Their Story

The African American struggle in the United States is no different then any other ethnic origin , the Native Americans during the early days of our country. Their plight is told with ethnic cleansing with mass extermination of over 500 different tribes. Then came the Chinese immigrants who fought the cold heat and other weather conditions with low pay and often much abuse. Then comes the African American who was enslaved into bondage. The Irish in the North who were treated no different then the other ethnic races who were put into sweat factories and ghetto’s. What’s wrong with this picture? Nothing really other then the races foreign to the white race was often discriminated against. But my writing is not about ethnic cleansing nor the plight of any one race but the African American in the South during the Civil War.

The purpose of this article is to tell you the forgotten truth about these noble peoples who did serve in the Confederate Armies as laborers, teamsters, built cannons and hand guns, who sewed the clothes for the men in the field. And offered their services willingly to promote the cause of the Confederacy wither it be their freedom for their services or staying a slave. The North will argue the point that the Negro Did not, serve with the Confederate Armies and that they were impressed into Confederate service by a government of bondage and hatred. Well my friend have I a story to tell you ! I realize once this article or series of articles get’s out I will receive a great deal of flak and good comments. I have been doing some freelance asking around with African Americans I know and to my surprise many of them are stating that I am right. And they realize that Blacks were a part of the Confederate Armies.

And their story is the same as mine the Black men and women of the South DID take up the cause of the Confederacy, and many did serve with their master in the field of battle and many did, take up arms and shoot Yankee’s. That some 60,000 African Americans did do their part. That is what this is all about to defuse the lie of the Historians who state that it never did happen….I will let you be the judge of this in the

web site I have created. all the facts in this site are true and accurate, their is nothing in it that will be taken out of context. I will type the way it was told and the spelling as it was translated from letters. Both Union and confederate, All quotes are as written by the authors of such. I will conclude for you here you be the judge…you make the ultimate discussionof am I telling you the truth.

Lastly all quotes will be numbered according at the end of the web site for your reference and research for yourself, I hope that this site will open your eyes, to the truth.

The African American during the great war of Rebellion is quite often left out of History books only to talk about Slavery but the Slavery issue is not to be denied nor over looked as Slavery was real and there were foul masters who mistreated their slaves. But for the most part master were compelled to feed, cloth, and provide medical attention to their Slaves. The work was often long hours in the hot sun and cold rain. Were they a happy lot of people no, but they did have a roof and food. Even as scant as it was. I agree that slavery was wrong but who’s the blame? The South? No not really but to some extent, for the South would never used slaves if it wasn’t for the North selling them.I am fighting this war with liberals who dare to say that this never happened to you I say you have not read your history can not be denied…Here in you’ll find documentation of facts, not here say and in the other aspect I dare anyone to disprove that Blacks served in the Confederacy. As one man told me that all the blacks were Impressed into service. Well let’s look at impressments: Webster’s defines Impressments as: To force upon someone their will against another, or force into service or servitude.” Were The blacks impressed Ah yes maybe some, but not all. When one receives pay for their services is this impressments? By no means it’s called paid labor.

Confederate Camp with Body Servants

With the fever of war fast growing and the South was about to make the decision to succeed from the North and being like their fore fathers from the English to win their independence from the traitors of the North. The fever was in every home including the slaves quarters. Men boasted of they can whip any Yankee that comes into Southern soil. Early in the days before Fort Sumpter, men of North Carolina and South Carolina were gearing up for war, were these men white? No they were black.

They were Freemen of Color and some were slaves, there desire was to defend their homes, and State:

To: Brigader General Lawton

Commanding Military District. The undersigned free men of color,residing in the city of Savannah and the County ofChatam,fully impressed with the feeling of duty we owe to the State of Georgia as inhabitants thereof,which as for as long a period extended to ourselves and families its protection,and has been to us the source of many benefits-beg leave,respectfully,in his hour of danger,to tender to yourself our services,to be employed in the defense of the state,at any place or point,at any time,to any length of time,and in any service for which you may consider us best fitted,and in which we can contribute to the public good. (1.Savannah Evening news)

