The Search for Black Confederate Soldiers: Troops raised March & April 1865

Andersonh1

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One company from Winder Hospital - Capt. Grimes' Company.
One company from Jackson Hospital.
(These companies were formed under a Virginia law and the Confederate Local Defense Act.)
Exactly, which explains how they could be in existence and in the trenches before Congress passed their law authorizing black enlistment.
 

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19thGeorgia

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Richmond, VA

One company from Winder Hospital - Capt. Grimes' Company.
One company from Jackson Hospital.

A.R. Tomlinson, Confederate Veteran, Volume 30, p.141-
"I was wounded on May 12, 1864, at Spotsylvania Courthouse, Va., and was in Winder Hospital, Richmond, when the city was surrendered. I was sergeant of the Winder Guards. General Ewell was commander of the post at Richmond and issued orders for the soldiers in the hospitals not able for field duty to organize to defend the city against Yankee cavalry. Winder and Jackson Hospitals each organized a white and a negro company, making a battalion. The negroes were helpers in the hospital—and Dr. Chambliss, of Winder, was commander of the battalion. The Winder Guards elected me captain of the white company. The negro helpers of the two hospitals made two companies. We had dress parade several times on the Capitol grounds, and the city papers praised our manual of arms and drill. These were the only negroes to take arms in defense of the South, so far as I know, and, if living, I believe they should be pensioned.

The day that President Davis and his cabinet left Richmond our battalion was on the line at Seven Pines, and we were ordered back to the city that afternoon. General Ewell told us the President and cabinet had gone, and ordered us to take all papers and documents out of the Capitol and burn and destroy all government supplies and liquor. ‘The Yankees,’ he said, ‘will occupy the city to-morrow morning.’ We obeyed the order. The Yankees had planted their flag on the Capitol before I left next morning….”
 

Andersonh1

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Could be sounds more like a discussion for the discussion thread associated with this.
I should not equivocate. It explains why they were in existence before the Confederate Congress passed its recruitment law, and also emphasizes what I've said elsewhere that individual Confederate States did not always wait for the national government's lead. But yes, should be in the discussion thread in future.
 

19thGeorgia

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Winder Hospital, Richmond, VA

Richmond Enquirer, March 22, 1865-
"A company of colored troops, raised by Captain [Major] J. R. Chambliss, at Camp Winder, will parade on the Square, at 4 1/2 o'clock this afternoon. The company numbers 65 men, rank and file, and have been armed, but have not yet received their uniforms."
 

19thGeorgia

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I should not equivocate. It explains why they were in existence before the Confederate Congress passed its recruitment law, and also emphasizes what I've said elsewhere that individual Confederate States did not always wait for the national government's lead. But yes, should be in the discussion thread in future.
Here's that law passed by the VA legislature-

Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That it shall be lawful for all free negroes and slaves, who may be organized as soldiers, now, or at any time hereafter by the State or the Confederate Government, for the public defense during the present war with the United States, to bear arms while in active military service, and carry ammunition as other soldiers in the Army.
2. All acts, and parts of acts, in conflict with the foregoing, are hereby repealed.
3. This shall be in force from its passage.
William F. Gordon, JR.,
Clerk House of Delegates.
Passed March 6, 1865.

I don't believe it's any coincidence that the hospitals started organizing troops the next day-

Jackson.jpg
 

jgoodguy

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Link

O.R.--SERIES I--VOLUME XLVI/3 [S# 97]

UNION CORRESPONDENCE, ORDERS, AND RETURNS RELATING TO OPERATIONS IN NORTHERN AND SOUTHEASTERN VIRGINIA, WEST VIRGINIA, MARYLAND, AND PENNSYLVANIA, FROM MARCH 16, 1865, TO JUNE 30, 1865.(*)--#4
OFFICE OF THE PROVOST-MARSHAL-GENERAL,
ARMIES OPERATING AGAINST RICHMOND, VA.,
City Point, March 22, 1865.​

