Most of his 31,000 troops were stationed two miles away in the small railroad town of Grand Junction, about 45 miles south of Memphis and a few miles north of the Mississippi state line. S… Slaves and a small number of free African Americans might also have received cash for taking on additional tasks, or simply as a “bonus” for good work. c. considered "contrabands of war." Texan forces executed one runaway slave taken prisoner and resold another into slavery. American Civil War - American Civil War - The Emancipation Proclamation: Despite its shocking casualty figures, the most important consequence of Antietam was off the field. During the war, most Confederates believed their slaves were loyal. “A great many negroes have gone to the Yankees,” wrote Edgeworth Bird, a quartermaster for Benning’s Georgia brigade, in a letter dated July 9. While Confederates viewed their slaves’ return as proof of unflinching loyalty, in most cases enslaved people’s true allegiances rested with their family members,  who remained in bondage. Thousands of the men ended up enlisting in the Union army as part of the 180,000 African-American troops who fought for the North. Shortly after the First Battle of Manassas, the Richmond Enquirer ran a satirical column about a camp slave named Sam who had purportedly followed his master into the thick of the “popin of de guns.” Sam wrapped up his story with a joke that seemed to place him in lockstep with white Confederates. Slaves had accompanied the Army of Northern Virginia into Maryland in September 1862, but the Gettysburg Campaign would mark the first and only time Lee’s army carried a substantial number of slaves into a free state. to see how white men calling themselves gentlemen neglect their poor helpless negroes in this camp.” Paralleling the experience of many soldiers, slaves fell ill in startling numbers as unsanitary conditions and exposure to new diseases took their toll. “There was no way the Union would have won the war had it not been for the support of African-Americans,” said Stauffer. Contraband was a term commonly used in the United States military during the American Civil War to describe a new status for certain escaped slaves or those who affiliated with Union forces. The myth of “Black Confederates” has misconstrued and distorted the nature of slavery within Confederate armies. Rolling with laughter, he recorded its provenance from “one of our negro cooks.” Although Sam’s story was that of a slave on the front lines, this Mississippi soldier—along with most white Southerners—considered Sam first and foremost a slave, not a fighting man. Legions of enslaved people labored as servants, cooks, and teamsters, helping to free Southern whites to fight. “There are several in my Reg’t and they are all so well contented, that every thing moves along easy with them.” When slaves did escape, disgruntled Confederates echoed the accusations that slaveholders had been repeating for decades—a third party, an abolitionist or a “Yankee,” had “seduced” their slave into leaving. In the furious fighting that blanketed Herbst Woods, Leventhorpe fell with wounds in his hip and arm. Lieutenant J. Wallace Comer of the Army of Tennessee's 57th Alabama and his camp slave, Burrell. General Pender boasted that his servant Joe “enters into the invasion with much gusto and is quite active in looking up hidden property.” Pender maintained the excitement extended beyond just Joe and included the army’s entire accompaniment of slaves, who “seem to have more feeling in the matter than the white men and have come to the conclusion that they will [im]press horses, etc., etc. If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware. Those who remained on the plantation, undermined the system and drastically decreased productivity. Again, the Union advance was halted, if only momentarily, as Grant awaited reinforcements. Upon William's assumption of the British throne, the Duchess would become queen consort. slaves ran away from plantation to join the Union. The canteens indicate his role as a camp slave rather than a fighting man. returned to their masters. Washington was owned by Joseph Bryant of Bossier Parish, La., who hired him out as a cook to Private Burrel McKinney of the 9th Louisiana (Hays’ Brigade). (Courtesy of the Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). (Library of Congress), At Gettysburg, enslaved people were present in large numbers in the Army of Northern Virgina, but not in the battle lines sweeping toward Union positions. Other black residents were inspired by the battle to enlist in the Union army, serving with distinction during the remainder of the war. Another way to prevent getting this page in the future is to use Privacy Pass. Cloudflare Ray ID: 60f194ac0f580476 Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (Catherine Elizabeth "Kate" Middleton); wife of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. There the abolitionist colonel “appealed to them as freemen,” and pointing to the “glorious” stars and stripes floating above, “urged them to assert their rights, and strike the blow that should deliver their oppressed brethren from the tyranny of their so called masters.”