People often ask how many African-Americans were on muster rolls with the Confederate States Army. Based on feedback from the researcher of this website, identifying all African-Americans with Confederate Soldier Service Records is challenging because of the following reasons: (1) Spelling of name. Slaves often changed last names based on slaveholder or personal choice, (2) Confederate Officers were not consistent in recording which individuals were of African descent. Terms used varied from negro, slave, person of color, colored, col. etc., and (3) the search capability of text on NARA images is limited. In addition, some records document the first name as "Slave" while other records document the last name as "Slave."
Over the course of history, these men and women have become known as Black Confederates. Because their names appear on Confederate Soldier Service records and State Pension records, we now call them Black Confederate Soldiers. We are reminded of Reverend Desmond Tutu whose "moral compass points to equality." In this light, we commemorate these African-Americans, who rose to heights in order to be officially recorded as part of American Military History, and as of 1958 were United States Veterans.
United States Statues at Large Volume 72, Part 1 Pages 133 & 134
Confederate Forces Veterans
"Sec. 410. The Administrator shall pay to each person who served in the military or naval forces of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War a monthly pension in the same amounts and subject to the same conditions as would have been applicable to such person under the laws in effect on December 31, 1957, if his service in such forces had been service in the military or naval forces of the United States. Sec. 2. This Act shall be effective from the first day of the second calendar month following its enactment. Approved May 28, 1958."