NARA = National Archives and Records Administration
Records available online at fold3.com
Listed As / Military Duty
NARA Catalog ID
NARA Microfilm #
# of Pages
Colored / Musician
Tennessee 2nd Infantry
G. (George) Blackwood
Colored / Private (POW Camp Douglas)
Tennessee 3rd Infantry
Person of Color / Private
Tennessee 4th (Murrays's) Cavalry
Slave / Private
Tennessee 11th Infantry
Negro / Private (POW Camp Douglas)
Tennessee 15th Cavalry
Confederate Pension Records
Beginning in 1891 the Tennessee Board of Pension Examiners determined eligibility by each soldier's (1) inability to support oneself, (2) honorable separation from the service, and (3) residence in the state for one year prior to application. Applications without a unit denotes that an applicant was not in a field unit but was assigned a job necessary to the war effort.
To request a certified copy of the pension application for the following Black Confederate Soldiers, complete the Tennessee State Library and Archives Military Records Search Request Form under the Civil War category. Note the soldier's name and the Pension # (CXXX) on the form. Fees apply.
Jefferson Davis delegated the appointment of chaplains to Confederate States Army field commanders. The first noted African-American "honorary" chaplain of the Confederate States Army was Louis Napoleon Nelson who was appointed by the 7th Tennessee Cavalry field officers during The Battle of Shiloh (April 1862). Based on this date, Louis Napoleon Nelson was the first African-American chaplain to serve during the American Civil War.
In September 1863, Henry McNeal Turner, pastor of Israel AME Church (Washington D.C.) became the first Union African-American chaplain of the First (1st) United States Colored Troops (USCT).
The account of Louis Napoleon Nelson's appoint as chaplain is documented in the Religious Herald (September 10, 1863) which is available on microfiche. The article reads:
"To the Confederate army goes the distinction of having the first black to minister to white troops: 'A correspondent of the SOLDIER'S FRIEND mentions a Tennessee regiment which has no chaplain; but an old negro, 'Uncle Lewis,'' preaches two or three times a week at night. He is heard with respectful attention -- and for earnestness, zeal and sincerity, can be surpassed by none. Two or three revivals have followed his preaching in the regiment. What will the wise Christian patriots out of the army, who denounce those who wish to see competent negroes allowed to preach, as tainted with anti-slaveryism, say with regard to the true Southern feeling of that regiment, which has fought unflinchingly from Shiloh to Murfreesboro?'"
Reading List by Author
Title: Nathan Bedford Forrest's Escort and Staff Author: Michael R. Bradley Genre: Nonfiction Publication Date: 2006 Media: Hardback Description: The exploits of Forrest's Escort are detailed, followed by the previously unpublished minutes of the association formed by the bodyguard and staff of Forrest. Black Confederate Context: Beginning on page 215, readers find out more about the forty-five (45) African-Americans in General Nathan Bedford Forrest's wagon trail.
Title: Nathan Bedford Forrest: Southern Hero, American Patriot Author: Lochlainn Seabrook Genre: Nonfiction Publication Date: 2009 Media: Paperback Description: Lavishly illustrated, "Nathan Bedford Forrest" includes a detailed bibliography and an index. Black Confederate Context: General Forrest enlisted forty-five African-Americans in his own command (six who served as his personal armed guard), then emancipated them in the fall of 1863.
Title: In Search of Your Confederate Ancestors Author: J.H. Segars Genre:Nonfiction Publication Date: 2008 Media:Paperback Description: This easy-to-use guide is essential to researchers and genealogists pursuing ancestral histories within the Confederate military. Black Confederate Context: The book includes an account of "Uncle" Jerry Perkins, a body servant of Charles Perkins (31st Tennessee Infantry).
During the March 4, 2011 Season 3 Episode 5 of NBC's Who Do You Think You Are?: Lionel Richie, Mr. Richie uncovers that his great-grandfather John Louis Brown was the Body Servant of Morgan W. Brown of the 20th Tennessee Infantry (Confederate States Army). The evidence presented was Tennessee Confederate Pension Record C186. (See Confederate Pension Section above.) When Mr. Richie asked the historian in the episode if his great-grandfather was a soldier, the historian simply replied that "he was a servant." Blacks who served/served with the Confederate States Army made significant contributions to United States Military History. Thus, body servants such as John Louis Brown have earned their rightful place in United States Military History.
Documentary Featuring Nelson W. Winbush, Grandson of
Louis Napoleon Nelson, A Confederate Chaplain with the 7th Tennessee Cavalry