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CheeseBoxRaft
11-22-2007, 05:52 PM
I don't find this the least bit funny. Especially since it will cost taxpayers thousands to repair. BTW: Black confederates are not a myth, they existed. I belive the scholarly debate is based upon whether significant numbers participated in combat. Their is ample proof that they served as teamsters, personal servants, and laborers.
David Long I find the entire "black confederate" debate to be rather troubling mostly because the credentialed scholars are not being listened to. Yes, blacks served in support roles for both sides throughout the war and most were paid for their service. Very few people dispute that. But, there were no significant numbers of black soldiers serving on the CS side. However, try to tell that to a member of the increasingly confrontational SCV and you will be shouted down as I was quite literally at a LH event back in September. I didn't even raise the subject... he did. The guy was obviously spoiling for a fight. Patiently and with as much decorum as I could muster I tried to approach the subject from an objective stance and he suddently became angry and defensive. He used profanity ("That's Yankee Bulls****!") and insisted that THOUSANDS of blacks wore grey and served in the ranks as soldiers, not just as laborors, servants or cooks. Oh, and by the way they were completely integrated with their white counterparts. (One wonders where Jim Crow came from in the post war years if blacks were so "equal" in the eyes of whites after the war. Oh, I forgot.... Jim Crow was a Yankee Carpetbagger law. :rolleyes: Not one white person in the south supported it. :shock: )

Oh, and in order to drive home the fact that Yankees as a general rule are right up there with the Nazis, he insisted that white officers of USCTs were all cold blooded murderers who would gun down any black who refused to join the Union army. Then, when I tried to calmly refute any incidents like that as being far beyond the norm and tell him about the book "Forged in Battle: the Civil War Alliance Between Black Soldiers and White Officers" by Joseph T. Glatthar, he called me a c*****s***** to my face and stormed off.

As a result of this incredibly weird incident, I for one am fed up with hearing about these legions of non-existant black confederate soldiers. All of this ahistorical twaddle is apparently now being dished out quite regularly at SCV meetings all over the country. Stalin himself would be proud of how they are re-writing history and brainwashing so many people.

- John Steadman

reb64
11-23-2007, 08:16 AM
there were no significant numbers of black soldiers serving on the CS side.
- John Steadman


What do you consider significant? How about the black troops mentioned on the pensisula campign by Frederick Douglas or individual stories such as "i shot that **** nig#er sniper today" at Suffolk in 1863, or the black scout that reconned Lawrence for Quantrill, or Forrest's bodyguard or the forced enlistments and kidnappings in the south? not rampant but of signficance.
You also mentioned Jim Crow laws which weren't confined to the south. It was more to do with sudden changes in demographics and economy and outside interference more than anything esle. The agreed upon outcome of a southern victory or other outcome other than surrender would have been a smoother gradual acceptance into society, freed slaves rather than the forced relationships created by a federal government that saw the end of slavery and then ended their commitment to the ex slaves once they were done with their military value, and abandone dthem to survive in ex confederate areas devastated by federal troops. sadly the ex slaves took the brunt of the resulting outlashing over the devastation.

jthlmnn
11-23-2007, 07:04 PM
What do you consider significant? How about the black troops mentioned on the pensisula campign by Frederick Douglas or individual stories such as "i shot that **** nig#er sniper today" at Suffolk in 1863, or the black scout that reconned Lawrence for Quantrill, or Forrest's bodyguard or the forced enlistments and kidnappings in the south? not rampant but of signficance.


(This is beginning to move off-topic from flags & statues and, if it continues in this vein, may be better placed in the whine cellar.)

I am restricting my response to just one aspect, quoted above: What number constitutes a significant number? Before attempting to continue the discussion, I believe it would be helpful to know what the actual numbers are. Combining navy with state and USCT regiments, the Union army can solidly document at least a couple hundred thousand uniformed, musket carrying, cannon firing, soldiers and sailors of African descent who enlisted. Maybe 20% of all union forces that served during the war. The muster rolls and other official documentation bear this out. Nobody I have read or that I have heard, or that I know disputes that this is a significant number. Now, how many can be solidly documented as having enlisted, been uniformed, and born or manned arms for the Confederacy? No contracted teamsters or blacksmiths, no slaves requisitioned from their masters, no personal servants. Out-and-out, no-doubt-about-it volunteer soldiers only. (And I am granting that were some, as I have seen the documentation.) Please restrict your answer to that number, as determined by those criteria. Then we can base further discussion on hard numbers, rather than anecdotal information and speculation.

reb64
11-24-2007, 03:23 PM
[ The US troops were transparent, USCT troop etc. Ive seen some of the cs rolls and unless the name is obvious its hard to tell who is balc white etc. A Johnson could be black white unless id'd. Your smart enough to know this stuff. Your also smart enough to look up he subject on the net an see what period observers saw, like Fred douglas, others who observed these troops. Pehasp less than 100000 is generally agreed upon. I have evn read accounts of US black troops vs CS black troops at Ft. Wagner. That wasn't shown on Glory. Anyhow there is enough on the net with doumentation. If you have a day off check it out. not alot but significant id say. I have a picture of a period monument of confederates with a black soldier in the ranks if you want to see it.

40AcreMule
11-24-2007, 08:27 PM
[ I have a picture of a period monument of confederates with a black soldier in the ranks if you want to see it. Yeah, I'd really like to see that. And it better not be the reb kissing the baby in the "mammy's" arms on the CS monument in Arlington cemetery either. :rolleyes:

- Randy

reb64
11-25-2007, 01:42 AM
might be the same,hats wrong with that? need email to send

sbl
11-25-2007, 12:00 PM
Robert,

That's a neat photo! I found a bigger version and he is carrying a weapon.

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/csa-mem04.jpg

sbl
11-25-2007, 12:08 PM
http://www.usgennet.org/usa/mo/county/stlouis/arlington3.jpg

jthlmnn
11-25-2007, 01:33 PM
Robert,

That's a neat photo! I found a bigger version and he is carrying a weapon.

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/csa-mem04.jpg

Help me out, Scott. Where is the weapon?

sbl
11-25-2007, 01:46 PM
http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/csa-memorial-01-062803.jpg

John,

This is the stature from another angle. The black soldier's rifle appears over the shoulder of the officer with the knapsack and the head of the black woman. Or so it appears to me.

sbl
11-25-2007, 01:47 PM
Photo from this site were reproduced reversed.

jthlmnn
11-25-2007, 02:43 PM
[ The US troops were transparent, USCT troop etc. Ive seen some of the cs rolls and unless the name is obvious its hard to tell who is balc white etc. A Johnson could be black white unless id'd. Your smart enough to know this stuff. Your also smart enough to look up he subject on the net an see what period observers saw, like Fred douglas, others who observed these troops. Pehasp less than 100000 is generally agreed upon. I have evn read accounts of US black troops vs CS black troops at Ft. Wagner. That wasn't shown on Glory. Anyhow there is enough on the net with doumentation. If you have a day off check it out. not alot but significant id say. I have a picture of a period monument of confederates with a black soldier in the ranks if you want to see it.

As I said, I have seen documentation that verifies the presence of Black Confederates under arms. I have also seen the sites that estimate something under 100,000. If the 100,000 includes all Blacks who served in any capacity (soldiers, servants, contracted labor, etc.), voluntary or not, then its credible. If we are speaking of enlisted men (voluntary enlistment), under arms, whose intended use was that of a soldier, then 100,000 is, IMHO, grossly inflated. There is no solid foundation (documentation) for the estimates. They are pulled out of thin air and from all appearances, wishful thinking.

You are absolutely correct in that searching the muster rolls to determine race is difficult, because you do not see many notations as to race. Possible explanations for this:
1) The record keepers were universally sloppy and lazy
2) The national and state political & military leaders, plus the bureaucrats, did not care about race, so the distinction was unnecessary
3) These same leaders & bureaucrats, while happy for the help, did not want to admit that they needed Black manpower in the lines, much less admit that Blacks could and did function as well as White soldiers
4) There weren't any Black soldiers (as definied above and in earlier posts) in these units

Of the four, #1 is very unlikely. Some sloppiness/laziness, sure, but not that universal. Even less likely is #2, as race was very important to Southern society & politics long before, during, and long after the war. If we accept #3, well, blame them for doing such a good job of it that you cannot possibly prove your point 145 years later. I have a healthy skepticism about conspiracy theories in general, however, especially those of such grand scale. So, following the rule of thumb that the simplest explanation is most likely the accurate one, we are left with #4.

jthlmnn
11-25-2007, 03:08 PM
http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/csa-memorial-01-062803.jpg

John,

This is the stature from another angle. The black soldier's rifle appears over the shoulder of the officer with the knapsack and the head of the black woman. Or so it appears to me.

Thanks Scott.

I am seeing it differently, however. To me, it appears that all the other soldiers are carrying their rifles on the right. (This alone does not preclude one of them being portrayed carrying on the left.) I am wondering also about the "officer". The other officer on the monument has a very different sword, and is not carrying a knapsack. (Also not definitive on its own.) Then I look at the angle of the arms holding the rifles. What I end up seeing is an NCO carrying his rifle on the right side, like the others. The Black soldier (or uniformed person, role undetermined) to his right does not appear, from these photos, to be carrying a rifle. Totally subjective opinion, subject to further elucidation and edification. (Still, GREAT photos. Thanks for bringing it into the discussion, Robert.)

sbl
11-25-2007, 03:23 PM
You know, on a second look...the musket really DOESN'T appear to line up with the black figure! Thanks for pointing that out.

