The South Recruits Freemen

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Luke Freet

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Many of us know of the Louisiana Native Guard, a volunteer militia unit made up of New Orleans Freemen willing to fight for the Confederacy. They were not the only unit of freemen who wanted to fight for the Confederacy. At least 2 requests were made (in April of 1862 and November of 1863) to raise a unit of Mobile's creole landowners. All were turned down due to their racial ambiguity.
What if the southern leadership allowed for the recruitment of its Freemen population? Were they a large enough demographic to significantly alter the course of the war, as early as '62?
 

Carronade

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Many of us know of the Louisiana Native Guard, a volunteer militia unit made up of New Orleans Freemen willing to fight for the Confederacy. They were not the only unit of freemen who wanted to fight for the Confederacy. At least 2 requests were made (in April of 1862 and November of 1863) to raise a unit of Mobile's creole landowners. All were turned down due to their racial ambiguity.
What if the southern leadership allowed for the recruitment of its Freemen population? Were they a large enough demographic to significantly alter the course of the war, as early as '62?
The 1860 census credits the eleven Confederate states with 133,030 free colored persons and 5,582,222 total free persons, making the colored not quite 2.4%, so that would be an approximate upper limit of their impact, assuming they participated in the war effort to the same degree as whites. It would be less if the Confederacy only took colored volunteers while conscripting whites or imposed other restrictions.

They might have had a greater impact in the defense of specific points like New Orleans.
 

Luke Freet

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The 1860 census credits the eleven Confederate states with 133,030 free colored persons and 5,582,222 total free persons, making the colored not quite 2.4%, so that would be an approximate upper limit of their impact, assuming they participated in the war effort to the same degree as whites. It would be less if the Confederacy only took colored volunteers while conscripting whites or imposed other restrictions.

They might have had a greater impact in the defense of specific points like New Orleans.
Point. I think 2 regiments of the Native Guard could have been formed in New Orleans. However, I doubt they'd be enough to stop the flotilla coming up the river. If there was any chance of defending the city, they'd need at least a division of "regular" troops.
The other option is to send them with Bragg to join A. S. Johnston and fight alongside the rest of the army there. Probably would not change much of the outcome of the battle, but who knows, battles are about the details, and things would have been notably different with the little butterfly effect.
 
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leftyhunter

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Many of us know of the Louisiana Native Guard, a volunteer militia unit made up of New Orleans Freemen willing to fight for the Confederacy. They were not the only unit of freemen who wanted to fight for the Confederacy. At least 2 requests were made (in April of 1862 and November of 1863) to raise a unit of Mobile's creole landowners. All were turned down due to their racial ambiguity.
What if the southern leadership allowed for the recruitment of its Freemen population? Were they a large enough demographic to significantly alter the course of the war, as early as '62?
The Louisiana Native Guards never fired a shot in anger in defense of the Confederacy.
The Confederacy had a huge problem with white men either deserting or defecting to the Union. Not sure why black troops would be more reliable.
Leftyhunter
 
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archieclement

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The Louisiana Native Guards never fired a shot in anger against the Confederacy.
The Confederacy had a huge problem with white men either deserting or defecting to the Union. Not sure why black troops would be more reliable.
Leftyhunter
Agreed USCT also shared a slightly higher desertion rate then their white counterparts. See little reason to assume a higher reliability for the CSA.

Also the limited number of free population wouldn't have made a very big impact to overall troop strength if recruited
 

Luke Freet

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The Louisiana Native Guards never fired a shot in anger against the Confederacy.
Uhmm...no, that is false. It was reformed by the Union (with white officers unlike the original organization) and fought alongside Union troops at Port Hudson.
Yes, it was not the exact same unit. However, much of it's ranks had been members of the previous Confederate unit. Your statement is objectively false and rather disingenuous.
The Confederacy had a huge problem with white men either deserting or defecting to the Union. Not sure why black troops would be more reliable.
I never brought up the issue of desertion yet.
And while yes, the Confederates had issues with desertions, it was more common in the later war. Confederate regimental strengths were still averaging around 300 men by mid-war, and the Union regiments had similar average regimental strengths.
Would black soldier be more likely to desert the unit for the North? I do not doubt it. However, if it is double that of white units, there would be a significant number still in the ranks who'd stay and fight; though, of course, I imagine they'd have to consolidate units to keep them at useful combat strength.
 
