JakeO, I addressed this point earlier. You start out agreeing that blacks served, then, having set up your straw man, you wonder why no one could see him.
The reality of black troops fighting with other Confederates was not OFFICIALLY recognized, because it contradicted the common belief that blacks could not fight, or be trusted with arms if they did. When a black was found to be enlisted as a combat soldier, he was, at least at times, discharged and sent home. Thus the failure to list race on the rolls in some instances. Combat units wanted to keep their black troops, whom they knew and trusted. The government in Richmond could not bring them selves to the same mindset, until it was too late. The official position does not belie the facts. There just were not enough blacks, on the informal basis upon which they were used, to serve the needs of the Army. The use of a few, and the need for many, are not contradictory. The official approach to the problem simply showed the civil conditions of the times. We, from our modern upbringing, cannot comprehend the depth of feeling held by those in power. Hence it makes no sense to us. We are discussing something we mostly agree upon; the service of a few, the need for many, and the official denial of a solution until it was too late. Stan