The myth exists that the Confederate Army was a sea of lily-white Protestant faces with an occasional black "body servant." The truth is something far different.
The Confederate Army had more than 10,000 Native American soldiers from more than two-dozen tribes, including Cherokee Brigadier General Stand Watie. There were more than 5000 Hispanic Confederates and some, like Col. Ambrosio Gonzales and Loretta Velazquez, even came from Cuba. Nearly 3,500 Jewish Confederates lent their service and were among the last to die for the South. Foreigners from many countries served as officers and enlisted men, including Filipino soldiers out of New Orleans. The 10th Louisiana Infantry was known as "Lee’s Foreign Legion" and there was an all-Polish cavalry unit.
According to the federal census reports in 1860, 4 million blacks lived in the southern states at the out break of the war. 261,988 were free men. The great majority of these blacks remained in the South during the war and supported the Confederacy by growing food and making war supplies. Black Southerners, slave and free, were servants, clerks, hospital orderlies, wagon drivers, and engineer labor forces, but were also chaplains, scouts, foragers, combat soldiers, and feared sharpshooters. Records have been deliberately altered and facts suppressed by the Federal government but estimates of black confederates on the battlefield range from 10,000-50,000. They served willingly and they died in Union P.O.W. camps rather than take the Union oath of loyalty. Together with Southerners descended from waves of Irish, Scottish, and German immigrants, the Confederate Army stood as a group of men whose only qualification was, "Will you fight?"
Links For Further Information:
Click Here to see printed items featuring Diverse Confederates.