The Civil War News & Views Open Discussion Forum

1st South Carolina Vols. (CSA)

I got a tip from an article in a 1969 magazine, NAACP's "The Crisis". An article nameed "Negro Soldiers In the Confederate Army" by 30 year researcher of the Civil War John A. Minion. In it is stated the first recorded Negro Confederate regiment in America [was]- The Native Guards, First Louisiana Volunteer Militia.

"U.S. Government records at a later date revealed only limited information. A paragraph in yellowed scroll tells of the desperation of the Confederacy in the final days of the war: it had hurriedly raised a battalion of Negroes in Richmond, Virginia, and hurled it against the Northern invaders.

A little further the page informs of another Negro company ready to assist the Confederate forces. It was the First Regiment: South Carolina Volunteers- Colonel D. H. Hamilton commanding. Another line for another black officer, one Colonel Gregg, regiment not known, but who had fought daringly for the South and gave his life on the field of Fredricksburg."

Also it mentioned a document discovered in 1905 in the War Department in Washington "revealed that the South had enlisted Negroes nearly one year ahead of The Army of The Potomac. More or the records began to reveal a plan by Confederate President Jefferson Davis to draft many Negroes into the Armed Forces. The plan was apparently shelved for the time being, for it has been shown that Davis had drafted them during Richmond's last days. A newspaper column printed at the turn of the century [1903 refers to the Davis plan and the reason for the shelving. The Confederate President had set aside the criticism of integrating the Confederate Army in the quest for manpower. He paid no attention to the others who accused him of "not distrusting the Negro." The problem was a domestic one. To draft the Negro slaves, Davis had reconsidered, would place the home front in jeopardy. Many of these were farm laborers and there were no replacements. To put them in uniform would surely result in depriving the South of its food supplies."

Author's Note: ...There were some 15 othe colored militias throughout the South but perhaps numbering no more than a total of 150 soldiers. The latter figure is based on less than a dozen black volunteers in a Mississippi militia. However, the number of colored troops composing the First South Carolina Volunteers and those used by Jefferson Davis for the defense of Richmond are not revealed.

I had no idea why 1st S.C. Volunteers was identified with having a Black company.The First Regiment South Carolina Volunteers under D. H. Hamilton would become 1st Regiment, South Carolina Infantry (McCreary's) (1st Provisional Army). Colonel Gregg- is obviously General Maxcy Gregg, Brigade commander. But I did some research and found it had a small company of musicians that apparently were all Black but I'm not quite sure. The following men I found to in the rolls of the 1st South Carolina and and according to records were Black.

William Rose, servant to General Gregg
Tobias Dawson, musician
Benjamine Franks, cook
Seymour Gardner, musician
Peter Mazych, musician
Auther Mitchell, musician
John Mitchell, musician (the 1860 census shows his occupation as musician)
Solomon Baker, servant to Major Hamilton, captured in Confederate uniform.

-----------Below are muscians I could not locate by census.

John F. Quinn, musician
Samuel Steed musician
Caleb Gilling, musician
John Graves, musician
Lymus Hicks, musician
William Emery or Emory, musician