Welcome to the Black Confederate Soldiers website. The purpose of this website is to provide a one-stop location of information about 19th Century slaves and freedmen who served in various capacities with the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. Historians, over the course of the years, have grown gravely concern about the quality of information disseminated over the internet about this subject matter. Thus, the Black Confederate Soldiers website was born to provide URL links to primary as well as secondary sources. In addition, the website is an advertisement-free-zone, which is comparable to having the peace and quiet of studying in your local library.
There are two images above. (Figure 1.) On the left, Lot Allen enlisted with the Union Army 21st United States Colored Troops (USCT) Company A as an "on order cook." On the right, William Dove enlisted with the Confederate States Army North Carolina 5th Cavalry Company D as a "cook." Both men contribute to United States Military history; and their soldier service records are each recorded in the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Both men were soldiers and United States Veterans.
Please note that during United States History the classification for the African American race has changed:
(1) Slave, (2) Negro, (3) Colored, and (4) African American
Also, note that the Congress of the Confederate States of America did not authorize African-Americans to enlist until General Orders No. 14 was issued on March 23, 1865. (Figure 2) However, prior to March 1865, there were several Confederate Officers who enlisted African-Americans in their individual military units of the Confederate States Army. A list of those African-Americans on Confederate Soldier Service Records (muster rolls) are listed on the Soldier Records page on this website.
Figure 2. Confederate General Orders 14.1
The terminology used on this website for African-Americans who served with the Confederate States Army range from: (1) Slave, (2) Negro, (3) Colored Man, (4) Body Servant/Bodyguard, (5) Black Confederate, and (6) Black Confederate Soldier. For research purposes, the definitions of a "Black Confederate" and a "Black Confederate Soldier" are as follows:
A "Black Confederate" is an African-American who served with the Confederate States Army, Navy or Civil Service of the Confederate States of America or gave Material Aid to the Cause during the American Civil War (1861-1865).
A “Black Confederate Soldier” is (1) an enlisted African-American in the Confederate States Army, (2) an African-American acknowledged by Confederate Officer(s) as engaged in military service, and/or (3) an African-American approved by the Confederate Board of Pension Examiners to receive a Confederate Pension for military service during the American Civil War (1861-1865).
Do not hold African Americans accountable for not having 19th century Confederate military documents for their ancestors because many records were lost or destroyed by fire; data integrity and records management were minimal; and family units were torn apart. Most importantly, remember that the topic of Black Confederate Soldiers is also an human-interest topic.
After you spend substantial time researching this topic and reading the primary and secondary sources material on this website, I am confident you will find substantial evidence that "Black Confederates" as defined above is not a myth.
Highlighting the good in humanity, Ann Dewitt, United States Citizen
1Scott, Robert. "War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and confederate Armies." Washington: Government Printing Office. Series IV. Volume III. p. 1161. Web. 28 April 2010.