Posts Tagged ‘slave’

American Civil War Folklore or Legend, an unadulterated truth about Confederate Cooks [Sesquicentennial MMXI. Part i.]

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

by Ann DeWitt

The Congress of the Confederate States of America and President Jefferson Davis did not authorize  slaves into military service until General Orders, No. 14 on March 23, 1865.

However, historical accounts from Union Officers as documented in The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of Union and Confederate Armies prove that some Confederate Officers did assign select African-Americans to military duties as early as the beginning of the war.

Less known are the following:

  1. In general, teamsters, cooks, musicians, etc. were noted on Confederate Soldier Service Record muster rolls.
  2. Some slaves by name were listed on Confederate Soldier Service Record muster rolls.
  3. In the National Archives and Record Administration (NARA), Confederate Citizens Files are cataloged separately from the Confederate Soldier Service Records. Thus, the documents presented in this post are Confederate Soldier Service documents.

For those new to the term, Merriam Webster dictionary states that a muster roll is “a register of the officers and men in a military unit or ship’s company.”

The following  are two of many examples of African-Americans  listed on Confederate Soldier Service Records.  The images below are digitized on footnote.com; and the original documents are cataloged in the United States government National Archives and Records Administration in Catalog ID 586957 and microfilm roll series 266.

Braham, a slave, served as a cook at a Confederate States Army Hospital and was attached to the 4th Georgia Cavalry (CSA).  The Hospital Muster Roll listing Braham is below.  Also, note the section titled “Last Paid.”

Braham, a Confederate 4th Georgia Cavalry Cook (Source: NARA 586957, M266)

Braham, a Confederate States Army 4th Georgia Cavalry Cook (Source: NARA 586957, M266)

Also, George, a slave, served as a cook at a Confederate States Army Hospital and was attached to the  4th Georgia Cavalry (CSA).  The Hospital Muster Roll listing George is below.  In addition, note the section titled “Last Paid.”

George, a Confederate States Army Cook (4th Georgia Cavalry) Source: NARA 586957, M266)

George, a Confederate States Army 4th Georgia Cavalry Cook (Source: NARA 586957, M266)

In summary, two slaves, Braham and George, appear on Confederate Soldier muster rolls, which means that they were officially attached to the 4th Georgia Cavalry as military cooks under the command of  Confederate Colonel Duncan L. Clinch.  Thus, we can state that black confederates did exist.

For more information about African Americans who served with the Confederate States Army, visit www.blackconfederatesoldiers.com.

This article is sponsored by The Street Life Series Youth Edition. Contact email: info@kevinmweeks.com.

Peel Back the Sticker and Reveal the Names of Black ConfederatesPeel back the sticker and reveal the names of African-American men who served in various capacities with the Confederate States Army (Black Confederates) during the American Civil War.

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