Posts Tagged ‘youth’

American Civil War Folklore or Legend, an unadulterated truth about a Confederate Wagon Driver [Sesquicentennial MMXI. Part v.]

Sunday, March 6th, 2011

by Ann DeWitt


“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic
it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”
~Colin Powell, first African American
United States Secretary of State,

first African-American four-star general
and the youngest person to chair the Joint Chiefs of Staff 


Many people ask for history to produce “gun toting” African-Americans in the Confederate States Army.   James L. Harrison quoted a slave from Bexas County, Texas who said, “If every black had thrown [away] his hoe and took up a gun to fight for his freedom along with the Yankees, the war [would have] been over before it began.” 

However, the far greater lesson to teach our youth is the honor of doing an assigned job to the best of one’s ability.  Imagine how these slaves, who were enlisted in the Confederate States Army on muster rolls, felt to have their names listed amongst the names of other soldiers—men.

There is no shame in serving as military support personnel.  For years our youth have been taught that African-Americans in the south were not enlisted on Soldier Service Records.  “Restoring America” begins with restoring faith that the system will never cover-up the truth, especially the civil war documents archived in the United States National Archives and Records Administration  (NARA).  Thus today, another African-American is highlighted.

Joseph M. Corbitt, a slave, was mustered into service as a Private whose assignment was a Wagon Driver in the Confederate States Army 11th Regiment Tennessee Infantry, Company B.  Colonel James E. Rains [Raines] was the commanding officier.

The annotation on the Company Muster Roll record below states:  “Slave appearing as J. M. Corbitt in Captain [Rains] Raines.”

J. M.  Corbitt, a Confederate States Army Wagon Drive with the 11th Tennessee Infantry (Source: NARA NARA 586957, M268)

J. M. Corbitt, a Confederate States Army Wagon Driver with the 11th Tennessee Infantry (Source: NARA NARA 586957, M268)



For more information about African Americans who served with the Confederate States Army, visit

This article is sponsored by The Street Life Series Youth Edition. Contact email:

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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