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[Please read the entire document at
For the sake of this post I only include Article IV, section 3, paragraph 3.]

"(3) The Confederate States may acquire new territory; and Congress
shall have power to legislate and provide governments for the
inhabitants of all territory belonging to the Confederate States, lying
without the limits of the several Sates; and may permit them, at such
times, and in such manner as it may by law provide, to form States to be
admitted into the Confederacy. In all such territory the institution of
negro slavery, as it now exists in the Confederate States, shall be
recognized and protected be Congress and by the Territorial government;
and the inhabitants of the several Confederate States and Territories
shall have the right to take to such Territory any slaves lawfully held
by them in any of the States or Territories of the Confederate States."

To this end, why would an African Ancestored man, free or slave,
volunteer to bear arms against the Union armies knowing that the C.S.A -
if victorious - was going to perpetuate slavery in its existing and new
territories? It doesn't make sense.

The Confederate States of America was about slavery!

However, I can understand it if an African Ancestored man, free or
slave, was forced or conscripted to be part of the Confederate army.

According to Wikipedia; Conscription is the compulsory enrollment of
people to some sort of public service. While the service may be of any
sort associated with the public, the term typically refers to enlistment
in a country's military.

Under these conditions, I could readily accept the notion that blacks
served in the C.S.A. army. Servants, cooks and ditch diggers under
conscription perhaps. Weapon wielding soldiers is a little hard for me
to grasp.

Cite the credible sources and documents of African Ancestored men, free or slave, in the confederate army and their status.

Let the genealogists and family historians notate their status before,
during, and after the Civil War. At some point, we will get to the

What say you on this issue?

"Guided by the Ancestors"

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Replies to This Discussion


It is my understanding that for about a year leading up to General Orders #14, there was a debate about using slaves to fight for the Confederacy, in exchange for their freedom (advanced primarily by General Cleburne). Jefferson Davis resisted it until the last minute, March 1865, when he relented, but the history appears ambiguous as to if freedom was promised for service. You must also keep in mind that most that enlisted probably did not have the option to join the Union forces as some others did (including at least 3 of my own ancestors) and took this nebulous chance at freedom as it was presented. To date, I have only encountered one black Confederate soldier in my research, by the name of Beason. I saw on his tombstone in a church cemetery where my 3G grandmother is buried that he served for a MS regiment of the Confederacy.

As a sidenote, I don't see where conscription was ever used by the Confederacy in regard to black soldiers, although I'm sure it was seriously debated at the time as the war started to turn south on them (pun intended).

Good points!

I, for one, would like to see the rolls of those who 'Enlisted' that were black!
Were they fair skinned and used this opportunity to make some money and get from under the whip?
Were they dark skinned and used this opportunity to buy their way out of slavery?

Now, was Beason an arms yielding soldier? Or was his grave marker etched to make us think so?
If he was a legitimate soldier, where are his compatriots? In other words, it would take documented proof and numbers comparable to the USCT to convince this African Ancestored Family Historian that such a group, called the black confederates, ever existed.

If there are any descendants of the so-called descendants of black confederates; you need to step up and quell this debate!

"Guided by the Ancestors"

I would say that there were some Free People of Color who owned enslaved Africans and had an invested interest in maintaining the system of chattel slavery. Although, they were not allowed to fight in the confederate army, many showed their support by purchasing confederate war bonds. The Ellison Family of Sumter District, South Carolina is one family.





Now that's interesting! Khathu, can you tell me/us more about the confederate war bonds and those who purchased them?


Peace & Blessings,

"Guided by the Ancestors"

Confederate bonds were like any other war bonds. They were used to raise money for the confederacy. The Ellis Family had invested more $9000.00 in the Confederate cause purchasing more than $2000 in war bonds.



Thanks Michael for pointing that out.
Could the motivation for giving the 'former slaves' who were at least on the battlefields for the confederacy a pension was to stem the tide of mass migration from the South?
Several decades ago, our North Carolina union partiipated in some sort of "march on Washington". In the mass parade, walk, or what-ever it was; a fellow middle aged member, he being "black" and I "white"; we started discussing the once institution of slavery in North Carolina. I mentioned some free blacks owned slaves, as did some Quakers. He disbelieved both. I explained it became increasingly hard for even whites to manumit slaves, especially if they were to remain in North Carolina as free men. That some free blacks purchased their wives to better protect and provide for their wives and children. This he could believe, but not Quaker slaveholders. I explained the Quakers were also pursuing beneficial "slavery". Pragmatically, as slaves they were practically better protected as slaves of white Quakers, than simply as free black men with little legal protection.
You might want to check out an article in the Journal of AAHGS, Silas Chandler, A Black Confederate Hero
by R. Elizabeth Chandler Yancy , in Volume 14, Numbers 1 & 2 (1995). Also there are several other resources on the topic, including several books. Among them: Black Confederates in the Civil War by Scott K. Williams Here's another perspective with good references, Did blacks fight in combat for the Confederacy? Also, EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH WEBSITE, (Black Confederate Soldiers), Petersburg Black Confederates, And one of the best known resources: Black Southerners in Gray, Essays on Afro-Americans in the Confederate Armies, edited by Richard Rollins

Ok, We are genealogists here and family historians, and at the least reasonably good researchers. LOOK IT UP FOLKS! And something I was taught a long time ago, we need to stop expecting people in the past to hold the values of today. Like it or not, they had different values, a different world-view, and a different set of premises to work from. Most of our values, viewpoints, attitudes would have been unintelligible to them even on this topic. I know that bursts our bubbles sometimes, but it is what it is or rather what it was. Trust me, 100 years from now our descendants won't understand how on earth we made the choices we made.



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