top of page

Black Confederates


As the screen shot below indicates, there are many internet sites providing information on black confederate soldiers. The blogspot highlighted below provides many examples of how groups with a particular view of history seek out examples that support their point of view. In this case, the Sons of the Confederacy appear to be going to great links to provide historical evidence that black slaves fought for the South. The point appears to be to confirm that slavery was either a secondary concern to the South and/or that slaves were so content with slavery that they would fight for the South.


The historical record does not support the premise that large numbers of slaves actively fought for the South. I tend to agree with the Civil War Gazette that indicates there were probably several thousand slaves that served in support roles but that there is no evidence that slaves served as official soldiers on a large scale. See this excerpt from the March 13, 2008 edition of the Gazette: "One of the more interesting questions related to blacks serving in the American Civil War is this, did blacks (free or slave) serve in combat roles in the Confederate Army? Unquestionably the historical evidence is strong that some blacks – perhaps several thousand – did serve in the Confederate Army in unofficial, non-combat roles as servants, laborers, teamster, musician, cooks, etc. But the official record is very unsupportive that thousands of blacks served as official soldiers in the ranks of the Southern soldiers’ rosters."


I researched this subject earlier by reading a history of a black slave who served his master and the master's son during the Civil War. The slave was Colt Holier. I wrote a summary of the book -- see Colt Hollier: His Life, His Roosevelt Hunts and the Origin of the Teddy Bear. Collier joined by Thomas Hinds and his father, Colonel Howell Hinds, to fight with the Confederate forces in the Civil War. The Hinds men left the fight after the first year but Collier fought for the Confederacy until the end of the war with a Texas cavalry outfit. After the war, Collier was involved in the death of a Union officer and went to Texas where he made his living as a cowboy but returned to Mississippi to avenge the death of his master's son. Colt Hollier was loyal and apparently loved the Hinds family -- very complicated situation.


All of us, Mississippians, have our stories of special relationships. These relationships were complicated in the Ante Bellum period and remain so today. While there were no major Confederate units comprised of black troops there were clearly instances of loyalty and love that speak to the complicated and tragic nature of the Slave South.

bottom of page