It is a matter of historical fact that the first black unit of the Civil War was a Confederate unit, the Louisiana Native Guards.
But they weren't even the first black unit in American history - Andrew Jackson had a unit of free blacks with him in 1815 at the Battle of New Orleans.
The black Yankee units were all johnny-come-latelies (pun intended). The PC crowd hates it when these facts are mentioned, though.
posted on 02/26/2005 10:45:49 PM PST
by Malleus Dei
("Communists are just Democrats in a hurry.")
To: Malleus Dei
You are right about the New Orleans Native Guard having served in the Battle of New Orleans. Most of them were wealthy mixed race Creoles and had a long track record of war service.
There were in fact many black soldiers in the Revolutionary War. Rhode Island for example had many black soldiers serving in their units. It is estimated that 15% of all of the American soldiers in Washington's Army were black by 1781.
As for the Native Guards, they were turned down for Confederate Service in 1862 and switched allegiance to the Union cause. There were blacks that attempted to join the CSA but were turned down.
To their credit Lee and Cleburne wished to use black troops. Moderates had suffiencenlty taken enough control of the Richmond government to allow Lee to raise two black regiments but they were in no major battles (April 1865 was too late for their service).
I assume that there were an unknown number of blacks, light skinned etc. who "passed" as white and served the CSA. Many blacks also served in uniform as orderlies. And it is not a myth to say that from time to time a slave picked up a rifle to defend their home. Official black service was denied however repeatedly by the Richmond Government.
There were many in the South that wished to arm slaves but they were shouted down by the "fire-eaters". The big difference between the Rev War or even 1812 and the Civil War were events such as Nat Turner and John Brown. People feared arming blacks....north and south.
That being said, I always defend the right of Southerners to defend their ancestors' service. It would have been great if the South had been able to free blacks to fight for the CSA. But the people who started the CSA had no intention of doing so. The moderates like Lee and Cleburne were more honorable and more representative of the best of the South. Sad to say they didn't get their way.
Just my little voice again saying to respect both our southern and northern heroes.
posted on 02/28/2005 6:59:36 AM PST
(I Hate Liberal Dirty T-Shirt Backpacker Grad Students)
To: Malleus Dei
The first black unit I ever heard of was one who was the rear guard of Washington's army when he retreated from New York during the Revoluntionary War. They held their ground and died while the rest of the army (white) all fled.
posted on 03/01/2005 2:58:42 PM PST
by U S Army EOD
(John Kerry, the mother of all flip floppers.I)
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