Modern 21st Century “historians” will tell you how no Black people fought for the Confederacy. This is a lie that serves two purposes: to slander the Confederacy and make it seem more racist and to portray modern Black Confederates as deranged lunatics. This is ignorance at best, historical revisionism at worst
It is well known that Blacks supported many Confederate armies by taking up roles of cooks, servants, laborers, musicians, and other support roles, mostly as slaves. What is less known is that some slaves, indeed a small minority, actually fought as soldiers alongside their White comrades. The SCV states that as many as 65,000 Blacks fought for the South but I find that hard to believe given that they listed no sources and seem to have pulled that number out of thin air. Furthermore, many of their stories about Black Confederates are not hard fact and are hard to verify. What is for certain though, is that Black Confederates did exist and did fight as soldiers, however few they were.
Furthermore, the Louisiana Native Guard, formed May 29, 1861, with 1,100-1,500 Free Black soldiers, is a direct contradiction to the myth that Black Confederates did not exist. They were largely underequipped and saw little to no action, but they did exist and were a threat in being. Their task was to garrison New Orleans which may have not led them to see action but it did free up other Confederates for other tasks. They were volunteers and after being offered the chance to fight for the Union, only a handful agreed, showing their loyalty to the Confederacy.
June 29-July 6, 1913, the 50th anniversary of Gettysburg was celebrated. According to some historians, it is said that Black Confederate Veterans actually participated in the celebrations and were welcomed by the White Confederate Veterans. Sources are iffy and unreliable on whether this is true, however. It’s not entirely impossible that Black Veterans attended the Gettysburg Celebrations or fought at Gettysburg, but for this occasion, it’s uncertain, though an interesting rumor.
The eagerness to drive the number estimates of Black Confederates up is a dangerous one. Many Neo-Confederates seek to flaunt the idea of hordes of Black soldiers around in an attempt to legitimize the idea that the Civil War was not about slavery, but I don’t think that this is necessary or possible to do in an honest way.
There simply was not 65,000 Black Confederates, or at least, we don’t have enough sources to say that there was and many of the stories of Black Confederates are more of legend than fact (not to say that some don’t have merit to them). The Civil War, or really, the War of Northern Aggression, was a war over the keeping of the Union. The War for Southern Independence. Yes, the war started partly because of the paranoia Southerners developed regarding Lincoln’s anti-slavery attitude, but it evolved into something much bigger.
Take my state, North Carolina, for example. The reason NC seceded was less to do with slavery and more to do with the fact that the South was so disadvantaged because of the population imbalance. The push for 75,000 volunteers to suppress the states that had seceded from a union that was understood to be voluntary only push NC and the upper South further. We simply would not and could not fight against our Southern brothers.
-By Southern Revivalist