. Their flight led to the phenomenon of Civil War contraband camps. These claims require more context. Refugee camps were established on confiscated plantations to house thousands of slaves liberated by the Emancipation Proclamation and provide them with care. Not only that, but despite their own aspirations for freedom, many bondsmen remained tied to the South through enslaved family members back home. General John C. Fremont in August 1861 declared that the slaves owned by Confederates in his conquered territory in Missouri were free. A prisoner from the 1st Minnesota encountered a similar scene on the morning of July 3, as he was escorted behind Confederate lines, observing “long lines of negro cooks baking corn pone for rebel soldiers at the front.” Once the firing sputtered to a close, many camp slaves were faced with the unenviable task of traversing the battlefield in search of their wounded or potentially slain masters. d. returned to their - 14097191 armed and forced to fight against the Confederacy. Slaves who ran away toward Union troops were a. killed. In order to deal with the population influx of recently freed slaves, a concentration camp was established to essentially eradicate the slaves. “As to the idea of a faithful servant, it is all a fiction,” the North Carolina diarist Catharine Devereux Edmondston concluded in September 1863. At least 16 followed Birney’s call and enlisted, while another eight left with Union regiments as cooks. In May 1861, three enslaved men who were determined not to be separated from their families ran to Fort Monroe, Virginia. President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, issued September 22, 1862, declared freedom to slaves in the confederate states that did not return to the control of the Union by January 1, 1863. Richard Nixon, 37th President of the U.S. and first President to resign from office. Similarly, the excitement Pender and others attributed to their slaves could stem from a multitude of factors, not just zealous loyalty to the Confederate cause. Still, at least six managed to escape—a testament to the strength of family bonds. Remarkably, many recent websites, books, and articles have accepted these claims as fact—with little or no critical analysis. There are many accounts of slaves being taken by union soldiers and running away from the union army to … “I gave Joe a tremendous whipping last night,” Pender scribbled in a note to his wife. ... Patsey Fossett – ran away in 1827, and living free in Cincinnati by the time of the 1850 Census; ... "Monticello Slaves Who Gained Freedom." Pete had “kindled a bright fire” and procured food from “four full haversacks” scavenged off the lifeless corpses of Union 1st Corps dead. As the army entered Pennsylvania, Henry became “very trifling,” Pryor wrote, and “dont care for any thing but to make money for himself.” Pryor thought that Henry “will get better” once he “got farther away from the free states.”, Many camp slaves who fell into Union hands were brought to Baltimore’s Fort McHenry. Just how many camp slaves escaped during the Gettysburg Campaign remains unknown, though several individual cases do survive. Former Confederate camp slaves, some wearing ribbons proclaiming them as "ex slaves," attended a 1927 reunion in Tampa, Florida. An enslaved man by the name of George Washington also returned south. “We never have been able to keep the impressed Negroes with an army near the enemy,” he admitted in January 1864. “Out of the many negroes in this army I haven’t known one to even try to make his escape to the enemy,” boasted James Paul Verdery of the 48th Georgia. An enslaved … “I have seen the favourite & most petted negroes the first to leave in every instance.” According to General Joseph Johnston, “desertion” also plagued Confederate armies’ camp slaves. Regular Army units were consolidating their position at Fort Craig and Fort Union to protect the upper Rio Grande valley against any Confederate columns coming from Texas. • Most performed menial tasks like this man ready to shine an officer’s boots. On July 6, several slaves belonging to the 3rd Richmond Howitzers were captured by Union forces, only to return to Confederate lines three days later. “Our negroes are not at all prepossessed with their Yankee brethren,” Wood wrote home, “and I don’t suppose one in the Regt. When slaves were near the front lines, amused Confederates drew on heavy dosages of slave vernacular and the “Sambo” stereotype, to depict them as clueless, “comical bystanders,” who lacked the battlefield courage of white Southerners. Please enable Cookies and reload the page. While Union desertion ran the full course of the war, there were periods when it spiked, most notably the winter and spring of 1863 in the wake of the Union army’s devastating defeat at Fredericksburg and its retreat following the Battle of Chancellorsville. Because “de abolitioners met us dar—we was de ‘men’ and day de ‘asses.’” While Sam’s parting quip—if indeed his own words—might have conveyed some vague sense of camaraderie, white Southerners were quick to remind him and other camp slaves of their secondary status. An Alabama officer leveled just such an accusation after his “negro cook” Charles ran away in 1864. Pender, who castigated the treatment of camp slaves, paid his servant Joe $15 per month—higher than the average Confederate private’s monthly wage ($11). During the summer of 1863, Birney was in Baltimore tasked with recruiting U.S. Escape, under these circumstances, would have amounted to a “suicide mission,” in the words of scholar Colin Woodward. In the fall of 1835, a group of almost 100 slaves staged an uprising along the Brazos River after they heard rumors of approaching Mexican troops. Colored Troops—often concentrating his efforts in the city’s slave pens and prisons, much to the ire of Maryland slaveowners. For enslaved people, the Gettysburg Campaign had a wholly different meaning than the decisive Union victory celebrated in Northern papers, or the bitter defeat that Southerners only begrudgingly conceded. As manpower issues grew more dire as the war progressed, however, the British army became more amenable to arming runaway slaves and sending them into … Although Pennsylvania was a free state, throughout the Gettysburg Campaign Confederates occupied large swaths of the south central part, and were already rounding up blacks without regard to their legal status. 