Diversity In The Confederate Armed Forces
Prepared by the Gainesville Vols, Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp 373, Pearl River County, MS, http://www.geocities.com/scvcamp373, firstname.lastname@example.org, with input from the Education Committee of the Sons of Confederate Veterans and numerous other sources. Please visit the aforementioned website, as well as http://www.mississippiscv.org and http://www.scv.org, for further information on your proud Confederate "Heritage of Honor"!
This fact sheet is prepared by the Sons of Confederate Veterans Education Committee. The SCV hopes this information will enrich the celebration of Black History Month during February. "There are at the present moment, many colored men in the Confederate Army doing duty...as real soldiers, having muskets on their shoulders and bullets in their pockets...." Frederick Douglas, former slave & abolitionist (Fall, 1861). How many? Easily tens of thousands of blacks served the Confederacy as laborers, teamsters, cooks and even as soldiers. Some estimates indicate 25% of free blacks and 15% of slaves actively supported the South during the war. Why? Blacks served the South because it was their home, and because they hoped for the reward of patriotism; for these reasons they fought in every war through Korea, even though it meant defending a segregated United States. Emancipation? President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation did not free a single slave. Issued at a time when the Confederacy seemed to be winning the war, Lincoln hoped to transform a disagreement over secession into a crusade against slavery, thus preventing Great Britain (and France) from intervening on the side of the South. The proclamation allowed slavery to continue in the North as well as in Tennessee and large parts of Louisiana and Virginia. It applied only to Confederate-held slaves, which Lincoln had no authority over, but not to slaves under Federal control. Lincoln's Views? "I am not in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office...." 9/15/1858 campaign speech "I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery...." 3/4/1861 First Inaugural Address "I am a little uneasy about the abolishment of slavery in this District [of Columbia]...." 3/24/1862 letter to Horace Greeley "If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it...." 8/22/1862. Letter to Horace Greeley, New York Tribune editor. Confederate: Famed bridge engineer and former slave Horace King received naval contracts for building Confederate warships. A black servant named Sam Ashe killed the first Union officer during the war, abolitionist Major Theodore Winthrop. John W. Buckner, a black private, was wounded at Ft. Wagner repulsing the U.S. (Colored) 54th Massachusetts Regiment. George Wallace, a servant who surrendered with General Lee at Appomattox, later served in the Georgia Senate. Jim Lewis served General Stonewall Jackson, and was honored to hold his horse "Little Sorrel" at the general's funeral. Captured black cook Dick Poplar suffered cruelty by Yankee Negro guards at Pt. Lookout, MD for being a "Jeff Davis man." The first Black regiment -- North or South -- raised during the war was the Louisiana Native Guards, a band of 1100 free "Men of Color" who formed their own regiment in New Orleans and served in the Confederate Army. (See "The Louisiana Native Guards," by James Hollandsworth.) This fact should not be surprising, as over 1300 Black Southerners were slaveowners, with some of the largest slaveowners in SC and LA being Black. Black slaveowners of the Cane River region of LA even formed and equipped several Confederate companies. A Black member of the 9th TX Cavalry, Pvt. Holt Collier, who was a native Mississippian and a slave, was the guide for Teddy Roosevelt's famous Mississippi Bear Hunt that resulted in the creation of the first Teddy Bear. Colonial: The first man to die for the American cause of freedom was Crispus Attucks, a black seaman from Boston. At the time of the American Revolution, New York City held almost as many slaves as all of Georgia combined. Surprising Facts: In St. Louis, General John Fremont freed slaves of "disloyal" Missouri Confederates; an angry Lincoln fired him. Slaves in Washington, D.C. were not freed until April 1862, a year after the war began with the firing at Ft. Sumter. Slavery continued throughout the entire war in five Union-held states: DE, MD, WV, KY and MO. The New York City draft riots of July 1863 resulted in burning of a beautiful black orphanage and lynching of blacks. A provision in the Confederate Constitution prohibited the African slave trade outright (unlike the U.S. Constitution). Encouraged by General Lee, the CSA eventually freed slaves who would join the army, and did recruit and arm