The Creole population of the South.
The word Creole signifies, we believe, native. In Louisiana and Mississippi every person born in the State is called a Louisiana or Mississippi Creole. Nothing is more common in the former of these States than to hear of "Creole Frenchmen," as distinguished from Frenchmen from France. In the same way they speak of Creole horses, Creole cattle, Creole sheep, &c. Out of Louisiana and Mississippi, however, the term seems to have a more limited significance, and a Creole is understood to be a person that has mixed African and European blood in his veins — precisely the same description of person, Indeed, with what is called a quadroon in New Orleans. In this sense it seems to be taken by Mr. Dargan, of Alabama, in the very important bill which he has introduced into the House of Representatives, and which is now before the Committee on Military Affairs. The object of the bill is to receive into the Confederate service all that portion of the population of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida, known as Creoles.
We have no means of estimating the number of men that the passage of this bill would place in the service of the Confederate States. We should suppose, however, that it would not fall short of 20,000. A large proportion of these persons are as white as anybody, having but a very small portion of African blood in their veins.--Many of them have large estates and own large numbers of slaves. Formerly — so far as regards Louisiana, at least — they were forbidden by law to intermarry with whites; but that law, we believe, has been repealed, and an enabling act passed in its stead. The better portion of them are a highly respectable class of people, and all of them, almost without exception, are warm Southern men, and eagerly desirous to bear arms in defence of the South. We learn from Gen. Dargan's speech that on a former occasion they applied through him to Gen. Randolph, at that time Secretary of War, for leave to enter the service. The application was rejected on the ground that it would afford a pretext to the enemy for arming our negroes. This objection, substantial enough at the time, has been obviated by the course of the enemy, who has already armed fifty thousand Southern slaves, and will arm all of them if he can. Application has since been made to the present Secretary, who rejects it because, says he,"the position we occupy before the world would be damaged thereby."
Before rejecting a bill which tends so materially to strengthen our muster list, we think it would be just as well to understand what is our "position before the world,"and as the Secretary seems to understand it better than anybody else, we hope he will enlighten us. To our simple apprehension it appears that "the world" assigns us no position at all. We are ignored by every power on the face of the earth, from England, France, and Russia, down to the dirtiest little tyrant whose five-acre patch of a kingdom is watered by the Elbe, the Oder, or the Wester. Our ships are scarcely allowed to touch at their ports, our representatives at their courts are insulted in every conceivable manner, we are universally styled the "so-called" Confederate States whenever it is necessary to speak of us at all in a public document, and in the Queen of England's speech this war is designated as "the civil war now raging in the United States." --Really, we should be obliged for any information as to that "position" whose requirements are so exacting as to deprive us of the services of twenty thousand brave soldiers at such a time as this.
Tuesday morning...December 29, 1863.
Confederate States Congress
Mr. Dargan, of Ala, presented a bill entitled an act to receive into the service of the Confederate States that portion of the population of the States of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Florida, known as and called Creoles. Referred to the Military Committee.