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/csa-mem04.jpg

jthlmnn
11-25-2007, 03:38 PM
I believe the fourth photo in the series after (below) the text about the memorial's history, http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/csa-mem.htm , gives a clearer view. Nice shots of all aspects of the memorial throughout the series

TexConfederate
11-25-2007, 11:33 PM
I find the entire "black confederate" debate to be rather troubling mostly because the credentialed scholars are not being listened to. Yes, blacks served in support roles for both sides throughout the war and most were paid for their service. Very few people dispute that. But, there were no significant numbers of black soldiers serving on the CS side. However, try to tell that to a member of the increasingly confrontational SCV and you will be shouted down as I was quite literally at a LH event back in September. I didn't even raise the subject... he did. The guy was obviously spoiling for a fight. Patiently and with as much decorum as I could muster I tried to approach the subject from an objective stance and he suddently became angry and defensive. He used profanity ("That's Yankee Bulls****!") and insisted that THOUSANDS of blacks wore grey and served in the ranks as soldiers, not just as laborors, servants or cooks. Oh, and by the way they were completely integrated with their white counterparts. (One wonders where Jim Crow came from in the post war years if blacks were so "equal" in the eyes of whites after the war. Oh, I forgot.... Jim Crow was a Yankee Carpetbagger law. :rolleyes: Not one white person in the south supported it. :shock: )

Oh, and in order to drive home the fact that Yankees as a general rule are right up there with the Nazis, he insisted that white officers of USCTs were all cold blooded murderers who would gun down any black who refused to join the Union army. Then, when I tried to calmly refute any incidents like that as being far beyond the norm and tell him about the book "Forged in Battle: the Civil War Alliance Between Black Soldiers and White Officers" by Joseph T. Glatthar, he called me a c*****s***** to my face and stormed off.

As a result of this incredibly weird incident, I for one am fed up with hearing about these legions of non-existant black confederate soldiers. All of this ahistorical twaddle is apparently now being dished out quite regularly at SCV meetings all over the country. Stalin himself would be proud of how they are re-writing history and brainwashing so many people.

- John Steadman


John:

There is a famous quote from Frederick Douglas speaking of "colored" soldiers armed and fighting for the Confederacy. That would seem to be a credible reference.....

Milliron
11-26-2007, 12:52 AM
I suggest reading Gary Yee's excellent article in this summer's CMH Journal entitled "The Black Confederate Sharpshooter." Accounts of negroes serving as sharphooters in the Confederate Army are fairly widespread, although I would question any statement that they existed in large numbers.

WestTN_reb
11-26-2007, 01:32 AM
I have evn read accounts of US black troops vs CS black troops at Ft. Wagner. That wasn't shown on Glory. Anyhow there is enough on the net with doumentation. If you have a day off check it out.
Check out the following link:Black Confederate Soldiers (http://www.geocities.com/pentagon/bunker/1163/black.html#indv)
There are several documented black soldiers listed on this site. My favorite one is number 5.
John Wilson Buckner (5)
Free man of color, Private, 1st South Carolina Artillery
Wounded in action July 12, 1863, defending Battery Wagner against the 54th Massachusetts

HighPrvt
11-26-2007, 07:38 AM
Here's a question to ponder. If there were so many black soldiers serving in the ranks, then why was Cleburne chastised for his proposal at Dalton?

tompritchett
11-26-2007, 11:55 AM
Here's a question to ponder. If there were so many black soldiers serving in the ranks, then why was Cleburne chastised for his proposal at Dalton?

Because he was proposing arming slaves not freemen. States like Mississippi and South Carolina where slaves outnumbered whites were especially fearful of the idea slaves ever getting access to firearms. Even though it occurred over a half a century earlier, the South still remembered the Haiti slave revolt, especially after events such as the Nat Turner revolt and John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry.

Malingerer
11-26-2007, 12:24 PM
Because he was proposing arming slaves not freemen. States like Mississippi and South Carolina where slaves outnumbered whites were especially fearful of the idea slaves ever getting access to firearms. Even though it occurred over a half a century earlier, the South still remembered the Haiti slave revolt, especially after events such as the Nat Turner revolt and John Brown's raid on Harpers Ferry.
With respect, I must disagree - WHT Walker made it clear in his objections to Cleburn's proposal, that if Cleburn's plan was adopted then the entire raison d'etre for the existence of the Confederacy would be forfited. Walker was proud to fight for a nation commited to the protection of slavery and therefore, if slaves could fight their way to freedom then there was nothing inherent in their race itself to warrant their being slaves in the first place. In Walker's world, if you were born black, then you were only fit for slavery. Period. One could not, through their good works or otherwise, raise themselves up to freedom.

tompritchett
11-26-2007, 03:54 PM
One could not, through their good works or otherwise, raise themselves up to freedom.

But there were free blacks in all the Confederate states as of the 1860 census. Granted they were a small minority of the black populations in each state. Some may have even owned slaves themselves (my few records on this point predate the Civil War). My point was that, while there might not have been a problem with this small minority of non-slave blacks fighting in ranks, it was Cleburn's proposal to free slaves to use as soldiers that caused the objections and not just the use of blacks. The latter could easily be over-looked but any act that freed slaves would quickly draw attention.

Malingerer
11-26-2007, 04:24 PM
But there were free blacks in all the Confederate states as of the 1860 census. Granted they were a small minority of the black populations in each state. Some may have even owned slaves themselves (my few records on this point predate the Civil War). My point was that, while there might not have been a problem with this small minority of non-slave blacks fighting in ranks, it was Cleburn's proposal to free slaves to use as soldiers that caused the objections and not just the use of blacks. The latter could easily be over-looked but any act that freed slaves would quickly draw attention.
I take your point - and, no doubt, for many, this was an important consideration. But, for many, (like W.H.T. Walker) freedmen were, themselves, an anethma to the whole principle of Negro slavery - they simply weren't fit for freedom. I wish I could remember who said it, but I recall one leading Confederate saying that if slaves will make good soldiers then the idea behind the Confederacy is wrong.
As to the broader point of this thread - the notion of thousands of Blacks (free or otherwise) serving under arms in the Confederate Army is simply ludicrous. Me thinks I smell an agenda

Doug Cooper
11-26-2007, 04:48 PM
I wish I could remember who said it, but I recall one leading Confederate saying that if slaves will make good soldiers then the idea behind the Confederacy is wrong.
As to the broader point of this thread - the notion of thousands of Blacks (free or otherwise) serving under arms in the Confederate Army is simply ludicrous. Me thinks I smell an agenda

Alexander Stephens, CS Vice President, said it. One could easily argue that the soldier was the beau ideal of southern manhood and service. If a black man could reach that beau ideal, it made a mockery of the entire theory of negro servitude, for which at least the politicians said they were fighting to preserve. Putting guns in the hands of slaves or even freedman also ignited the deep seated fears of slave rebellion (Nat Turner, John Brown and other heroes or villians, depending on the point of view).

The CS government reasoned correctly that suddenly offering inferior folks (or so their theory goes) to defend with guns and their lives the very folks who made them and kept them slaves was not going to fool anybody or any country, and would have simply not worked. The 11th hour move to do so was the ultimate act of desperation.

To suggest otherwise is the ultimate set of blinders

vamick
11-26-2007, 04:48 PM
Me thinks I smell an agenda

Oh you've hit that nail square! theres an 'agenda' afoot here alright and in many readings of your posts Im glad to see we agree!...as to who's agenda?, well a mirror will help in determining that lad. :rolleyes:

Theres no need for "rabid comfederate bashing" nor "Cursing of Bluebellys" there were undoubtedly "persons of color" under arms in the confederate armies during the war! its the numbers that are the problem, and we probably will never know for sure exactly how many.... hundreds of thousands sound 'high' to me...but that is also conjecture

Doug Cooper
11-26-2007, 05:03 PM
.... hundreds of thousands sound 'high' to me...but that is also conjecture

Yeah, considering that there were only a bit more than 900,000 total CS soldiers to begin. That and the fact that no Union soldier, from private to US Grant ever reported fighting a black unit, let alone a unit with more than a tiny number of blacks "soldiers." One would have thought that somebody, anybody would have noticed that 1 in 4 rebs was black...

Then again, maybe all 1.7 million surviving yanks, their families, all the newspapers and politicians and the other 18 million northerners got together and agreed to never mention it...

...and convinced the 10.8 million surviving southerners to only bring it up after 120 years or so...

Malingerer
11-26-2007, 05:15 PM
Oh you've hit that nail square! theres an 'agenda' afoot here alright and in many readings of your posts Im glad to see we agree!...as to who's agenda?, well a mirror will help in determining that lad. :rolleyes:

Theres no need for "rabid comfederate bashing" nor "Cursing of Bluebellys" there were undoubtedly "persons of color" under arms in the confederate armies during the war! its the numbers that are the problem, and we probably will never know for sure exactly how many.... hundreds of thousands sound 'high' to me...but that is also conjecture
Well, as a Confederate reenactor, native Mississippian, and proud descedent of a wounded Confederate veteran, I gotta' wonder what you think my agenda is? Getting at the truth is not "Confederate bashing". But, creating a 'Yeti-like' mythological species (Black Confederates under arms) serves only to make us look foolish in the eyes of the entire world. There is a whole world of things we can (as Southerners) take pride in - we don't have to make it up.

vamick
11-26-2007, 05:19 PM
Alexander Stephens, CS Vice President, said it. One could easily argue that the soldier was the beau ideal of southern manhood and service. If a black man could reach that beau ideal, it made a mockery of the entire theory of negro servitude, for which at least the politicians said they were fighting to preserve. Putting guns in the hands of slaves or even freedman also ignited the deep seated fears of slave rebellion (Nat Turner, John Brown and other heroes or villians, depending on the point of view).

The CS government reasoned correctly that suddenly offering inferior folks (or so their theory goes) to defend with guns and their lives the very folks who made them and kept them slaves was not going to fool anybody or any country, and would have simply not worked.