black regiments. C.S. General Robert E. Lee freed his family slaves before the war; Union Gen. U.S. Grant kept his wife's slaves well into the war. Many blacks owned slaves themselves. In 1861 Charleston, for example, a free colored planter named William Ellison owned 70 slaves. Even in 1830 New York City, three decades before the war, eight black planters owned 17 slaves. Blacks Today: Nelson W. Winbush, a retired educator and SCV member, lectures on his black Confederate ancestor, private Louis N. Nelson. A black Chicago funeral home owner, Ernest A. Griffin, flies the CSA battle flag and erected at his own expense a $20,000 monument to the 6,000 Confederate soldiers who are buried on his property, once site of the Union prison Camp Douglas. Black professor Leonard Haynes (recently deceased) of Southern University (Baton Rouge) spoke regularly on black Confederates. American University's professor Edward Smith also lectures on the truth of black Confederate history and, with Nelson W. Winbush, has prepared an educational videotape entitled "Black Southern Heritage" (available at (954) 963-4857) Info? Contact: Dr. Edward Smith, American University, 4400 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20016 (202) 885-1192; Dean of American Studies, Dr. Smith (a black professor) is dedicated to clarifying the historical role of blacks. Sons of Confederate Veterans, International Headquarters - http://www.scv.org Books: Charles Kelly Barrow, et al. Forgotten Confederates: An Anthology About Black Southerners (1995) Iver Bernstein. The New York Draft Riots (1990) Ervin L. Jordan, Jr. Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia (1995) Larry Koger. Black Slaveowners: Free Black Slaveowners in South Carolina, 1790-1860 (1985, 1995) Richard Rollins. Black Southerners in Gray (1994). The Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) is a patriotic, historical, and educational organization, founded in 1896, dedicated to honoring the sacrifices of the Confederate soldier and sailor, and to preserving Southern Culture. For more information, call 1-800-380-1896 or visit the SCV website at http://www.scv.org.
This fact sheet is prepared by the Education Committee of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The SCV hopes this information will enrich the celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Confederate: The Cuban patriot Narciso López approached Mexican War heroes Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee in 1848 with the request to head a liberation army to free Cuba from Spain -- Lee seriously considered the offer, but turned it down. José Agustín Quintero, a Cuban poet and revolutionary, ably served Confederate President Jefferson Davis as the C.S. Commissioner to Northern Mexico, ensuring critical supplies from Europe flowed through Mexican ports to the CSA. Santiago Vidaurri, governor of the border states of Coahuila and Nuevo León, offered to secede northern Mexico and join the Confederacy; Jefferson Davis declined, afraid the valuable "neutral" Mexican ports would be then blockaded. The Spanish inventor Narciso Monturiol offered the Confederacy his advanced submarine Ictineo to smash the Federal blockade. Never purchased, Jules Verne apparently based the Nautilus on this, the world's most advanced vessel of the day. Ambrosio José González, a famous Cuban revolutionary, served Confederate general P.G.T. Beauregard as his artillery officer in Charleston; earlier, in New York, he helped design the modern Cuban and (inversed) Puerto Rican flags. The Mexican Santos Benavides, a former Texas ranger, commanded the Confederate 33rd Texas Cavalry, a Mexican- American unit which defeated the Union in the 1864 Battle of Laredo, Texas. He became the only Mexican C.S. colonel. Thomas Jordan, a Confederate general responsible for early codes used in spying on Washington, after the war led the Cuban revolutionary army as Commander-in-Chief, training its generals and in 1870 routing the Spaniards at two-to-one odds. Lola Sanchez, of a Cuban family living near St. Augustine, had her sisters serve dinner to visiting Federals, while she raced out at night and warned the nearest Confederate camp. The Yankees thus lost a general, his unit and a gunboat the next day. Loretta Janeta Velazquez, a Cuban woman, claimed to have fought in the war disguised as a Confederate soldier, Lt. Harry Buford. She chronicled her amazing and harrowing adventures in an account called The Woman in Battle. James Hamilton Tomb, a Confederate engineer on the innovative semi-submarine ship David, accepted a post-war offer from the Brazilian emperor as technical expert on torpedoes (submarine mines) in the Paraguayan War of 1865-1870. Hunter Davidson, a Confederate torpedo (submarine mine) scientist, assumed the head of the