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The Official Records

To date this is the only references to armed Negroes serving in the Confederate forces I have extracted from the Official Records (ORs). I believe these will serve the purpose at this time. Later I will do a more complete search of the ORs for more references.

These are in no paricular order.


1. Federal Official Records Series 1, Volume 15, Part 1, Pages 137-138, report of the Union commander: "Pickets were thrown out that night, and Captain Hennessy, Company E, of the Ninth Connecticut, having been sent out with his company, captured a colored rebel scout, well mounted, who had been sent out to watch our movements."

2. Federal Official Records, Series I, Vol. XLIX, Part n, pg. 253 - April 6, 1865: "The rebels [Forrest] are recruiting negro troops at Enterprise, Miss., and the negroes are all enrolled in the State."

3. Federal Official Records, Series I, Vol. XIV, pg. 24, second paragraph, Colonel B. C. Christ, 50th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, official report of May 30, 1862, Pocotaligo, SC., "It is also difficult to state the force of the enemy, but it could not have been less than from 600 to 800. There were six companies of mounted riflemen, besides infantry, among which were a considerable number of colored men."

4. Federal Official Records: Series 2, vol 6, Part 1 (Prisoners of War) p. 17-18 - "...before one single negro or mulatto was mustered into the
U.S. service you had them organized in arms in Louisiana. You had Indians and half-breed negroes and Indians organized in arms under
Albert Pike, in Arkansas. Subsequently negroes were captured on the battle-field at Antietam and delivered as prisoners of war at Aiken's
Landing to the Confederate authorities, and receipted for and counted in exchange."

5. Federal Official Records, Vol. XIII, Chapter XXV, pg. 688 - "...We are not likely to use one negro where the rebels have used a thousand. When I left Arkansas they were still enrolling negroes to fortify the rebellion." - September, 1862

6. Federal Official Records, Correspondence, Etc., Vol. II, pg. 218 - "...they [the Confederacy] have, by means of sweeping conscription,
gathered in countless hordes, and threaten to overwhelm the armies of the Union, with blood and treason in their hearts. They flaunt the black flag of rebellion in the face of the Government, and threaten to butcher our brave and loyal armies with foreign bayonets. They arm negroes and merciless savages in their behalf." - July 11, 1862 - Rich D. Yates, Governor of Illinois

7. Federal Official Records, Vol. XIX, Chapter XXXI, pg. 617 - Record of the Harper's Ferry Military Commission (U.S.Army)
Question. Do you know of any individual of the enemy having been killed or wounded during the siege of Harper's Ferry?
Answer. I have strong reasons to believe that there was a negro killed, who had wounded 2 or 3 of my men. I know that an officer took deliberate aim at him, and he fell over. He was one of the skirmishers of the enemy[Confederate, ed.], and wounded 3 of my men. I know there must have been some of the enemy killed. Question. How do you know the negro was killed? Answer. The officer saw him fall."

8. Federal Official Records, Vol. XLI, Chapter LIII, pg. 670 - PATTERSON, [November] 24, 1864 - "Colonel MAUPIN: I have arrived with my squad on return. Captain McClanahan has gone on the upper road for Pilot Knob; will all arrive there to-morrow. No rebel force below. We have turned up eleven bushwhackers to dry and one rebel negro. No man hurt on our side. The men are generally well."

9. Federal Official Records, Series 1, Volume 4, p.569 - Report of Colonel John W. Phelps, First Vermont Infantry: CAMP BUTLER, Newport News, Va.,

August 11, 1861 - SIR: Scouts from this post represent the enemy as having retired. they came to New Market Bridge on Wednesday, and left the next day. They-the enemy-talked of having 9,000 men. They were recalled by dispatches from Richmond. They had twenty pieces of artillery, among which was the Richmond Howitzer Battery, manned by negroes. . . Their numbers are probably overrated; but with regard to their artillery, and its being manned in part by negroes, I think the report is probably correct. "

10. Federal Official Records, Series 1, vol 35, Part 1 (Olustee), Page 442-443, S.C., FLA., AND ON THE GA. COAST. Chapter XLVII - Report of
Bgen Asboth, USA: "...when I proceeded to Milton, Fla., a distance of 9 miles, and after rebuilding the destroyed bridge on the Arcadia Creek, I came upon the enemy, about 100 strong, and consisting of Captain Goldsby's (Alabama) cavalry company and a new militia infantry company, mounted...Having received early information of the arrival of two army steamers at Bayou Mulatte, the enemy had sent his stores on seven wagons in time toward Pollard, and seemed prepared and decided to accept a fight in the camp at the upper end of the town, but fled, upon our impetuous charge, in all directions. We pursued them closely for 7 miles, and captured 4 privates of Goldsby's company and 3 colored men, mounted and armed, with 7 horses and 5 mules with equipments, and 20 Austrian rifles."

11. Federal Official Records, Series I, Vol. XVII, Chapter XXIX, Pg. 635-637 - December 28, 1863 - "...It had to be prosecuted under the fire of the
enemy's sharpshooters, protected as well as the men might be by our skirmishers on the bank, who were ordered to keep up so vigorous a fire that the enemy should not dare to lift their heads above their rifle-pits; but the enemy, and especially their armed negroes, did dare
to rise and fire, and did serious execution upon our men...The casualties in the brigade were 11 killed, 40 wounded, and 4 missing;
aggregate, 55. - Very respectfully, your obedient servant, D. STUART, Brigadier-General, Commanding"

12. Federal Official Records, Series I, Vol. III, Correspondence, etc., pg 767-768 - "CAMBRIDGE, September 4, 1863. His Excellency A. LINCOLN,
President of the United States: ...excitement here growing out of the recruiting of colored troops, and as some of the recruiting officers are
acting rather indiscreetly, I fear, by taking slaves in their recruits, and the slaves of loyal as well as disloyal enlist slaves
as well as free people is creating a great deal of anxiety among the people...we ought to use the colored people, after the rebels commenced to use them against us."

OFFICIAL RECORDS: Series 2, vol 3, Part 1 (Prisoners of War) Page 427 -429 PRISONERS OF WAR AND STATE, ETC.

WASHINGTON, D. C., April 6, 1862.

Brigadier General L. THOMAS,

Adjutant-General U. S. Army, War Department

There are nearly if not quite 100 negroes among the prisoners captured at Donelson, most of whom were slaves and all of whom are considered as prisoners of war, receiving exactly the same treatment as other prisoners, and as evidence of this fact two of them have been paroled by Governor Tod on account of ill-health.


Assistant Inspector-General, U. S. Army.