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Black CSA Regiment at Bethel

The Richmond Daily Dispatch: January 21, 1862.

The African in the War.

--Two items of intelligence have recently appeared in which the individual facetiously called by our jolly neighbors of the North "contraband," figured largely, and in a manner incompatible with the Yankee ideas of the duty and inclination of that individual. A letter from a Yankee invader of the Peninsula describes the unfortunate expedition of a detachment of Gen. Wool's command in the ill-fated rout of Bethel. Among the direful incidents of the expedition was the encountering of a regiment of blacks, who "actually attacked, fired on, and wounded, the 20th Germans." The writer says he had heard of negro regiments at Manassas, at Memphis, and New Orleans, "but did not believe it until it came so near home," and their men were attacked by the contraband! Of course, all that this Yankee says about a negro regiment is false; but his statement will be startling to the Northern fanatics who have waged this war for the negro. They will consider him an ingrate and a base being after all !
It so happens, however, as we are enabled to state on the authority of an eye witness, that, in the particular fight referred to, there was one negro, and only one, in the Southern ranks, and hence the story that there was a regiment! Well, this is moderate, considering that Yankee accounts have generally no foundations at all. The loyal African referred to was a good shot, and as he "drew a bead" on his gun not less than thirty times, it is probable that he abolished at least that number of Yankees, and that they might have reasonably imagined that a whole negro regiment was firing into them. We have no doubt that everything about the Yankees looked very black just at that time.

David Upton