When the Federals' final campaign against the city commenced in late March 1865, the post commander called for the organization of Creoles and free blacks into local defense companies. Maury assigned a person to organize the men reporting for duty and authorized these men to elected their own officers, as long as they chose white men. By April 8, one company (known as the Native Guards) had formed. Although the city's assistant chief of police served as company commander, the other officers were Creoles. There is no evidence that this unit saw any active duty, and it probably disbanded when the Federals occupied Mobile.
Confederate Mobile, p 106.
As Art notes, organizing Creole citizens of Mobile into a military unit had been a long-term goal. Earlier efforts to secure authorization from the War Department for such a command had come to naught. Here is relevant correspondence from Series IV of the Official Records:
Volume 1, pp 1087-88, 1111
MOBILE, April 23, 1862.
Hon. GEORGE W. RANDOLPH, Secretary of War:
I am well acquainted with G. Huggins Cleveland, who is anxious to raise a Creole battalion or regiment. He is a man of character and much respected, and will do good service in any station. I, too, highly approve of his plan. I know the character of the population he proposes to enlist, and think they will render as efficient aid as any class we have. If the rules of the Department will permit it, I hope he will be accepted.I am, yours, very respectfully,
MOBILE, ALA., April 23, 1862.
I can raise a battalion or regiment of Creoles, who are mixed blooded; all of them free under the treaty with France by which Louisiana was acquired. They are mostly property-holders, owning slaves, and a peaceable, orderly class, and capable of doing good service. They are as true to the South as the pure white race. As yet none of them have gone to the war, but have been anxious to do so. If such a battalion or regiment can be received, I can raise it in a few days. Please let me know if such material will be accepted.I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA, WAR DEPARTMENT, Richmond, Va., May 5, 1862.
Hon. E. S. DARGAN, Mobile, Ala.:
Your letter of the 23d ultimo, recommending that authority be granted to G. H. Cleveland to raise a battalion or regiment of Creoles, has been received. In reply I have the honor to inform you that the law does not permit the Department to accept any new corps.Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Volume 2, p. 941
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, Mobile, Ala., November 7, 1863.
General SAMUEL COOPER, Adjt. and Insp. Gen, C. S. Army, Richmond, Va.:
I again call your attention to my request to accept into the Confederate service the company of creoles of Mobile, because I think that perhaps the War Department is not exactly informed about the people I have reference to. When Spain ceded this territory to the United States in 1803, the creoles were guaranteed all the immunities and privileges of the citizens of the United States, and have continued to enjoy them up to this time. They have, many of them, negro blood in the degree which disqualifies other persons of negro race from the rights of citizens, but they do not stand here on the footing of negroes. They are very anxious to enter the Confederate service, and I propose to make heavy artillerists of them, for which they will be admirably qualified. Please let me hear at your earliest convenience if I may have them enrolled in a company, or in companies if I can find enough of them to make more than one company.I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
ADJUTANT AND INSPECTOR GENERALS OFFICE, November 20, 1863.
Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.
An application to have a company of Creoles at Mobile accepted into Confederate service.By order, & c.: JOHN W. RIELLY, Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
[NOVEMBER] 24, 1863.
Our position with the North and before the world will not allow the employment as armed soldiers of negroes. If these Creoles can be naturally and properly discriminated from negroes, the authority may be considered as conferred; otherwise not, unless you can enlist them as navvies (to use the English term) or for subordinate working purposes.J. A. S., Secretary.