Negros in Grey
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Your request for information was received by the staff of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Unfortunately, we do not have a list or database of African-Americans employed by the Confederate States or the Texas Confederate governments.

Using the search term “Negro” we did locate the following information:

Reports of Slave Impressment may be found on the following Web site:

Over the years staff has compiled a list of soldiers and widows believed to be African-American that applied for Confederate pensions:
Name County Confederate pension applications
George Hampton Cherokee 39149
Austin Lott Harrison 41368 Believed to be Black
Henry Phillips Leon 34245
Adam Montgomery (Miller) Caldwell 41148
Wash White Kaufman 39363
Peter Phelps Galveston 07720
Peter Brown Gonzales 41122
Sidney Dearman Burleson 41750
Penn B. Elliott Travis Rejected
Charles Campbell Waller Rejected
Bud Dickson Harrison Rejected
Dock Erwin Austin Rejected
Susan Esters Dallas Rejected Widow of Louis Esters
Bettie Evans Burleson Rejected Widow of Silas A. Evans
Eda Horton San Augustine Rejected Widow of Dan Rawls
B. J. Jackson Grayson Rejected

Information concerning the Texas Confederate Pension Applications may be found on our Web site at:

We also searched the Index of Civil War Muster Roll Abstracts Cards using the 16 names listed above. Unfortunately, we did not locate muster roll cards that indicated the race of the soldiers.

If you would like photocopies of the Confederate pension applications, please resubmit your request with your mailing address to:


An invoice in the amount of $.10 a copy page plus postage will be mailed with your requested photocopies.

We hope this information will be helpful to you.

Research Assistant - sas
Texas State Library and Archives Commission
PO Box 12927
Austin, TX 78711-2927


16 total

This information was recieved 5/19/11 12:56 PM in response to my request for clarification.Adjustments in total numbers listed at bthe bottom of the page have been made.

----- Original Message -----
From: George Purvis
To: Archives Info
Sent: Wednesday, May 18, 2011 1:57 PM
Subject: Peter Phelps

Sir or Madam,

Research by someone other than myself indicates that Peter Phelps of Galveston, pension number 07720 is not a Negro but in fact White. I also viewed this pension and Compiled Service Record (Co. A, 2nd Texas) and came to the same conclusion. Would you please be kind enough to explain to me how he is determined to be Black?

Thank you,

George Purvis

Your request for information was received by the staff of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

In consulting with colleagues, it was discovered that the list of soldiers and widows believed to be African-American used to answer your previous question had been revised with the deletion of the name Peter Phelps and the addition of two other names.

We agree with your research that Peter Phelps is White. The additional names on the revised list are:

William A. Green Rejected of Burleson County

Turner Armstrong 38653 of Franklin County

We apologize for the incorrect information.

Research Assistant - sas
Texas State Library and Archives Commission
PO Box 12927
Austin, TX 78711-2927


1st Texas Cav.
1. I was here in Texas when the Civil War was first talked about. I was here when the War started and followed my young master into it with the First Texas Cavalry [Confederate State of America]. I was here during reconstruction, after the War. I was here during the European World War [1914-1918] and the second week after the United States declared war on Germany I enlisted as cook at Camp Leon Springs.
This sounds as if I liked the war racket. But, as a matter of fact, I never wore a uniform ⎯ grey coat or khaki coat ⎯ or carried a gun, unless it happened to be one worth saving after some Confederate soldier got shot. I was official lugger-in of men that got wounded, and might have been called a Red Cross worker if we had had such a
National Humanities Center 5
corps connected with our company. My father was head cook for the battalion and between times I helped him out with the mess [military dining hall or tent]. There was some difference in the food served to soldiers in 1861 and 1917!
Just what my feelings was about the War, I have never been able to figure out myself. I knew the Yanks were going to win, from the beginning. I wanted them to win and lick us Southerners, but I hoped they was going to do it without wiping out our company. I’ll come back to that in a minute. As I said, our company was the First Texas Cavalry. Col. Buchel was our commander. He was a full-blooded German and as fine a man and a soldier as you ever saw. . . .
Lots of old slaves closes the door before they tell the truth about their days of slavery. When the door is open, they tell how kind their masters was and how rosy it all was. You can’t blame them for this, because they had plenty of early discipline, making them cautious about saying anything uncompliment-ary about their masters. I, myself, was in a little different position than most slaves and, as a consequence, have no grudges or resentment. However, I can tell you the life of the average slave was not rosy. They were dealt out plenty of cruel suffering. . . .
It was in the Battle of Marshall, in Louisiana, that Col. Buchel got shot.7 I was about three miles from the front, where I had pitched up a kind of first-aid station. I was all alone there. I watched the whole thing. I could hear the shooting and see the firing. I remember standing there and thinking the South didn’t have a chance. All of a sudden I heard someone call. It was a soldier, who was half carrying Col. Buchel in. I didn’t do nothing for the Colonel. He was too far gone. I just held him comfortable, and that was the position he was in when he stopped breathing. That was the worst hurt I got when anybody died. He was a friend of mine.