To suggest otherwise is the ultimate set of blinders

And that is true..for those fire eaters like Stephens who thought that way..but Stephens, nor ole WHT Walker ( roundly hated BTW by many of his peers) was "the Confederacy" in toto!...just as "Black Republicans" or "Jawhawkers" or radical abolishionists were not 'the Union" in toto..we both had our share of radicals, fireaters,saints, and derelicts!:o using quotes by a 'certain set' to show some blanket picture is also "blinderism" Im sure many many things motivate a man to risk his neck in a war, particularly a war of this sort! Im sure many African Americans thought that their lot would be better if they partook bravely ( shades of the American revolution) Im sure many saw it as the "Manly Thing"! perhaps they were concerned just howtheir families might be treated by troops on either side ( tho you can only run and hide so long) but I tend to believe the people of the time! and if Fredrick Douglas thought there were blacks under arms then arent we a lil blinderish here and now to call him a blackfaced liar?..no pun intended:shock: I dont see why this thing comes up as such a flaming flame bait issue time and time again unless...'some of us' DO have lil modern day agendas:shock: ..sorta like

" The whole confederacy was nothing but slave owning racists and bigots and throughly populated by hateful and sub human enslavers of the African race and I detest them and any ancestors I may have who were with them and if you say there were any who live there who were not of this mold then you are a racsist or bigot or neo whatever fill in the blank!"
..OR...

"the entire Union was comprised of evil men who could think of nothing better than rapine and arson, burning out every farm they came upon and were intent upon destroying American government as was concieved by our fore fathers and pressing each and every southerner under the tyrants heel! they were murderers of women and children and enjoyed nothing better than kicking lil animals into their pagan campfires whilst singing songs to an effigy of Abe Lincoln who BTW was just america's stalin/ lite!"

these are where the blinders grow, the truth of both sides is much more compelling and wont fit our bumpersticker modern agenda drivel minds its time we got out of 'Hannity and Colms" and Bill ORielly" "smak down oneliner BS history" and started where all history starts...... with individual people! with all their flaws and complexities!

vamick
11-26-2007, 05:23 PM
Then again, maybe all 1.7 million surviving yanks, their families, all the newspapers and politicians and the other 18 million northerners got together and agreed to never mention it...

...and convinced the 10.8 million surviving southerners to only bring it up after 120 years or so...


THATS IT!!! YOUVE SOLVED IT!:p

Malingerer
11-26-2007, 05:39 PM
Well Doug, you tried the calm, rational, mature approach. How's that working out so far?

WestTN_reb
11-27-2007, 01:51 AM
There was a gent at Fort Pillow several years ago who was making a film. Some of you may have heard of it, Black Confederates: The Forgotten Soldiers in Gray. I had the priveledge of speaking to this gent for a good bit of time. IIRC, he stated that the number of black Confederates was somewhere around 30,000. This, he said was based upon state pension records after the war. Many served in non-combat roles such as wagon drivers, cooks, etc.

I read an account many years ago about a battle in Tennessee, where as the army was being flanked, the wagon drivers and cooks armed themselves with captured Federal weapons and were thus able to hold said flank until regular troops could take their place. I'll see if I can find the book that came from.

Pvt Schnapps
11-27-2007, 04:29 AM
I think we've ended up discussing several different phenomena here.

The term "Black Confederates" suggests black supporters of the Confederacy. No one has presented any numbers of these.

I have seen several numbers thrown out of blacks employed by the Confederacy or the Confederate Army, which is an entirely different thing, as it would include slaves, conscripted or hired. No one denies that the Confederacy used slaves in its war effort. Given the logistical and construction needs of the Confederate army, the conscription of most white men, and the availability of slave labor, this could be a huge number. But to call them "Black Confederates" strikes me as a bit misleading, and does no justice to them or to the Confederacy as a whole.

Earlier I saw a total of 11 blacks listed as in the service of the Confederate Army, including a mix of enlisted soldiers and personal attendants. This is interesting, but underscores just how negligible they were -- something less than the number of vivandiers and female soldiers.

In my own readings I've come across reference in James Jones (Rebel War Clerk's Diary) to a couple of companies of black soldiers raised in 1865. In another work whose name escapes me now, I saw reference to a similar force of black soldiers in the Appomattox campaign -- perhaps the same -- who fired a volley or two before surrendering to Union cavalry.

This would be a fascinating unit to study, and I wish everyone who spent even a few minutes making unsubstantiated generalizations about the number of "Black Confederates" would spend just a part of that time digging up the facts. Who were these men? What unit was it? Are there any records of their motivations? What happened to them afterward?

In the meantime, as far as the suggestion that there were numerous black supporters of the Confederacy, until someone can bring different facts to the table, I think we have to call this one busted.

Doug Cooper
11-27-2007, 06:54 AM
[QUOTE=Pvt Schnapps]I think we've ended up discussing several different phenomena here.

The term "Black Confederates" suggests black supporters of the Confederacy. No one has presented any numbers of these.

I have seen several numbers thrown out of blacks employed by the Confederacy or the Confederate Army, which is an entirely different thing, as it would include slaves, conscripted or hired. No one denies that the Confederacy used slaves in its war effort. Given the logistical and construction needs of the Confederate army, the conscription of most white men, and the availability of slave labor, this could be a huge number. But to call them "Black Confederates" strikes me as a bit misleading, and does no justice to them or to the Confederacy as a whole.

Earlier I saw a total of 11 blacks listed as in the service of the Confederate Army, including a mix of enlisted soldiers and personal attendants. This is interesting, but underscores just how negligible they were -- something less than the number of vivandiers and female soldiers.
In another work whose name escapes me now, I saw reference to a similar force of black soldiers in the Appomattox campaign -- perhaps the same -- who fired a volley or two before surrendering to Union cavalry.

This would be a fascinating unit to study, and I wish everyone who spent even a few minutes making unsubstantiated generalizations about the number of "Black Confederates" would spend just a part of that time digging up the facts. Who were these men? What unit was it? Are there any records of their motivations? What happened to them afterward?

QUOTE]

Chris Caulkins talks to this unit in his various excellent treatments of the Appomattox Campaign. There were at least 3 companies raised in Richmond, and at least one of them joined the retreat as wagon guards. They were confronted with US cavalry attacking the train and quickly surrendered. No word on if they suffered any casualties but the description of the action sounds like "no." I will find some quotes tonight.

8th TexCav
11-27-2007, 09:01 AM
Wow, this thread took a turn since the last time I checked it. Next time I'll take my seizure medication before reading this early in the morning!

sbl
11-27-2007, 09:16 AM
Gary,

Off Topic.

They're spelled.......'HANNITY and colmes!' (caps and lower case.) :)

Dunn Browne
12-02-2007, 12:53 AM
In the North a good number of Native Americans were put in colored regiments. I wonder if some of the men of color spotted in the Confederate ranks where Native Americans mistaken as colored troops or perhaps just generically lumped together?

FloridaConfederate
12-02-2007, 01:06 AM
The siege of Yorktown. May 17, 1862

The papers bring nothing new respecting affairs about Yorktown, though we find several letters from that neighborhood, under dates of April 28 and 30, containing the usual amount of romance and bombast. We copy one or two paragraphs:

Within the last two or three days a brass band has been heard every morning and evening playing lively airs in Yorktown. The yellow flag, which is the token for a hospital, now flies from the roof of nearly every house there; but one rag, known as the rebel ensign, floats to day over their works there.

This morning, about 9 o'clock, a popular brigade advanced beyond our rifle pits, the enemy appearing in force below the "dam." This brigade was sent out to watch their movements. About 10 o'clock heavy musketry firing commenced and lasted about one hour.

About 11 o'clock the enemy sent up their miserably constructed and ill shaped balloon. It was up about one minute, and down quick. About ten minutes after it again appeared, staying up an minute. The shape of this balloon is not unlike to two Sibley tents sewed together at the butts, being pointed at each end. It is like everything else manufactured at the South in its infancy.

The negro sharp-shooters were again in their position among the enemy. Our soldiers dislike very much to be shot by negro soldiers. When a negro is knocked over our men cry out "Set up another n_gger."

After considerable further indulgence of frenzy, the writer gives the names of several Yanks who were killed or wounded in the skirmish on this occasion, from which it would appear that they had the worst of it. The letter concludes:

The object of this reconnaissance was for the purpose of destroying a lot of low bushes and brush, as the enemy had been in the habit of crawling up on their hands and knees and popping off our pickets. The expedition was successful. The brush and trees were removed, and now our pickets watch without fear or favor.

A Lieutenant of artillery, belonging to a Rhode Island battery, was badly wounded this morning.

The report of Major Cassady's return, wounded, was not true. He is yet with the enemy. He was formerly one of the editors of the Albany Argus and Atlas. It looks very black on the part of both the Major and Colonel Crocker. Their friends are in hopes that it will turn out all right yet.

FloridaConfederate
12-02-2007, 01:30 AM
Jeff. Davis's "Black Battalions."

The Nashville Union. March 20 , 1863

In view of the negro regiment bill it is peculiarly racy:

During the fight the battery in charge of the 85th Indiana was attacked by two rebel negro regiments. Our artillerists double shotted their guns and cut the black rebels to pieces and brought their battery safely off. It has been stated repeatedly, for the past two weeks that a large number, perhaps one fourth of Van-Dorn's forces were negro soldiers; and the statement is fully confirmed by this unfortunate engagement.

The Southern rebels have forced their miserable negroes to take up arms to destroy the Government and enslave us and our children.

Freemen of the North and of the South! does it not make your blood boil in your veins like a flood of fiery lava? Does it not make your hearts swell with indigestion, that your liberties, your Government, and your happiness, should be destroyed by the negro troops of Jeff Davis?

Will you stand it? Will you brook the outrage in quiet? Will you suffer your flag to be torn down and trodden under foot by the black battalions of Van Dorn? People of the North! shall rebel negroes slay your sons and strip their bodies on the battle field? Send out your new armies by millions--send them no more by regiments, or by brigades, or by divisions, but by millions! Let the tramp of your loyal armies cause the hills of the South to shake to their foundations, and the valleys to tremble to their centres! Rally to the defence of the dear old flag! Hesitate no longer!--Let history not record that while slavery was the cause of the rebellion and slaveholder the prime mover of the rebellion, you were such degenerate dastard, as to allow negro slaves to be the instruments of your country's downfall, and the agency which made the rebellion so successful.

Oh, consistency, what a jewel!

