Though the photographs below are circulating around the internet as "Black Confederates," several historians came forward questioning if the following African-Americans were present with the Confederate States Army during the War Between the States. Because the stories of these men were so compelling to people during their era, the Black Confederate Soldiers staff researched the origin of the photographs and documented the history behind them. May this research aid family historians whose ancestors are listed below.
| ||Robert Webster (a.k.a. Bob, Bob Gadsby, Bob Cunningham, Yancey) |
Source: Smithsonian.com (Julie Rowlands Collection)
Researcher Note: The picture of Robert Webster is authenticated by Smithsonian.com; however, there is a question if Robert Webster is wearing a Confederate uniform. Some historians state that Robert Webster served at the beginning of the WBTS with Confederate Officer Ben C. Yancey, Jr. However, David Williams, author of A People's History of the Civil War, states that Robert Webster undermined the Confederate war effort when he "helped an aging Tennessee unionist named William Clift break out of [Atlanta Georgia's] military prison in December 1863."
| ||William Mack Lee |
Published Literature: History of the Life of Rev. Wm. Mack Lee:
Body Servant of General Robert E. Lee Through the Civil War: Cook from 1861 to 1865.
Source: UNC University Library: Documenting the American South
Researcher Note: The picture of William Mack Lee is authentic; however, there is question if William Mack Lee was with General Robert E. Lee during the Civil War. If you have documented information from a primary or secondary resource, about William Mack Lee, email info at blackconfederatesoldiers.com.
Photograph Above: (Union) 25th United States Colored Troops, Company C or G (Camp William Penn in February 1864)
Source: People of the University of Virginia
Researcher Note: The picture above is often circulated around the internet as the Louisiana Native Guards. However, Dr. Andy Waskie, a professor at Temple University, states the photograph is of the 25th United States Colored Troops (USCT). The actual (Confederate) Native Guards enlisted with the Confederate Louisiana on May 2, 1861. The (Confederate) Native Guards participated in two grand reviews on November 23, 1861 and January 7, 1862. At the November 1861 grand review, there were 33 black officers, 731 black enlisted men. On February 15, 1862, the (Confederate) Native Guards was disbanded. For details read Chapter 1 in the book titled The Louisiana Native Guards by James G. Hollandsworth, Jr. On February 28, 1862, Harper's Weekly unveiled a picture sketch of the (Union) First (1st) Louisiana Native Guards (Colored Troops). These men were, perhaps, the first and only African-Americans to enlist on both sides (Confederate and Union).
The muster roll of the Confederate Louisiana Native Guards (1861-1862) is listed in the Appendix of the book titled "A Black Patriot and a White Priest" by Stephen J Ochs.
If you know where an authentic photograph (picture) of the (Confederate) Native Guards (11/1861 - 02/1862) is stored, please contact info at blackconfederatesoldiers.com.
|Photograph Above: Union Colored Army Teamsters, Cobb Hill, Virginia|
Source: Ohio Historical Society, Collection Number: SC 5227-04, Image Number: 1973
Researcher Note: This is a stereograph of Union Army African American teamsters from "War Views" published by E. & H. T. Anthony & Co. Because photographs of Confederate States Army teamsters are difficult to locate, many people use this photograph to portray Confederate States Army teamsters.