Searching For Black Confedetates

AshleyMel

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Oct 26, 2016
Every year my UDC Chapter sponsors Veteran's who need assistance. Last year we gave a Christmas food basket to a man I knew from my church. When we called him to arrange a drop off time, he told me that he had pictures of his great grandfather. Lo and behold his granddaddy was wearing the Southern Cross of honor in the picture. Just last week I was able to get the family records. I've been given permission to scan and preserve them.
My Chapter is over the moon to be able to sponsor and care for this man and help memorialize his family records. He has wonderful knowledge of our local area and tons of stories to tell. He has become a friend which to me is the best part. ☺
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Here is more info on the 25th Tennessee Infantry. It shows several that several free blacks enlisted in the state unit. But while many of the white soldiers have more information listed of serving through the war, it seems that none of the free blacks is shown as having a record after 1861. It also shows that many men in the regiment were discharged due to the Conscription Act, which among other things, required soldiers to be white males.

https://www.tngenes.net/index.php/military/rosters/231-25th-tennessee-infantry-regiment-csa
Source: "Please Note that this transcription is incomplete"

Yes. the non-white soldiers were either discharged on or about April 1862 (date of Conscription Act) or served out their 12 months.
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Here s an example of non whites organized and fought for the confederacy. The Cherokee were not White. So the Confederate Regulations must not of had 100% enforcement. Confederacy was know for have more lack rules. Don’t think you can make a Cherokee White.

http://www.thomaslegion.net/
...and there was a battalion of Choctaws in Mississippi. In the trans-Mississippi, there were at least a dozen regiments and battalions organized among the Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole. How did they get by the white-only regulation?
 
Last edited:

OleMissCub

Private
Joined
Aug 30, 2021
Not sure of its relevance to the discussion, but my GGG Grandfather served from 61-65 in the 50th AL and he was half Cherokee. His mother was 100% Cherokee. I suppose he looks "white enough" or maybe they just didn't care since he was born and raised in a white community.

sidebar: this photo was taken in 1870 and I think it's rather cute that my GG Grandfather is wearing a little Rebel uniform.

kyzer-jpg.jpg
 

Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
I am astonished at the ignorance or deliberate blind eye the Black Confed. folks give to the one honest to goodness sure enough black unit actually in CSA service, the Louisiana Native Guard.The all more or less African decent regiment of New Orleans was the only African officered infantry actually mustered into CSA service… for a while anyways. Of course, as soon as Farragut took the city they switched sides.

Not true. The Native Guard disbanded/went home when the city was captured. Later on when Butler was recruiting black troops, what turned out to be about 10% of the men who had been in the Louisiana Native Guard joined the Union version of that unit. Most of the men who were members of the Native Guard never fought for the Union.
 

DanSBHawk

Captain
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
"According to those cards, Farley enlisted for 3 months in a state unit."

Apparently, you are unable to read the card. It says "Period: 12 months."

Note "Confederate" on card. That means it's a Confederate roll-

View attachment 418193

The next existing roll for Company E after October 1861 was for November 1862. Farley's term of enlistment (12 months) ended before November 1862. He was no longer in the unit.

"Farley was absent."

Roll for October 31 says he is present.

"Is there any record of him serving as a confederate soldier?"

His name is on Confederate rolls. :unsure:
I did read the card but I can't read information that is cropped from the photo.. It says he enlisted July 25, '61 in the state regiment for 12 months. It says he served in the state regiment and was listed on the state regiment's muster from July 25th until October 31.

So he was only listed on the company's muster roll until Oct 31st, 1861. He was not in that company after October 1861.

The site I linked lists no information for any of the free blacks that enlisted in the state regiment, as going on to serve in the confederate army. Some may have showed up for the muster at Camp Myers, but show any evidence that they went on to serve in the regiment once it became part of the confederate army.

If you believe he went on to serve in the confederate army until the end of his state enlistment, then show evidence that he was discharged from the confederate army or recognized post-war as a regularly enlisted soldier.
 

DanSBHawk

Captain
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
So what does this muster roll say, just under Co E 25th Tennessee Inf & just above Private...?
Yeah and here's what was cropped off of the photos:
farley.png

So the card is not an original document from Farley's enlistment, and the card clearly states that Farley was no longer on the company muster roll after October 1861.
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
"the state regiment's muster"

None of those are state rolls. They are all Confederate.