FloridaConfederate
12-02-2007, 02:11 AM
An Appeal to the People - March 5, 1865

It will be seen by the Order of the Secretary of War, published about the undersigned have been authorized to proceed at once with the organization of Companies composed of persons free and slave, who are willing to volunteer under the recent acts of Congress and the Legislature of Virginia. It is well known to the country that Gen. Lee has evinced the deepest interest or less subject, and that he regards prompt action in this matter, as vitally important to the country. In a letter address of him to Lt. Gen. Ewell, dated March he says,--I hope it will be found practicable to raise a considerable force to Richmond. I attach good importance to the result of the first experiment, and nothing should be done to make it successful. The this can be accomplished the better.

The undersigned have established a rendezvous on 21st, between Main and Cary streets, at the building known as "Smith's Factory;" and every arrangement has been made to secure the comfort of the new recruits, and to prepare them for service. It is recommended that each recruit be furnished when practicable, with a grey jacket and pants, capital blanket, and good serviceable pair of shoes, but no delay should take place in forwarding the recruits in order to these articles.

The governments. Confederate and State, having settled the policy of the employing this element of strength, and the class of our population having given repeated evidence of their willingness to take up arms in the defence of their homes, it is believed that it is only necessary to put the matter before them as a proper light to cause them to rally with enthusiasm for the preservation of the homes in which they have been borned, raised, and in which they have found intendment and happiness; and to see themselves and their race from the barbarous cruelty invariably practised upon them by a perfidious enemy thought to be their friends.

Will not the people of Virginia, make hour of peril and danger, promptly respond to the call of our loved General-in-Chief, and the demands of the Confederate and State governments.

Will those who have freely given their sons and brothers, their money and their property, to the achievement of the blue ties of their country, now hold back from the cause their servants, who can spared, and who will gladly and in binging this fearful war to a speedy and glorious termination.

Lat every man in the State consider himself a recruiting officer, and entitle once upon the duty of aiding in the organization of this force, by sending forward recruits to this rendezvous.

Every consideration of patriotism the independence of our country, the safe of our homes, the happiness of our families, and the sanctify of our president to prompt to immediate and energetic action for the people but be true to themselves, and to the claims of duty, and our independence will be speedily secured, and peace be restored within our borders.

J. W. Pegram.


Maj.


Th. P. Turners.


Maj. P. A.
mh 16--6t [/I]

Christopher Rideout

FloridaConfederate
12-02-2007, 02:18 AM
March 28, 1865 - Augusta (Georgia) Constitutionalist we find the annexed Savannah news



News:

"Eggs are selling at $1.50 per dozen; flour, $16 to $18 per barrel; Irish potatoes, $4 per barrel.

"Stringent orders have been issued against all letters, newspapers, and other documents, being sent without the city.

"Negro soldiers are being enlisted and actively drilled.

"The cashiers of the Bank of the State of Georgia and the Central Railroad Bank are wanted at the Provost-Marshal's office.

"Last week was a continuous succession of rain and thunder storms.

"Professor Wiegand, formerly of this city, is 'tooting' his horn for the Yankees.

"The small pox is prevailing.

"The price of gas is fixed by the military order at $6 per one thousand feet."

Christopher Rideout

FloridaConfederate
12-02-2007, 02:37 AM
Richmond Dispatch: November 20, 1863

Experience of a slave in the Yankee lines — the Way the negro soldiers are Treated — Negro Conscription.

Last week James, a very intelligent and observant negro, who ran away about a year ago from Mr. Wm. R. Habersham's plantation, on the Ogeechee river, Georgia, and who has since been living amongst the Yankees in and near Beaufort, made his escape through the enemy's lines and returned to seek his master. His account of the condition of affairs in Beaufort is interesting, and in some respects important.

During the greater portion of his absence James has been used as a servant on the plantation of Mr. Edward Walker, six miles from Beaufort, by a Yankee, named Thompson, the "Superintendent." of Negroes. Thompson has his two sisters living with him, and acting as school-marms. He says that a regiment of white troops is stationed at Mr. Tom Baynard's, and another white regiment at Barnwell's brick house. These regiments are relieved every weeks; and from these two points, as centres, the enemy throw out their pickets. From July 8 to the middle of October there were but 3,000 troops on Beaufort and Paris Islands and in that neighborhood. But, during the last three weeks, heavy reinforcements had arrived — some from Morris Island, but the bulk of them from the North. Of these last, many came handcuffed. A new General and several Colonels were amongst the fresh arrivals.

The Yankees say that they cannot take Charleston from the front, but hope to reduce it from the rear. From the statements that he heard, James gathered that they intend to open a heavy fire from the front on Charleston, on Savannah, and on some point near Ashepoo — this last to be the main attack. They do not expect to take the Charleston and Savannah Railroad at once; but while the demonstrations at Charleston and Savannah occupy our attention, they hope to be able to lay waste Ashepoo, cut the Charleston and Savannah Railroad, and fortify their foothold on the main. They have the guns for this attack on Ashepoo now ready at Hilron Head, having received two shiploads of artillery from the North. James believes that this movement against Ashepoo is certainly resolved upon, and will soon take place.

The Yankees have ordered a conscription of all negro men, between the ages of 18 and 45. This conscription was to have taken place yesterday, (Monday,) and it was to avoid this compulsory display of martial ardor that James forsook the enemy. He says that the negroes who led the assault on battery Wagner were drunk at the time, and the remnant not killed cannot be made to fight again. The Yankees are very brutal in their treatment of the negroes. The negro men of Colonel Heyward, as soon as they arrived at Beaufort, were put into the army. The small pox prevailed extensively on Paris Island. The houses of Mr. Nat. Heyward and Mr. John Barnwell, in Beaufort, are occupied as hospitals. A white "superintendent" is placed upon every plantation, except such as have been "sold" to Yankee settlers. They are quartering up the land into 20 acre lots, and persuading the negroes to put up cabins and rent these lots. There is a telegraph from Beaufort Island to Hilton Head via Paris Island, and from Beaufort toward Port Royal Ferry. A Captain Paine (whom we took prisoner on a scout between Morris and James Islands) and a millwright named Saulsbury, are the two greatest Yankee scouts, and have frequently been over to the main. General Gillmore has sent North for 40,000 men, and some of them (all drafted men) have come.--On Land's End two negro men have been shot dead for swearing that they would not fight. One of them belonged to Mr. Richard Fuller, and the other to Brigadier-General Finegan.

Whatever portions of the above facts are based upon hearsay were obtained by James from his Yankee taskmaster, Thompson, and from the white soldiers whom he happened to meet.

Christopher Rideout
Tampa, Florida

reb64
12-02-2007, 03:02 AM
In the North a good number of Native Americans were put in colored regiments. I wonder if some of the men of color spotted in the Confederate ranks where Native Americans mistaken as colored troops or perhaps just generically lumped together?

are you saying people of color all look the same? Let see, there are white indians or native americans, black indians etc. and traditonal looking native americans as well as a few other variations. a few units were noted for the diversity, as in the La. tigers, oklahoma confederates etc. but the mix was noted, so much % black, indian, mexican etc. The reverse is definetly not true, Indians units in the west like at pea ridge, honey springs were definetly not i'd as black.

CheeseBoxRaft
12-03-2007, 01:21 AM
Richmond Dispatch: November 20, 1863

Experience of a slave in the Yankee lines — the Way the negro soldiers are Treated — Negro Conscription. ....

Christopher Rideout
Tampa, Florida The Richmond Dispatch? The article reads exactly like what it's meant to be: propaganda.

tompritchett
12-03-2007, 03:17 AM
The Richmond Dispatch? The article reads exactly like what it's meant to be: propaganda.

Let's face it, many of the newspapers and magazines of that era were not always known for the most objective reporting of the news.

madisontigers
12-03-2007, 04:17 AM
I think we've ended up discussing several different phenomena here.

The term "Black Confederates" suggests black supporters of the Confederacy. No one has presented any numbers of these.

I have seen several numbers thrown out of blacks employed by the Confederacy or the Confederate Army, which is an entirely different thing, as it would include slaves, conscripted or hired. No one denies that the Confederacy used slaves in its war effort. Given the logistical and construction needs of the Confederate army, the conscription of most white men, and the availability of slave labor, this could be a huge number. But to call them "Black Confederates" strikes me as a bit misleading, and does no justice to them or to the Confederacy as a whole.

Earlier I saw a total of 11 blacks listed as in the service of the Confederate Army, including a mix of enlisted soldiers and personal attendants. This is interesting, but underscores just how negligible they were -- something less than the number of vivandiers and female soldiers.

In my own readings I've come across reference in James Jones (Rebel War Clerk's Diary) to a couple of companies of black soldiers raised in 1865. In another work whose name escapes me now, I saw reference to a similar force of black soldiers in the Appomattox campaign -- perhaps the same -- who fired a volley or two before surrendering to Union cavalry.

This would be a fascinating unit to study, and I wish everyone who spent even a few minutes making unsubstantiated generalizations about the number of "Black Confederates" would spend just a part of that time digging up the facts. Who were these men? What unit was it? Are there any records of their motivations? What happened to them afterward?

In the meantime, as far as the suggestion that there were numerous black supporters of the Confederacy, until someone can bring different facts to the table, I think we have to call this one busted.


Yes, I will have to , at least for the most part, agree with what you are saying. However, this issue, blacks in the service of the Confederacy, is a topic I will begin to research more in depth. After I complete graduate school, I plan to hit this area full-force.All too often, which can be clearly seen from various discussion,this area is one that is based on pure speculation, by both sides, not just one.One of the things that I have found that will prove to be a colossal obstacle, is the fact that official descriptions, at least from the CS side, which depict black soldiers, seem to be taboo. As I hope many know, the arming of blacks to serve in the C.S. Army, was not legally authorized, at least until the end of the war. So, having said that, OFFICIAL descriptions.... will be few .....and far between.

David Long

Dunn Browne
12-03-2007, 04:20 AM
are you saying people of color all look the same?

