The Civil War News & Views Open Discussion Forum

CHM-Black Confederates- Documentation

This article and statement at --
written by Mike Musick is just typical of the arguments you will see against the idea of Black Confederates. "The National Archives and Records Administration has a substantial, though scattered, set of records for “Black Confederates.” Thousands of body servants, laborers, cooks, musicians, teamsters, etc., encamped with and served the Confederate Army. But if one is looking for African Americans who were regularly enlisted to serve under arms, both the subject and the sources are problematic. To my knowledge, no NARA records have come to light that document the service of African-American soldiers fighting for the South to any significant degree."
We see that he gives the number "thousands", to that I agree. In my reserach to date I have somewhere around 10,000 Black Confederates from every job Musick has listed. These Negroes supported the Confederacy in many ways regardless of their status slave or free. But the thing with this article is Musick throws in another qualifier, ARMED. By doing this Musick believe he can just throw away the service of slaves.
Is that accurate? I think not. Before I post any names and service, let's take a look at some documentation that Musick and other Neo- Yankees seems to over look or dismiss.


This is the Union definition of a soldier. Should we think the Confederate definition is different?


6. In the fullest sense, any man in the military service who receives pay, whether sworn in or not, is a soldier, because he is subject to military law. Under this general head, laborers, teamsters, sutlers, chaplains, &c. are soldiers. In a more limited sense, a private soldier is a man enlisted in the military service to serve in the cavalry, artillery, or infantry. He is said to be enlisted when he has been examined, his duties of obedience explained to him, and after he has taken the prescribed oath.
General August Kautz's, USA,”Customs of Service, for Non-Commissioned Officers and Soldiers" (1864), page. 11

Makes good sense to me that both sides would look at a man service the same.
This is the Union view about arming slaves or freed slaves as the case would be.---

The Congressional globe 218-219 is a reference that Negro soldiers have been used before July 22, 1861.
"Confistication Of Property"

Mr. TRUMBULL. As the yeas and nays are called for, I will state simply what it is, and all there is of it. The amendment provides that if any person held to service or labor in any State, under the laws thereof, (by which, of course, is meant a slave in any of these States,) if employed in aid of this rebellion, in digging ditches or intrenchments, or in any other way, or if use for carrying guns, or if used to destroy this Government, by the consent of his master, his master shall forfeit all right to him, and he shall be forever discharged; and I am glad the yeas and nays are called to let us see who is willing to vote that the traitorous owner of a negro shall employ him to shoot down the Union men of the country, and yet insist upon restoring him to the traitor that owns him. I understand that negroes were in the fight which has recently occurred. I take it that negroes who are used to destroy the Union, and to shoot down the Union men by the consent of traitorous masters, ought not to be restored to them. If the Senator from Kentucky is in favor of restoring them, let him vote against the amendment.

Mr. "WILSON. I shall vote with more heart than I vote for ordinary measures, for this proposition. I hope the Senate and the House of Representatives will sustain it, and that this Government will carry it out with an inflexibility that knows no change. The idea that men who are in arms destroying their country shall be permitted to use others for that purpose, and that we shall stand by and issue orders to our commanders, that we should disgrace our cause and our country, by returning such men to their traitorous masters, ought not longer to be entertained. The time has come for that to cease; and, by the blessing of God, as far as I am concerned, I mean it shall cease. If there is anybody in this Chamber that chooses to take the other path, let him do it; let him know what our purpose is. Our purpose is to save this Government and save this country, and to put down treason; and if traitors use bondmen to destroy this country, my doctrine is that the Government shall at once convert those bondmen into men that cannot be used to destroy, our country.

I have no apologies to make for this position. I take it proudly. 1 think the time has come when this Government, and the men who are in arms under the Government, should cease to return to traitors their fugitive slaves, whom they are using to erect batteries to murder brave men who arc fighting under the flag of their country. The time has come when we should deal with the men who are organizing negro companies, and teaching them to shoot down loyal men for the only offense of upholding the flag of their country. I hope further, sir, that/there is a public sentiment in this country that will blast men who will rise in the Senate or out of it to make apologies for treason, or to defend or to maintain the doctrine that this Government is bound to protect traitors in converting their slaves into tools for the destruction of the Republic.

February 24, 1863.

The Debates and Proceedings of the 3rd Session of the 37th United States Congress, page 1255.

Now, a word in reply to the gentleman from Kentucky [Mr. MALLORY] on the employment of negroes in the Army. It seems, indeed, that no gentleman on that side can make a speech on any subject without having something to say about the negro. I call the attention of the gentleman to an extract from a letter I lately received from an officer of the Army with whom he and some of his colleagues are acquainted.
The extract is as follows:

“At Chickasaw Bluffs I sat on my horse and saw black men shooting our men. I saw the men of the fifty-fourth Indiana, sixteenth Ohio, and twenty-second Kentucky drop In their tracks under the fire of confederate ni--er butternuts."

I beg to call the attention of gentlemen also to the proceedings of the rebel congress on this subject:
”NEGRO Soldiers TO BE SOLD.—The confederate house of representatives have passed a bill authorizing the Impressment of slaves and property for the use of the army, and have adopted a resolution instructing the committee on the Judiciary to report a bill providing for the sale of all negroes taken in arms against the confederacy, the proceeds to be divided among the captors."

I have also seen a statement, which I believe to be correct, that the adjutant general of the rebel army had issued an order for the conscription as soldiers of all colored males of suitable age, having any white blood in their veins. They can find, plenty of that kind there, black enough to be slaves and white enough to shoot dawn the free white men of the North. Yet we are not to employ negroes in the Army!
Mr. YEAMAN. Am I to understand that the negroes who fought at Chickasaw Bluffs were in a Kentucky regiment on our side?

Mr. DUNN. No, sir. Negroes were in the ranks of the rebels, shooting down our soldiers from Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky.

Mr. WADSWORTH. I have never yet deemed the conduct of the rebels as worthy either of our admiration or imitation. There are few things, indeed, hitherto done by them that a true Kentuckian approve; and I beg to assure the gentleman that the employment of negroes as soldiers by traitors gives no additional sanction to such atrocious conduct, and I am truly glad that the gentleman has been compelled in his search for authority for this black business to resort to the ranks of the rebels.

Mr. DUNN. Sir, I am stating facts to show that our delicacy in regard to the employment of negroes in the military service is not reciprocated by our enemies. Under present circumstances, I care no more for the color of the man that fires a musket at our foe than I do for the color of the cannon that opens its road of death through their ranks.
February 24, 1863.

As you see I do not have to play with words or terms to make my point. My sources are solid and I stand behind them or on them whichever you prefer. Even those listed as slaves Musick cannot prove one way or the other if they were armed or not. That information is just not available. The fact of the matter is we have several WHITE MEN serving in the Confederate forces that may or may not be armed.

Tomorrow more documentation.