Thursday, June 7, 2012

Black Confederates

There are many people out there who strongly disagree at the fact that black men served as Confederates during the War for Southern Independence. They belittle these men; calling them only cooks, servants, musicians etc. Most of these people are from the north who usually have a hidden agenda. They usually dont want people to recognize that black men fought because then they would not have a leg to stand on when they fight to ban the Confederate Battle Flag. They say the flag is a flag of racism.

They want us to believe that the war was just about slavery. Now, I wont sit here and say that the war had nothing to do with slavery. We all know it was a big part of it. They want us to think that it was the negro hating demon south against the negro loving and saving north. As with anything…..its never that simple and its never that black and white.

This post is not to get into the politics of the war or what caused the war. Its also not to dismiss slavery as a driving factor in the war. It is merely to pay honor to those Black Confederates. They, no doubt, had many reasons for being Confederates. Some may have been forced but some, no doubt, wanted to stand up and fight. After all, the North was invading their country also.

Some of the following men are unidentified to me. If you have knowledge of who they are please feel free to email me at as I would surely love to add that info.

The ones that I do have identities for, I have added their info.

Once again, I do not make this thread to get into a flaming about Black Confederates but to merely Honor the ones who served the Confederacy.

Holt Collier

At the outbreak of the Civil War, Howell Hinds joined the Confederate Army and gave Collier his freedom papers. Collier immediately tried to join the Confederate forces alongside Hinds, but was told he was too young to fight. He ran away from the plantation and stowed away on a riverboat in the Mississippi for almost a year and then joined the 9th Texas Brigade by his own choice and served throughout the war. He finished his service as one of Nathan Bedford Forrest’s most trusted cavalry scouts, known as a superb horseman and marksman.

During the time of Reconstruction, Collier was accused of murdering a Yankee soldier, Captain James King, but was acquitted by a military tribunal in Vicksburg. King and Howell Hinds were involved in a fight and during the dispute, Hinds, though a much older man, knocked the youngster down several times. King’s anger grew with every knockdown. Finally, the thoroughly infuriated young man drew a knife on his unarmed opponent, but a bystander fired shots killing King, preventing him from drawing blood with his knife. It was never fully proven that Holt Collier was the man behind the gun. Soon after the trial, Collier left Mississippi and headed for Texas to lay low and let the controversy of the trial and King’s death blow over.

While in Texas, Collier used his skills as a horseman to work as a cowboy for one of the Lone Star State’s Founding Fathers, Lawrence Sullivan Ross, on Ross’ large ranch. Ross was one of the first Texas Rangers and eventually Governor of Texas, which adds a bit of irony to the story considering Collier was biding time waiting for a murder accusation to pass.

John Noland

This image was taken by E.A. Baldwin June 5 1863. This is John Noland. Gus Myers spoke highly of this black man in notes in his journal. He is wearing a Confederate raider hat. He was Quantrill’s personal scout and spy. He later attended many of the Quantrill Reunions and was very highly respected. All of his pall bearers were former Quantrill guerrillas, white men who loved him

Half Brothers

This ambrotype taken by Washburn & Co. of New Orleans captured an example of a unique social status in antebellum New Orleans. These Confederate soldiers are half brothers, the one on the right a mulatto.

Silas Chandler

Most of us have seen this photo before.

The one-of-a-kind Civil War photograph is at the center of a hot debate over whether black men fought for the Confederate army. Was Silas Chandler, the black man in a Confederate uniform, slave or free? What was the relationship between him and Andrew Chandler, the man at left?

The gentleman on the right is Silas Chandler, his slave, or as we’ve always called him, manservant. Andrew Chandler fought with the 44th Mississippi Cavalry, as did Silas. They’re about the same age, joined the Confederate army when Andrew was 16, Silas was 17, and they fought in four battles together. What I’m told is unusual about this is that both men are obviously in Confederate uniforms and that images of African Americans in Confederate uniforms during the war are particularly rare. I think they were seen more prevalently at veterans reunions and things wearing Confederate uniforms. But it was, I think, a very interesting relationship. The men grew up together, they worked the fields together, and continued to live closely throughout the rest of their lives.

Daniel Jenkins

Mulatto Confederate Soldier Daniel Jenkins and his wife. Jenkins was with the Confederate 9th Kentucky Infantry and was killed at Shiloh on 4/6/62.

Anthony T. Welters

Confederate soldier Anthony T. Welters is pictured in this late 1800’s portrait. Welters is one of two African American Confederate soldiers buried at San Lorenzo Cemetery in St. Augustine.

Returning to St. Augustine, after the war, Welters lived at 79 Bridge St. and became active in politics and with the E. Kirby Smith Camp, United Confederate Veterans. He died in 1902 at 92 years old.

Wary Clyburn

Wary Clyburn served with honor

Mattie Clyburn Rice is the second black "Real Daughter" to be recognized by the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Mattie Clyburn Rice, 88, spent years searching through archives to prove her father was a black Confederate. As she leafs through a notebook filled with official-looking papers, Rice stops to read a faded photocopy with details of her father’s military service.

"At Hilton Head while under fire of the enemy, he carried his master out of the field of fire on his shoulder, that he performed personal service for Robert E. Lee. That was his pension record," Rice says.

Jeff Shields

A cook for the Stonewall Jackson Brigade, maybe a cook for Stonewall Jackson himself.

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