No, that's not what I'm saying, and from what I wrote I don't know why you would ask that. What I was asking is do you think it possible that Native American soldiers (or any dark skinned soldier for that matter) could have been misidentified as African American soldiers?

tompritchett
12-03-2007, 07:23 AM
As I hope many know, the arming of blacks to serve in the C.S. Army, was not legally authorized, at least until the end of the war.

I know that the freeing of slaves to then be armed for service in the Army was not authorized by the Confederacy until very late in the war, if at all. However, does anyone know of any such legal proscription against the arming of freemen to fight for the Confederacy?

FloridaConfederate
12-03-2007, 10:41 AM
Olustee Station …Saturday February 20, 1864 about 4:30pm

From his position on the Confederate left, Trooper Penniman observed:

“We had noticed while the flankers were white troops the whole center seemed to be negroes, with a regiment of white cavalry in their rear. Not so much as support as to keep the poor beggars up to their work and in line. Do they as they would, the n_gger couldn’t stand the fire and small wonder too, for it was terrific, so as they would huddle ten to twenty behind each of the few scatted pine trees.” Wiliam F. Penniman Reminiscences, 4th Georgia Cavalry

"The Penn. And Mass. Negroes who survived complain most bitterly of the cruel treatment they have received from the jr. officers and the manner of which they were made a breastwork of” Augusta Daily Chronicle and Sentinel - March 4, 1864

“Some of the wounded negroes say that their officers shot many of them, during the late battle, for refusing the charge the Confederates. Whenever a negro attempted to retreat or fall back, he was shot down.” Augusta Daily Chronicle and Sentinel – February 28, 1864

“Negro dead abounded. The negro prisoners say that the white men that were with them, who swore to shoot them If they didn’t fight” Correspondent of the Macon Telegraph at Olustee, Feb 27, 1864

“The enemy placed two of their negro regiments in the front and urged them on and the point of the bayonet. They withstood our fire as a distance, but as our troops advanced, they retreated.” Augusta Daily Chronicle and Sentinel February 27, 1864


Christopher Rideout
Tampa, FL

hanktrent
12-03-2007, 11:14 AM
Olustee Station …Saturday February 20, 1864 about 4:30pm

From his position on the Confederate left, Trooper Penniman observed: ...


Am I understanding correctly? This post, and the quote from the Richmond Dispatch above, are presented to make the case against black Confederate soldiers, right? They're examples of Confederates describing black Union soldiers in a disparaging light, the implication being that if southerners had that low an opinion of African Americans on the Union army, they wouldn't want them on their own side, correct?

Not sure I necessarily agree with that logic, but first I just wanted to be sure I understood the point.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

TexConfederate
12-03-2007, 11:14 AM
The Richmond Dispatch? The article reads exactly like what it's meant to be: propaganda.



I wouldn't think it would be any worse than the Northern papers of the time........

FloridaConfederate
12-03-2007, 01:37 PM
Opening salvo of the thread contains, amongst other things…

“.....insisted that THOUSANDS of blacks wore grey and served in the ranks as soldiers, not just as laborors, servants or cooks. .....”

And

“.....he insisted that white officers of USCTs were all cold blooded murderers who would gun down any black who refused to join the Union army.....”

Ahh….Mr. Trent..honored

Sans the seasoning of my own opinion or temper of my wordsmithing and free from the cloud of emotional influence (as are 98.9 % of my posts but since its Hank Trent hey ), I retorted with references from varied periodical sources, of both: a) negro soldiers in service with the CS and b) accounts of violence against negro soldiers for failure to submit to Federal military authority. As a fireside historian I submit neither the extreme, as perhaps the antagonist of the discourse, nor the non-existent as others in thread…but instead DIRECT verbiage from the late unpleasantness of both occurrences.

I trust a man of your accomplishment and reputation in the movement appreciates that.

Respectfully, (and I mean that)

Christopher Rideout
Tampa, FL

reb64
12-03-2007, 02:01 PM
Am I understanding correctly? This post, and the quote from the Richmond Dispatch above, are presented to make the case against black Confederate soldiers, right? They're examples of Confederates describing black Union soldiers in a disparaging light, the implication being that if southerners had that low an opinion of African Americans on the Union army, they wouldn't want them on their own side, correct?

Not sure I necessarily agree with that logic, but first I just wanted to be sure I understood the point.

Hank Trent
hanktrent@voyager.net

no i think he means that the blacks didn't want to fight by coercion, not that they couldn't fight, and were being used up by the union as canon fodder.

madisontigers
12-04-2007, 03:03 AM
I know that the freeing of slaves to then be armed for service in the Army was not authorized by the Confederacy until very late in the war, if at all. However, does anyone know of any such legal proscription against the arming of freemen to fight for the Confederacy?


Tom,



The words from Chief Justice Roger Taney, famous for his ruling in the Dred Scott case, stated the following : "blacks can not be considered men or citizens, because if they were so considered, there would be no option but to allow them to own and carry arms without restriction"
If you look at the laws of southern states, before and during the war, laws prohibited the arming of blacks, as a fear of slave insurrection was present.

Of course, that's not to say that they didn't own firearms. Laws are made to be broken by some, in 1861, as well as 2007.

jthlmnn
12-04-2007, 08:16 AM
This has taken an intersting turn. From 'How many African-Americans served, under arms, in the Confederate army?', to 'Mistreatment of African-American soldiers in the Union army.' While the latter is an interesting and important topic on its own, I wonder what it has to do with the original topic?

My impression is that the switch was made because the former assertion, that there were something under 100,000 African-Confederate soldiers, could not be supported with any kind of documentation.

I have no problem with a thread relating to the treatment of Black soldiers in the Federal army. I can even concede at the get-go that some were treated quite harshly and unfairly by their immedate superior officers, many of whom resented being assigned to Black troops. The Federals had such a tough time finding junior officers to lead "Colored Troops" that they resorted to recruiting NCOs. Racism in the U.S. Army? Present right through WW II and well beyond.

So, I am satisfied to continue in this discussion, with the understanding that we are now on a topic that is unrelated to the number of Black Soldiers in the Confederate Army.

I find Christopher's posts quite interesting and I especially appreciate that they are period sources. (I would, however, submit a request that the use of capitals and boldface be moderated. That is cybershouting and my ears hurt when I read those posts. :-) ). Of the sources posted, Trooper Penniman's reminiscence is perhaps the most valuable. I say that in a comparative sense, in that it is only one person's recollection, taken down well after the event. That being said, it is still a first hand account. The newspaper articles, being second-hand, at best, and having an obvious agenda, must be read with a healthy grain of salt. (As Tom noted earlier, most of them, North and South, suffered this same defect of accuracy and truthfulness.) I would definitely appreciate more primary source documentation, but will read with interest any newspaper or other period accounts that are available.

madisontigers
12-04-2007, 08:54 AM
While looking through various entries in the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources(State Archives), I came across the following :




