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Black Point Lookout POWs

As for the reported number of blacks supporting the CSA cause, the PRESENT accepted number is 60,000. This would include, free blacks and slaves. Of that number about 15,000 "saw the elephant." However, since CSA forces did NOT list roster members by race, the actual number is likely to be much higher...Bob Harrison

  1. Dempsey, Charles 2nd NC Artillery, 36th Reg. Captured at Ft. Fisher
  2. Dempsey, Henry 2nd NC Artillery, 36th Reg. Captured at Ft. Fisher
  3. Doyle, J. 3rd NC Artillery, 40th Reg. Captured at Ft. Fisher
  4. Hall, Moses
  5. Herring, Daniel 2nd NC Artillery, 36th Reg. Captured at Ft. Fisher
  6. Poplar, Dick 13th VA Cav., CO H, captured at Gettysburg, 20 months in Point Lookout
  7. Porter, William
  8. Tate, Hampton. Free colored, blockade runner
  9. Un-named. Reported as colored man with Nicholas McGinnis
  10. Un-named. Three blacks crossing the Potomac River
  11. Yerby, Joe. Faithful colored cook died at Pt. Lookout (name not on monument)

Books on Black Confederates:

  • Forgotten Confederates - An Anthology About Black Southerners by Charles Kelly Barrow
  • Black Southerners in Gray - Edited by Richard Rollins

During the day the platform around the pen is constantly paced by sentinels chiefly of the Invalid Corps, whose duty it is to see that the prisoners are orderly, and particularly, that no one crosses “the dead line.” This is a shallow ditch traced around within the enclosure, about fifteen feet from the fence. The penalty for stepping over this is death and although the sentinels are probably instructed to warn any one who may be violating the rule, the order does not seem to be imperative, and the negroes, when on duty, rarely troubled themselves with this superfluous formality.

Last night the negro regiment which constitutes part of our guard and which had been raiding over in Westmoreland and the adjacent counties returned. Their captives consisted of a hundred head of cattle-principally poor women’s cows-several ploughs, buggies, primeval sulkies, harrows, beds, chairs, etc. and from twenty to thirty decrepit CITIZENS. Every month and sometimes more frequently, they are sent across the river on a plundering tour. These raids, usually made in a country entirely devoid of Confederates soldiers, are not reported by the yankees but are used to keep alive the martial ardor and fidelity of the black troops.

...Sgt. Anthony M. Keiley, POW, Pt. Lookout

 

Dick Poplar :Petersburg's Proud Black Southerner 1818-1886

by Patricia Buck
Written for Petersburg's Newspaper during February in honor of Black History Month

Dick Poplar was born in 1818. Prior to the War Between the States, Dick could be found dressed in a caterer’s white uniform, with green binding and a small green military cloth cap, with two tassels hanging over the right side. He was smartly dressed and took great pride in his work. His place of employment was the stately Bollingbrook Hotel, located on the northeast corner of Bollingbrook and Second Streets, in Petersburg. The Bollingbrook was Virginia’s first hotel built in 1828 and it not only offered lodging, theatre, dramatic entertainments, a gathering place for the upper society and politicians of Petersburg, but it boasted of the best gourmet banquet chef in the South.....Richard "Dick" Poplar.

The war years found Dick Poplar in dress of a different uniform. He joined the Confederate forces in the Sussex Light Dragoons of the 13th VA Cavalry, Co. H. Other important local notables of the 13th VA Cavalry bore names of the famed Ruffin men, such as Sgt. Thomas Smith Ruffin, grandson of SC fame, Edmund Ruffin. It was at the Battle of Gettysburg that Dick was captured and taken prisoner.

Pvt. Poplar was in Pt. Lookout POW Camp, Maryland for twenty months. He was a strong man with strong personal morals and convictions. At any time while a prisoner, he could have said the word, taken the Oath of Allegiance to the Union and been released a free man. Dick called himself a "Jeff Davis Man" and chose instead a life of starvation, lice and rags. He was continually bullied and threaten by the black guards to desert the Confederacy, but he chose to be steadfast to his Southern up- bringings and not turn his back on his people. He was dubbed the Unreconstructed Dark Skinned Reb of confinement.

