An important fact of the War Between The States is that black Southerners fought and died for the Confederate cause. As a matter of fact, black soldiers were fighting for the Confederacy before the United States allowed black soldiers to enlist in the U.S. Army. The question often asked then is, “Why haven’t we heard more about them?”



    Dick Poplar was a free black man from Petersburg, Virginia. He was well known before the war as a cook. He took that specialty with him when he entered the Confederate army. However, being a cook did not prevent him from being taken prisoner after the Battle of Gettysburg. At Point Lookout Prison, Maryland, the Negro guards tried their best to make this black man turn against his people. Dick Poplar maintained during this time that he was a loyal "Jeff Davis man." He stayed in this hellish prison camp for twenty months. A word from him against the southern government at any time would have set him free, but he never turned his back on the South.

    **Famed bridge engineer and former slave Horace King received naval contracts for building Confederate warships.  A black servant named Sam Ashe killed the first Union officer during the war, abolitionist Major Theodore Winthrop. John W. Buckner, a black private, was wounded at Ft. Wagner repulsing the U.S. (Colored) 54th Massachusetts Regiment. George Wallace, a servant who surrendered with General Lee at Appomattox, later served in the Georgia Senate.  Jim Lewis served General Stonewall Jackson, and was honored to hold his horse "Little Sorrel" at the general's funeral. **

    ****In St. Louis, General John Fremont freed slaves of "disloyal" Missouri Confederates; an angry Lincoln fired him.

    Encouraged by General Lee, the CSA eventually freed slaves who would join the army, and did recruit and arm black regiments.

    The "Richmond Howitzers" were partially manned by black militiamen. They saw action at First Manassas where they operated Battery number 2. In addition two black regiments, one free and one slave, participated in the battle on behalf of the South. "Many colored people were killed in the action", recorded John Parker, a former slave.**

    At least one Black Confederate was a non-commissioned officer. James Washington, Company D, 34th Texas Cavalry, "Terrell's Texas Cavalry" became it's 3rd Sergeant. Free black musicians, cooks, soldiers and teamsters earned the same pay as white confederate privates. This was not the case in the Union army where blacks did not receive equal pay. At the Confederate Buffalo Forge in Rockbridge County, Virginia, skilled black workers earned on average three times the wages of white Confederate soldiers and more than most Confederate army officers ($350- $600 a year).

    A Black Confederate, named George, when captured by Federal troops was bribed to desert to the other side. He defiantly spoke, _"Sir, you want me t_o desert, and I ain't no deserter. Down South, deserters disgrace their families and I am never going to do that." Horace King, a former slave, accumulated great wealth as a contractor to the Confederate Navy. He was also an expert engineer and became known as the "Bridge builder of the Confederacy." One of his bridges was burned in a Yankee raid. His home was pillaged by Union troops, as his wife pleaded for mercy. As of February 1865 1,150 black seamen served in the Confederate Navy. One of these was among the last Confederates to surrender, aboard the CSS Shenandoah, six months after the war ended. This surrender took place in England. ****Mr. Adam Miller Moore, born a slave to the Roberts family of Lincoln County North Carolina, grew up with his master's son Adam Miller Roberts.  Young Mr. Roberts joined the Confederate Army, while Mr. Moore remained at home.  Mr. Roberts fought with Company "M" of the 16th. North Carolina Regiment and came home after recuperating from wounds received in battle.  When he returned to the fighting in Virginia, Mr. Roberts asked Mr. Moore to go with him.  The men left the Cherryville, North Carolina railroad station and arrived at Chancellorsville, Virginia on 30 April 1863.  Mr. Roberts was killed in action the next day.  Mr. Moore stayed with Company "M" of the 16th North Carolina until the unit surrendered at Appomattox in 1865.

    **John Price was a slave and followed his master John T. Price and joined Company "B" of the 4th Texas Infantry, also known as The Tom Green Rifles.  After the war John Price joined and was accepted into the United Confederate Veterans organization.  Henderson Howard can be seen setting between two of his white compatriots in a photograph of the 28th reunion of Hood's Texas Brigade in 1900. **


    John K Mcneill SCV Camp 674   PO Box 1353, Moultrie, Georgia 31776******

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