCT? If you can assume they were all white...….. also apparently Asians, Hispanics, Indians, not sure how you categorize mixed races... anything but Caucasians were also prohibited?

Why it seems folly to insist on terms such as "none" or "all"
 
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#51
Thanks for the reference, I do appreciate it. So Breckenridge himself does not note the presence of black confederates?

This is the correspondence in the OR you cited: first, a letter from Gen Breckenridge to Col Paine:

View attachment 290532
CSA Gen Breckenridge claims that "information has reached these headquarters that negro slaves are being organized and armed to be employed against us." He demands a response regarding this and other claims.

USA Col Paine replies:

View attachment 290533

Paine says he has been "informed" that a "corps of blacks fought against us in the recent battle of Baton Rogue." It was not an eyewitness account. I take it that there are no other entries in the OR which corroborate this sighting. After some searching, I have found no reference in which Breckenridge ever acknowledges that black troops were under his command or present at the battle. But I am no expert at searching the OR, perhaps others will have better luck.

In an earlier thread, @Andersonh1 cited this text from scholar Arthur Bergeron:

View attachment 290537

This talks about an African American militia from Baton Rouge. It makes no mention of African American members of the Confederate army at the Battle of Baton Rouge. There is a note that member of the black militia from Baton Rouge "may have fought with Brckenridge's Confederate army." The reporter who mentioned the black rebel apparently did not see a large corps of negroes at the battle.

Was there a black corps in the CSA, or a black militia unit not in the CSA, at the Battle of Baton Rouge? I can only note that based on what I see above, which is certainly not complete in its scope of research, the second-hand claim from Paine regarding a corps of blacks is uncorroborated and dubious.

- Alan
As you might guess, I have some newspaper articles on this topic. :smile:

The Cecil Whig. (Elkton, Md.) 1841-current, August 23, 1862
0PjyvLY.jpg


Pomeroy weekly telegraph. volume (Pomeroy, Meigs County, Ohio) 1860-1866, September 05, 1862
cMNMK2G.jpg


The correspondence between Breckenridge and Paine also made the papers.

Chicago daily tribune. (Chicago, Ill.) 1860-1864, September 09, 1862
6BRRZRv.jpg


Daily Delta (New Orleans, La), August 19, 1862
62McfCl.jpg


The daily dispatch. (Richmond [Va.]) 1850-1884, September 04, 1862
detp0xB.jpg
 
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#52
If you look at the correspondence between Breckenridge and Paine, Breckenridge is complaining about the looting and burning by the US army, and about "negro slaves ... organized and armed to be employed against us." Paine's mention of a "corps of blacks" is in response to this statement. The whole thing is a tit for tat essentially, where Breckenridge complains about black Union troops, and Paine accuses him of using his own black troops, or in other words, being hypocritical in his complaints.
 
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#53
As you might guess, I have some newspaper articles on this topic. :smile:

The Cecil Whig. (Elkton, Md.) 1841-current, August 23, 1862
View attachment 290554

Pomeroy weekly telegraph. volume (Pomeroy, Meigs County, Ohio) 1860-1866, September 05, 1862
View attachment 290555

The correspondence between Breckenridge and Paine also made the papers.

Chicago daily tribune. (Chicago, Ill.) 1860-1864, September 09, 1862
View attachment 290556

Daily Delta (New Orleans, La), August 19, 1862
View attachment 290557

The daily dispatch. (Richmond [Va.]) 1850-1884, September 04, 1862
View attachment 290558
This is pretty much in line with the material I have in my post. What I would note is, it is conspicuously absent that there is no record of Breckenridge or any Confederate officer mentioning a corps of black troops at Baton Rouge who fought with them or under them.

Recollect, the Native Guard of New Orleans were part of a military parade and it seemed like early in the war, the Confederates wanted to showcase them. Maybe the idea of showcasing the loyalty of free blacks... was deprecated by 8/1862?... but if there was a black corps, neither Breckenridge or his officers wanted to claim them.