Dick put his culinary skills to good use even as a prisoner. Outside his dwelling built from cracker-box boards, Chef Poplar set up a little Bartering Table within the compound and made delectable corn pones from whatever scratch he could muster together from fellow southern prisoners and northern sutlers. His cornbread selling for five cents each was used as a meager side business of bartering for some of the things that he desired. Ironically Sgt. Thomas S. Ruffin would also become a POW at Pt. Lookout.

After the war, Dick returned to his former place of employment. The hotel had suffered twelve shell holes from the guns of the yankee invaders. But again, Dick prospered in his profession and his most frequent customers were those who wore the gray uniform with him through four years of arduous service to his beloved native state of Ole Virginny.

Dick didn’t live very long after the war, for it was in 1886 at the age of 70 years, that he died of an effusion on the brain. Mr. James Muirhead who was also in the same regiment as Dick, took him into his home and gave him the best medical attention available just before his death. Dick died at Mr. Muirhead's home. He was revered by his comrades of Petersburg. His funeral was largely attended by both races.

Lee's Miserables Representation at Dick Poplar's Burial Dedication Service
Remarks delivered by Patricia Buck at Dick Poplar's Headstone Dedication at Blandford Church, Petersburg, VA on September 18, 2004.

It is an honor to stand before you today and bring you greetings & a Southern Welcome from the Pt. Lookout POW Descendants Org! Our descendants org. is just a little over 13 yrs. old with 1200 members from 42 states and abroad. Our main goal is to get recognition for each and every Prisoner of War who was interred and/or perished at Pt. Lookout POW Camp in MD between 1863 & 1865.

One such POW, from Petersburg, Pvt. Richard "Dick" Poplar, is why we’re gathered here today. We’re gathered here to honor the services and sacrifices of this brave Confederate States of America Hero. Pvt. Poplar was a member of the 13th VA Cav. Co. H. At the outbreak of the war, he and hundreds of black soldiers left Petersburg, marching toward the depot, down Sycamore St. to the tune of "Dixie." They fought under the Confederate Battle Flag, made by the ladies of Petersburg’s Bollingbrook Street, where Dick had been a distinguished cook for many years. He was captured at the Battle of Gettysburg.

Upon his imprisonment, he was taunted by white and black guards alike, because at any given moment he could have walked out of that squander as a freed man, if only he’d take the oath of allegiance to the northern union. However, Pvt. Poplar, held firm to his beliefs, claiming that he was a "Jeff Davis Man and didn’t care who heard him say it." He spent many months as a Prisoner of War because....he believed in the Southern Cause and states rights and fought against an invading northern army under the Confederate Battle Flag to protect his city of Petersburg, his family, his friends and his native state of Virginia.

Dick Poplar, a brave soldier who was imprisoned in one of the largest POW Camps during the war and survived, was buried in one of Petersburg’s largest cemeteries..... for 118 years... without a headstone.

A POW who gave so much and asked nothing in return, certainly deserves a headstone and the tributes that we gather here to pay this loyal Son of the South.

Thank you for allowing me and our descendants organization to be part of this historical event. I’d like to invite everyone to Pt Lookout, MD where Dick was held prisoner, on Nov. 13th where our own Lee's Miserables reenactors will be portraying Dick and his fellow prisoners in our living history area.

I’m sure that Pvt. Dick Poplar is smiling down on us today and probably saying, "it’s about time!" Thank you and God bless...Patricia Buck.

Bob Harrison was the Guest Speaker delivering Dick Poplar's eulogy and did an excellent job! Bob is a member of our Speakers Bureau and gives programs on Dick Poplar.

 

A Colored Confederate's Death
Petersburg Index-Appeal (Local Newspaper)
May 23, 1886

