Black Confederates

Monday, May 24, 2010

Black Confederates join mess

Black Confederates join mess with with their white brothers

Monday, May 17, 2010


This revives the memory of a faithful man in black who followed me through from First Manassas, Leesburg, where he assisted in capturing the guns we took from Baker, to the Peninsular, the Seven Days before Ricnmond, Fredericksburg, the bombardment of the city December 11, and the battle, two days after, at Marye's Heights, to Chancellorsville, the storming of Harper's Ferry, and the terrible struggle at Sharpsburg (Antietam now), and last, Gettysburg. Here he lost his life by his fidelity to me his 'young marster" and companion. We were reared together on 'de ole plantation" in "Massippi."

I was wounded in the Peach Orchard at Gettysburg on the second day. The fourth day found us retreating in a cold, drizzling rain. George had found an ambulance, in which I, Sergeant Major of the Seventeenth Mississippi, and Col. Holder of that regiment, still on this side of the river, and an officer of the Twenty first Mississippi, whose name escapes me, embarked for the happy land of Dixie. All day long we moved slower than any funeral train over the pike, only getting eight miles to Cashtown. When night camel had to dismount from loss of blood and became a prisoner in a strange land. On the next day about sundown faithful George, who still clung lo me, told me that the Yankees were coming down the road from Gettysburg and were separating the "black folks from dar marsters," that he didn't want to be separated from me and for me to go on to prison and he'd slip over the mountains and join the regiment in retreat, and we'd meet again "ober de ribber," meaning the Potomac. We had crossed at Williamsport.

I insisted on George accepting his freedom and joining a settlement of free negroes in the vicinity of Gettysburg, which we had passed through in going up to the battle. But he would have none of it, he wanted to stay with me always. I had him hide my sword, break it off at the hilt and stick it in a crack of the barn (that yet stands in the village) to the left of the road going away from Gettysburg, where I, with about thirty other wounded, lay. I can yet see that faithful black face and the glint of the blade as the dying rays of that day's sun flashed upon them. A canteen of water and some hard tack was the last token of his kindly care for me.

In the spring of 1865, I saw a messmate from whom I was separated on that battlefield, and he told me the fate of poor, faithful George. He had gotten through the lines safely and was marching in the rear of our retreating command, when met by a Northern lady, who had a son in our command, whom George, by chance, happened to know. He was telling her of her son, who was safe as a prisoner, when some men in blue came up. George ran and they shot and killed him. He was dressed in gray and they took him for a combatant. The lady had him buried and then joined her son in prison. She told my messmate of this and he told to the boys in camp the fate of the truest and best friend I ever had. George's prediction will come true. I feel we will meet again "over the river."

Confederate Veteran May 1896 [P.154].

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Negroes Volunteering.

About fifty free negroes in Amelia county have offered themselves to the Government for any service.

In our neighboring city of Petersburg, two hundred free negroes offered for any work that might be assigned to them, either to fight under white officers, dig ditches, or any thing that could show their desire to serve Old Virginia. In the same city, a negro hackman came to his master, and with tears in his eyes, insisted that he should accept all his savings, $100, to help equip the volunteers. The free negroes of Chesterfield have made a similar proposition. Such is the spirit among bond and free, throughout the whole of the State. Those who calculate on a different state of things, will soon discover their mistake.

Rich. Dispatch.
The Vindicator pg1 (Column 1)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sensible Colored Folks

According to an account by a Lieut. Daniels, between thirty-five or forty Southern blacks captured at the Battle of Gettysburg by Northern forces are being held at Fort McHenry. While they have been offered release from their confinement if they would "take an oath of allegiance to the Federal Government and join the Lincoln army," the prisoners have refused the offer and have instead insisted that they should "be restored to their masters and homes in the South."

The Spectator, October 13, 1863, p. 2, c. 5: "Sensible Colored Folks."