Here we see one of the first on many offers of Colored Free Men offering the South and the Confederacy their services.Another Band of Blacks in Charleston SC, as well: wrote to their Governor Pickens. ” We are by birth citizens of South Carolina- – in our vains flows the blood of of the white race,in some half and others more then half white blood, our attachments are with you,and the hopes of safety & protection from you. Our Allegance is with So.Ca. and in her defense,we are willing to offer up our lives,and all that is dear to us. Any service where we can be most useful,We are ready whenever called upon to assist in preparing the State a defense against any action which may be brought against her. (2). another group of ” able bodied free colored men”(3).offered to work without pay on the breastworks being around the coast. An observer in Charleston SC noted:” A thousand Negroes who, so far from inclining to insurrections, were grinning from ear to ear at the prospect of shooting Yankees.” (5) Where was the insurrection the North wanted so badly??? (Authors note) Insurrection what was the need? Many Blacks were against Slavery and it’s ugly head but their alligance was to the state and their homes ,families and their master of which many were attached to for generations past. If the reader will note thus far they were (Free Men Of Color). But in their rank and files I am quite sure that there were slaves that were owned by these Black men, or white men who allowed them this freedom.

In another case of Blacks siding with the South in Richmond Va. Another group of men calling themselves ” Black Ethiopian Serenaders” Gave returns from their concerts to help pay for gun boats and munitions (6).Just after Sumpter a company of armed Blacks was seen passing through Charleston (7). In Nashville Tenn, a company of free Blacks offered their services to the Confederate Government and in June the state legislature authorized Governor Harris to accept in Tennessee service to all male persons of color.(8) ( The First State to do so). In Memphis in September a procession of several hundred free blacks marched thought the streets under the command of Confederate Officers.(9)” They were brimful of patriotism, shouting for Jeff Davis and singing war songs”.(10). One black company was sent to Augusta Ga, to serve with the 3rd and 4th Georgia Regiments. (10). In Montgomery blacks were seen drilling and armed for military duty.(11). Where is the insurrection? What is the motive of these brave men? Thus far you have seen that most were Freemen of Color: Meaning that some how during their enslavement they either earned their freedom by buying it out, or their former masters gave them their freedom in manners of earned status as a household servant loyalty or doing some favorable deed. There were many ways one could earn their freedom. Two companies were formed in Fort Smith Arkansas, they had no weapons, but prepared themselves by drilling and declared themselves determined ” To fight for their masters and their homes”(12) Similar occurrences happened in Virginia. Lynchburg Va. seventy black men enlisted for the defense of Virginia, soon after succession. The local newspaper stated:” Three cheers for the negros of Lynchburg” (13) In 1861 Horace Greeley wrote after the war ” For two years before the Lincoln government authorized the use of black troops, Negros were extensively employed in belligerent operations by the Confederacy” In South Carolina in summer of 1861 The Winston Salem Peoples Press reported ” Fifteen free men of color left { Salisbury , N.C.} Monday morning for the mouth of Cape Fear, Volunteers for the service of the state.They were in fine spirits and each wore a placard on his hat bearing the inscription .WE WILL DIE FOR THE SOUTH. (1a).

On March 12, 1862 Stephen D. Collins and D.F. Edmond requested the consent of North Carolina Governor John W. Willistp support the state and Confederacy through military enlistments, having “been very strongly solicited by their neighbors, freinds,and citizens to raise a company of free Mulatives s there are so many near…that is willing to turn out in behalf of our homes and friends” Does this indicate that the African American was ready to fight for the South? Sounds like it to me but Historians dispels that they didn’t. Our say that ok maybe a few did but not the 60,000 your saying did fight or serve in some capacity. Let’s Continue here:

In Petersburg Va. A group o Blacks held a mass rally in front of the court house these men volunteered there services to build fortifcations for the South, The former Mayor, John Dodson presented them with a Confederate Battle Flag, and promised them a ” rich reward of praise, and merit, from a thankful people” Charles Tinsley. a bricklayer and spokesmen for the group, accepted the flag and said ” We are willing to aid Virgina’s cause to the utmost of our ability. We do not feel that it is right for us to remain here idle, when white gentlemen are engaged in the performance of work at Norfolk that is more suitable for our hands and of which it is our duty to relieve them. We promise unhesitating obedience to all orders that my be given us” (16) So off they went and as stated with their Battle flag, “OF THEIR OWN FREE WILL”. Insurrection? Impressed? Forced to serve? Don’t sound like that these men are being forced to me how about you?

Where did they serve ?