Argentine Torpedo and Hydrographic Bureau for some years, training its leadership, and retired to Asunción, Paraguay, where he is buried. John Randolph Tucker, head of the Charleston Confederate Naval Squadron, accepted a post-war position as Vice-Admiral heading the combined Peruvian-Chilean fleets in a Pacific conflict against Spanish coastal incursions. John Newland Maffitt, who before the war captured illegal slave-trading ships, served the Confederacy as the CSS Florida's commander. Afterwards, he served in the Paraguayan war and commanded the Cuban gun-runner Hornet. Thomas Jefferson Page, a Confederate naval commander who learned of the war's end in Cuba after sailing the ironclad CSS Stonewall from Spain, settled in Argentina, his son becoming an Argentine naval commander, his grandson an admiral. Mexican service influenced Confederate general Stonewall Jackson; he often spoke Spanish endearments to his wife, Anna. After the war, many prominent governors and other Confederates established a colony, Carlotta, in Mexico. American Revolution: Bernardo de Gálvez, Governor of Spanish Louisiana, defeated the British during the American Revolution at Baton Rouge, Mobile, Pensacola, St. Louis and in Michigan, diverting away thousands of British troops as America's forgotten ally. More Info? Website: www.clark.net/pub/ jbustam/ heritage/heritage.html. Books: James W. Daddysman, The Matamoros Trade: Confederate Commerce, Diplomacy and Intrigue, 1984. Ella Lonn, Foreigners in the Confederacy, 1965 (reprint, 1940 edition). Andrew Rolle, The Lost Cause: The Confederate Exodus to Mexico, 1965. Ronnie C. Tyler, Santiago Vidaurri and the Southern Confederacy, 1973. John O'Donnell-Rosales , Hispanic Confederates, list of several thousand who served the Confederacy (1997), reprint 1998. cost is $18.00. order: item #9362, Clearfield Publishing Co., 200 E. Eager St., Baltimore, MD 21202.
While there were only a few hundred Asians living in the South at the time of the War for Southern Independence, records exist for several of these men becoming Confederate soldiers. Charles Chon, a Chinese National, was a private in Company K, 24th Texas Dismounted Cavalry Regiment, C.S.A. He was killed at the Battle of Franklin, TN, on Nov. 30, 1864, and is buried on the battlefield at the McGavock Confederate Cemetery. Another Asian-Confederate was William Henry Kwan of Co. B, 15th (or 12th) Virginia Battalion of Light Artillery. Kwan is a Cantonese (Chinese) name. The Military Image magazine showed his picture in their 1993 issue, where he appears to be of mixed Asian and Caucasian parentage. Another verified Asian Confederate is John Fouenty, a native of China, who was a cigar-maker in Savannah, GA, when the war broke out. He served in the Confederate army for a year, then was released because he was under age. Private Fouenty later returned to his native China. Research by Chinese-American researcher Shaie Mei Deng Temple of New Orleans, LA, reveals at least eighteen Asian-Confederates in various LA units, with names like Chou, Coo, Ding, Fai, Foo, Gong, Hai, Ho, Joung, Lin, Lee, Lou, Pang, Poo, Ting, and Wong. Perhaps the most famous Asian-Confederate soldiers were the two sons of famed P.T. Barnum Circus world-renowned Siamese Twins, Chang and Eng Bunker. (The Thai twins took the name "Bunker" to Americanize themselves.) Chang & Eng, joined at the chest from birth, were devoted Confederates, tobacco growers, and slave-owners, living as farmers in North Carolina after they retired from the circus. In 1865, Gen. Sherman tried to conscript (draft) a most unwilling Eng for the Union Army, but could not, since Chang had not likewise been conscripted! If Sherman had known more about their family, he wouldn't have bothered to even try to draft a Bunker, so fierce was the family's devotion to the Confederacy. The twins had married the Yates sisters and had several children, rotating between each others' houses every few days. During the war, the Bunkers strongly supported the South, providing food, clothing, and nursing to Confederate troops. Chang's son, Christopher, served in Co. I, 37th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry. He was wounded and captured at Moorefield, WV, and spent several months in a Yankee POW Camp before being exchanged. He had to eat rats to keep from starving in the Yankee POW Camp. Stephen Bunker, son of Eng Bunker, joined the same cavalry unit. He was wounded at Winchester, VA, and again before war's end. He and his brother both became farmers after the war. Specific research into Asian-Confederates is only now in its infancy. Many more Asian-Confederates are expected to come to light as this research progresses. Please see www.members.aol.com/gordonkwok/cacwpart26.html for additional details on the above Asian-Confederates.
