Black Confederates

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Robert Atkinson

Macon Telegraph Feb 2, 1895

The Old Man Remembered

The Governor Rewards a Faithful Old Negro Servant

Atlanta Feb 1st (special) Governor Atkinson today made an appointment in which there is a nice story of sentiment. The appointment was that Robert Atkinson, a negro servant in the Atkinson family before the war, to be a janitor at the capitol. When the governors oldest brother John P. Atkinson, went into Confederate Service, the negro Robert accompanied him to the front, and when he received a gunshot wound that gave him his death, it was Robert who carried him off the battlefield, and later brought him to his father’s hearthstone to die.

When Governor Atkinson was elected he promised the faithful negro a place if he should want it. A few days ago the request for his promised place came, and true to his promise, the governor at once made a place for him.

The Wealthiest Colored Man in Georgia Henry Todd

Georgia Weekly Telegraph Journal and Messenger August 5, 1881 Page 8

The Wealthiest Colored Man in Georgia

Atlanta Dispatch to the Cincinnati Inquirer

His name is Henry Todd, and he lives in Darien, in this State. When a youth his master died and left him his freedom as a reward for his faithful attention during the slaveholder's last sickness. Young Todd was so esteemed by his family that hey insisted on his remaining in their employ and paid him a handsome salary. He was sort of an assistant overseer on the plantation. By the kindly aid of his white friends he soon became a landowner, and a prosperous farmer. In a few years his affairs showed the results of industry and natural business talent in a snug little fortune. his quiet manner and strict uprightedness guarded him from the bitter prejudice which in those days both races felt for the average "free nigger." Henry Todd soon had enough money to hold money to hold slaves himself, and he purchased several as a matter of economy. When the Confederacy fell he lost twenty Negroes and some money in Confederate Bonds. This severe blow was in a measure counteracted by his good fortune, having on hand a crop of cotton, which then demanded fifty cents a pound. After the war he continued his farming operations, but also engaged in the lumber business. his remarkable success continued, and today he owns two large lumber mills and exports very extensively. he is 65 years old and has a good education. he is worth $100,000 in good investments. He lives in a neat country home, surrounded by a family of five children, who enjoy the luxuries of life. Every summer then leave for the coast and spend the hot months at a house which they own in one of the cool mountain nooks of North Georgia. Henry Todd has carefully kept from active participation in politics though he has frequently been solicited as a candidate. He has constantly voted the Democratic ticket and has warned colored friends against the carpet baggers who has deceived and swindled them in Georgia since the war. His example is in every way healthy for the Negroes of Georgia. he is public spirited and generous, giving freely to charitable objects. He has educated his children well and will leave them rich.

Mr. Todd did not serve as a soldier but became a slaveholder and bought Confederate bonds. Mark Anthony Cooper, the Eatonton businessman, said this of the War between the States that it was "the capital of one nation seeking to control the capital of another." Land to be considered as capital had to add the factor of human labor. Did slaves represent capital to the South? What were slaves to Mr. Todd? Someone to oppress perhaps or maybe just maybe part of a business strategy. You can judge.

William Rose "Uncle Billy"

Athens Daily Banner May 28, 1901 Page 1

Negro Veteran Dies In Columbia


A South Carolina Negro Veteran Of Three Wars.

COLUMBIA, S. C., May 27 - William Rose, a well known Negro of this city is dead, aged 89 years.

"Uncle Billy" was born a slave. He went as a drummer to the Seminole war in 1836; to the Mexican war, and to the civil war. He volunteered to go to Cuba. He has held the office of messenger since 1876 to the governor, withstanding all political changes and upheavals on account of his fidelity to the white mans party before 1876. He was a courier on the staff of Governor McSweeney and an honorary sergeant in a local white military company. He brought back General Pierce Butlers body from Mexico and General Bragg's back from Fredricksburg. he witnessed the running of the first train in South Carolina; was here when Lafayette made his triumphant tour of America in 1825 and beat the muffed drum at Calhoun's funeral.

