of the Union and Confederate Armies
The Black Confederate Soldiers Website
provides URL links to the primary sources
from original documents such as
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation
of the Official Records of Union and Confederate Armies
Soldier Service Records
History of Military Service
in the Confederate States Army
The State of Tennessee passed on June 28, 1861 "the first law enacted by any State, whether in or out of the Union, and before the United States Congress or the Confederate Congress [to have] entertained any proposition contemplating the military employment of Negroes, conferring upon the black man military privileges and duties. . ." Read the entire Act for the Relief of Volunteers in A history of the Negro Troops in the War of Rebellion, 1861-1865 by Georgia Washington Williams. Mr. Williams also explains that while this law "did not provide for the incorporation of negroes in regiments, the first section of [the act] brings them into military service."
Public Acts of the States of Tennessee
Passed at the Extra Session of the
Thirty-Third General Assembly (April 1861)
SECTION 1: Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee, That from and after the passage of this act, the Governor shall be, and he is hereby authorized, at his discretion, to receive into the military service of the State, all male free persons of color between the ages of fifteen (15) and fifty (5)) years-or such number as may be necessary, who may be sound in his mind and body, and capable of actual service.