African-Americans in the Confederate War Effort

African-Americans in the Confederate War Effort (HM22EJ)

Location: Chester, VA 23836 Chesterfield County
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Country: United States of America
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N 37° 19.082', W 77° 20.225'

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The Bermuda Hundred Campaign

Like its pre-war economy, much of the southern war effort relied on slave labor. When Richmond became the capital for the newly formed Confederacy, both freedmen and slaves were used to maintain railroads, build fortifications, and perform other jobs that were vital to the war effort. They were also used in a variety of support roles for the Confederate armies in the field and as nurses and servants in hospitals.

Late in the war, with Gen. Lee's manpower reserves quickly dwindling, General Orders #14 were issued which allowed for the enlistment of blacks into the Confederate service.

The only known company of African-American troops in the Confederate army was recruited out of Richmond by Major James W. Pegram and Thomas P. Turner in the final days of the war. On April 5, 1865, these men were captured during Lee's Retreat when the wagon train they were guarding was attacked by Federal cavalry at Painesville.

On April 10, as Confederate prisoners were being marched back to City Point, a Union Chaplain observed the column:
"The first installment [sic] of Rebel prisoners, numbering seventeen hundred and seventy, have just passed, under strong guard...In the squad were many negros recently armed by Jef. Davis"

The incident seems to be the only documented episode
of "official" Black troops serving the Confederacy in Virginia as an armed unit under fire.

African-Americans were also with the First Regiment Engineer Troops on the retreat. These men repaired roads, built bridges, and helped to extricate artillery pieces and wagons that were stuck in the mud

When Lee surrendered his army at Appomattox, thirty-six African-Americans were listed on the Confederate paroles. Most were either servants, free blacks, musicians, cooks, teamsters, or blacksmiths. While few Black southerners served as combat troops in the Confederate Army, many worked in other capacities.

This sign was sponsored by Dr. Mike Chesson, Belmont, MA
HM NumberHM22EJ
Year Placed2016
Placed ByChesterfield County and the Blue & Gray Education Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, October 30th, 2017 at 4:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 292909 N 4132715
Decimal Degrees37.31803333, -77.33708333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 37° 19.082', W 77° 20.225'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds37° 19' 4.92" N, 77° 20' 13.5" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)804
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 1005 Point of Rocks Rd, Chester VA 23836, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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