Bill King is dead. Members of the 20th Tennessee (Battle's) Regiment will remember him. No more faithful negro ever served a cause than did Bill King serve the boys of the old 20th. He went into the war as the body servant of the sons of Mr. Jack King, of Nolensville, Tenn., but he became the faithful servant of every member of this regiment. He went with the brave boys into the heat of battle, he nursed and cared for them in sickness, and assisted in burying the dead on the battlefields. He was as true to the cause of the South as any member of that gallant band under the intrepid leadership of Col. Joel A. Battle. In Shiloh's bloody affray Colonel Battle was captured, and the leadership fell to young Col. Thomas Benton Smith.

When one of his young masters was killed in battle, Bill was one of the escort which tenderly bore the body back to his mother and father.

Since the war Bill King had been classed as an unreconstructed Rebel. He was a true and loyal Confederate until his death. He affiliated with old soldiers, attending every gathering within his reach. He was a member of Troop A, Confederate Veterans, Nashville. He lived on his old master's farm, near Nolensville, but he died in Nashville at Vanderbilt Medical College, where he underwent a serious surgical operation.

Mr. William Waller, an undertaker, took the body back to Nolensville for burial. The body was clad in the Confederate uniform which he had during the past few years worn on all reunion occasions, according to his request. The funeral service was conducted in Mount Olivet Methodist Church (white) by the pastor, Rev. H. W. Carter.

Bill King was seventy three years old, and leaves a wife and ten or eleven children. He was a Baptist, but as there is no church of this denomination near his home, his friends decided to have the funeral in the Methodist church. He was buried in the Nolensville, TN. Cemetery.

Confederate Veteran June 1910 [P.294].

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Isaac Papino, Black Confederate

A Confederate flag adorns a memorial marker placed in remembrance of Isaac Papino, an African American soldier who served in the Confederate army. Buried at San Lorenzo Cemetery in St. Augustine
St. Augustine Record

Black Confederate soldier Anthony T. Welters

Confederate soldier Anthony T. Welters is pictured in this late 1800's portrait. Welters is one of two African American Confederate soldiers buried at San Lorenzo Cemetery in St. Augustine.

Returning to St. Augustine, after the war, Welters lived at 79 Bridge St. and became active in politics and with the E. Kirby Smith Camp, United Confederate Veterans. He died in 1902 at 92 years old.

St. Augustine Record

Lt. Owen Snuffer's compassion for a fellow soldier.

The Osceola (Mo.) Democrat raised money to send "Uncle" George McDonald, of St. Clair County, a colored Confederate veteran, and perhaps the only one [attending the reunion], to the Confederate reunion at Columbia last month. "Uncle" George went with the Confederates from St. Clair County, and fought in several engagements. At Wilson's Creek [Oak Hills], a minie ball plowed through his hip and a buckshot struck him in the face.

George lay groaning upon the ground when he was found by Owen Snuffer, lieutenant of his company. Snuffer stooped down, examined the black man's wounds, and stanched the flow of blood from them. "For God's sake," cried the suffering negro, "give me a drink of water." Snuffer's canteen was empty, but midway between the firing lines was a well. To reach it, the lieutenant was to become the target of sharpshooters, and it meant almost certain death. But with bullets falling around him like hailstones, he pushed forward until the well was reached. And then he discovered that the bucket had been taken away and the windlass removed. The water was far down and the depth unknown. The well was old-fashioned-stone-walled. Owen pulled off his long cavalry boots; and taking one in his teeth, he let himself down slowly, hand over hand, until the water was reached and the boot filled, and then he climbed up, straddling the well and clutching with hands and feet the rocky walls. Reaching the surface again, he picked up the other boot and safely made is way back to the Confederate lines.

Returning from the war, "Uncle" George settled near Monegaw Springs, and has reared an intelligent, honest, industrious family. One of his children educated himself, graduated at the Smith University in Sedalia, and is now in charge of a Church in Kansas. Another is waiter at the Commercial Hotel in Osceola, and is known for his strict integrity.

1903 volume the Confederate Veteran.
No Anonymous comments.
Be man enough to stand as one.

PoP Aaron
The Southern American


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