06 February 2014

Black History Month 2014 - Post #1

I'm sure a number of readers here are familiar with Holt Collier; apparently a bona fide "black Confederate" soldier though, admittedly, I'm not thoroughly familiar with Collier's service. There's even a biography about Collier, though I've not read it. But what I found interesting was the following reference pulled from the National Cowboys of Color Museum in regards to what this organization calls the Civil War, War Between the States:

Uh-oh. Two major PC violations in just 4 sentences. 
  1. Not calling the Late Unpleasantness "the Civil War"
  2. Considering Collier's involvement in the CSA, "service."
The wrath and scorn cometh. Source here.

I hope to bring a few more of these lesser known topics involving Black History Month to light this month. Some I've talked about before, others not so much. I'll also be uploading the Ted Savas/Kevin Levin/delete button/screen shot controversy post soon. Stay tuned.


John B. said...

Thanks for posting this about Holt Collier. I first became aware of him last year and read the book. It is excellent and a great story of a very interesting man. Check it out if you get the chance.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Hi John. You're welcome. And thanks for the recommendation. I've added it to my Amazon wish list.

Anonymous said...

In Helena, Ark., on July 31, 1862, Gen. Curtis, wrote:
"I have given free papers to negroes who were mustered by their rebel masters to blockade my way to my supplies. These negro prisoners were the most efficient foes I had to encounter; they are now throwing down their axes and rushing in for free papers..."

Official Army Records, Series 1, Vol. 13, Page 525

Maybe somebody should compare the number of documented African Americans mustered into Confederate service with the number of documented slaves emancipated in the rebellious regions of the Confederacy.

How many of these new freedmen were registered in their courthouse, and remained in their home county as required by law?

If African Americans in the South were forbidden to read and write, how easy would it be to delude them into thinking they were "mustered" into service by taking an oath?

On the other hand, how easy would it be to delude them into thinking that "free papers" issued by Union officials were legitimately registered at their local courthouse, along with the rest of the legitimate free men who were already registered?

Such delusions were understandable at that time, but inexcusable now.

From The Daily Dispatch: October 28, 1864, in Lee's letter to Grant:

"...the capture or abduction of a negro slave does not preclude the lawful owner from reclaiming him when captured...
negroes employed upon our fortifications are not allowed to be placed where they will be exposed to fire.."

This evidently is a subtle reference to Fort Wagner, Fort Pillow, etc.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

You raise some good points Anon. Other than peripherally, I've never explored/researched the numbers and surrounding debate. Both side of the debate do, in my opinion, use their arguments for other purposes. Great info, I'd be interested in any further research along these lines.

Anonymous said...

Code of VA for 1849, effective during the war, is online showing slave and black codes. Make sure the copy is from UVA, as some online versions have pages missing.

Military Treatment of Captured and Fugitive Slaves.
Official Records; Series 2 - Volume 1.