He was buried today with military honors.

The fortifications at Centerville From The National Republican

The fortifications at Centerville (distinguished by the letters of the alaphabet), have the number of embrasures, and wooden guns pointing terrifically through them, as stated below:
Batteries Embrasures Wooden Guns
A 7 7
B 7 6
C 3 1
D 7 3
E 5 -
F 9 9
G 6 7
H 5 5
I 4
Number of embrasures 54
Number of wooden guns 31

The guns were pine logs, charred black with muzzles delineated with chalk, and properly protruded from the embrasures. No real guns had ever been mounted. This was the representation made by the Negroes, and the appearance inside of the work proves this representation to be correct. A Negro, who had been kept at work for months by the Confederates, reports them as having said that these pine logs would answer just as well to "skeer the enemy."

Here black confederates did not fire a shot in battle because they didn't have to.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Leveling the playing field Confederate Women

Apparently this blog is drawing some attention which I enjoy. One idea is that somehow nurses don't count as soldiers. You have to look at the larger picture. In our modern military it take 7 or more individuals to support on soldier. It takes a cook, an accountant or paymaster, a logistics person/supply, definitely medical, communications, transportation and clerks. A nurse is indeed a hero tending to those who were injured in battle. The Confederacy relied on the entire South for its support from men, women and children from all races, creeds, colors and walks of life. Some people want the War Between The States to be defined as within their own narrow scope.

For example never mind what the CRITTENDEN-JOHNSON RESOLUTION On July 22,1861, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution declaring the Civil War was being waged to preserve the Union. According to our present day historians the war was exclusively about slavery and their was no possible way blacks could have served in the Confederacy.

It was HEGEL who said "History teaches us man learns nothing from History" When you start making theories about history suddenly the truth jumps out and slaps you. People are eager to label and tar brush the South in all things.

I did mention a Wikipedia Source for some of my data below. I also included the footnote from the Wikipedia source in the article. I will not credit Wikipedia as a great source but I must give credit where it is due.

Lastly there is an argument about the term colored as this can indicate a person is possibly Indian or dark skinned and may not be Black. This may be true and further investigation is needed.

My purpose is to document fully all I can to share the genealogy, burials, obituary and service of the Confederate listed. We want to know the whole story. This is how we honor their memory.

And without further adieu lets honor some more Confederate Women
Co. B, 63d Regiment Ga. Inf., December 1862 .
C. S. A.
Burroughs, Lydia (Colored)-Enlisted as a cook May 6, 1863 .

C. S. A.
Dawson, Catharine (Colored)-Cook April 1, 1863 .
Dawson, Hannah (Colored)-Cook April 1, 1863 .

Note that the Dawson's were mentioned in another blog. They were also mentioned with the term (Private) so they may have came with a soldier form Company K. But they were attached to the 63rd. Many of the Chatham County Resources are limited but a Benjamin Burroughs is listed as passing down slaves to Peggy and then Mary daughters but Lydia is not listed.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Well there ya go!!!! The info I was searching for is sitting here all along. Georgia pension records are not listed but I am sure it will be there soon. Here is an online source for Georgia records too.

The online community amazes me each day.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Confederate Women

Of course many forget or deny the incredible service of women to the Confederacy and we don't know if they saw or experienced battle but as a nurse they would have seen the effects of war with soldiers losing limbs and all sorts of medical trauma only true heroes and heroines could care for these troops.

C. S. A.
This company was organized as (1st) Co. A, 12th Battn. Ga. Light Artillery in April 1862 , and was composed of a good many men who had previously served in the 1st (Ramsey's) Regiment Ga. Vol. Inf. which was disbanded at the end of its one year enlistment in March 1862 . It was transferred to the 13th Battn. Ga. Inf. about November or December 1862 . This battn. was increased to regimental size in December 1862 , and became known as Gordon's Regiment Later the designation was changed to the 63rd Regiment Ga. Vol. Inf.

