"It is now pretty well established, that there are at the present moment many colored men in the Confederate army doing duty not only as cooks, servants and laborers, but 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 to destroy the Federal Government and build up that of the traitors and rebels. There were such soldiers at Manassas, and they are probably there still. There is a Negro in the army as well as in the fence, and our Government is likely to find it out before the war comes to an end. That the Negroes are numerous in the rebel army, and do for that army its heaviest work, is beyond question. They have been the chief laborers upon those temporary defences in which the rebels have been able to mow down our men. Negroes helped to build the batteries at Charleston. They relieve their gentlemanly and military masters from the stiffening drudgery of the camp, and devote them to the nimble and dexterous use of arms. Rising above vulgar prejudice, the slaveholding rebel accepts the aid of the black man as readily as that of any other. If a bad cause can do this, why should a good cause be less wisely conducted? We insist upon it, that one black regiment in such a war as this is, without being any more brave and orderly, would be worth to the Government more than two of any other; and that, while the Government continues to refuse the aid of colored men, thus alienating them from the national cause, and giving the rebels the advantage of them, it will not deserve better fortunes than it has thus far experienced.--Men in earnest don't fight with one hand, when they might fight with two, and a man drowning would not refuse to be saved even by a colored hand."
Frederick Douglas, Douglass' Monthly, September 1861.
Levine neglects the evidence of the actions of local authorities in arming the Negroes who were free and the attitudes concerning those who were slaves; an important piece of this puzzle.
Also, I believe that those who believe in the large number of blacks serving the Confederate military, are adding the number of FMC who either volunteered or were conscripted to serve with the number of slaves that were impressed to serve. The former could not have exceeded 20,000 (1860 census for FMC by ages, 18-50) the latter was officially set by law at 20,000 and later requested to be increase to 40,000. The larger portion of the FMC were used in the capacity of civil servants, others as skilled labor in all aspects of supporting the war effort. The slave labor was for the most part used to support the military and government in manual labor. This is where I believe the number of 65,000 is being used. These men are not combat troops, but support. The Confederates did use FMC as teamsters to move their armies and as pioneers to build their bridges, temporary structures and defensive works. These men were recorded as performing their duties under fire.