SAL, FEBSUMY 27, 1982 THE UUUIDM TIKES -17
Blacks in theMi fa
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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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.
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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
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Robert Smalls stole the Planter from The
Confederate nave and later served as its
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