tv The Civil War CSPAN November 21, 2015 10:00pm-11:43pm EST
harry jones of the african american civil war memorial and museum takes an in-depth look at the actions and strategies employed by african americans in their struggle for freedom, from slavery billions in the 1830's to black enlistment in the union army during the civil war, the national civil war museum hosted this hour and 45 minute event. >> good morning. i'd like to thank the national civil war museum for hosting this. i'd like to give a special thanks to the commissioner for making this possible, sponsoring this program, allowing me to share this american story not only with the good folk of harrisburg, but thanks to c-span and the good folks of the country. today's lecture, the first of
two lectures is entitled, recruiting the freedom fighters in the war of the rebellion. this is a lost stories -- lost stories series. we are telling a story that often does not get told. a history that was in many ways, intentionally suppressed. we are going to dig into a story that will challenge what many people have been told happened in the civil war. since the stern necessities of this struggle have laid there the naked issue of freedom on one side and slavery on the other, freedom shall have in the future of this conflict if necessary, my blood.
these are the words of captain hezekiah fort douglas. douglas in 1851, no relation to frederick douglass, had once opposed the agenda of the american society of free persons of color who argued that in league with the constitution, they could end the tyranny of slavery. once the civil war indeed became a war, within the tyranny of slavery, he made it very clear that he was willing to fight in the league with that constitution and he was willing to sacrifice so that all might be free. in 1843, a reverend delivered an address in buffalo, new york. in this address, he would refer to nathaniel turner as a patriot.
as a patriot, and his nobility and bravery would be recognized by future generations. garnet was calling the soldiers to stand up. and their patriot role model was not turner. understanding the gospel soldier, we must understand the perspective of these gospel soldiers, and i will explain why i'm calling them gospel soldiers, the perspective on even net turner. nathaniel turner himself when asked by an interviewer, what
were your motives for conducting this insurrection, he would reply, you'll ask me to give a history of the motives that induced me to undertake the late insurrection as you call it,". -- as you call it, close quote. is calling it a demonstration. what does moses do when he goes to the great house of the pharaoh? he says, these are curses of god. in the language of many of these individuals we are referring to as gospel soldiers, they are always alluding to exodus. they are always talking about that god is going to answer our prayers. nathaniel turner is not really seen as an insurrectionist, but as a demonstrator. nat turner was executed.
this has great power within recruiting gospel soldiers. they are seeing nathaniel turner as a brave, noble man who is standing to strike a blow for liberty, and his sacrifice. slavery was considered a sin, and they are admonishing america to turn away from the span of slavery. our martyr, he got hung down in jerusalem that you might turn away, turn away from sin, o brother, sister, won't you turn away from sin. our martyr, he got hung down in jerusalem that you might turn away, turn away, turn away from sin. nathaniel turner set an example of turning away from sin. however, within this group of soldiers, they are being admonished to take all necessary means. this is their duty, as christians.
we are often taught that christianity was used to keep the slaves enslaved. from the perspective of the gospel soldier, that's ridiculous. this is a source of strength and power. nathaniel turner sacrificing like jesus was sacrificed, and you are confident that god is with you if you're a gospel soldier. you're confident, and it is your duty, as garnet would say, that address from buffalo, he's saying it is your christian duty to stand up against slavery. to use any necessary means. in 1829, david walker would write his appeal -- david
walker's appeal in 1829 is considered an insurrectionist document, a pamphlet that was circulated throughout the country, entitled, the appeal to colored citizens of the world, especially in the united states. david walker right, never make an attempt to gain our freedom, our natural right, from under our cruel oppressors and murderers until you see your way clear. when that hour arrives and you move, be not afraid or dismayed, or bu assured that jesus christ, the king of heaven and of earth, who is the god of justice, will surely go before you,". these gospel soldiers, they are not going to act in patch was
for a. they are waiting for the proper time, they are waiting for the proper time. nat delivered his address in buffalo in 1843. the convention in buffalo did not endorse and distribute his address. in 1848, garnet was requested to republish and distribute his address, his call from buffalo for soldiers against the tyranny of slavery. and in this convention in cleveland, ohio in 1848, they not only endorsed garnet's address, they not only advanced the war-like agenda, they also passed a resolution. this resolution in 1848 encourages the state committee to organize and train their young people in the military
science, and through vigilance committees, they are encouraging them to organize, organize. and so you would see a great deal of organizing independent militias at this time heard none of the northern states allow african-americans to join her state militia. you cannot get military training in the state militia. there is only one state at this time that allowed african americans to join the state militia, and that is the state of north carolina. when you read that law they said, negros cannot be brought into the state militia except as
musicians. now, musicians -- let's not think the musicians are unimportant. they are signaling. that's how the law reads. most of the training is going to occur in independent organization. by 1860, you've got publicly known published and newspapers because they are participating in the august 1 emancipation day ceremonies, celebrating emancipation in the british, and they are dissipating -- you've got at least -- participating -- you got at least 36 of them. they are journaling, they're are preparing, and they are preparing for a civil war. if you read them closely, they are telling you this. the black man's services will be needed. that's 1858, so they are preparing, and they make it very clear that they are not into nationbuilding. it's not a black nationalist movement. in the anglo-african, they make it very clear whether objectivists. -- objective is.
