I have trouble with the adjective "loyal" black Southerners. I might ask loyal to what or to whom? I do agree that in many cases, my area of study has been Native-Americans in Federal and Confederate ranks, Native-Americans, Latinos and other ethnic groups were NOT segregated from the white troops and fought "shoulder to shoulder" with their white Confederate counterparts. From my "mixed-blood" perspective this point is interesting and noteworthy. With our modern and simplistic views of the Civil War and its causes, it is puzzling that the "racist South" and those defending the institution of slavery, were completely willing to accept minorities, in small numbers, in their combat ranks, while Northern units were far more officially segregated and only in a few cases allowed minorities to attain officer rank.
But, even in the case of the Native-Americans of the Indian Territory, you find a different definition of "loyal" Confederate Indians. From my study, the Native-Americans from the Indian Territory were LOYAL to their individual tribes and those tribes, primarily for pragmatic reasons based on their best guess of the ultimate winner, allied with the Confederacy. It is noteworthy, that the tribes of the Indian Territory, only pledged their allegiance to the Confederacy after the victories at 1st Manassas (Bull Run) and Wilson's Creek (Oak Hills).
I can accept your statement, without the "loyal" adjective and agree that slaves and FMOC were essential to the Confederate war effort. My problem is attempting to determine the "mind" of these supernumeraries and auxiliaries. Were they loyal to the Confederacy or were they in a state of enslavement, personal loyalty to a master, desirous of maintaining their ownership or property or a business or to protect and cast their family in a better light in the community where they lived?
I still am distrusting of the primary reason to promote or insinuate a large number of patriotic or loyal FMOC and even slaves were in Confederate camps or even in more than negligible numbers in Confederate ranks. Is this a defense of the right of the Southern states to secede according to the law and the Constitution or a way to justify or defend slavery on moral grounds? I am very confused why many of my fellow Southerners are so invested or need to create this "sable arm" of African-American involvement in and support of the Southern Cause?
Alan and I do not argue the point of the essential nature or large numbers of African-Americans in the camp, on the march or in the construction of defenses, etc. for the benefit of the Confederacy. I believe both of us are questioning statements that seem to insinuate a large number of Black Confederates under arms in Confederate ranks or the official recognition or desire by the Confederate government to raise black units until the very last days of the war.
So please explain how anyone can know the mindset of Black Confederates and apply the word "loyal"?