Re: Black Confederate Soldiers
There were also Indians from the 5 Nations with black blood who
joined Stand Watie's confederate regiment in Indian Territory
(Oklahoma). These troops were responsible for atrocities against
freedmen and "colored" Union troops. Some Cherokee still support
efforts to establish the confederate flag as a Cherokee flag.
--- In OneDropRule@yahoogroups.com, "Frank W. Sweet" <fwsweet@b...>
> I was evidently not clear in what I was asking, regarding Black
> soldiers mustered into the Confederate army. My fault. I was
> Girlfromthenc thought that I was raising the issue of whether or
> not the Confederacy accepted Black combat soldiers. I was not
> raising this issue. As can be found from many sources, online and
> off, Confederate law in 1861 flatly forbade any "negro or mulatto"
> to be accepted into the army anywhere, for any reason, although it
> authorized the use of slaves as laborers on Army projects. Not
> until February of 1864, when it was obvious that the Confederacy
> could not achieve military victory, did they amend the law to allow
> "mulatto" (but not "negro") support personnel (cooks, musicians,
> teamsters) but still forbade Black combat soldiers. Not until it
> was all over, scant weeks before Richmond was in flames and Davis
> was trying to escape capture by cross-dressing, did they amend the
> law to accept Black combat troops.
> Dr. Farmer thought that I was talking about whether many Blacks
> wanted to fight for the Confederacy. I was not talking about this.
> Many slaveowners of part-African ancestry wanted very much to
> preserve their peculiar institution. The Louisiana Native Guards,
> for example, was a crack unit who were famous for their role in the
> victory against the British in battle of New Orleans (January 1814)
> under Andrew Jackson. They mustered into the Confederate Army to
> defend their state as soon as the Civil War started. But due to the
> abovementioned Confederate law, they were kept on menial
> non-military duties for six months. Once it was clear that they
> would never be accepted into the Confederate army, they switched
> sides and joined the U.S. forces and became the Corps d' Afrique.
> (They were accepted as U.S. soldiers but all their officers were
> replaced with White Northerners for reasons explained in another
> Susanne and Will thought that I was talking about the "master
> narrative." (The accepted canon of U.S. history that appears in
> K-12 and introductory undergraduate textbooks.) Since the goal of
> any nation-state's master narrative is to shed favorable patriotic
> light on the nation, it is unavoidably selective and, in the U.S.
> case, has often contained blatant falsification. I was talking
> about the master narrative, but not in the sense that Susanne and
> Will understood. From about 1890 to about 1970, the U.S. master
> narrative portrayed Blacks in the Civil War as happy slaves, loyal
> and loving to their benevolent masters, and helping to defend their
> plantations against wicked invading Yankees. You can see this
> master narrative in the 1939 film "Gone With the Wind" (from the
> novel by Margaret Mitchell) and the identical master narrative in
> the 1993 film "The Killer Angels" (from the novel by Michael
> Shaara). The role of Blacks as combat soldiers in the U.S. army was
> totally expunged from the master narrative until about 1970. Since
> then, it has become to re-emerge. But the U.S. master narrative has
> never portrayed Black Confederate combat soldiers.
> What I was talking about is a very recent phenomenon. In the past
> ten years, U.S. popular culture has increasingly embraced the
> notion that the Confederacy, like the Union, officially mustered
> organized military units (platoons, companies, regiments, etc.) of
> Black combat soldiers. Others have noticed the same phenomenon; see
> <http://members.aol.com/neoconfeds/trclark.htm>, for example. At
> this rate, I predict a popular novel portraying regiments of Black
> Confederate infantrymen within the next few years, to be followed
> by a movie.
> And so my question was not whether the South mustered Black troops.
> They did not. And it was not whether some Blacks wanted to fight
> for the Confederacy. Many wanted to. And it was not whether the
> 1890-1970 master narrative included Black Confederate combat
> formations. It did not; the 1890-1970 master narrative did not
> include Black Union soldiers either.
> My question is why, just within the past ten years, has U.S.
> popular culture embraced the idea of Black Confederate combat
> units? I ask because I suspect that it presages another change in
> the master narrative.
> Frank W. Sweet
> Latest Essay: The Antebellum South Flirts With the One-Drop Rule
- Franklin Farmer wrote:There were also Indians from the 5 Nations
with black blood who joined Stand Watie's confederate regiment in
Indian Territory (Oklahoma).
Yes, indeed. A question recently posted on another group asked,
"Why did Indians fight for the Confederacy?" "Why" questions are
usually hard to answer. But in this case, that many tribes enslaved
their enemies and had a long tradition of slavery undoubtedly had
something to do with their fighting to preserve their heritage and
slaveowning way of life.
Similarly, Confederate Senator David Levy of Florida, Confederate
Secretary of the Navy Stephen Mallory, and Confederate General
Pierre G.T. Beauregard all had known but considered-trivial African
ancestry. They were all wealthy slaveowners, of course.
Frank W. Sweet
Latest Essay: The Antebellum South Flirts With the One-Drop Rule