72—instructing Confederates to respect civilian property—came “much to the disgust of the negro cooks, who cannot understand why the army should act so differently from the Federal armies in Virginia.”. On July 1, 1863, George’s master, Colonel Collett Leventhorpe, led his 11th North Carolina Infantry (Pettigrew’s Brigade) across Willoughby Run and smashed into the left flank of the famed Iron Brigade. contains daily features, photo galleries and over 5,000 articles originally published in our various magazines. “Discovering that he would be forced to become a Union volunteer,” a North Carolina paper later swanked, “he skillfully duped the Abolitionists by donning Federal uniform and by a feigned conversion to yankee philanthropy and bribery.” His deception complete, George procured a pass from a garrison officer to run some routine errands, and “with the aid of this pass…and by some strategy, George safely reached Dixie, as he says, ‘heartily sick of all yankees and all yankeedom.’”. On July 6, several slaves belonging to the 3rd Richmond Howitzers were captured by Union forces, only to return to Confederate lines three days later. Stepping foot on free soil (most likely for the first time), they confronted a cruel dilemma—family or freedom. Your IP: Like Beverly, they were forced to maintain a painful, evasive silence about their heart-wrenching brush with freedom, a uniquely human story of Gettysburg that remains largely untold. Joan Baez, American folk singer and activist. “He is a good and smart boy but like most young negroes needs correction badly.”. Marlboro Jones, a slave of Captain Randal F. Jones of the 7th Georgia Cavalry, sat for a formal portrait in a Confederate uniform. Yet just months earlier, the colonel’s wife had offered George a potent reminder of the family ties that probably motivated his return. Du Bois and Bell Irvin Wiley, suggests that slaves who ran away to the Union army during the first two years of the Civil War forced military and civilian officials to take steps toward emancipation. The African Americans accompanying the Army of Northern Virginia as camp slaves were noncombatants. And while his slave did not escape, Captain Shepherd G. Pryor of the 12th Georgia (Doles’ Brigade) expressed frustration with the newfound assertiveness of his camp slave, Henry. Through word-of-mouth and eavesdropping, slaves learned of the rise of the Republican Party, Lincoln’s election and the outbreak of war. “Negro servants hunting for their masters were a feature of the landscape,” recalled Confederate artillerist Edward Porter Alexander. In postwar reminiscences, former Confederates extolled the virtues of their similarly “devoted” slaves. Even Robert E. Lee acknowledged in May 1863 that “our negroes” constituted “the chief source of information to the enemy.” Escaped slaves often proved valuable informants to the Army of the Potomac’s intelligence chief, Colonel George H. Sharpe. Slaves who ran away to Union army troops were considered "contrabands of war." Morris was optimistic that the remaining number might be employed as “laborers, teamsters, &c&c,” though he noted that several of the men declared themselves to be free, “and have families to whom they desire to return.” Union officials debated this request, though Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton ultimately decided that no black detainees would be sent south. “My opinion is that he was enticed away or forcibly detained by some negro worshipper,” the Alabamian reasoned, “as he had always been prompt and faithful, and seemed much attached to me.”. “Even racist whites acknowledged that.” There were social consequences as well. Contraband camps were refugee camps to which between four hundred thousand and five hundred thousand enslaved men, women, and children in the Union-occupied portions of the Confederacy fled … While some took flight as opportunities presented themselves, others stayed put, aspiring to keep their families intact despite slavery. It did not free slaves from the border states Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, and Tennessee. Karel Capek, Czech writer and playwright, best remembered for his play R.U.R., which contained the first use of the word "robot.". Members of a Georgia unit pose in camp with an enslaved man. “Negro servants hunting for their masters were a feature of the landscape,” recalled Confederate artillerist Edward Porter Alexander. ... before Lincoln ran … The politically incorrect runaway slaves you will not hear about, are those slaves captured and forced into labor by the union, that ran away from the union back to their plantations. At Richmond, Lee received 2,000 or his requested 5,000 to relieve white teamsters for duty in … By the time the war was over in 1865, about 180, 000 black men had served in the Union army. An enslaved man named Joe—who served a group of brothers in the 18th Mississippi—disappeared during the retreat from Gettysburg. Unwilling to completely forsake Joe’s loyalty, an advertisement for his return speculated that he “ran away…or was captured…on Gen. Lee’s retreat from Pennsylvania.”, During the retreat, Captain Charles Waddell of the 12th Virginia (Mahone’s Brigade) briefly left the regiment, returning to find that his slave Willis had seized the opportunity to escape, taking with him Waddell’s camp equipage. While “a man can do everything that a soldier has to do,” reasoned a Mississippian who later joined Barksdale’s Brigade, “it is needlessly making a slave of himself if he can get some one else to do it for him.” Before his family sent an enslaved man named Jim to act as his servant, the Mississippi officer “scarcely had time to write a letter or read a line; now I have plenty to do both.”, Often lacking the funds to purchase their own slave, many enlisted men pooled their money to hire (or “rent”) an enslaved person from his master, or hire a free black servant.