"There died in this city Saturday morning at the residence of Mr. James Muirhead, a Virginian who cast his fortunes with the Confederacy, and endured many months of weary imprisonment rather than desert his friends and comrades in their misfortune. He was an honest, industrious man, highly esteemed by old Confederate friends and comrades. When he was taken sick a short time ago he was given a home and kindly treated by Mr. James Muirhead. His wants were supplied and the best medical attention also provided by a gentleman whom Richard cooked for during the war who was a member of the famous Sussex Light Dragoons, and with whom Richard was imprisoned for nineteen months. When the Sussex Dragoons were formed at the beginning of the war, and when they became Company H, of the Thirteenth Virginia Cavalry, Richard attached himself to the command. The Sussex Dragoons were a wealthy organization, and each member of the company had his own servant along with him. From April 1861, until the retreat after Gettysburg, Richard remained faithfully attached to the regiment. On the retreat, together with many members of the command, he was captured and carried to Fort Delaware, at which place he was confined as prisoner for five months. He was then taken to Point Lookout and kept there fourteen months, making his prison life nineteen months in all. He was a prisoner at the same time with many old comrades. During his confinement he was held in high esteem by both Confederates and the Federal troops who acted as the garrison. He extended many courtesies to the reserves who were captured on June 9, 1864, and carried to Point Lookout. He was often asked to take the oath of allegiance, release from prison being offered as an inducement. He stood firm to his convictions, however, and loyally remained with his friends, sharing their prison life. Richard was exchanged March 1, 1865, and returned to Petersburg, where he spent the remainder of his life. His funeral will take place this (Sunday) afternoon from Union Street Methodist Church at 4 o'clock, and six gentlemen who were Confederate soldiers will act as pall bearers, namely: Capt. E. A. Goodwyn, Capt. J. R. Patterson, Gen. Stith Bolling, Col. E. M. Field, and Mesrs. Jesse Newcomb and R. M. Dobie. The remains will be interred in Blandford cemetery near the plot where are now buried many of the Confederate dead. All acquaintances, both white and colored, especially the old confederate soldiers who knew and esteemed him in the brave days of "auld lang syne" are invited to attend the funeral."

pall bearers:
Colonel Everard Meade Field, Commander, 12th Virginia Infantry
Captain Edward A. Goodwyn, Company E, 13th Virginia Cavalry
Captain John R. Patterson, Provost Guard, 12th Virginia Infantry
Captain Stith Bolling, Company G, 13th Virginia Cavalry
Private Jesse Miller Newcomb, Company F, 13th Virginia Cavalry
Private Rufus M. Dobie, Company H, 13th Virginia Cavalry


Petersburg Index-Appeal
May 24, 1886

"The funeral of the late Richard Poplar, the colored Confederate soldier, a sketch of whose life was given in the last issue of the INDEX-APPEAL, took place from the Union Street Methodist Church, on Sunday afternoon and was very largely attended, there being a great number of white people in attendance including many ladies. The coffin was covered with beautiful flowers. The funeral service was conducted by the pastor of the church, whose remarks were both touching and appropriate."

 

Did Blacks Fight for Southern Independence

"Negroes in the Confederate Army," Journal of Negro History, Charles Wesley, Vol. 4, #3, (1919), 244-245- "Seventy free blacks enlisted in the Confederate Army in Lynchburg, Virginia. Sixteen companies [1600,ed.] of free men of color marched through Augusta, Georgia on their way to fight in Virginia."

At Confederate Mound at Indianapolis, Indiana, there are 26 Black Southerners, four Hispanics, and one Cherokee at rest with their white Confederate comrades-in-arms. Although the Blacks were listed universally as "Negro Servants" through the convention of Northern mindset of the 1930s, you will find those which cannot be explained as "servants." Since the death rate at Camp Morton was about 10% we can estimate that about 250 Black Southerners passed through there or were held there: "

KENTUCKY: Christian, J. (Negro Servant), Co. D, Morgan's 2nd Cavalry, d. 11/22/63
Vance, J.W. (Negro Servant), CSA Mail Carrier, d 3/14/64

MISSISSIPPI: Littleton, Solomon (Negro Servant), 3rd Inf., d. 1862 VIRGINIA
Mayo, Henry (Negro Servant), Co. G 36th Inf., d. 3/23/62

UNKNOWN UNITS : Frazier, George (Capt) (Negro Servant), CSA, d. 1863
Considering that the other Black Southerners listed were not listed in relation to any Confederate unit or with a specific occupation such as "Mail Carrier" it is unlikely these men so uniquely listed were personal servants, cooks, or the like. As for George Frazier it is likely that as Shelby Foote has said we will never know how or why he became listed with the rank of "Captain" following his name. None of the other Black Southerners buried there had any rank specified as if it might have been their master's rank. (However, Will McCormack reports that captain, major, minor, commodore, and general were common names given to male slaves.)

North Carolina Troops, Volume I: "When Fort Fisher fell to the Union troops in January, 1865, the following blacks are recorded (by Union forces] as being among the captured Confederates:

Charles Dempsey, Private, Company F, 36th NC Regiment (2nd NC Artillery), Negro. Captured at Fort Fisher January 15,1865 and confined at Point Lookout, MD, until paroled and exchanged at Coxes Landing, James River, VA, February 14-15, 1865.