"BLACK CONFEDERATES IN THE STATE ARCHIVES
RALEIGH – The North Carolina State Archives hold a number of surprises, not the least of which are records
of blacks in North Carolina who served the Confederate Army during the Civil War.
“Many people don’t realize that blacks served in the Confederate Army, and that some actually fought,”
says Earl Ijames, archivist for the Office of Archives and History in the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.
Ijames, who has researched black Confederate soldiers in North Carolina for more than a decade, said
both slaves and free blacks worked or fought for the Confederate cause. But, he said, it’s often difficult to
determine their exact activities because the social climate of the times did not value or recognize the
contributions of blacks.
No one knows how many blacks served the Confederate Army. It is known that some slaves
accompanied their masters into battle, but only as personal servants. Other slaves, sent by their masters, mainly
worked for the Confederacy to build forts or to transport materials, supplies or corpses. Some free blacks
enlisted and actually fought, while other free blacks worked in construction for the Confederate Army.
Official military service records of black soldier’s activities have not been found in the state archives.
But there are records in the archives that provide some names of black Confederate soldiers, but few details of
their service. No accounts exist of battles or valor, hardship or retreat, just the notation “Negro” beside a name.
Unofficial records are sketchy, if they survived the Civil War, Reconstruction and Jim Crow eras.
Among the records in North Carolina’s archives that document African Americans’ service are
newspaper enrollment notices that give times for free Negroes to enlist in the Confederate Army,
correspondence, Confederate pension applications, and depositions. Some military records note that slaves
helped to construct forts or do other work at military facilities. Other documentation can be found in the “North
Carolina Troops, 1861-1865,” a 15-volume set of reference books that chronicles Confederate servicemen and
includes the names of black soldiers.
In some instances, officials even denied the existence of black Confederate soldiers. For instance, Sarah
Venable, widow of John W. Venable, applied for a widow’s pension. Venable is listed in the “North Carolina
Troops, 1861-1865,” as a member of Company H, 21st Regiment N.C. Troops. The roster shows that he was
Office of Public Affairs Brenda Follmer, Director
109 E. Jones Street, 4604 MSC
Raleigh, NC 27699-4604
(919) 733-5722 FAX (919) 733-1620
www.ncdcr.gov
(more)
Page 2
“Negro, enlisted June 5, 1861. No further records.” However, John Sawyer, a white Confederate veteran who
served with Venable, submitted a deposition as part of Sarah’s application stating that he knew John Venable,
and that Venable had “made a good soldier.” Yet the claim was disallowed with the notation, “No law for this.”
Another pension application came from an attorney in Spring Hope in 1924, on behalf of John Pulley.
Pulley had served in Company B under Capt. A. D. Crudup, who was deceased. State Auditor Baxter Durham
denied the claim, saying that the Confederacy had no Negro troops.
But some applications from blacks were approved, such as one from Billie Burrell, who said he was sent
by his master from Granville County to Fort Fisher, Fort Caswell and Baldhead Island. He may have helped
with fort construction and maintenance of the facilities and equipment, Ijames said. Burrell didn’t claim to be
in the Confederate Army, leading Ijames to speculate that Burrell’s application was approved because he didn’t
claim to be a soldier. In July 1939, Burrell received his pension approval; he was more than 90 years old at the
time.
Depositions and correspondence record devoted service by slaves to their masters on the battlefield,
usually by providing food and personal care. There are accounts of slaves who might have escaped bondage in
the theater of war, but chose to remain and serve, sometimes even after the death of their master.
A particularly poignant example of this was written about the service of the slave George Mills to his
master, Walter Bryson. It recounts how George provided bodily comfort and went through several battles with
his master. But the greatest service came when Walter was killed in the Battle of Antietam, Md. George
recovered the body, then made the long trip home to Hendersonville, N.C., so that his master would not be
buried in a ditch with the 24,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who died in battle that day.
Slaves often did whatever needed doing. Ijames shares the story of some slaves who got an unusual
assignment at the city of Fayetteville’s armory. In a report to Gov. Henry Clark, Fayetteville Mayor Archibal
McLean named 27 slaves whose tasks included “police duties in the square, and rear grounds, hauling bricks for
the repair of roads, hauling wood for the engine, attending the carpenters, cleaning old flint muskets, packing
arms, etc. etc.”
“Many people ask why free blacks would join the Confederate Army,” Ijames observed. “There could
be many reasons. Many free blacks were literate and property owners, so it could have been in their interest to
be with the Confederates.”
Others factors Ijames sites are religion and loyalty among slaves, saying slaves and free blacks felt a
sense of kinship to the land and families that may have made them loyal to the Confederacy. He also pointed
out that slavery also had been practiced in the North, and that blacks in the North often found the racism just as
real and unwelcoming.
Ijames, who began searching his own roots years ago, learned of the black Confederate soldiers from a
co-worker who was entering the North Carolina Confederate pension applications in an electronic database. He
began researching the topic then, and has continued. He also makes presentations to civic groups; in 2001, he
was awarded the Jefferson Davis Medal by the United Daughters of the Confederacy for his research on black
Office of Public Affairs Brenda Follmer, Director
109 E. Jones Street, 4604 MSC
Raleigh, NC 27699-4604
(919) 733-5722 FAX (919) 733-1620
www.ncdcr.gov
(more)
Page 2
“Negro, enlisted June 5, 1861. No further records.” However, John Sawyer, a white Confederate veteran who
served with Venable, submitted a deposition as part of Sarah’s application stating that he knew John Venable,
and that Venable had “made a good soldier.” Yet the claim was disallowed with the notation, “No law for this.”
Another pension application came from an attorney in Spring Hope in 1924, on behalf of John Pulley.
Pulley had served in Company B under Capt. A. D. Crudup, who was deceased. State Auditor Baxter Durham
denied the claim, saying that the Confederacy had no Negro troops.
But some applications from blacks were approved, such as one from Billie Burrell, who said he was sent
by his master from Granville County to Fort Fisher, Fort Caswell and Baldhead Island. He may have helped
with fort construction and maintenance of the facilities and equipment, Ijames said. Burrell didn’t claim to be
in the Confederate Army, leading Ijames to speculate that Burrell’s application was approved because he didn’t
claim to be a soldier. In July 1939, Burrell received his pension approval; he was more than 90 years old at the
time.
Depositions and correspondence record devoted service by slaves to their masters on the battlefield,
usually by providing food and personal care. There are accounts of slaves who might have escaped bondage in
the theater of war, but chose to remain and serve, sometimes even after the death of their master.
A particularly poignant example of this was written about the service of the slave George Mills to his
master, Walter Bryson. It recounts how George provided bodily comfort and went through several battles with
his master. But the greatest service came when Walter was killed in the Battle of Antietam, Md. George
recovered the body, then made the long trip home to Hendersonville, N.C., so that his master would not be
buried in a ditch with the 24,000 Union and Confederate soldiers who died in battle that day.
Slaves often did whatever needed doing. Ijames shares the story of some slaves who got an unusual
assignment at the city of Fayetteville’s armory. In a report to Gov. Henry Clark, Fayetteville Mayor Archibal
McLean named 27 slaves whose tasks included “police duties in the square, and rear grounds, hauling bricks for
the repair of roads, hauling wood for the engine, attending the carpenters, cleaning old flint muskets, packing
arms, etc. etc.”
“Many people ask why free blacks would join the Confederate Army,” Ijames observed. “There could
be many reasons. Many free blacks were literate and property owners, so it could have been in their interest to
be with the Confederates.”
Others factors Ijames sites are religion and loyalty among slaves, saying slaves and free blacks felt a
sense of kinship to the land and families that may have made them loyal to the Confederacy. He also pointed
out that slavery also had been practiced in the North, and that blacks in the North often found the racism just as
real and unwelcoming.
Ijames, who began searching his own roots years ago, learned of the black Confederate soldiers from a
co-worker who was entering the North Carolina Confederate pension applications in an electronic database. He
began researching the topic then, and has continued. He also makes presentations to civic groups; in 2001, he
was awarded the Jefferson Davis Medal by the United Daughters of the Confederacy for his research on black
confederates."

madisontigers
12-04-2007, 08:55 AM
For anyone interested in checking out the web-page, which includes the above information, you check it out at : http://www.ncdcr.gov/news/2003/opa_2-26-03.pdf

Regards,

David Long

7thMDYankee
12-04-2007, 09:46 AM
I suggest reading this article:

Bradley, Mark L. (2003). "This monstrous proposition": North Carolina and confederate debate in arming the slaves, North Carolina Historical Review (80/ 2).

tompritchett
12-04-2007, 12:31 PM
(I would, however, submit a request that the use of capitals and boldface be moderated. That is cybershouting and my ears hurt when I read those posts. ).

I suspect that he is not cybershouting but is instead using the capitals and boldface to indicate material that he is quoting. Since he is fairly new to this forum, he may be using the basic editor rather than the standard editor and, thus, is not aware of how to use the quote box function (Christopher, if that is indeed the case, drop me a PM and I will send instructions how to change your editor).

goatgirl
12-05-2007, 09:40 AM
I know that the freeing of slaves to then be armed for service in the Army was not authorized by the Confederacy until very late in the war, if at all. However, does anyone know of any such legal proscription against the arming of freemen to fight for the Confederacy?

Mostly likely each State made their own laws. According to Horace Greeley’s American Conflict


p. 521 The Legislature of Tennessee…passed (June 28, 1861) an act authorizing the Governor (Isham G. Harris)-- “to receive into the military service of the State all male free persons of color, between the ages of 15 and 50.” Theses Black soldiers were to receive $8 per month, with clothing and rations. …and it was further enacted -- “That, in the event a sufficient number of free persons of color to meet the wants of the State shall not tender their services, the Governor is empowered, through the sheriffs of the different counties, to press such persons until the requisite number is obtained.”

tompritchett
12-05-2007, 11:59 AM
Mostly likely each State made their own laws. According to Horace Greeley’s American Conflict



p. 521 The Legislature of Tennessee…passed (June 28, 1861) an act authorizing the Governor (Isham G. Harris)-- “to receive into the military service of the State all male free persons of color, between the ages of 15 and 50.” Theses Black soldiers were to receive $8 per month, with clothing and rations. …and it was further enacted -- “That, in the event a sufficient number of free persons of color to meet the wants of the State shall not tender their services, the Governor is empowered, through the sheriffs of the different counties, to press such persons until the requisite number is obtained.”

Thank you. This is exactly the type of documentation I was looking for regarding laws/regulations (vs. the opinions of historical individuals) associated with freemen serving as soldiers in the Confederate Army - either allowing, as in this case, or banning.

CheeseBoxRaft
12-05-2007, 01:00 PM
John:

There is a famous quote from Frederick Douglas speaking of "colored" soldiers armed and fighting for the Confederacy. That would seem to be a credible reference.....

Yeah, I've read that "famous" quote before. (Actually, it's only "famous" to Civil War buffs and neo-confederates. The black 15-yeaer old next door to me never heard it before... and he's a burgeoning historian in his own right, I'm happy to say.) But cherry picking one quote here and another quote there does not conjure up even one regiment of verifiable black CS combatants who had any significant impact on the outcome of the war.

I'll conceed that some blacks did serve in the CS ranks in some capacity, even as soldiers, here an there. But the emphasis is on some.... some is in "too few to make an impact on the battlefield." Some as in "too small in numbers to take any more seriously than being an oddity."

Let's face it... all this recent over-emphasis on African-Americans in gray is nothing more than a political manueuver by neo-confederates to deflect critisizm away from CS flags and statues. It is being done in order to try and paint great-great granddaddy as a staunch rebel who was also some type of mid-19th century anti-segragationist. The over-emphasis on a miniscule number of blacks in gray is also an attempt to artificially re-establish the "Uncle Tom" stereotype; the contented slave, dutifully faithful to the white master.

The consiquence of all this over-emphasis on a tiny numbers of blacks in gray is that it reduces the legitimate significance of the 200,000 blacks who nobly and heroically served in Union ranks. But, from the SVC propaganda sheet, they were little more than pawns of the "dirty Yankees." Please, if I want to hear this kind of nonsensical hoo-hah I'll re-watch "Gone With The Wind."

FloridaConfederate
12-05-2007, 02:11 PM
Christian Observer August 4, 1863

“There are in the city of Norfolk four churches, known as the African churches, which are used exclusively by the colored people for public worship. One of these has a bell, and is known as the "Bell Church."--A notice was recently circulated among the colored population, by order of the Provost Marshal, that on the following Sabbath something would be communicated in the Bell Church in which they were interested. Their curiosity being thus appealed to, the ringing of the bell drew an immense crowd. The house was filled. Many who could not get in stood around the doors and windows with listening ears. At an appointed signal a military manuavere was executed, and they found themselves surrounded by three hundred soldiers, with fixed bayonets. Resistance was useless — escape impossible. All who were neither too young nor too old for military service were hurried away. No time was given for farewells or for making any preparations. In their Sunday clothes they were marched on board the vessels that were in readiness to carry them to the North to swell the armies designed for the subjugation to the South.”