Slave s&Free Blacks Teamsters CSA. CSA. Drummer Henry Brown

This is the Question the Confederate Government asked themselves where are we going to use these men? How are we going to pay them? And lastly do we really want them? The last one was done away with as they realized that they had less White men to do this work then the Blacks who were willing. So they were allowed to do the work, The average pay was about 25 cents a day, or eleven dollars a month. Much more then the white man who would carry the gun or about the same. The only exception to this was the Blacks who were musicians in the Army they receive $13.00 a month two dollars more then the common soldier fighting who got $11.00 a month. And there were a lot of musicians. BLACK..

Free Blacks and Slaves were an important part of the Confederate Structure, They provided the much needed labor in factories that built the guns and other weapons of war, and that is just the beginning. It is not really know as to how many were in the building of fortifications, it is in the thousands as estimated. One historian estimates that 20% of the work forces were black in the Confederate Ordnance Department, in other states as Richmonds Tredegar Iron Works over half the work force were black, they also built the Chimborazo Hospital in Richmond. They also were in other services as hospital stewards and teamsters, By February 1865, 310 of the 400 workers at the Naval works in Selma were black, and in September of 1863 there was 4,301 blacks in the Confederate Iron mines to the whites 2,518 almost double the work force.It’s a shame that historians are not willing to admitt this in our history books. Talk about segregation of the races….another Unionist ploy to thwart the South as a mindless Slave driver society. Another item Historians fail to tell is that there were Black Slave owners in the South, One in particular in Va. Had over five hundred working on his plantation alone! Was slavery limited only to whites? I am afraid not dear reader. In South Carolina ,John Stanley owned 163 salves, William Ellison owned 97, The Metromeyer clan of Louisiana owned nearly 400, Black Men were not the only ones who owned slaves, the women were also slave owners. In Charleston so many black women owned slaves from inheritance or given slaves and other property by white men, and used the slaves to start successful businesses as caters and dressmakers and other small businesses 70% of he black population in Charleston owned slaves. All these men and women were black. Another aspect of the Blacks offering their services was sometimes in the form of monetary aid in n Alabama blacks bought watermelons and sold them, offering this money for the troops from Alabama for needed equipment. North Carolina a servant came to his Master and insisted that he accept one hundred dollars of his savings for the cause. In 1862 Henry Jones, a citizen of Clarksville Virginia, placed as the disposal of the Confederate treasury $465.00 in gold. Gary B. Mills found that the Louisiana Cane River Creoles of color publicly favored the Confederacy throughout the war, They deprived themselves and their families to help maintain the Confederate forces. A North Carolina newspaper reported that blacks in Louisburg Va, gave a feast to Confederate soldiers in the area two months before Appomattox ! Savannah Ga, blacks there raised ninety dollars and gave it to Georgia Troops bound for Virginia, another group in Georgia presented to Jordans Georgia regiment seventy -two pairs of socks in New Bern. Southern blacks also contributed in other ways, A new Orleans lithographer Louis Pessou in his shop displayed and produced Southern full color pictures of Confederate Camps, (rare if you can find one!) in his shop not only to include a copy of the ordinances of succession Mr. Pessou was a free man of color.(23) In Fort Smith Arkansas a black sponsored ball was given and raised money for Confederate soldiers.(24).Richard Kinnard of Petersburg Va. Gave $100.00 of his hard earned money..John Jordan Chase of Vicksburg Ms gave his only horse to the Confederacy, AND Pledged another $500.00’s to the cause. A New Orleans real estate broker gave $500.00 to the cause he was black. But not all slaves were able to give money many did as this fellow, An Alabama slave gave all that he had at the time a bushel of sweet potatoes. And that’s worth more then money as this was all that this poor gentlemen probably had, an noble deed indeed! The black residents of the town of Helena Ark gathered donations from various members and raised $90.00 for the cause. And lastly the most striking and heart warming is the little slave girl who gave a a whole twenty five cents…The free women of Savannah made uniforms for soldiers and among the subscribers of a Confederate Loan in Columbus GA .was a gentlemen that contributed $300.00 (25-26).

The Ladies Gunboat Fund in Savanah Ga which eventually produced the CSS. Georgia had significant impact and support among the black community! Dear reader these are facts that historians failed to tell you…and for sake of letting you get the books I have told you about I will stop here for this part, so continue on to the next page for more facts concerning the men who did service with their masters.

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