Henry Dempsey, Private, Company F, 36th NC Regiment (2nd NC Artillery), Negro. Captured at Fort Fisher January 15,1865 and confined at Point Lookout, MD, until paroled and exchanged at Coxes Landing, James River, VA, February 14-15, 1865.

J. Doyle, Private, Company E, 40th NC Regiment (3rd NC Artillery), Negro. Captured at Fort Fisher January 15, 1865 and confined at Point Lookout, MD, until paroled and exchanged at Boulware's Wharf, James River, VA, March 16, 1865.

Daniel Herring, Cook, Company F, 36th NC Regiment (2nd NC Artillery), Negro. Captured at Fort Fisher January 15,1865 and confined at Point Lookout, MD, until released after taking Oath of Allegiance June 19, 1865"

Union forces carefully recorded three of them as soldiers ("Private") and took them as POWs, then paroled and exchanged them exactly as they did all other Confederates. They made certain to differentiate the cook from the enlisted Black soldiers. Perhaps some of them had been stationed there a very long time.

“The Daily Journal, Evansville, Indiana, November I, 1862: "... Now the news comes to us that seven regiments [7000, ed.] of negroes have been drilled by the rebel authorities to man their fortifications in North and South Carolina...seven regiments of negroes, armed and equipped, had arrived at Wilmington, N.C., to occupy the various rebel fortresses during the sickly season. Is anyone so ignorant as to suppose that the operations of these negroes are to be confirmed to the sickly season? Not a bit of it. They will be used in all seasons..."

Letter of Private Frank Bailey, 34th New York Infantry Regiment to his brother in Middleville, New York: - "West Point, Virginia, 12 May 1862 - I hear that the Rebels sent out a Regt. of ni**ers to fight our men and that they were as naked as when they were born, except the brogues on their feet, and they incited to all sorts of cruelty. It is said that they cut the throats of our wounded and then rob them of every article of any value. The soldiers are death on ni**ers now. If they catch a ni**er in the woods, and there is no officer near, they hang them without any ceremony. Now if this is true that the Southern chivalry as they style themselves put these ni**ers up to such deeds as this, may the curse of good light on them. It is worse than the English were in the Revolution to hire the Indians, but their race is about run when they stoop to such barbarism as that. Yesterday there was two ni**ers hung close by here by our men. One of them had $20.00 government note in his pocket. There is no mistake but the Rebels have black soldiers for I have seen them brought in as prisoners of war. I saw one who had the stripes of an orderly sergeant on his coat. I don't beliee in taking them prisoner, but kill them where ever they find them, that they may never more curse the land with their hateful presence."

Frederick Douglass, Douglass' Monthly, IV (Sept. 1861), pp 516 - "...there are at the present moment many colored men in the Confederate Army... as real soldiers, having muskets on their shoulders, and bullets in their pockets, ready to shoot down loyal troops, and do all that soldiers may do to destroy the Federal government... There were such soldiers at Manassas and they are probably there still."

Perryville: “This Grand Havoc of Battle," Kenneth W. Noe, The University of Kentucky Press, Lexington, KY, 2001 (page 270) - "The part of Adams' Brigade that the 42nd Indiana was facing were the 'Louisiana Tigers.' This name was given to Colonel Gibson's 13th Louisiana Infantry, which included five companies of' Avegno Zouaves' who still were wearing their once dashing traditional blue jackets, red caps and red baggy trousers. These five Zouaves companies were made up of Irish, Dutch, Negroes, Spaniards, Mexicans, and Italians."

From James G. Bates' letter to his father reprinted in the 1 May 1863 "Winchester [Indiana] Journal" (the 13th IVI "Hoosier Regiment"] was involved in operations around the Suffolk, Virginia area in April-May 1863 ) - "I can assure you [Father], of a certainty, that the rebels have negro soldiers in their army. One of their best sharp shooters, and the boldest of them all here is a negro. He dug himself a rifle pit last night [16 April 1863] just across the river and has been annoying our pickets opposite him very much to-day. You can see him plain enough with the naked ye, occasionally, to make sure that he is a "wooly-head," and with a spy-glass there is no mistaking him.

