Skip to Content
North Carolina Newspapers

The Carolina times. (Durham, N.C.) 1919-current, February 27, 1982, Page 17, Image 17

Below is the OCR text representation of this newspaper page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

SAL, FEBSUMY 27, 1982 THE UUUIDM TIKES -17 Blacks in theMi fa 6 6 TheCiwIWar Ai iht tn-l tf ill Cjtminjilrv W'lrw KIitL't ulitt tin I served as volunteer were released from the service ' , with none of the rights of the regulars'. In addition." the states that had allowed blacks to join the militia . . wrote exclusionary clauses into the Black Codes.- , ' -, , Although there were a number of individuals and nhiililii-vnikt ironn w i( inilk 'l ti ll .-:im rviiiimvl mtiinvf . slavery on moral grounds thea was a basic indif .V ferenee throughout the North a to what the South did with its slaves. The South; of course, was at 74aehed to its. way of,,lilc..and felt that its wealth could only be maintained through slavery. ' The North and West had Irad a large influx of , into the mainstream, without The inherent fear of rebellion in their ranks! Therefore, the North and West were vehement ly opposed lo slavery, nor on moral grounds, but for the same reason t hat the South was for it: i.e.. economics. The soul hern stales refused to be dictated to. and the fear that' the abolitionists would have their way led to secession. The fact ihat-the Federal govern--niciu.iHtder I incoln, removed ihe emit lenient that ''.I he South' had 'had to Federal forts, post fyTices ad land created the final catalyst for a diviviejron frontaiion. ' When the call was issued by Lincoln for 75.00() volunteers, Frederick Douglass warned that "the side which first summons l he Negro to its aid will conquer". His words were lo haunt the Union. Individual commandos remembered black par licipatiou in past wars and pressed for their mobilization. Others look it. .upon themselves to utilize blacks in non-combative rolls, i.e.. road- building, teamster work and the like. General Ben jamin Butler was the firsi of the union officers to v employ runaways to construct fortifications and ot her; work details. .''' ;7 77' 7 1 ; U' ''' -V 7 -j : 7' 7' :.. ;- 7 7 Blacks from every station in life responded to the call for volunteers. Ploski .'and Kaiser state that. ."Black - frontiersman Jacob Dodoon (offeredj. to i raise 300' black volunteers to defend Washington, j D.C.' Wilbcrforcc students were also among the first to volunteer; however, as in the, past, all were summarily refused. ; . - ';' 77 ' 7"! Although Uiiion forces were superior in materiel, the cavalier attitude with which l hey approached : the war was almost their undoing. Believing pas- sionatcly in its cause, and with the slaves left to "mind the store", the South was determined to win. '. '. " 7.'-;' . ';. "' With a carnival air,' the North responded io the Soulh's aggressive seizure of 29 Federal bases. As the Army of the Potomac advanced southward hi .the summer of 1861, no shots were fired and the Union soldiers dreamed of being home in ninety days. Then came the Battles of Bull Run (Manass'ei). Wirson's Creek. Ball's Bluff and the Second Bull Run; all in Virginia, and all disastrous for the Union forces. So, too, came a rush of runaway slaves' to the Union lines. General David Hunter, in command of the Army of the South, declared "slaves free throughout his dominion, as did General John C. Fremont" in Missouri; Lincoln countermanded these orders. Thus, the conflict between political strategy and military realitv see-sawed throughout 1 SS 1 and carlv 1862. William Tillman was a cook aboard the S.J. War ; ing when it was captured by the Confederates. One week later he killed the captain and first mate in their sleep. T,he second mate, who was at the wheel, was similarly dealt with. The balance of the Con federate crew surrendered and Tillman sailed for New York, There, the ship's owners rewarded him with $6,000. 3 As in every war, spies and scouts were essential. Blacks, the "invisible men", proved their worth countless times. John Seobell and Furnev Bryant each directed organizations of spies and funnelled the information to the Union commanders. Harriet Tubman, about whom much has been written, is perhaps the most well-known spy. With a reward of $12,000 offered for her capture, she gave in calculable amounts jof information and aid to Union forces irf the South. It is impossible to determine the value of infor mation from an individual spy's accounts; but one who acquired information from "the source" was Jefferson Davis' coachman William Jackson. Privy to all that was said in his hearing, he reported directly to Lincoln on the Confederate Army in Virginia j Of the few blacks who were commissioned of ficers, three were surgeons: Martin Dclanev (the ' first black field officer), Charles Purvis and A.T. Augusta; and two were chaplains: Henrv Turner 1 r,!' kVi'r"7., k . v,o 7 S7 i , i ' l ''' 3 7 i'jj V-'-' J't 1 f f f .V -1 ' A-- i it-' 4 T i i I M 4 1 ! 