Ten Little-Known Facts About Afro-Confederate Soldiers
Contributed by: Jack Maples, Author of The reconstructed Yankee (Corinthian Books)
1. Confederate black soldiers, musicians, cooks, and teamsters earned the same pay as white confederate privates. In the North, however, African-Americans did not receive equal pay in the Union Army. Black soldiers from both North and South experienced discrimination from whites who opposed equality.
2. In return for recognizing the legitimacy of the Confederacy, Jefferson Davis offered a plan to Britain and France that proposed emancipation of slaves. France was interested; Britain was not.
3. Eighty-three percent of Richmond’s male slave population volunteered for duty in the Confederate States Colored Troops. Before Richmond fell, black Confederates in gray uniforms drilled in the streets, but only some saw action before the war ended.
4. Ulysses Grant ordered the Union Army to capture "all Negro men." He feared that the South would succeed in filling its army with black soldiers, a threat that was almost accomplished before the war ended. (Thousands did serve)
5. "The Bridge Builder of the Confederacy" was a former slave named Horace King. He was an expert engineer who became wealthy while doing contract work for the Confederate Navy. The Yankees pillaged his home.
6. One of the last Confederates to surrender was a black seaman, six months after the Civil War ended, aboard the CSS Shenandoah.
7. At least one Black Confederate was a non-commissioned officer. Higher ranking black commissioned officers served in militia units. At least two blacks (William Bugg and Moses Dallas) served as Confederate Navy pilots with the rank of Warrant Officer.
8. The National Park Service has recognized that blacks were asked to help defend the city of Petersburg, Virginia and were offered their freedom if they did so.
9. The Jackson Battalion included two companies of black soldiers. They saw combat at Petersburg under Col. Shipp
Black and white militiamen returned heavy fire on Union troops at the Battle of Griswoldsville (near Macon, GA). Approximately 600 boys and elderly men were killed in this skirmish.
10. The first military monument in the US Capitol that honors an African-American soldier is the Confederate monument at Arlington National cemetery. A black Confederate soldier is depicted marching in step with white Confederate soldiers.
" I don’t want to call it a conspiracy to ignore the role of Blacks both above and below the Mason-Dixon line,
but it was definitely a tendency that began around 1910."
– Ed Bearrs, National Park Service historian
"When you eliminate the black Confederate soldier, you’ve eliminated the history of the South."
– Dr. Leonard Haynes, professor, Southern University