Yeah and here's what was cropped off of the photos:
View attachment 418219
So the card is not an original document from Farley's enlistment, and the card clearly states that Farley was no longer on the company muster roll after October 1861.
"...transferred to the service of the Confederate States October 1, 1861."
Which is the same information posted here (see last card)-
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/searching-for-black-confedetates.189553/page-4#post-2461495

Farley was present on the roll for October 31, 1861 (last existing roll before November 1862)-

farleyjames2-jpg-jpg.jpg
 
Last edited:

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
Was it legal for the CS dept of war to own slaves. Private corporations owned slaves, so could the war dept purchase slaves also.
 

DanSBHawk

Captain
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
"the state regiment's muster"

None of those are state rolls. They are all Confederate.


"...transferred to the service of the Confederate States October 1, 1861."
Which is the same information posted here (see last card)-
https://civilwartalk.com/threads/searching-for-black-confedetates.189553/page-4#post-2461495

Farley was present on the roll for October 31, 1861-

View attachment 418225
It says his name appears on the company muster roll from July 25 until October 31, 1861.

He was no longer on the company muster roll after October 1861. He never served in the unit after it became a confederate regiment.
 

uaskme

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 9, 2016
Location
SE Tennessee
Of course, nobody said any of this had to make sense. The tribal customs meant that some men of African descent were full members & would have served alongside their family members. The whole thing was off the charts of the avowedly white supremacist reason for the CSA’s existence. Same with the B. C.(Black Confed.) crowd it would appear. Anyone not fitting the “plantation life was a slice of heaven on earth” cliche is conveniently left out.

I am astonished at the ignorance or deliberate blind eye the Black Confed. folks give to the one honest to goodness sure enough black unit actually in CSA service, the Louisiana Native Guard.The all more or less African decent regiment of New Orleans was the only African officered infantry actually mustered into CSA service… for a while anyways. Of course, as soon as Farragut took the city they switched sides. That hardly fits the willing to fight & die for ole massa theme so dear to the B. C. fantasy world. They shy away from the complexities of actual history.

The free men of color who did not tell white people what they wanted to hear after the war or were accepted members of tribes or were members of an actual infantry unit, etc. are way too complex for the Black Confed. narrative. Even men of African heritage who were slaveholders & thus could not fight for the right to hold their slaves are problematic.

That is the problem with delving honestly into the relationship between the CSA & the race that God created for them to enslave. It is really complex & up close it doesn’t make a lot of sense. I suppose that is why the B.C. argument is such a collection of worn out tropes. Actually studying the history is way too hard… the whole 19th Century race thing is very much a chameleon that changes color depending on the environment it finds itself in.

Just as so for the Tropes the North use to rewrite history as why they allowed Blacks to fight. Why Blacks fought and Why racist northern whites allowed them to are different reasons. Blacks ultimately fought for their freedom. No reason they would not have done so in the South. As John Sherman told Cump, we have decided if the Negro fights for us, we need to treat him a little better. Northern whites tried to force the Negro back into his old position. Blackes refused to accept that. Even so, many Blacks were forced into Blue Uniforms. Into horrid conditions, with half pay and many times cheated out of that. Blacks fought against these outrageous circumstances. Blacks deserve credit for not accepting this, not racist whites who perfected the system. Ultimately most Northerners accepted Black soldiers and emancipation because it saved white lives and was a way to subjugate the South and end the War.

True, many in the south were fearful of a racial adjustment that would result n black freedom and elevating blacks to soldiers. Lower south whites were much more fearful that upper south southerners. Virginia in the 1830s advocated emancipation Others during the early portion of the war advocated giving some Blacks freedom in exchange for work or service as soldiers. The North didn’t have to worry about a Racal adjustment by allowing southern blacks and free Northern blacks to fight a war of submission against the south in the south. Just the opposite. The war would ultimately lock southern blacks in the south until the end of Cotton, and was assumed to become a haven for northern blacks to go home, To the south. Northerners sold their blacks south before their emancipation and Lincoln tried to deport them before the EP took effect. Such was Northern humanity. They were concerned about the Whites, not the Blacks.

So. it is a false narrative that the Negro would never fight for the south. Some have been proved to have. Their motivations varied and should be respected. Or is also false that the Confederacy reject anyone other than Whites. Writing a law that states something never means that everyone obey it. Ending the Slave trade is a good example. It never stopped the Slave trade. Cherokees were not white. Many times Natives and Negros would mix. Many times one could pass for another. Finally, northern whites were just as racist as southerners. Just a false narrative, trope as some would say to suggest otherwise.
 