Fox, Joe (Colored)-Nurse. Enlisted April 1, 1863 , by consent of owner.
Jones, Nelson (Colored)-Enlisted as a nurse February 1, 1864 , for a period of one month by consent of owner.
Morgan, Eliza (Colored)-Nurse. Enlisted as a nurse and laundress April 1, 1863 .
Morris, Ellen (Colored)-Nurse. Enlisted as a nurse April 1,1863 .
Dawson, Hannah (Colored)-Cook. -- See private Co. H.
Dawson, Catharine (Colored)-Cook. -- See private Co. H.

How Many Soldiers ? 93,000, 65,000 ???

This website by Scott K. Williams estimates 65,000 with 13,000 soldiers actually involved in combat.

Another site states "He also cited professor Edward Smith, director of American studies at American University, who has calculated that between 60,000 and 93,000 blacks served the Confederacy."

The 93,000 estimate could be looked at this way.

"210,000 (9.5%) African American. Half were freedmen who lived in the North, and half were ex-slaves from the South. They served under white officers in more than 160 "colored" regiments and in Federal regiments organized as the United States Colored Troops (USCT).[6] Joseph T. Glatthaar, Forged in Battle: The Civil War Alliance of Black Soldiers and White Officers"

Another newspaper article I found from the Athens Herald had a statistician who estimated the number to be 186,000 so to say 210,000 is probably correct. the 186,000 divided in half would be 93,000 and 105,000 would be half of the other estimate. The real goal then is to collect as many pensions as possible, newspaper articles etc and document from these sources. The Lillian Henderson Roster listed some and documented solders who were to help recruit and form Negro units. With some luck we can compile names, mark graves and document these soldiers for everyone to see.

A cover-up Elisha Buchanan

Historian, Erwin L. Jordan, Jr., calls it a cover-up which started back in 1865. He writes, “During my research, I came across instances where Black men stated they were soldiers, but you can plainly see where ‘soldier’ is crossed out and ‘body servant’ inserted, or ‘teamster’ on pension applications.”

I wrote to the South Carolina Archives to collect some info on pensions. First I want to say the South Carolina Archives are very professional and sent me prompt information and by no means are part of a cover up as stated in the topic here. The archivist stated there was no info in the archives accept possibly at the county level if the individual counties kept such records. Thus begins the search at the county level.

My basis for Contacting the South Carolina Archives was due to this article Athens Daily Banner April 27, 1901 where Elisha Buchanan was denied a pension.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

James Clarke Company K, Twenty-eighth Georgia regiment (Captain Wilcox)

Weekly Banner Sept 21, 1904 page 5

Negro fought for the South

And is now a Regularly Enlisted Pensioner of Uncle Sam's

Swainsboro, Georgia, August 30

A peculiar pension application has just been made to Ordinary John E. Youmans. It is that of James Clarke, a free Negro, who enlisted in Company K, Twenty-eighth Georgia regiment (Captain Wilcox), as a fifer and went through the civil war. Clark is now 104 years old and unable to work hence his friends are trying to have him placed upon pension rolls. Judge Youmans will send to Commissioner Lindsey today.

This is the first case of a free Negro applying for a pension in the state. There are many negros drawing pensions on the union side but none in this section for serving in the confederate army. On account of the Negro’s age and infirmities, his friends hope that his application will be favorable passed upon. Commissioner Lindsay's decision will be awaited with interest.

Friday, July 15, 2011

No Pensions for Negroes

Athens Daily Banner April 27, 1901 Page 1
No Pensions for Negros

Carolina Board decides against all colored applicants Columbia South Carolina April 26 The state pension board rejected all applications from Negroes on the grounds that their names did not appear on the rolls of the respective companies to which they were credited on file in the adjutant generals office and that they had no authority to issue pensions to other than enlisted soldiers. These applications had the hearty approval of the county boards and some of them have been on previous pension lists.