MARTIN JACKSON, Confederate army: First Texas Cavalry;
enslaved in Texas, interviewed in Texas, 1937

8th Texas Cav. -- Terrys Texas Rangers

Marker Number: 8592

Marker Text:
A faithful Negro slave. Came to nearby Courtney, Grimes County in 1851 with his master, John W. S. West from North Carolina. West was a prominent and wealthy pioneer planter and landowner. At the outbreak of the Civil War, West sent Kelly "to take care" of his three sons-- Robert M., Richard and John Haywood-- who joined the famous Terry's Texas Rangers, where they served with distinction. Kelly was not content "to wait on" his charges but joined them in battle, firing his own musket and cap and ball pistol. Twice Kelly brought to Texas the wounded Richard, twice took him to the front again. After war, bought a small farm near "Marse Robert", raised a large family and prospered. Died in 1890s. The courage and loyalty of Kelly was typical of most Texas Negro slaves. Hundreds "went to war" with their masters. Many operated the farms and ranches of soldiers away at war, producing food, livestock, cotton and clothing for the Confederacy. Others, did outside work to support their master's families. They protected homes from Indians, bandits and deserters and did community guard and patrol duty. At war's end, most slaves, like Primus Kelly, became useful and productive citizens of Texas.

23rd Texas Cav. (Gould's Regiment, Tweny-seventh Cavalry)

1. Pate (Boy)-- Laundress. Co A. Enlisted Dec. 29, 1863. Muster roll for Jan. & Feb. 1864 -- present.

2. Dorsey-- Negro. Co. H Ona regt.return of March , 1865. Absent on leave.

3. Moses -- Negro Boy. Cook. Co. H. Enlisted March 1, ???? for a period of 2 months. Muster roll dated Jan. and feb. 1864-- Present.

4. Frank -- Negro Cook. Co. D. Enlisted Jan. 1864 at Wharton. Muster roll of Jan. & Feb. 1864 -- Present. On roll of March 1865-- Absent. with leave.

5. Jack-- Cook. Co. D. Enlisted Jan. 1864 at Wharton. Muster roll of Jan. & feb. 1864. Present

6. Thorton-- Negro Boy . Laundress. Co. A. Emlisted Dec. 29, 1863. Muster roll for Jan. &. Feb of 1864 --- Present. (CSR)

7. Job, Negro boy. Co. A, Enlisted Dec. 29, 1863. Muster roll of Jan. and Feb. 1864, absent detached to horse camp. (CSR)

8. Ben. Cook, Co. D. Enlisted Jan. 1, 1864 at Wharton for a period of 3 years. Muster roll of Jan. and Feb. 1864. Absent, detailed with the horses. (CSR)

9. Ransom. Negro boy Co. H. Enlisted March 1, 186? for a period of 2 months. Muster roll for Jan. and Feb. 1864, absent, detached with horses. (CSR)

10. Sam. Negro. Co. E. Appears on a muster roll of March 1865. Detached to wait at Ft. Smith. (CSR)

11. Austin. Negro Cook. Co. D. On a muster roll for March 1865. "with leave" (CSR)

12. Hall. Negro Cook. Co. D. Enlisted Jan. 1, 1864 at Wharton. Muster roll of March 1865, "with leave." (CSR)

13. Stephen. negro boy. Pvt Co. H. Enlisted March 1, 186? for a period of 2 months. "Cook. Detached with horses." (CSR)

14. Ike. Negro. Co. A. Enlisted Dec. 29, 1863. Jan & Feb 1864 -- Presaent. Detached to horse camp.

Ragsdale's Batt'n Texas Cav.

1. Jacques Esclavon, Pvt, Co. A, teamster/Cook. A forty-year-old free mulatto farmer of Calcasieu Parish, saw service in a Texas military unit late in the war. Jean Esclavon and Adelaide de la Fosse, free mulattoes, possibly were his parents. On September 11, 1864,
he enlisted in Company A, Ragsdale's Battalion Texas Cavalry. This unit had moved into southwestern Louisiana to perform guard and picket duty around the Calcasieu and Mementau rivers and had enlisted several dozen Louisianians.
It is possible that the Texans did not know that Esclavon was black, but existing battalion records showing his assignment to menial duties such as teamster and company cook may indicate they knew his status. Official records show Esclavon in service until at least March 1865. He may have remained on duty until his command broke up and dispersed to their homes at the end of the war.
(CSR, CWS&S, Documentation at

Unknown Unit--

1. Dick Gray (Richard Henry Boyd) Documentation at

2. Randolph Vesey --
Marker Number: 4194

Marker Text:
Respected Negro citizen and homeowner. Champion pioneer fiddler, popular at Forts Belknap, Griffin and Richardson and over County. Once when he was an Indian captive, held in Kansas, Texans sent ponies to ransom him. He is buried in Oaklawn, Decatur.
Born in Georgia, he served during the Civil War as body servant and voluntary Battle Aide to Gen. W.L. Cabell of the Confederate Army. Vesey's courage and loyalty were typical. Hundreds of slaves went to war with masters. Many operated farms and ranches of soldiers away at war, producing cotton and food for the Confederacy. Others did work for hire, with wages supporting the master's family. On patrol duty, they protected homes from Indians, bandits, outlaws.
During war years, 1861-1865, some 30,000 to 50,000 Negroes - Free and Slaves - aided Confederate armies. They served with the Nitre and Mining Bureau and Departments of Medicine, Engineers, Quartermaster General, Ordnance and Commissary General. They build fortifications on coasts from Brownsville, Texas to Norfolk, Virginia and at inland points. Many were Army teamsters, wheelwrights, blacksmiths, butchers, shoemakers, cooks and nurses. Texas and other states later provided land grants and pensions for many.

Total this page 37 as of 12/2/12