- Alan
 
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#54
If you look at the correspondence between Breckenridge and Paine, Breckenridge is complaining about the looting and burning by the US army, and about "negro slaves ... organized and armed to be employed against us." Paine's mention of a "corps of blacks" is in response to this statement. The whole thing is a tit for tat essentially, where Breckenridge complains about black Union troops, and Paine accuses him of using his own black troops, or in other words, being hypocritical in his complaints.
Actually, I think you're right in this, although I tried to just stick what to what I "know," if you know what I mean. But your interpretation is reasonable and probably correct.

- Alan
 
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matthew mckeon

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#55
Occam's Razor, folks. Black confederate soldiers are not mentioned because, with rare exceptions, they didn't exist The litany of excuses for the lack of contemporary evidence, especially by the observers who should know best should demonstrate something.

Black men in other roles existed, but what people want to see so badly...not so much.
 
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#56
So your saying free black men were specifically prohibited from enlisting in the US army or in northern state troops before the creation of USCT?
No, not at all. But I do know that by the summer of 1863 there would have white and black regiments, and designated as USCT or some other identifier, such as AD (African descent).

If you can assume they were all white...….. also apparently Asians, Hispanics, Indians, not sure how you categorize mixed races... anything but Caucasians were also prohibited?

Why it seems folly to insist on terms such as "none" or "all"
According to the 1860 US Census, 99.7% of the US was either "white" or "black." I think it's safe to assume that soldiers were one or the other. Native peoples who were not captured in the Census are a wild card, of course. But I don't think I am insulting anyone by making the safe assertion that based on demographics, the vast majority of soldiers were or either of the two ethnicities, unless shown otherwise.

- Alan
 
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#57
As you might guess, I have some newspaper articles on this topic. :smile:

The Cecil Whig. (Elkton, Md.) 1841-current, August 23, 1862
View attachment 290554

Pomeroy weekly telegraph. volume (Pomeroy, Meigs County, Ohio) 1860-1866, September 05, 1862
View attachment 290555

The correspondence between Breckenridge and Paine also made the papers.

Chicago daily tribune. (Chicago, Ill.) 1860-1864, September 09, 1862
View attachment 290556

Daily Delta (New Orleans, La), August 19, 1862
View attachment 290557

The daily dispatch. (Richmond [Va.]) 1850-1884, September 04, 1862
View attachment 290558
I'd trust the OR's more than newspapers.

Kevin Dally
 
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#58
Occam's Razor, folks. Black confederate soldiers are not mentioned because, with rare exceptions, they didn't exist The litany of excuses for the lack of contemporary evidence, especially by the observers who should know best should demonstrate something.

Black men in other roles existed, but what people want to see so badly...not so much.
Below are 2 websites that will take away your doubts.
 

archieclement

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#59
No, not at all. But I do know that by the summer of 1863 there would have white and black regiments, and designated as USCT or some other identifier, such as AD (African descent).



According to the 1860 US Census, 99.7% of the US was either "white" or "black." I think it's safe to assume that soldiers were one or the other. Native peoples who were not captured in the Census are a wild card, of course. But I don't think I am insulting anyone by making the safe assertion that based on demographics, the vast majority of soldiers were or either of the two ethnicities, unless shown otherwise.

- Alan
Not quite seeing your point, once again blacks or any other race for that matter, in non segregated units North (pre-USCT) would not be readily distinguishable to say "I know that the US solders were white because the OR indicates there were no USCT at the battle." The majority would have been, but it wouldn't be absolute, so why even make such an assertion?

I use the same standard then I use today. I respect anyone's service, whether I support the conflict they served in is irrelevant, as is how many others of a particular group served. Nor do I feel any need to question their motives or sincerity whether they served out devotion to country/cause, or if it represented economic or educational opportunities to them, or whether they were drafted/impressed and didn't volunteer at all, they still served.
 
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