One of the rejected negros, Elisha Buchanan, was conscripted and put the work on confederate coast defenses, and while at work on Fort Sumter his leg was mangled by a shell from the enemy's guns and had to be amputated.

Note: Here is one of the problems we have when recognizing black confederates who served. It may be possible to find the county pension requests and enumerate the soldiers names from there but what of those that did not apply for a pension

Slave Monuments

Athens Banner January 17, 1911 Page 4

A movement looking to the erection of monuments dedicated to the slaves of the Southern Confederacy in the capital of every Southern state was instituted at the annual meeting of the Chicago chapter United Daughters of the Confederacy, in the auditorium hotel yesterday afternoon. A committee was appointed to solicit subscriptions from members of the Chicago chapters of the society and all former Southern Citizens.

The idea of such monuments are to commemorate the fidelity of negro slaves who during the Civil war protected the homes and women and children of Confederate soldiers, originated with Mrs. James Longstreet at the unveiling of the Confederacy monument at Carnesville, Georgia last October, and this week the Chicago chapter was asked to assist in the movement.

The officers elected and installed for 1911 were:
President Mrs. Agnes Grant Manson: vice-presidents, Mrs. Pauling Fitzgerald and Mrs. B.A. Johnson: Treasurer Mrs. Virginia F. Wilson: corresponding secretary Mrs. Mary Ashmore Carter: recording secretary Mary Lee Beban: registrar. Miss Rutherford: custodian Mrs. H. C. Myers Historian. Mrs. Josephine Keys: recorder of crosses Lethe McClain

Sunday, July 10, 2011

An Ex Slaves Generosity

Weekly Banner, Feb. 1, 1901 -- page 5

An Ex Slaves Generosity
Memphis Jan 29

The Finance Committee of the Confederate Veterans Reunion has recieved a check for $1,000 from Robert R. Church, the wealthiest negro citizen of Memphis who was born a slave, and served as such in his youth. This is the second largest individual contribution yet recieved by the committee.

His generosity Remembered...

Camp Morton Prison

Confederates of Color
Camp Morton Prison

Confederate Soldiers and Sailors who died at Indianapolis, Ind. while prisoners of war

Adam Cagle 8/16/64
William Birdsong 8/1864
Joseph Light 6/14/64
John Willis 7/16/64

R.M. Evans 2/2/65

James E. Baldwin 2/17/65

J. Christian Morgan’s 2nd Cav. 11/22/63
J.W. Vance CSA Mail Carrier 3/14/64

Samuel Johnson 12/14/65
B.F. Keelin 2/14/65
Solomon Littleton 3/3/62
C.L. Matthews 6/18/64
Robert Vance 1/27/64
James Williams 1/20/65

Benjamin Brown 4/2/65
Jacob Groves 2/1/65
Henry Mayo 3/23/62
John S. Kyger 1/28/65
A. Lee 3/14/65

Unknown CSA States
Alexander Blanton 1/12/64
George Frazier 1863
G.W. Hardy 2/6/65
J.C. Mitchell 1/24/64
John Woolsey 10/7/63


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Jack Turner, Wounded at Antietam

Banner-Watchman Athens, Mar. 10, 1885 -- page 1
Jack Turner one of the most reliable negroes in Columbus died Friday night. jack Served as a soldier in the Confederate service and recieved a wound toward the close of the war.

Columbus Sunday Enquirer Sunday Morning March 1st,1885

Death of Jack Turner
For the past eight years Jack Turner, colored, had been porter for Mr. I. L. Pollard, and was universally respected for his politeness and the promptness with which he performed his work. About three weeks ago he was stricken with paralysis, which resulted fatally yesterday morning at 2 o'clock. He was one of the most prominent colored citizens of the city and had friends among the white people who will regret to hear his is no more.