DanSBHawk

Captain
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
In fact, checking through the various free black men in the 25th Tennessee, the records all say the same thing. None of them appeared on their company's muster rolls after October 1861.

There were five free blacks named "Bruington" that enlisted in the 25th Tennesee when it was a state unit. Brothers or relatives possibly. All five dropped off the muster roll in October 1861.

None of them were allowed to serve as confederate soldiers.
 

Viper21

Brigadier General
Moderator
Silver Patron
Joined
Jul 4, 2016
Location
Rockbridge County, Virginia
Yeah and here's what was cropped off of the photos:
View attachment 418219
So the card is not an original document from Farley's enlistment, and the card clearly states that Farley was no longer on the company muster roll after October 1861.
I'll concede, my question was rhetorical. It obviously said, "Confederate".

I'll pose it another way, which side was Mr Farley on..?
 

DanSBHawk

Captain
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
I'll concede, my question was rhetorical. It obviously said, "Confederate".

I'll pose it another way, which side was Mr Farley on..?
He signed up in a Tennessee state regiment. When the regiment was drafted into confederate service, Farley either quit or was turned away.
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Is this too difficult to understand?

Chronology
1861
July 25 - Farley enlists in a company organized by the state of Tennessee which would later become Company E, 25th Tennessee Infantry.

October 1 - The company and regiment are transferred to Confederate service. Their 12 month enlistment is dated from July 25.
Farley is included in the transfer because he is present on the roll for October 1. This is a Confederate roll signed by a Confederate officer.

October 31 - Farley is present on the roll for October 31. This is also a Confederate roll.

The next existing roll for Company E (there is a gap of eight months)-

Unit Information (14).jpg
 

DanSBHawk

Captain
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
Is this too difficult to understand?

Chronology
1861
July 25 - Farley enlists in a company organized by the state of Tennessee which would later become Company E, 25th Tennessee Infantry.

October 1 - The company and regiment are transferred to Confederate service. Their 12 month enlistment is dated from July 25.
Farley is included in the transfer because he is present on the roll for October 1. This is a Confederate roll signed by a Confederate officer.

October 31 - Farley is present on the roll for October 31. This is also a Confederate roll.

The next existing roll for Company E (there is a gap of eight months)-

View attachment 418297
Is it too difficult to understand that ALL of the records for free blacks in the 25th Tennessee say that they appeared in the muster roll from either July-to-Oct '61, or Aug-to-Oct '61, or Sept-to-Oct '61?

The key similarity to ALL of the records for free blacks in the 25th Tennessee is that they ceased to appear in the muster roll after October '61.

Why do you think that is?

Either they did not want to join the confederate army, or the confederate army did not want them.
 
Last edited:

DanSBHawk

Captain
Joined
May 8, 2015
Location
Wisconsin
Who is this mysterious Mr Farley?
He's one of a number of free blacks in Tennessee who enlisted in a state unit in 1861. The 25th Tennessee Infantry, in this case.

He enlisted in July 1861 for a year, but only showed up on the muster roll until October 1861. That was the same month that the state regiment was incorporated into the confederate army. It's probably not a coincidence that all the free blacks in this state regiment suddenly dropped off the muster roll in October '61 when the regiment went into confederate service.

Some members are trying to claim that these free black men were regularly-enlisted confederate soldiers, even though there is no evidence they served in the regiment after it was incorporated into the confederate army.
 

Rhea Cole

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
He signed up in a Tennessee state regiment. When the regiment was drafted into confederate service, Farley either quit or was turned away.
He wouldn’t have been alone. Many of the TN state units melted away after the realities of soldiering sunk home. The TN militia had been disbanded for time out of mind. There was no cadre of men with even rudimentary military training exited drill the volunteers.
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Is it too difficult to understand that ALL of the records for free blacks in the 25th Tennessee say that they appeared in the muster roll from either July-to-Oct '61, or Aug-to-Oct '61, or Sept-to-Oct '61?

The key similarity to ALL of the records for free blacks in the 25th Tennessee is that they ceased to appear in the muster roll after October '61.

Why do you think that is?
...because every company in the 25th Tennessee has a gap in its record from late 1861 to mid 1862...which can be found under "Unit Information" @ fold3.com

Screenshot (2519).jpg
 
Last edited:
Top