"Indianapolis Daily Evening Gazette" 12 March 1863 refers to the 5 March 1863 fight around Thompson's Station, near Franklin, TN The 85th Indiana Volunteer Infantry reported: "NEGRO REGIMENTS IN THE REBEL ARMY - During the fight the battery in charge of the 85th Indiana [Volunteer Infantry] was attacked by “two
Rebel negro regiments.” Our artillerists double-shotted their guns and cut the black regiments to pieces, and brought their battery safely off. ... It has been stated, repeatedly, for two weeks past, that a large number, perhaps one-fourth, of Van Dom's force were “ negro soldiers” and the statement is fully confirmed by this unfortunate engagement."

After the action at Missionary Ridge, Commissary Sergeant William F. Ruby forwarded a casualty list written in camp at Ringgold, Georgia about 29 November 1863, to William S. Lingle for publication. Ruby's letter was partially reprinted in the Lafayette (Missouri) Daily Courier for 8 December 1863: "Ruby says among the rebel dead In the [Missionary] Ridge he saw a number of negroes in the Confederate uniform."

Federal Official Records, Series I, Vol XVI Part I, pg. 805, Lt. Col. Parkhurst's Report (Ninth Michigan Infantry) on General Forrest's attack at Murfeesboro, Tenn, July 13,1862: "There were also quite a number of negroes attached to the Texas and Georgia troops, who were armed and equipped, and took part in the several engagements with my forces during the day."

Federal Official Records Series 1, Volume 15, Part 1, Pages 137-138, report of the Union commander: "Pickets were thrown out that night, and Captain Hennessy, Company E, of the Ninth Connecticut, having been sent out with his company, captured a colored rebel scout, well mounted, who had been sent out to watch our movements."

Federal Official Records, Series I, Vol. XLIX, Part n, pg. 253 - April 6, 1865: "The rebels [Forrest] are recruiting negro troops at Enterprise, Miss., and the negroes are all enrolled in the State."

Federal Official Records, Series I, Vol. XIV, pg. 24, second paragraph, Colonel B. C. Christ, 50th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, official report of May 30, 1862, Pocotaligo, SC., "It is also difficult to state the force of the enemy, but it could not have been less than from 600 to 800. There were six companies of mounted riflemen, besides infantry, among which were a considerable number of colored men."

From the diary of James Miles, 185th N.Y. V.I., entry dated January 8, 1865 - "Sargt said war is close to being over. Saw several negros fighting for those rebels."

Miami Weekly News of Miami, Missouri, September 01,1905 - "The following is an account of the Eighth Annual Quantrill's Raiders’ Reunion at Independence on August 25-26, 1905 : "Among those registered Friday morning were Captain Ben Morrow of Lake City, Lieutenant Lee Miller of Knobnoster, Hi George of Grain Valley, Sylvester Akers of Levasy, William Greer of Lexington, John A. Workman of Wellington, George (Jim) Holand of Kansas City (this the Negro spy Quantrill sent to Lawrence)..."

THE PICTORIAL BOOK OF ANECDOTES AND INCIDENTS OF THE REBELLION (p. 319) by Frazer Kirkland, 1889. A collection of Grand Army of the Republic - "NEGRO RIFLEMAN BROUGHT DOWN AT YORKTOWN - One of the best morning's work done at Yorktown was that of reducing to a state of perfect inutility in this mundane sphere, a rebel negro rifleman, who, through his skill as a marksman, had done more injury to our men than any dozen of his white compeers, in the attempted labor of trimming off the complement of Union sharpshooters.

Federal Official Records: Series 2, vol 6, Part 1 (Prisoners of War) p. 17-18 - "...before one single negro or mulatto was mustered into the U.S. service you had them organized in arms in Louisiana. You had Indians and half-breed negroes and Indians organized in arms under Albert Pike, in Arkansas. Subsequently negroes were captured on the battlefield at Antietam and delivered as prisoners of war at Aiken's Landing to the Confederate authorities, and receipted for and counted in exchange."