our objective is something holier than building a nation. it is stooped purify christianity and the state. -- is to purify christianity and the state. we are going to help turn them away from the sin of slavery. this is there clear objective, to end the tyranny of slavery. well, helping to create a more perfect union. working in concert, if you will, with the constitution. in 1863, a commission was put together by president lincoln. they traveled around, they interviewed african-americans in this commission.
these are three commissioners. the three commissioners, one of the things they noticed is that when dealing with the african ascent -- descent population, there is a spiritual and religious sentiment that was very important. this commissioners would recommend that the officers that might take charge of these, that they need to have this sentiment as well that they are fighting for god and liberty. saying, if you really want to recruit these african soldiers, you need to be dedicated to god and liberty. if that's the case, you can work you need to be dedicated to god with them. that's what these commissioners
are actually recommending. one of the officers that would serve with the united states is thomas higgins. higgins is a theologian. he is been working with african-americans in active resistance, training with -- conducting raids on the courthouse and helping people escape, the fugitive slaves. it seemed to him never since cromwell's time had there been soldiers in whom the religious element has such a place, a
religious army, a gospel army. they understand themselves to be a gospel army. they believe they are doing god's work, and they believe in the tradition of prince hall. they believe that the constitution is a weapon, a divine instrument of goodness. this is how they refer to it. one of the young leaders who came out of that cleveland convention was william howard taft. -- was william. he was a graduate of oberlin college and a really high achiever. they would argue, quote, i considered the constitution the foundation of american liberty. wrapping myself in the flag of
the nation, i would plant myself on the constitution, and using the weapons they have given me, using the weapons they have given me, i will appeal to the american people, close quote. you see that hairdo? i'm going to tell you what's going on there. i'm going to try to get somebody to do that with my locks. he's got locks, and he's propping them up so they don't hang down like mine hang down. he is only 23 years old. martin, delaney and others, they admire him. they hold him in high esteem in 1848. martin dillane would say william howard, he's brave, determined man, once arrival he is a panther. indeed, delaney would say that men who don't agree with william, he can convince them to follow him. he's a true champion in the
context of this organization, which is loosely arranged, not a typical hierarchical organization where you know who's got a be in charge and what the ascending order is spirit you lead by example. william is a brave, intelligent man, is indeed an example. delaney points out that william tells him to arrange the military policies of the underground railroad relative to slave enlistment. if were trying to find out who's really in charge of doing things, we go to the source and the people involved, they will tell us. it's william howard day. very important, we will relate him back to harrisburg. we're going to come back to her spread with william howard day. the doctor is one of the more elegant spokesman.
in 1858, for clasping -- forecasting clearly the civil war -- we are ready. sooner or later, the clash is on. will the black men fight? of course he will. he is a physician, a dentist, a schoolteacher, and a lawyer. rock in 1862, and some people say -- lincoln, i don't know what's can happen, abolition kind of disappointing lincoln. rock says, he's a bit conservative for me too. he said, this will mean something. this will mean anticipation. i think i see the finger of god in this. god has heard the prayers of his oppressed people and he has come down to deliver them from their oppressor. african-americans stand ready when the civil war began to strike a blow for liberty. here in pennsylvania, a young man out of philadelphia who was a part of the franklin-washington gray, out of philadelphia -- you get this organization of independent militia that are well-financed. after a right august 1, 1842 in the emancipation day celebrations, he says, we will not have this again. and so in every celebration after that, you had independent militia men who were marching with the parade like security to make sure it never happens again.
