Tag Archives: African American soldiers

3 November 1864: “I have considerable misgiving as to the question of Negro troops”

Item Description: Letter dated 3 November 1864 from William Porcher Miles to Robert E. Lee. He discusses the use of slaves as soldiers in the Confederate Army. Item Citation: Folder 52, William Porcher Miles Papers, #508, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson … Continue reading

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29 May 1864: “One colored regiment at each place to hold against great odds these important positions, which the army is fortifying.”

Item description: Sent from Acting Rear-Admiral Samuel Phillips Lee to Gideon Welles, who was U. S. Secretary of Navy, this telegram discusses military movements in the Fort Powhatan and Wilson’s Wharf region of Virginia, especially that of African American Union … Continue reading

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23 May 1864: “We are guarded by negro troops, who are as mean as hell.”

Item Description: Diary entry, dated 23 May 1864, written by Louis Leon, a Confederate soldier in the North Carolina Infantry. At this point in the war, Leon has been imprisoned at Point Lookout, Maryland.  In this entry, he describes an incident … Continue reading

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21 April 1864: “…to complete the victory and capture the enemy now badly whipped and scattered.”

Item description: Letter, dated 21 April 1864, from Brigadier General John S. Marmaduke to Lieutenant Colonel J. F. Belton, Assistant Adjutant General under Brigadier General S. B. Maxey.  The letter gives and account of recent military engagements, including the Battle … Continue reading

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16 April 1864: “All the big guns in Fort are worked by negroes & belong to the 3rd U.S. Heavy Artillery. They have heard of the massacre at Fort Pillow & are terribly incensed at the rebels & will, no doubt, fight till death, for they know the consequences if taken alive.”

Item description: Letter, 16 April 1864, from Edward W. Allen to his parents.Edward W. Allen of Eau Claire, Wis., was a sergeant and then second lieutenant in Company H of the 16th Regiment, Wisconsin Infantry Volunteers, during the Civil War. … Continue reading

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14 April 1864: “There are about 100 Rebel prisoners here, to day they are out under guard (negroes) at work on the Fort.”

Item Description: Letter, written 14 April 1864 from Columbus, Kentucky, Fort Halleck. Edward Allen reports to his parents of a failed attempt of confederates to take the fort and African American union troops guarding Confederate prisoners of war. [Item transcription … Continue reading

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19 March 1864: “I have never yet met any of the negro soldiers and hope I never may.”

Item Description:  Letter, dated 19 March 1864, written by James Augustus Graham. James Graham served in the 27th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, Confederate States of America and lived until 1908. [Transcription available below images.] Item Citation: From the James Augustus Graham Papers, #00283, … Continue reading

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11 February 1864: “…should my life be spared through this war, I should so much like to have a little daughter to cheer our home.”

Item Description:  Letter dated 11 February 1864, from Samuel J. C. Moore to his wife, Ellen, describing  a skirmish at Morton’s Ford on the Rapidan River.  Samuel J. C. Moore, lawyer and planter of Berryville, Clarke County, Va., was an … Continue reading

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10 February 1864: “…Yankees remained out a week scouring the county over enrolling the negroes and taking a list of white folks who now-a-days are of secondary consideration, as Gen Butler says he would not give one colored soldier for two white ones.”

Item Description: Letter, dated 10 February 1864 from Louly Seawell to her cousin Nanny from “The Shelter.” The letter describes the capture of Nanny’s brother Hairston Watkins, who was held at Point Lookout, Maryland. Louly also describes the enrollment of African … Continue reading

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23 January 1864: “Colored troops, under General Wild, liberating slaves in North Carolina.”

Item description: Illustration, published in Harper’s Weekly on 23 January 1864, entitled “Colored troops, under General Wild, liberating slaves in North Carolina.” The illustration depicts the liberation of slaves in Camden County, North Carolina. Item citation: From the North Carolina … Continue reading

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