1 .V V if) f .X V :':V 7 Mfi, K;' v. i - v'. ' t Henry Flipper the first black Furney Bryant led a corps of Intelligence Agents and Samuel Hamsun. Iniii.ilK. AuimisU vvas placed in charge of a field hospital . but when w hue doctors relused to serve under. him. lie was uaisierred lo a detail where lie ?mvc phyveaN u reeruiis. At the war's end, the prior practice of returning the "volunteers" to civilian life linallv came to an end. In 1866, and Act of Congress formed the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments, and the 38th. 39th, 40th and 41st Infantry Regiments. In 1869. reorganization, allowing for four regiments of black regulars, found the consolidation of the 38th and 41st units' into the 24ih. All Neuro Infantrv Regiment: and the 39ih and 4()ih units "into the. 25th All Negro Infantrv Regiment. The 9ih andjlOlh Cavalry Regiments remained the same. All were staffed with white officers. Blacks were appointed to the United Slates Military Academy; 22 between 1S70 and ISS9. Of the twelve that passed the entrance examination, only three finished the grueling isolation and other lot ms of discrimination. Henry Flipper was the first to graduate in 1877. John Alexander in 1887. and Charles Young in I8S9. There was not to be another black graduate until 1936 when Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.. completed his studies. Flipper was assigned to the I Ot h Cavalry but was court martialed for alleged fraud in his record-keeping. Alexander died while on duty in 1894. and Young was assigned as a imluarv instnictoi at Willievtoi vi- l lmi.i-..ii v V: Oiiringihe; period between live Civil aul Spanish- (cneral Benjamin Butler recruiting slaves in Louisiana warship. ihc-Onward. tlirouuh mined waters.. -to Charleston Harbor. Commissioned a Captain in ihe Union Navy, he commanded Ihe Planter for the balance of the war. After the war. he was elected to Conuress from South Carolina. Major General Benjamin Butler, now in Loui siana, actively recruited blacks in New .Orleans and formed the; 1st, 2nd, and 3rd .-Native Guards (renamed the Corps D'Afrique.)Hvho were the first black combat troopsl However, the distinct ion of being the first of ficial b&cY. regiment goes to the 1st Kansas Colored Volunteers, They were also the first regiment of blacks raised in a free state, and the first blacks in actual combat. Activated after Con- tirpec naiicWft i Ka onlicl mnl Ai-1 in lnlv 1 HA) lliiv i-lV'J '.1VW, 1Mb Villi UIIVIII I.WI ill II'. rw. led the way Tor the mobilization of black troops. Brigadier 'General R. Saxon was authorized to organize 50,000 slaves for assignment to the Quartermaster department and eventual assign moil on labor details. The 54th Massachusetts Regiment, led by Col. Robert Shaw of Boston was formed (Shaw University bears his name). Among the volunteers in the regiment were Frederick Douglass' two sons. Soon after came ij.-gimenis from Arkansas. Iowa. Kansas, I ouisiana. Mississippi, North Carolina and Tennessee. Fvcn lually, all of the free state recruited volunteers for the United Slates Colored Troops (USCT), At the war's end. the total' black troops numbered more than 186.000; 93.000 from the South: 40.0XH'roin the' Border States: and 53.000 from the North. There were 161 regiments in all: 141 infantry. 7 cavalry, .12 heavy artillery, and one light artillery. They had fought in every theater of operation (over 200 battles), and were decimated bv some 38.000: more than forty per cent greater than their white con. no parts, I he bloodiest battles that blacks engaged in were Milikcn's'Bend,, Miss... Fori Hudson, Fori Wagner, S.( . (wlicfvMunv led the 54th Mass. Reg. and died). Petersburg, 'Va.. I on Pillow , Tenu.. Olusiec. I la.: $jhI Chapin's Farm near Richmond," Va. Hoe. ihii teen blacks received the Medal of Honor. Basically, black . soldiers were lauded for their performance ; in all engagements,' and few , disciplinary problems existed. It was generally due to the strong feelings that some white officers and men had against fighting with black troops. Ihe worst incident of 'savagery against black t loops was at Fort Pillow, Tenn.. in 1864. The Con federate leader. Gen. Nathan Forrest (who later was instrumental in forming the Ku Klux Klan). ordered I he. massacre of over 'one hundred captured black troop-,. The obvious hatred felt by the whites was evident in the way wounded soldiers were burned alive, impaled on trees and clubbed or stabbed to death in their hospital beds. Women and children suffered the same fate. Although the Federal government condemned the ack nothing else was done to penalize those responsibliVrhroughoul the war, any black unfortunate enougVrt-fall be.hi.ijd Confederate lines often met the same fate. Blacks in the Navy fared better than many soldiers. When enlist men Is in the army were forbid- ' den, blacks swarmed to the navy. Here, segregation was minimal, and they served in all capacities. Almost 25 per cent of all enlistees were black; and five members of the service received the Medaj of; Honor. ' ; . - - ' : Ihe Confederates were not above impressing blacks into service aboard their ships. One such im pressment involved the slave Robert Smalls. On " May 13, 1862, while his officers were ashore. Smalls piloted the warship, The Planter, to Union Tines. Aboard were seven other slaves and their families. He then safely piloted The Planter and a Union. - Ulrf-fe-.. M M XN , V i S -N S ? , I :- ' '"""""' ' ' . ' : Vv', cL' I 4- . - &f l:-i' l ns ' I; , AP '-'K A, $r ( v J'l i'ti I - 1 -'f I i V 1 ; '"' :Sj ' CVNVVDIAN Prjnce an ex-slave who piloted Union Ships ' f' x 7 ' AlCT Prince, another ex-slave was also well acquainted . , ;, 1 -7''V IVlllDl with coastal waters and piloted the Navv's flagship. f i- , I The Ottawa. l; T ' "A I - WMmt0fmf (,' ; . I t, , '" HisKtrn t m r; 1 ' ViJWSJWSRKMi 9LAH1-V MH- f v 3 -..HniUtt Mn mjhuko v t I . I '. .S'te: .s; , s' ,-'0,;l r -VJ' - V'V, , , ;v7 " - 1 f hf 7.,-' ' , . - ':' j v ( ""r ' - . - . ... 7 ..... . . 1 'M"ri; 11 , , , 1 ; , , " MISTING I -A 1 Robert Smalls stole the Planter from The Confederate nave and later served as its Union capitan Misting is going in style. It's the mellow lightness of Canadian Mist An Imported Canadian Whisky. IMPORTED BY B f bPIRIIS LtD N V-A BLEND 80 PRCX5f CI 98 1

North Carolina Newspapers is powered by Chronam.

Digital North Carolina