Major-General ORD,
Commanding Army of the James:
GENERAL: Our scouts brought the following information from Richmond this morning, which could have been forwarded yesterday had they been able to make the connection night before last, which was not done. Our agent in Richmond saw on Sunday night a long train of cars, loaded with troops, pass out of the city on the Danville railroad. He does not know to what command these troops belong; and having received prior to seeing them the information which he was to bring <ar97_79> from our friends he did not dare communicate with them again before leaving town the next day. He describes the train, however, and the troops with great particularity, and we have no doubt from his statement that troops were forwarded at that time. He heard a bare rumor that they were going to Amelia Court-House. Our friends in Richmond send us word that the Virginia Central Railroad is expected to be in running order as far as the Rivanna River in ten days from day before yesterday. They also say that the remnant of Hood's army, under General Cheatham, has reached General Joseph Johnston. The following is in writing, and, not being understood by us, is given exactly as forwarded:​
Morgan's returned prisoners are being sent to Abingdon. If you do not take a hostage for Colonel Asworth (see dispatch of March 15), he will be hung.​
The Richmond Dispatch of March 15 contains the following:​
CASTLE THUNDER ITEMS.
Yesterday one of the prisoners of war at the Libby, Col. J. H. Asworth, of the First Regiment U.S. Georgia Volunteers, was transferred from that place to Castle Thunder, he having been recognized as a former captain in the C. S. service.​
Our friends say that up to last Saturday, so far as they could learn, only three companies of negro troops had been raised. They are being drilled. It is, of course, possible that more than this number have been recruited, but our friends seem to be certain that no more have been organized into companies. The following is given as indicative of the present condition of Richmond:​
May God bless and bring you soon to deliver us. We are in an awful situation here. There is great want of food.​
Word is sent us of the return of Pickett's division, heretofore reported, to a position on the Williamsburg road, but our friends do not believe that the whole division is there, without saying, however, how much of it is or is not.​
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,​
GEO. H. SHARPE,
Assistant Provost. Marshal. General.
 

jgoodguy

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1865-03-21, Richmond Sentinel; Winder-Jackson Battalion; including Negroes to parade

From the Richmond Sentinel, 3/21/1865
THE BATTALION from Camps Winder and Jackson, under the command of Dr. Chambliss, including the company of colored troops under Captain Grimes, will parade on the square on Wednesday evening, at 4½ o’clock. This is the first company of negro troops raised in Virginia. It was organized about a month since, by Dr. Chambliss, from the employees of the hospitals, and served on the lines during the recent Sheridan raid.​
 

jgoodguy

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Here we find recorded the only name of the March 1865 Richmond class of Black Confederate recruits. A brief strut upon the stage of history and he vanishes into the mists. A shout out for John Scott

1865-03-30, Richmond Sentinel; a free negro in Maj. Turner's battalion grows tired of the drill and decides to walk off with stolen clothes

From the Richmond Sentinel, 3/30/1865, p. 2, c. 7
NEGRO DESERTER. - The free negro John Scott, who was received as a member of Major Turner’s battalion a few days ago, became suddenly tired of going through the manual, and took his departure on Sunday last for parts unknown, carrying with him about twenty-five pairs of soldiers’ drawers, shirts, &c., belonging to some of the boys.​
 

Andersonh1

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Possibly not the only name. See the fourth paragraph in this 1902 article.

"A company of colored men was raised in this city and for a time drilled on the Capitol square here. Cox, a colored plasterer, who was a sergeant in this company, is still living."

The evening times. (Washington, D.C.) 1895-1902, November 21, 1902
OXXjPD7.jpg
 

19thGeorgia

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Possibly not the only name. See the fourth paragraph in this 1902 article.

"A company of colored men was raised in this city and for a time drilled on the Capitol square here. Cox, a colored plasterer, who was a sergeant in this company, is still living."

The evening times. (Washington, D.C.) 1895-1902, November 21, 1902
View attachment 292303
Edward and Scipio Cox ran a plastering business in Richmond after the war-

CoxEdw.jpg

CoxScipio.jpg
 

19thGeorgia

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Selma, AL

Civil War and Reconstruction in Alabama by Walter L. Fleming, p86-
"During the early months of 1865 a movement was started to enroll negroes as Confederate soldiers, and a number of officers, among whom was John T. Morgan, received permission to raise negro troops. The conference of governors at Augusta in 1864 recommended the arming of slaves, but Governor Watts asked the Alabama legislature to disapprove such a movement. An enthusiastic meeting of citizens, held in Mobile, February 19, 1865, declared that the war must be prosecuted “to victory or death,” and that 100,000 negroes should be placed in the field. It was too late, however, for success. Wilson, on his raid, picked up the Confederate negro troops at Selma, and took them with him."
 

Tin cup

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Selma, AL

Civil War and Reconstruction in Alabama by Walter L. Fleming, p86-
"During the early months of 1865 a movement was started to enroll negroes as Confederate soldiers, and a number of officers, among whom was John T. Morgan, received permission to raise negro troops. The conference of governors at Augusta in 1864 recommended the arming of slaves, but Governor Watts asked the Alabama legislature to disapprove such a movement. An enthusiastic meeting of citizens, held in Mobile, February 19, 1865, declared that the war must be prosecuted “to victory or death,” and that 100,000 negroes should be placed in the field. It was too late, however, for success. Wilson, on his raid, picked up the Confederate negro troops at Selma, and took them with him."
Where is the source for this, what "Confederate negro troops"?

Kevin Dally
 
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jgoodguy

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