Columbus, Kentucky
March 5, 1863

……“ I have seen some of the so called soldiers of the so called gallant 28th Wis. as well as others insult by disrespectful and indecent language many , very many blacks, men and women….on the contrary I have yet to see the first disorderly act and to hear the first insolent word from any of the many blacks I have seen” Chauncey H. Cooke to his homefolk “Letters of a Badger Boy in Blue”


A Ct. soldier from Virginia writes ……”that his comrades have taken two n_ger wenches…turned them upon their heads and put chips, sticks, lighted cigars and sand into their behinds” letter from James B. Loughney to Marie Brogan February 26, 1863 manuscript, Wisconsin Historical Society

Invasion of South Carolina Coast 1862
Described by German soldier thus:

“While on picket guard I witnessed misdeeds that made me ashamed of America….. five miles from the fort about 8-10 soldiers from the NY 47th Regiment chased some negro women but they escaped, so they took a Negro girlabout 7-9 years old, and raped her.” John Bessemer t o John Weisert November 17, 1862 manuscript, University of Michigan (this letter is in German script)

An Ohioan tells of a comrade removing Negro babies from a cabin in Mississippi and riding off to camp with them “gust taken them along for develment” John Meekin to his mother December 15, 1862

Christopher Rideout
Florida Confederate Son

FloridaConfederate
12-05-2007, 02:26 PM
http://dbs.ohiohistory.org/africanam/images/photo/SC5227/005/005.jpg

www.ohiohistory.org

Christopher Rideout
Tampa, Florida

FloridaConfederate
12-05-2007, 02:31 PM
http://dbs.ohiohistory.org/africanam/images/Nwspaper/Citizen/Vol29/num03/02_04/02_04.gif

Christopher Rideout
Florida Confederate Son
Tampa, Florida

FloridaConfederate
12-05-2007, 02:46 PM
What one woman has Suffered.

Last year the world was horrified at the murder of a whole family at Beckham's Landing, in Obion county, Tennessee, by Yankee negro troops. In Europe it was made a theme of comment by the press of civilized nations. The particulars have never been fully given until within a few days past, when Mrs. Mary Beckham, the widow of A. F. Beckham, one of the victims, publishes a letter giving the details of the horrible act. As a matter of history we put it upon record:

On Tuesday morning about 9 o'clock, August 4th, 1863 twelve armed negro soldiers came to the house, there being no one there except my husband, father in- law, Benjamin F. Beckham, and four of my children, and some of our family negroes. They rushed on my husband and tied him, took off his watch and pin, and rifled his pockets. They then tied my father in-law, and dragged them to the river, it being about thirty yards. They killed my husband on top of the bank by shooting him in the head. They then cut off his shoulder-blade and rolled his body into the river; his clothes looked as if there had been a great struggle.

They then took the old gentleman, stabbed him three times, once in the heart, and cut one of his ears off. After throwing his body into the river, they proceeded back to the house, where two of them had been guarding my dear little children.--They spoke to my eldest daughter, Laura, aged fourteen years, telling her to get up and follow her damned old daddy, at the same time presenting a pistol to her temple. The children were driven to the water's edge, where their father and grandfather had been murdered, and then they were put to death in the most cruel manner.

The youngest, Richard, aged two and a half years, was thrown into the water alive. Laura jumped in and attempted to rescue him, and, whilst in the water, waist deep, begging for mercy, she was knocked on the head with the butt end of a gun, entirely separating her forehead, and then stabbed in the side Kate Ida, eleven years of age, was then disposed of. She was beaten with guns until her head and shoulders were perfectly soft; her body was bruised all over. Caroline, seven years of age, was shot through the head, and so disfigured that she did not look like a human. After they had murdered them all and thrown their bodies into the river, they returned to the house, taking everything valuable and all the clothing they could carry.

Then they started for Island No.10, thinking or knowing they would be protected if they reached there in safety. While they were killing the children, a man by the name of Everett came up, he asked them what they meant, when they commenced firing on him and he narrowly escaped with his life; he started immediately to alarm the neighborhood. There happened to be a Federal cavalry force from Columbus, Kentucky, conscripting the negroes in the cavalry, and on their being informed, they immediately started in pursuit and overtook them near the Island and arrested all except those who escaped, but they were afterwards captured. Ten of them were taken to Columbus where they were tried and six sentenced, and it is said, even hung, the others with the exception of one sentenced to the penitentiary for life. One was left unpunished.--The cause the Federals had for showing so much leniency to that one was, he acknowledged he threw the youngest child in the river, but said he did not want to kill any of them, but he was threatened by others, that if he did not obey Guynnes and Captain Thomas's orders, he would meet with the same fate as those children. I know there is a just God above, and that they will have justice meted out to them in his own good time in the next world if not is this. I have three children left and now living at home. Various threats were made against my life if I came home but I came, and I could not tell the number of times the Federals have searched my house both night and day.

I reported to the authorities at No. 10, but it did no good. I was told that the Lieutenant who arrested the negroes was wearing my husband's watch. I have been robbed five times since the murder of my family; and if this war continues much longer I do not know how I will live. The negroes that murdered my family are strange negroes, trained by Union soldiers to commit such deeds. The New Albany Ledger gave an account of the murder, and said it was more than likely it was all a hoax, and if it was so the rebellion was the cause of it. My father in-law's brother was the first man murdered at the time of John Brown's insurrection at Harper's Ferry. I wonder what was the cause of that.

One of the negroes concerned in the murder of my family was a noted corporal. In November I was at my brother's, when three white Union soldiers, from the island, came to search. They cursed me, and said I was a damned old fool, and other words too rough to mention. One drew his gun on me, and threatened to shoot me. I went immediately to the island, and told Capt. Benison one of his men threatened my life. He said he would punish him. Two weeks later the same man came back, and told me that I told the blackest lie woman ever told.

I received a note from headquarters to pay a woman $49 immediately, or I would be severely punished. The woman had no claims on me whatever. I refused to pay the sum, and the commander then on the island being ordered away prevented me from paying it or receiving the punishment.

Under such circumstances I have lived alone, with the exception of three small children. I have resolved to have a monument placed over my husband's grave if I live, to show how he went; then, if the threats that are made against me are executed, and I am not spared, I call upon the Masons to see that it is done. Enough is left that an army can't destroy to have it done. Researchers note: My cite for this are lost or deleted.. it reads like it came for a Southron newspaper ..I think in Savannah. -

Cj Rideout

vamick
12-07-2007, 03:21 AM
"The New Albany Ledger gave an account of the murder, and said it was more than likely it was all a hoax, and if it was so the rebellion was the cause of it."

not much has really changed in all these years! coats of "neo" yankee whitewash are still being applied liberally:rolleyes:

and the beat goes on

Doug Cooper
12-07-2007, 06:40 AM
Olustee Station …Saturday February 20, 1864 about 4:30pm

From his position on the Confederate left, Trooper Penniman observed:

“We had noticed while the flankers were white troops the whole center seemed to be negroes, with a regiment of white cavalry in their rear. Not so much as support as to keep the poor beggars up to their work and in line. Do they as they would, the n_gger couldn’t stand the fire and small wonder too, for it was terrific, so as they would huddle ten to twenty behind each of the few scatted pine trees.” Wiliam F. Penniman Reminiscences, 4th Georgia Cavalry

"The Penn. And Mass. Negroes who survived complain most bitterly of the cruel treatment they have received from the jr. officers and the manner of which they were made a breastwork of” Augusta Daily Chronicle and Sentinel - March 4, 1864

“Some of the wounded negroes say that their officers shot many of them, during the late battle, for refusing the charge the Confederates. Whenever a negro attempted to retreat or fall back, he was shot down.” Augusta Daily Chronicle and Sentinel – February 28, 1864

“Negro dead abounded. The negro prisoners say that the white men that were with them, who swore to shoot them If they didn’t fight” Correspondent of the Macon Telegraph at Olustee, Feb 27, 1864

“The enemy placed two of their negro regiments in the front and urged them on and the point of the bayonet. They withstood our fire as a distance, but as our troops advanced, they retreated.” Augusta Daily Chronicle and Sentinel February 27, 1864


Christopher Rideout
Tampa, FL

This makes perfect sense, at least to an extent, if one understands the battle and woeful lack of experience on the part of the officers (both in combat and with black troops) and especially the black troops themselves.

The terrible casualties of the black troops also had MUCH to do with their dogged bravery in standing up like me to fire of the Confederates in front (54th Mass esp), while many white regiments, not being in such a bad position, were able to withdraw. Additionally, the completely almost untrained green black regiments quickly lost cohesion and the ability to fight back, esp with inexperienced officers.

Bull Run and Shiloh anyone?

Lwhite64
12-07-2007, 07:39 AM
Just to add to what Doug posted, there was also a lot of these officers who were German, so there would have been a big gap in language and culture between the men and the officers, hence the accounts of abuse, etc.

Lee

Lwhite64
12-07-2007, 07:42 AM
The following is taken off of Kevin Levin's Civil War Memory blog,

The Lost German Slave Girl: The Extraordinary True Story of Sally Miller and Her Fight for Freedom in Old New Orleans (p.13). The source is an 1864 Georgia court case, "Bryan v. Walton," 33 Ga. 11, 24, and the following musings of Chief Justice Lumpkin, of the Georgia Supreme Court, were part of one of the judge's opinions:

A mistress and her maid recently received Episcopal confirmation together, kneeling side by side at the same altar, boarding at the same hotel, where the latter was received and treated as a white woman by the inn-keeper and his female guests, when the latter turned out to be a mulatto, and was promptly hurled from her position of social equality. A man, at the beginning of this war, dropped into a village of one of our counties in Middle Georgia, and becoming rather famous for his pugilism, he was chosen an officer in one of the volunteer companies enlisting for the military service. His status was never questioned, until, accosted rather familiarly by his fellow-servant, who had known him long and intimately, an investigation was had, and Sambo was returned to his owner. Which of us has not narrowly escaped petting one of the pretty little mulattos belonging to our neighbors as one of the family?

