Did Blacks Serve In The C.S. Army? You Can Bet They Did!

The denial of "those people"amazes me. With very little effort, anyone can find that free blacks and slaves served in the C.S. Army. Some were pressed into service, but many volunteered of their own free will. Many argue the numbers which is moot, the simple fact is that blacks served!

It matters not if they were teamsters, cooks, combatants or simply caring for the family at home. These patriots of color where heroes and deserve better than they have received!

For those in denial, the truth is out there and you know it!…PoP

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Conscript Office
Rich’d Dec. 22nd 1864

In Answer to the enquiries of the Secty of war in reference to the impressment of slaves,  transmitted by you to this office for reply.   I beg leave to submit the following Report-

I will take occasion in the ontset^to repeat what has been previously presented for consideration of higher author-ity, in my letter of the 19th of Sept. to Capt Duffield aag and subsequently in a communication by myself of the 8th of Oct:- that owing to the want of competent and efficient officers it is impossible to get prompt and accurate returns _ and in   (?)  the accumulation of work arising at the time the impressments were ordered the contrariety of constructions in one and the same subject has tended to hinder and embarrass the Enrolling Officers in the fulfillment of their duties, and in-promptly reporting their action.

In reply to the first inquiry. The number of slaves impressed under the act of Congress of the 17th Feb: alt. you are informed that at the date of my last report (Dec 1st) 1753 slaves had been impressed under requisitions for Temporary Service and 1234 slaves for-twelve months service.

In reply to the second inquiry.  whether there are any slaves in government employ exceeding One in

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Five of the male slaves between the ages of 18 & 45 yrs of one owner, your attention is invited to the Enclosed Copy of Extract from SP. Order No: 224 at also (cs) author izinn impressments of slaves between the ages of 18 & 50 yrs.  This order was subsequestly modified and restricted to impressment between the ages of 18 & 45.  This office however is not in possession of the information as to how many slaves beyond the age of 45 yrs have been impressed as no reports except as to the number impressed have been received from Enrolling Officers which are in accompanies with discriptive lists

In reply to the third Enquiry.  Whether any slaves have been impressed on a basis of calculation including female slaves et.  under instructions from the comdng-Genl the Enrolling officers were directed to include female slaves in the aggregate of ones slaves from which impressment of male slaves should be made.  but little progress, however was made under this order. as  subsequent instructions revoking said order were issued soon there after and it is believed that the actions under this order has been since rectified.

In reply to the fourth Enquiry.  whether the credit directed to be allowed by the act of Feb 17th has been allowed to.  Your attention is invited to the Enclosed Copy of extract from Cir No 71 from this office issued In compliance with the instructions from the Comdg Genl Directing that no credit be allowed except for

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slaves furnished in part satisfaction of the requisition. Owing to the fact that this office has not received accurate returns from the Enrolling officers it is impossible to furnish the authorities with more definite information. In the execution of the order calling for 2250 slaves for twelve months service, they are reported at the Camp of Instruction and a record kept giving descriptive list. Name of owner, Valuation tc and an information necessary for present or future reference.

For a fuller and more detailed report of Execution of the orders for slaves impressments, your attention is invited to the regular monthly report from this office on the subject to be forward ed at the end of the month.

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Comment by Document Owner: Sam Snyder

I personally feel it has great historical significance as it clearly shows tens of thousands of Blacks weren’t drafted as is the Common thought. Also of great interest is it mentions they were sent to a camp of instruction. Clearly why would you send someone who is going to be used as a teamster or cook to a camp of instruction.Clearly they were being "drilled" or trained for some important support or combatant role.

Of particular nature also, is the mention of females!  Regardless of if these people actually bore arms is irrelevant.  They still severed in whatever capacity. Was a possible clerk who was drafted into WWII not recognized as a vet?  They most certainly are. The fact the numbers are so low in this document lead credibility to how many must have volunteered based on how many served.