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

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
I wonder if there were that many able bodied blacks left in confederate controlled Alabama by that point, especially with Wilson's Cavalry bearing down on Forrest (battle of Selma 2 days prior).
The report was from Jackson, MS. It seems genuine as it has a lot of detail, but I doubt if they organized many men. It would be interesting to see what "General Order 86" has to say.
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Mobile, AL

"...during the final siege of Mobile, all male Creoles were ordered to report for local defense, along with other free blacks. The Native Guard, comprised of Creoles, actually served in the fortifications before the city, risking their lives in defense of the old order." -Urban Emancipation by Michael W. Fitzgerald, p.14
"marched straightway to the trenches"

Columbus Times (Columbus, Ga.), March 29, 1865:

ColumbusTimes29mar1865.jpg



Report of an attack on the defenses of Mobile ("western shore")-

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wbull1

First Sergeant
Official Vendor
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
The articles are interesting. Attempts to raise black troops and blacks volunteering. Are there articles or records that the blacks were issued weapons? Into the trenches might mean as laborers. Beyond doubt, some individual blacks not only volunteered but fought as Confederates. Beyond doubt, some blacks entered training as soldiers. Is there evidence that these efforts at recruitment resulted in numbers of blacks in combat?
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
The articles are interesting. Attempts to raise black troops and blacks volunteering. Are there articles or records that the blacks were issued weapons? Into the trenches might mean as laborers. Beyond doubt, some individual blacks not only volunteered but fought as Confederates. Beyond doubt, some blacks entered training as soldiers. Is there evidence that these efforts at recruitment resulted in numbers of blacks in combat?
What I've posted here is all that I know. Whatever reports and rolls that were made out (and still exist) are in private hands. After April 3, 1865, there was no government to send them to.
 

19thGeorgia

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Here's the Mobile incident in better chronological order along with the Union report of the attack on the western shore-

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Mobile1865two.jpg

Columbus Times (Columbus, GA), March 29, 1865


Note: Spanish Fort is on the eastern shore of Mobile Bay.
Mobile1865three.jpg

Columbus Times (Columbus, GA), March 31, 1865


Union report-

WEST GULF SQUADRON, U.S. FLAG-SHIP STOCKDALE,
Off Howard's, March 29, 1865.

Maj. Gen. E. R. S. CANBY,
Commanding Army and Division of West Mississippi,
Two Miles east of Spanish Fort:
GENERAL: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your dispatches of the 28th and 29th instant. I am very glad to learn that you are progressing satisfactorily and that your heavy guns are coming up, as your small guns seem to us to have no effect. Last night's work developed a large number of infernal machines (submerged), and there are probably many more between us and the enemy's works, but I shall drag the ground with nets so soon as I receive machinery from New Orleans, which is now being prepared by my fleet engineer, to be attached to two tin-clads. I look for it every hour, and can then advance my monitors with perfect safety, even to the "piles." I am very glad that your telegraph works to the landing. I am shelling the western shore to-day, as my picket-boats were attacked from there at daylight this morning by 100-pounder rifles drawn by six horses each, but we have now, 10 a.m., silenced them entirely, and are shelling up to the lower works all the distance from Dog River. So soon as I can command the necessary steam power will endeavor to tow your marsh mortars from New Orleans, although Captain Emmons thinks that they will probably make bad worse unless it is perfectly smooth.

I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
H. K. THATCHER,
Acting Rear-Admiral.
P. S.--Nothing approached the forts last night from up river, as I had twelve row picket-boats up river all night.
Official Records, Series 1-49-2, pages 127-128

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"Two men of the Missouri Battery and a citizen named Frederick were wounded."

The only person in Mobile with the last name Frederick was Charles Frederick. Based on census records, he was between 45 and 50 years old - too old for the regular army, but not too old for home guard duty. This is significant because it shows that the home guards (militia, local defense, etc) were serving in the trenches.

Mobile City Directory, 1861:
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Andersonh1

Brigadier General
Moderator
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
South Carolina
Lieutenant Charles Alexander, Co. C, 1st Va. Bat. Inf. relates how in late March 1865 he was ordered by General Lee "to go into Southern Virginia and persuade slave owners to emancipate such suitable negroes as were willing to enlist as soldiers in the Confederate service, and to enlist the same."

Interesting to note that General Hill "greatly favored" this, but thought it was too late. Alexander says Capt. Cameron was given a similar order, and that he and Cameron "were the only two appointments made by General Lee in connection with the raising of colored troops." There is no indication that he actually got so far as to recruit any troops, he left Petersburg "on the last passenger train that came out before the evacuation of the city" so there was clearly no time left.

The times dispatch. [volume] (Richmond, Va.) 1903-1914, July 17, 1904
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