Federal Official Records, Vol. XIII, Chapter XXV, pg. 688, September, 1862 -"... We are not likely to use one negro where the rebels have used a thousand. When I left Arkansas they were still enrolling negroes to fortify the rebellion. "

Federal Official Records, Correspondence, Etc., Vol. II, pg. 218, July 11, 1862, Rich D. Yates, Governor of Illinois- "...they [the Confederacy] have, by means of sweeping conscription, gathered in countless hordes, and threaten to overwhelm the armies of the Union, with blood and treason in their hearts. They flaunt the black flag of rebellion in the face of the Government, and threaten to butcher our brave and loyal armies with foreign bayonets. They arm negroes and merciless savages in their behalf."

Federal Official Records, Vol. XIX, Chapter XXXI, pg. 617 - Record of the Harper's Ferry Military Commission (U.S.Army) Question. Do you know of any individual of the enemy having been killed or wounded during the siege of Harper's Ferry?
Answer. I have strong reasons to believe that there was a negro killed, who had wounded 2 or 3 of my men. I know that an officer took deliberate aim at him, and he fell over. He was one of the skirmishers of the enemy [Confederate, ed.], and wounded 3 of my men. I know there must have been some of the enemy killed.
Question. How do you know the negro was killed? Answer. The officer saw him fall."

Federal Official Records, Vol. XLI, Chapter LIII, pg. 670 - PATTERSON, [November] 24,1864 - "Colonel MAUPIN: I have arrived with my squad on return. Captain McClanahan has gone on the upper road for Pilot Knob; will all arrive there tomorrow. No rebel force below. We have turned up eleven bushwhackers to dry and one rebel negro. No man hurt on our side. The men are generally well."

Federal Official Records, Series 1, Volume 4, p.569 - Report of Colonel John W. Phelps, First Vermont Infantry: "CAMP BUTLER, Newport News, Va., August 1 I, 186 I - SIR: Scouts from this post represent the enemy as having retired. they came to New Market Bridge on Wednesday, and left the next day. They-the enemy-talked of having 9,000 men. They were recalled by dispatches from Richmond. They had twenty pieces of artillery, among which was the Richmond Howitzer Battery, manned by negroes. . . Their numbers are probably overrated; but with regard to their artillery, and its being manned in part by negroes, I think the report is probably correct."

Federal Official Records, Series 1, vol 35, Part I (Olustee), Page 442-443, S.C., FLA., AND ON THE GA. COAST. Chapter XLVII - Report of BG Asboth, USA. "...when I proceeded to Milton, Fla., a distance of 9 miles, and after rebuilding the destroyed bridge on the Arcadia Creek, I came upon the enemy, about 100 strong, and consisting of Captain Goldsby's (Alabama) cavalry company and a new militia infantry company, mounted...Having received early information of the arrival of two army steamers at Bayou Mulatte, the enemy had sent his stores on seven wagons in time toward Pollard, and seemed prepared and decided to accept a fight in the camp at the upper end of the town, but fled, upon our impetuous charge, in all directions. We pursued them closely for 7 miles, and captured 4 privates of Goldsby's company and 3 colored men, mounted and armed, with 7 horses and 5 mules with equipments, and 20 Austrian rifles."

Federal Official Records, Series I, Vol. XVII, Chapter XXIX, Pg. 635-637 - December 28, 1863 - "...It had to be prosecuted under the fire of the enemy's sharpshooters, protected as well as the men might be by our skirmishers on the bank, who were ordered to keep up so vigorous a fire that the enemy should not dare to lift their heads above their rifle pits; but the enemy and especially their armed negroes, did dare to rise and fire and did serious execution upon our men... The casualties in the brigade were 11 killed. 40 wounded, and 4 missing; aggregate, 55. - Very respectfully, your obedient servant, D. STUART, Brigadier-General, Commanding"

Federal Official Records, Series I, Vol. III, Correspondence, etc., pg 767-768 - "CAMBRIDGE, September 4,1863. His Excellency A. LINCOLN, President of the United States: ...excitement here growing out of the recruiting of colored troops, and as some of the recruiting officers are acting rather indiscreetly, I fear, by taking slaves in their recruits, and the slaves of loyal as well as disloyal persons...to enlist slaves as well as free people is creating a great deal of anxiety among the people... we ought to use the colored people, after the rebels commenced to use them against us. "