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leftyhunter

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Uhmm...no, that is false. It was reformed by the Union (with white officers unlike the original organization) and fought alongside Union troops at Port Hudson.
Yes, it was not the exact same unit. However, much of it's ranks had been members of the previous Confederate unit. Your statement is objectively false and rather disingenuous.

I never brought up the issue of desertion yet.
And while yes, the Confederates had issues with desertions, it was more common in the later war. Confederate regimental strengths were still averaging around 300 men by mid-war, and the Union regiments had similar average regimental strengths.
Would black soldier be more likely to desert the unit for the North? I do not doubt it. However, if it is double that of white units, there would be a significant number still in the ranks who'd stay and fight; though, of course, I imagine they'd have to consolidate units to keep them at useful combat strength.
My statement is objectively true In that the
LNG never fired a shot in anger in defense of the Confederacy. I should of stated that better. Yes many men of the LNG did switch allegiance to the Union.
Leftyhunter
 

Luke Freet

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My statement is objectively true In that the
LNG never fired a shot in anger in defense of the Confederacy. I should of stated that better. Yes many men of the LNG did switch allegiance to the Union.
Leftyhunter
Understandable. I know I have that trouble at times with me misstating a point.
 

Andersonh1

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Many of us know of the Louisiana Native Guard, a volunteer militia unit made up of New Orleans Freemen willing to fight for the Confederacy. They were not the only unit of freemen who wanted to fight for the Confederacy. At least 2 requests were made (in April of 1862 and November of 1863) to raise a unit of Mobile's creole landowners. All were turned down due to their racial ambiguity.
- The Native Guard never applied to be a part of the CS army. They were volunteer Louisiana state troops, and defending the state was their focus. If they ever requested to be a part of the national CS army, I'm not aware of it.

- The Creoles of Mobile were limited to the city and county of Mobile by a November 1862, so like the 1st Louisiana Native Guard, they were state military, and it's worth pointing out that the fact that Dabney Maury advocated for their use in the national Confederate Military is often overlooked as an example where a general in the field and the civilian command in Richmond held two different views about the capabilities of these men, who were "very anxious to enter the Confederate service" according to Maury.

There were other groups of free black men in various cities and states who volunteered to work or fight for their state before the war even began and early in the war, and many of these groups were accepted for the purposes of building defenses, if not for fighting. Numerically, all these black men would not have made a huge difference in the numbers of the CS army since the vast majority of the black population in the South at that time were slaves. I do wonder how symbolic it would have been if they had been enlisted in the CS military, and if that would have affected the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation, or the numbers of black men that joined the USCT?
 
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Dead Parrott

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If you count about 10% as "many". I think it's misleading to phrase it that way. "A small portion" of the Native Guard would be more accurate.
True, since only about 1,000 signed up for the CSA, and only about 100 of those re-signed for the USA. No need to 'prove' your worth to the non-slaveholding power. It's a slight continuance, at best.

24,000 other black Louisianans served the USA.
 
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thomas aagaard

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I've heard this before. What's the source for it? Book, page, etc?
That is not how historical work is done. You can't prove a negative, only point out the lack of evidence.

My claim is that 10.000 Martians fought during the war for the CSA...
And you can't disprove it. You can just point out that there is no evidence of intelligent life on mars... or any evidence of Martial involvement in the war.
So since that is the positive claim, it is up to me to prove it.

And if you think that the LNG was involved in combat in defense of the city, it is up to you to prove it... since that is the positive claim.
 