At the outbreak of war he accompanied his young master, Mr. Rube Shorter, who was a member of the Columbus Guards, to the front. He never shirked a duty or failed to be present at the most critical times. At the battle of Antietam, when our forces were outnumbered two to one and the fortunes of the day were nearly lost, volunteers were sought, and Jack, with his musket joined the ranks. The gallant conduct of the confederates on that day, assisted by just such brave volunteers as Turner, made that battle a draw one. He received a serious wound on his arm. Turner was prominently connected with the colored fire company and other organizations of the city. The remains will be buried today.

Jere May

Macon Telegraph, Jun. 2, 1901 -- page 11
Jere May was delighted

Jere May, the negro mail carrier whose greatest boast is that he was a Confederate Veteran and fought for the cause of the South, returned from Memphis Yesterday loud in his praises of the good people of that city. He says if anybody enjoyed the occasion better than he did he does not that know it, He says he could not spend any money. Jere never misses a reunion and says if he lives he will go to the one in Texas next year.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Negros on Confederate Roll

Athens Daily Banner, Apr. 9, 1901 Page 1

"Columbia, South Carolina April 8th

Confederate Veterans are considerably exercised over the fact that there are several negros on the pension rolls. These men have been indorsed for pensions by the county boards, and unless the state board is shown that they are not entitled for pensions they cannot be stricken off. Some camps have passed resolutions of protest. In one instance the negro pensioner was a free negro; in another he was a slave, but lost his leg in following his master into battle."

What we see here sadly is first not all Confederates welcomed these soldiers as comrades. Perhaps they were concerned of getting flim flammed. This makes research more difficult as we want to honor the soldiers by name and they are not readily available. Here we see a soldier was a casulty in battle. The Black Confederate is trapped between the Liberals who wished they didnt exist, Some sodliers who want to deny them, and a government that will cling to thier pension.

Three Negro Regiments

Southern Banner, Mar. 18, 1863 -- page 2

Second Dispatch
Columbia Tennessee , March 12

The enemy are greatly suprised and exasperated at Van Dorn's escape. They returned to Franklin to protect their rear, and committed many depredations, burning the houses Van Dorn had occupied as his headquarters. Nashville papers state that the enemies loss at Spring Hill was only 300, and that the Confederates had three negro regiments who fought bravely. The four brigades sent in pursuit of Van Dorn have returned.

Confederate Congress Feb 6

Southern Watchman, Feb. 15, 1865 -- page 3

Richmond February 6th
Mr. Morse introduced a resolution directing the Committee on Military Affairs to inquire into the ezpediency on investing the President with the power to call into service all able bodied negros into the Confederate States to be used as he may think best, to aid in the military defence of our country. The motion lay on he was negatived - yeas 32, nays 30. The resolution was then adopted.

The Cleburne Marker and Georgia Historical Society

"The Georgia Historical Society has erected a new historical marker and the society is planning a big ceremony for this one on Thursday, July 14, at 10 a.m. ....

The historical society placed a marker on Fort Hill last fall to commemorate the role of black solders during the Civil War. Fort Hill was chosen because it was the site of the only battle in Georgia in which black troops took part."

Apparently Mrs Crisp with the Georgia Historical society does not agree. Dan Coleman, Spokeman for the Georgia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans sent a letter and made repeated calls to the Historical Society to correct this oversight. His comments below.