"The Negro as a Soldier" - Written by Christian A. Fleetwood, Sergeant-Major 4th U.S. Colored Troops, for the Negro Congress at the Cotton States and International Exposition, Atlanta, Ga., November 11 to November 23, 1895 - "It seems a little singular that in the tremendous struggle between the States in 1861-1865, the south should have been the first to take steps toward the enlistment of Negroes. Yet such is the fact. Two weeks after the fall of Fort Sumter, the 'Charleston Mercury' records the passing through Augusta of several companies of the 3rd and 4th Georgia Regt., and of sixteen well-drilled companies and one Negro company from Nashville, Tenn. The Memphis Avalanche and The Memphis Appeal of May 9, 10, and 11, 1861, give notice of the appointment by the'Committee of Safety' of a committee of three persons 'to organize a volunteer company composed of our patriotic freemen of color of the city of Memphis, for the service of our common defense.'"
Slave Narratives. July, 1937, interview with James Cape, former slave and by his own words Black Confederate combat soldier wounded in action: "One day Marster Bob comes to me and says, 'Jim, how you like to jine de army? You see, de war had started. I says to him 'What does I have to?' And he says, "Tend hosses and ride 'em' So de first thing I knows, I's in de army away off east from here [Southeast Texas].' . . . After I gits in de army, it wan’t so much fun 'cause tendin' horses and ridin' wasn' all I does. No, gar, I has to do shootin' and git shooted at! ... You's heard of de battle of Independence [Missouri]? Dat's whar we fights for three days and nights. I'se not tendin horses that time. Dey gives me a rifle and sends me up front fightin' , when we wasn' runnin! . . . I gits shot in de shoulder in dat fight... 'nother time we fights two days and nights..."

Slave Narratives, June 5, 1937 - Alexander B. Johnson, Birmingham, Alabama - "They is all gone, scattered. and old massa and missus have died Then de war came and we all went to fight the Yankees. I was a body servant to the master, and once a bullet took off his hat. We all thought he was shot but he wasn't, and I was standin' by his side all the time...I remember Stonewall Jackson. He was a big man with long whiskers, and very brave. We all fought with him until his death. We wasn't beaten, we was starved out! Sometimes we had perched corn to eat and sometimes we didn't have a bite of nothin', because the Union mens come and tuk all de food for theirselves. I can still remember part of my ninety years. I remembers dey fought all de way from Virginia and winded up in Manassah's Gap...In all de years since de war I cannot forget old massa. He was good and kind He never believed in slavery but his money was tied up in slaves and he didn't want to lose all he had...I knows I will see him in heaven and even though I have to walk ten miles for a bite of bread I can still be happy to think about the good times we had then. I am a Confederate veteran but my house burned up with de medals and I don't get a pension."

Reprinted in the Memphis Daily Avalanche, May 3rd 1861, pg. 3, col. 3 - "Free Colored Men. -A List of thirty-two worthy free negroes of this city, who have offered their services in the work of defense, or in any other capacity required. has been sent in to the Captain of the Woodis Rifles... They express an earnest desire to meet their Yankee enemies, or miserable sable brothers of the North, in a regular hand-to-hand fight. Some of those who have offered to serve in the cause of Southern honor have fought under the old flag...A large number of free negroes of Petersburg have expressed a desire to fight for the South, and we learn that 500 will come down as soon as the word is given... We noticed yesterday several colored men in uniform. They came as musicians with the gallant Georgia troops."

Memphis Daily Avalanche, April 23rd 1861, pg. 3, col. 2. - "An Enthusiastic Negro. - Jim Moore, a negro barber of Bolivar, Hardiman county, in this State, a slave of Dr. Thomas Moore, subscribed $50 for a military company to fight against Lincoln. He also visited Montgomery to see Jeff Davis inaugurated. With few exceptions such is the feeling of all our slaves, who are loyal to a degree that would astonish the fanatics of the North."

Letter from a Union soldier, published in the Indianapolis (Indiana) Star, December 23,1861: "Attack On Our Soldiers By Armed Negroes - A body of seven hundred [Confederate] Negro infantry opened fire on our men, wounding two lieutenants and two privates. The wounded men testify positively that they were shot by Negroes, and that not less than seven hundred were present, armed with muskets. This is, indeed a new feature in the war. We have heard of a regiment of [Confederate] Negroes at Manassas, and another at Memphis, and still another at New Orleans, but did not believe it till it came so near home and attacked our men."