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Harms88

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Many of us know of the Louisiana Native Guard, a volunteer militia unit made up of New Orleans Freemen willing to fight for the Confederacy. They were not the only unit of freemen who wanted to fight for the Confederacy. At least 2 requests were made (in April of 1862 and November of 1863) to raise a unit of Mobile's creole landowners. All were turned down due to their racial ambiguity.
What if the southern leadership allowed for the recruitment of its Freemen population? Were they a large enough demographic to significantly alter the course of the war, as early as '62?
In my new book I'm writing The Golden Circle 1: We Gained by Honest Toil, it's set in 1880, after the Confederacy managed to win their independence and are currently trying to establish "The Golden Circle" an overarching plan to bring Mexico, Central America and the Caribbeans into the Confederacy to create a Slave Owning Empire. The point of departure is that in late 1863, they accept Patrick Cleburne's proposal for raising black regiments and offering them freedom.

What happens is that they are able to raise up to 190,000 black men under the promise of post-victory emancipation. This frees up Southern Combat Regiments (aka white units) to join the armies of the Tennessee and Northern Virginia among others and are able to basically win several key victories in 1864, allowing for McClellan not only to be elected, but to defeat McClellan's own 1865 Spring Offensive (as McClellan wanted victory before he would discuss peace with the South). These defeats leads to the creation of the Treaty of Mexico City, with Emperor Maximilian II hosting the talks.

Now, the prologue itself, besides establishing these factors for victory, specifically deals with the Confederate Congress reneging on it's promise. They decide that only 1863 volunteers and 2 in every 14 of the 1864 volunteers are going to be given their freedoms. Everyone else and all the 1865 volunteers are going back into slavery. This leads to rebellions throughout the South of these angry slave soldiers, who were promised one thing, only to have it taken away.

The thing is, while maybe not so dramatically as I have it in my story, I don't think the Confederacy would have ever fully honored any commitments they made to negro soldiers. Negros were the lowest of citizens; I think Native Americans ranked a little higher in Southern regards.

But even in my story, they only helped out freedom of the South by freeing up the thousands of men that were in garrison duty across the South. That's only because the numbers were large enough to allow it. Unless they allowed a lot of African Americans into the ranks, it wouldn't have changed the outcome.
 

19thGeorgia

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That is not how historical work is done. You can't prove a negative, only point out the lack of evidence.

My claim is that 10.000 Martians fought during the war for the CSA...
And you can't disprove it. You can just point out that there is no evidence of intelligent life on mars... or any evidence of Martial involvement in the war.
So since that is the positive claim, it is up to me to prove it.

And if you think that the LNG was involved in combat in defense of the city, it is up to you to prove it... since that is the positive claim.
You mean there's nothing to support leftyhunter's statement? No quote from an NG like- "We never fired a shot."
 
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leftyhunter

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If you count about 10% as "many". I think it's misleading to phrase it that way. "A small portion" of the Native Guard would be more accurate.
Even if only one hundred former LNG members enlisted in the Union Army that is far more men then the Confederacy enlisted that actually served in combat. Painsville being the only known example.
Leftyhunter
 
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leftyhunter

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Many of us know of the Louisiana Native Guard, a volunteer militia unit made up of New Orleans Freemen willing to fight for the Confederacy. They were not the only unit of freemen who wanted to fight for the Confederacy. At least 2 requests were made (in April of 1862 and November of 1863) to raise a unit of Mobile's creole landowners. All were turned down due to their racial ambiguity.
What if the southern leadership allowed for the recruitment of its Freemen population? Were they a large enough demographic to significantly alter the course of the war, as early as '62?
History has shown that black men or any race for that matter will not volunteer in significant numbers if they feel that they are oppressed. Definitely one good modern example of that. Why would free black men in any significant number volunteer to fight for the Confederacy?
Leftyhunter
 

leftyhunter

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So you don't really know? :smile coffee:
I certainly know for a fact that the LNG didn't fight for the Confederacy because if they did that fact would be shouted to the heavens as is the brief as several volleys fired at Union Cavalry at Painsville before the black Confederate soldiers surrendered.
Leftyhunter
 
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