FloridaConfederate
12-07-2007, 10:33 AM
Just to add to what Doug posted, there was also a lot of these officers who were German, so there would have been a big gap in language and culture between the men and the officers, hence the accounts of abuse, etc.

Lee

Mr. White,

I had the pleasure of hearing some of your presentation at the WIG Chickamuaga event. I also look forward to your well researched, informative posts. For anyone here who doesnt know ....Lee White is wealth of information, in addition to sporting a dandy flat crown black hat too.

That being said...I have struck into my library (which is considerable) and am not finding evidence to support this.......

Quickly perusing the 54th Mass and 8th USCT...I am not htting hitting on too many Germanic or foreign sounding names of officers, ncos......either ?????

I was wondering what you support the language difficulty with ?

Respectfully, (that museum of yours is first rate too might I add...)

Christopher Rideout
pround desecendent of Robert Kite 1st Florida Cav (dismounted) a brave Florida Chickamauga Veteran

jthlmnn
12-07-2007, 12:30 PM
Mr. White,

I had the pleasure of hearing some of your presentation at the WIG Chickamuaga event. I also look forward to your well researched, informative posts. For anyone here who doesnt know ....Lee White is wealth of information, in addition to sporting a dandy flat crown black hat too.

That being said...I have struck into my library (which is considerable) and am not finding evidence to support this.......

Quickly perusing the 54th Mass and 8th USCT...I am not htting hitting on too many Germanic or foreign sounding names of officers, ncos......either ?????

I was wondering what you support the language difficulty with ?

Respectfully, (that museum of yours is first rate too might I add...)

Christopher Rideout
pround desecendent of Robert Kite 1st Florida Cav (dismounted) a brave Florida Chickamauga Veteran

I rather doubt that you would find many Germans of any rank in a Mass. regiment. ;-) Now, one is not a representative sample, but I believe Mr. White is referring to men like young August C. "Theo" Ewert. "Theo" joined Thielemann's Battalion, Cavalry (all German) in 1861, at the age of 14. In 1864 he was recommended by his commanding officer for a commisssion and became a 2nd lieutenant with the 12th Light Artillery, USCT. "Theo" was born in Prussia.

Lwhite64
12-07-2007, 04:44 PM
Well thank you for the kind compliment, I try. I was refering to the USCT officers as a whole, there were a high number of German officers in the organization. Most of my experience with them come from the USCTs that served in the North GA area and in TN during the Tennessee Campaign.

Lee

BlacknBlue1864
12-16-2007, 11:40 AM
So, the bottom line here is that Union colored troops and their white officers where all a bunch of murdering scum and the legions of invisible black cornfederates who fought, oh so valiantly for the south, were perfect little soldiers with halos over their heads? Or maybe I should re-read these nausiatingly purile newspaper accounts over and over again until I'm fully convinced that a handfull of Uncle Toms in cornfederate ranks matters much at all? And white reenactors sit around and wonder why so few blacks are interested in the hobby... sheesh!

reb64
12-16-2007, 11:51 AM
So, the bottom line here is that Union colored troops and their white officers where all a bunch of murdering scum and the legions of invisible black cornfederates who fought, oh so valiantly for the south, were perfect little soldiers with halos over their heads? Or maybe I should re-read these nausiatingly purile newspaper accounts over and over again until I'm fully convinced that a handfull of Uncle Toms in cornfederate ranks matters much at all? And white reenactors sit around and wonder why so few blacks are interested in the hobby... sheesh!


Well he got your blood up, and then you called some soldiers Uncle toms. you lost it. ..on the other hand, i have found among all my black aquaitainces, for the most part, a total care less attitude towards history. maybe 1 in the last one hundred ive worked with or met. don't think its this guys interpretations. In fact my last supervisor told me flat out, he hated history no matter what angle or info I had to share.

trappedonrr
12-16-2007, 01:32 PM
The civil war Cronicles gives a little info on this. A good read.

hendrickms24
12-17-2007, 06:20 AM
Christopher Rideout,

What the point of your most recent posts? That Northern Soldier at time did horrible things to civilians? That’s not anything new and this kind of stuff happened both north and south. I’m still confused on what these posting have to do with the subject dealing with the actual numbers of Blacks served in the Southern Army.

jthlmnn
12-17-2007, 04:26 PM
Well he got your blood up, and then you called some soldiers Uncle toms. you lost it. ..on the other hand, i have found among all my black aquaitainces, for the most part, a total care less attitude towards history. maybe 1 in the last one hundred ive worked with or met. don't think its this guys interpretations. In fact my last supervisor told me flat out, he hated history no matter what angle or info I had to share.

Many Americans of all races, creeds, colors, and genders are uninterested in history, either because we are a nation focused on the newest/latest/greatest thing to appear or because of the way it was taught when they were in school, or because they are focused on surviving in the here and now. This has been well documented and discussed in this forum, education circles, etc. for many years. So, your worksite acquaintances are average Americans. Taking that into consideration, in all honesty I ask what point are you trying to make in the above post?

chatrbug
12-19-2007, 01:02 AM
I dont like history... I find it boring. Yep... go figure. Only time period I find interesting is Civil War... I find it even better when I can live it and learn it. Give me a textbook and tell me to learn from it.. I wont. I dont learn that way. Im sure a lot of people are like that. Give it to me interesting though... and Ill inhale it and cant get enough.

sbl
12-19-2007, 06:53 AM
"...he hated history no matter what angle or info I had to share..."

John,

It may have been the messenger, not the message.

I found a nasty screen saver message on the department desk top about being sick of the Civil War!
The nicest guy in the department was sick of my daily This Day in History screen savers.

Che
12-20-2007, 10:51 AM
I gotta throw out this question:

If the "average" American (whatever that is) don't generally care for history, then why, pray tell, did Disney try to build "Disney's America" and figured to make mega-bucks off of it? (Of course, they didn't figure on the crys of complaint about (a) the location; and (b) the fact they could not adequatley answer how they would tastefully depict slavery or war; but all that is fodder for another thread.)

Hmmmm... If the "typical" American (whatever that is) don't generally care for history, then why, pray tell, does Hollywood keep churning out movies with historical topics? Gladiator, Enemy at the Gates... even Pirates of the Caribbean has a historical; if deluded, basis.

Why is there a very popular TV network called "The History Channel?"

All depends on how you look at it, I suppose, but I think a very large portion of our very screwed up citizenry have a supervicial, but healthy interest in history.

But that's just me being me again....

flattop32355
12-20-2007, 02:11 PM
Why is there a very popular TV network called "The History Channel?"

A trend that I don't care for is all the non-historical programs on The History Channel; paranormal, Hitler and the Holy Grail, aliens from space, etc.

I really do wish they'd stick to history. There's plenty of that to keep them busy from now on, and there's more of it being made every day.

sbl
12-20-2007, 02:21 PM
My family did a Virginia tour the summer before last. Virginia put lot's of $$$$ and effort into history sites for the 400th.
There were lots of people there at Williamsburg, Jamestown, and the various President's homes. The 1st person programs at Williamsburg had great audiences with folks asking excellent questions of the actors. I think it's the messenger.

Pvt Schnapps
12-20-2007, 03:22 PM
Well he got your blood up, and then you called some soldiers Uncle toms. you lost it. ..on the other hand, i have found among all my black aquaitainces, for the most part, a total care less attitude towards history. maybe 1 in the last one hundred ive worked with or met. don't think its this guys interpretations. In fact my last supervisor told me flat out, he hated history no matter what angle or info I had to share.

Today my wife and I drove into the District to Fort Stevens. It's a lonely place though now in the middle of the city. As we walked around, a gentleman from the adjoining Methodist Church told us about it and its history. He also told us where the nearby National Cemetery was, four blocks up on Georgia Avenue. We thanked him and drove on. At the cemetery another neighbor walked by and told us all about Fort Stevens, how that was the place where President Lincoln stood under enemy fire. "Enjoy your stay in Washington," he said, little knowing that we had just driven over from Arlington.

I suppose it depends on where you're from, but these black Americans knew all about their history. Rather more than most neighbors around Fort Ward or C. F. Smith. I'd hesitate to draw any general conclusions about this, except maybe that folks are folks. Maybe they'd talk more if you were interested in what "angle or info" they had to share.

Claude Sinclair
12-21-2007, 01:26 AM
I guess that I will throw in my 2 cents here. I have the book, "Black Confederates". The only problem I have to the claims of the number of black Confederates is the lack of photographic evidence. An individual photo of a white soldier and a black servant soldier does not support the 60,000 black soldier claims that I have heard. I guess the rational way to look at it is that anytime a camera was around that blacks did not want their souls captured on glass and that no blacks were allowed in POW pictures.

Che
12-22-2007, 07:01 AM
A trend that I don't care for is all the non-historical programs on The History Channel; paranormal, Hitler and the Holy Grail, aliens from space, etc. Since when is Hitler non-historical? The subject matter may be of an uncomfortable nature, but that lunatic did have a significant impact on history.

As for the paranormal, UFOs and the Holy Grail, you may have a point, but that is fodder for another thread. My point is that history, despite what some may think, does matter to many Americans; enough to keep a major cable TV network profitable.

jthlmnn
12-22-2007, 02:42 PM
Since when is Hitler non-historical? The subject matter may be of an uncomfortable nature, but that lunatic did have a significant impact on history.


Not Hitler in general, but "Hitler AND The Holy Grail".

sbl
12-23-2007, 12:43 AM
"History" is back....In time for the Booth discussion too.

http://www.denverpost.com/commented/ci_7761434?source=commented-entertainment


History Channel details intriguing search for Lincoln's killer
By Patricia Brennan
The Washington Post
Article Last Updated: 12/19/2007 07:15:51 PM MST

"During the holiday week, most viewers won't be expecting a show about a manhunt for a presidential assassin more than a century ago. But those who watch "The Hunt for John Wilkes Booth" (6 p.m. Sunday, History Channel, Comcast digital channel 36) may find themselves intrigued by the massive 12-day search. ....."