"Dear Ms. Crisp:
I have quickly assembled the following evidence of black Southerners who fought for the Confederacy, not just as cooks, teamsters, etc. but as actual soldiers. This is just a very brief example of the available evidence but it should be enough to show that thousands of black Southerners did see combat. The approval of the Confederate Congress was late in the war but as seen below, the evidence of participation of blacks in actual battle is overwhelming.
A useful website is:
We would greatly appreciate a review and modification of the inscription to conform with true history. We gladly offer our assistance if you will allow us to participate.
Dan Coleman"

Dans letter contains a great deal of data that I will share in other pats of this blog. Special thanks to Mr. Coleman

The Application of Eli Pickett

A Black Confederate.
The Atlanta Constitution (1881-1945); Aug 4, 1889;
ProQuest Historical Newspapers: The Atlanta Constitution (1868-1945)

The application of Eli Pickett, a colored man, for a confederate pension from the State of Georgia. If this clever Negro really rendered service and was disabled in the military branch of the confederacy it seems a pity to shut him from the pension list on the account of some irregularity. Perhaps many people north and south are not aware, or have forgotten, that an act of the confederate congress, passed in the spring of 1865, authorized the enlistment of colored troops. Under that act colored men were enrolled. The work of organizing them commenced, and doubtless some old confederates in Georgia remember seeing them drilling in the streets of Richmond. But the confederacy was then tottering to its fall. The black confederates never had a fighting chance. Appomattox wound up the whole business. The act refereed to made it lawful for Eli Pickett to be regularly enlisted, but as the surrender came only a few weeks after its passage it is possible that he failed to come from a legal point of view technically within its limited operations. it is a case however which will excite sympathy and Pickett will find he has plenty of confederate friends.

another blog reported he was from Bartow County Georgia

The following item was published in the 8 August 1889 issue of the The Franklin Press of Franklin, Macon Co., NC (Volume 4, Number 21, 2nd page, 1st column):

Eli Pickett, of Bartow county, Ga., a negro Confederate soldier who was severely wounded in the Georgia campaigns, has appealed to the State of Georgia for a pension. He was free-born and fought bravely for the Confederacy.

Bartow county is my stomping ground so I will look for Eli's grave site and data where I can find, The pension records site does not hold any more info.

Doc Clinton Rogers

Pictured above is Doctor Clinton Rogers he followed his master Dr. Rogers of Griffin into the war and was by his side in many noted battles. He was himself slightly wounded and shows the scar as if it were the grandest trophy. He was a member of the Atlanta Camp #153 and in this article he was married to Mary Allen a widow of fifty years of age. The article says he will be buried with full military honors.

The Atlanta Constitution (1881-1945); May 17, 1899;Page 4

A tale of two musicians


McCleskey, Henry (colored)-Musician August 10, 1861 . Term
of enlistment six months. Roll for February 1862 , shows him present. Appointed Musician of Co. B, 18th Battalion Ga. Inf. Paroled near Sailor's Creek, Va. April 7, 1865 .

DeLyon, Charles Henry (colored)-Musician August 10, 1861 . Transferred to Co. D, 63d Regiment Ga. Inf. August 1, 1863 ; Co. B, October 31, 1863 . No later record.

Listed above are two soldiers from Georgia who served as musicians in the 1st Georgia Regiment. We learn some facts about the unit as members moved to the 18th Battalion, Georgia Volunteer Infantry and another Black Confederate Amos Rucker also served in the 63rd Georgia of Company C.

My goal here was to introduce more than just these names from the Henderson Roster but to look at more of the lives of these men possibly before or after the war. My Chatham county records are few as I searched cemeteries to see if these men were buried there. I could not find a pension record for these men. I did find some info in a mortality schedule

Chatham 360 DeLYON, Clarence  1m   M  M S  GA     GA     GA  OCT  Abscess 1m Chatham 360 DeLYON, Clifford  1m   M  M S  GA     GA     GA  OCT  Thrash  1m
This was an 1880 schedule and shows the children were 1 month old and mulatto. Surely this was a sad loss for this family. We don't know if this was Charles children or not but part of the Delyon family. Other census records mention a Mordecai Delyon working for Public office and a James Delyon family of 3 with one daughter. If we can find these soldiers and they don't have a marker we can see about getting one. 
If you have any info on Henry McClesky or Charles Delyon please forward to this blog. 
Thank you
No Anonymous comments.
Be man enough to stand as one.

PoP Aaron
The Southern American


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