Native Americans had to choose which side to support during the War for Southern Independence. Overwhelmingly, they chose to side with the Confederacy. Who could blame them for choosing the South over the North? After all, their experiences with the United States government since 1776 had not been particularly beneficial to their people. So, the Cherokees in North Carolina, the Choctaws in Mississippi, and many tribes in the "Indian Territory" (modern day Oklahoma) joined the ranks of the Confederacy, with many individual Native-Confederates joining scores of Confederate companies all across the South. In NC, several companies of Cherokees joined the Confederate troops of Thomas' Legion and were designated the North Carolina Cherokee Battalion. Lt. John Astooge Stoga, a full-blooded Cherokee, commanded one of the Cherokee companies. Unlike the Union army, the Confederate Army allowed non-Whites to become officers. The Legion served in VA, TN, and NC and even in Jubal Early's attempt to take Washington, DC. In late 1864, an additional two Cherokee companies were recruited into the Legion. In MS, the First Battalion Choctaw Cavalry was formed in 1862, with Maj. J.W. Pearce in command. The two companies of this battalion were formed in Newton County. This unit met with disaster at Tangipahoa, LA, when many of its members were captured; several Choctaws were humiliated by their Yankee captors by being taken North and put on exhibit as curiosities of war. However, some of the Choctaws escaped capture and were transferred to Maj. Spann's Battalion of Independent Scouts, where they served as dismounted scouts. In the Indian Territory, a number of Native-Confederate companies were formed from the Seminole, Choctaw, Creek, Chickasaw, and Cherokee tribes that had been forcibly relocated there by the US Government. Brigadier General Stand Watie, a full-blooded Cherokee, was the only Native-Confederate or Native-American to rise to that rank in the War of Northern Aggression. Watie was a slave-owning planter, like many Native-Americans in the South before the war. He was also the very last Confederate general to surrender an army during the war, his surrender coming on June 25, 1865, some two and a half months after Gen. Robert E. Lee had surrendered the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia. Clearly, the thousands of Native-Confederates who served the South made invaluable contributions to the Southern bid for freedom and independence.
A SOLDIER'S DIARY ENTRY TESTIFIES AS TO THE DIVERSITY OF CONFEDERATE TROOPS
Corporal Robert Watson, 1st Florida Cavalry, Civil War Diary: "1862---Feb 23. Sunday. Truly this is a cosmopolitan company, it is composed of Yankees, Crackers, Conchs, Englishmen, Spaniards, Germans, Frenchmen, Italians, Poles, Irishmen, Swedes, Chinese, Portuguese, Brazilian, I Rock Scorpion Crusoe [i.e., Watson's friend Crusoe, who may have been an Iraqi]; but all are good southern men. There are also Scotchmen, Welshmen and some half Indians, surely this is the greatest mixture of nations for a small company that I ever heard of."
The story of Ginnie and Lottie Moon is a fascinating one - two sisters who cleverly and brazenly spied for the Confederates during the Civil War - and got away with it. They smuggled medicines and messages for the Confederacy. Read their incredible story (too long for inclusion here) at http://userpages.aug.com/captbarb/moon.html. (Note: This is not the Lottie Moon of Southern Baptist fame.) Emmeline Piggott became North Carolina's most famous spy and smuggler. She is said to have carried dispatches in the large pockets under her full skirts. She avoided capture many times but was finally caught, arrested and imprisoned. She was eventually released and sent home. Elizabeth C. Howland, trained in medicine by her father, was highly successful as a Confederate spy. She often sent her young son and daughter to carry dispatches. Appearing innocent, the children were allowed to pass through enemy lines undisturbed. The trials and tribulations of Lt Harry T. Buford, Confederate Officer, later found to be Madam Loreta Velazquez, have also been recorded. Her book - "Loreta Janeta Velazquez The Woman in Battle: A Narrative of the Exploits, Adventures and Travels of Madame Loreta Janeta Velazquez, Otherwise Known as Lieutenant Harry T. Buford, Confederate States Army." Richmond, Va: Dustin, Gilman & Co., 1876 has become controversial. S.M. Blaylock, a woman, served in Co. F, 26th NC Infantry, until her discovery. One anonymous woman wearing the uniform of a Confederate private was found dead on the Gettysburg battlefield on July 17, 1863, by a burial detail from the Union II Corps. Based on the location of the body, it is likely the Southern woman died participating in Pickett's charge. Current research is turning up more and more actual female Confederate soldiers. The most accepted current estimate is that at least 250 women (disguised as men) served as CS soldiers.
Confederate companies took various mascots to war with them. An Arkansas regiment took a wildcat, a Louisiana regiment fittingly took a pelican. Most unusual of all was the 43rd MS Infantry's "Old Douglas" the camel, who served with the unit until killed by Yankee sharpshooters at Vicksburg; he has a tombstone in that city's Cedar Hill Cemetery.