Religious Herald, Richmond, VA, September 10, 1863 (From unedited microfiche of the original article): "To the Confederate army goes the distinction of having the first black to minister to white troops: “A correspondent of the soldier’s friend mentions a Tennessee reg. which has no chaplain; but an old negro, “Uncle Lewis,” preaches two or three times a week at night. He is heard with respectful attention —and for earnestness, zeal and sincerity, can be surpassed by none. Two or three revivals have followed his preaching in the regiment. What will the wise Christian patriots out of the army, who denounce those who wish to see competent negroes allowed to preach, as tainted with anti-slaveryism, say with regard to the true Southern feeling of that regiment, which has fought unflinchingly from Shiloh to Murfreesboro?'"

"Antietam and the Maryland and Virginia Campaigns of 1862 from the Government Records, Union and Confederate, Mostly Unknown and Which Have Now First Disclosed the Truth: Approved by the War Department:" Gaithersburg, MD, Isaac W. Heysinger, Olde Soldier Books, 1987., (Reprint of 1912 edition) - "At 4 o'clock this morning the Rebel army began to move from our town, Jackson's force taking the advance. The most liberal calculation could not give them more than 64,000 men. Over 3,000 Negroes must be included in the number. These were clad in all kinds of uniforms, not only cast off or captured United States uniforms, but in coats with Southern buttons, State buttons, etc. Most of the Negroes had arms, rifles, muskets, sabers, bowie knives, dirks, etc. They were supplied, in many instances, with knapsacks, haversacks, canteens, etc., and they were manifestly an integral portion of the Southern Confederacy army. They were seen riding on horses and mules, driving wagons, riding on caissons, in ambulances, with the staff of generals and promiscuously mixed up with all the Rebel horde."

"Civil War Curiosities," Webb Garrison, 1994, Rutledge Hill Press, pg. 107 - "Like some of their counterparts in the North, a few Southern officers made unofficial and irregular use of black soldiers. From start to finish, an estimated four hundred of them served in the Eighteenth Virginia and other units raised in the state."

Elgin (Illinois) Daily Courier-News, Monday, April 12, 1948 - "Robert (Uncle Bob) Wilson, Negro veteran of the Confederate army who observed his 112th birthday last January 13, died early yesterday morning in the veterans' hospital at the Elgin State hospital...He enlisted as a private in Company H of the 16th regiment of Virginia Infantry on Oct. 9, 1862 and discharged May 31, 1863. "

"Into The Fight - Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg; "John Michael Priest, White Mane Books, 1998, pp 128:, 130-131 "Color Corporal George B. Powell (14th Tennessee) went down during the advance. Boney Smith, a Black man attached to the regiment, took the colors and carried them forward... The colors of the 14th Tennessee got within fifty feet of the east wall before Boney Smith hit the dirt ---wounded. Jabbing the flagstaff in the ground, he momentarily urged the regiment forward until the intense pressure forced the men to lie down to save their lives."

"The Sable Arm: Black Troops in the Union Army, 1861-1865," written by D. T. Cornish. pp 16: "The scouts of the 1st Vermont Infantry reported a Richmond howitzer battery manned by Negroes at Newmarket Bridge, Virginia, in August (1861)."

The Chicago Tribune cited by the Leavenworth (Kansas) Daily Conservative, Sept. 13, 1861: "Negroes are employed by the thousands in the rebel armies to fight against the Union..."

The Leavenworth (Kansas) Daily Conservative, Oct. 6, 1861: "It is well known that negroes and Indians serve in the rebel army..."

"Between Two Fires - Black Soldiers in the Civil War, "Joyce Hansen, 1993, Franklin Watts, 42: "This war between the North and the South gave enslaved men and women an opportunity to take advantage of unstable conditions created by the warring whites. This was one way for some black people to initiate their march for their own freedom. Caught between two fires, they to find a way to survive the conflict. And for some, one way to survive was to volunteer to help the Confederates... The promise of freedom for themselves and their families was enough of an incentive to join the Confederate Army, and the Union had said that it was not fighting to end slavery."
" Negroes in the Confederate Army,"Journal of Negro History, Charles Wesley, Vol. 4, #3, (1919), 244: "The Governor of Tennessee was given permission in June 1861 to accept into the state militia black males between the ages if fifteen and fifty. The men were to receive eight dollars a month, plus clothing and rations."

The first law of the historian is that he shall never dare utter an untruth. The second is that he shall suppress nothing that is true.

...“The Early Dispatch”pg. 3-7, April 2005 {info derived from 37th TX web site}

   
 
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