Sirs, while I lay no claim to a vast knowledge of Black Confederates I do know this. Holt Collier is the only African American with a National Park named for him. Holt was a slave at the beginning of the war. When his master left for the battlefield , Holt soon followed him. He eventually was enlisted and held the rank of Sgt, at the war’s end. His
claim to fame was his skill as a bear hunter. In Holt’s lifetime he had taken over 3000 bears. After the war he was hired to lead a hunting party for the sitting president. As the president spent the day in the stand waiting for a shot, night began to fast approach and he began to make his way back to the hunting camp. At the same time Holt and his dogs had cornered a bear in a nearby creek. The bear had grabbed Holt’s best dog and Holt waded into the fray to save the dog ,fearing a shot may hit his dog. Holt bashed the bear in the head with his rifle, knocking the bear out. The bear was then dragged out and tied to a tree. The president was summoned to return and shoot the bear, When the president arrived on the scene, he refused to shoot the bear citing it as being an unsportsman like kill. As with most presidents, he was accompanied by news reporters who the following day reported that
President Rosevelt had not taken the bear and henceforth referred to it as Teddy’s bear. From that came the entire legend and industry of the Teddy Bear. So if there’s is any dispute over whether Blacks served the Confederacy, then the National Park Service has settled the dispute long ago.
Eddie Grey, Lt.Cmdr
Sgt. John A. Lisk Camp# 1502
Montgomery County, N.C.