one of the young men who grows up in this philadelphia independent militia is george stevens. george stevens when the war began, stevens writes to the governor and tells the governor, i'm the commander of a regiment of philadelphia collards -- coloreds, and we are ready to do whatever is necessary. whatever is necessary in this conflict, we are willing to do it. this organization would prove very valuable to harrisburg and pennsylvania and the nation. in south carolina you have men who have been organized. this south carolina regiment that was organized, it was organized independent of the u.s. government completely at
first with prince rivers. they are running rage in the sea islands. they chase a lot of the planters inland because of the fear of rates. -- raids. prince rivers -- when you see these red trousers, after they've done this work and general david hunter is down there, he does organize them as a regiment in may of 1862, but it's illegal. they can't requisition any uniforms from the quartermaster department. their uniforms are donated to them. within the loyal league, within this -- within this african-american society it's quite notable that they get red pants. why? there are many units in pennsylvania, and new york. it was modeled after the african
soldiers that helped king louis. these are kind of elite soldiers. when they get the red pants, it's not really an insult. it's illegal for them to be organized when they are organized. when it becomes legal for them to organize after the militia act signed into law in 1862, their first commander is thomas wentworth higginson. worked underground railroad activities. he becomes the commander, and higginson, he knew what the commissioners were saying. he knew that this was a group of people who call themselves -- higginson understood this very well.
he also understood what this meant. the soldiers were quite outstanding in the battlefield. these gospel soldiers, the most reckless and during fellows in the regiment in their confidence that god would watch over them. these are good soldiers to have in battle. courage is so important. he talks about this faith. he actually functions at their level, liberties and their families. the love of liberty and their families. this co-opted to make them do their duty. gospel soldiers are pretty outstanding. among them are people who actually believe, if we do not have these frailties as men and
if we were all brave men, we could fight with prayers and we would not need bullies. they are practical men. these are americans. we tend to be practical. they are practical men and they know they need bullets. the soldiers are very enthusiastic soldiers, and with the south carolina regiment, one of their revenge is is they do have a commander who understands that they are fighting for god and liberty. that's an advantage for them. in congress, you have those who appreciate when the emancipation becomes what this war is about,
that it elevates the war to quote, a holy war. henry wilson out of massachusetts who has really acted in getting african-americans involved, active in congress and getting african-americans involved, he's really reacted in trying to get them equal pay. that is an impediment to recruiting soldiers. this kind of how the europeans were looking at it. since the emancipation has been introduced, this is a holy one. that's how these gospel soldiers viewed it. i try my best to not say men of african descent. even though it was only legal for men to join the army, women are very involved in this as soldiers, as freedom fighters. i will try to have the
and most of the people involved in the conversation, i cannot help notice they have been victims of the lost story. excluding very important testimony, if you will, from gospel soldiers and their leaders straight frederick douglas, in 1861 he says, we're happy to believe. he says, we have very good evidence of the facts. he said, notwithstanding appearances, the lincoln administration stands ready to enforce their policy. what does he mean? if you track the american society of colored persons, they tell you that congress needs to pass legislation, congress has the authority, and they understand the executive is the enforcement branch of government. frederick douglas in 1861 is telling you exactly what lincoln's emancipation policy does become. they don't know this about
what's going on with lincoln. they don't even know it. someone has gotten information towards douglas is confident enough to say we have good evidence of the fact and what is most important to us over 150 years later is that he was right. that means he had good evidence to the fact. douglas is a great spokesman in telling us how they're analyzing what's going on. frederick douglas makes it very clear what's going on. he says, the only way this will free slaves is to conditions have to be met. next he says, we must have the ability to put down the rebellion. we must have the ability. gospel soldiers understand this,
if anyone's going to be free, they will have to do the work. they will have to purify the state. watch night, december 31, 1862. if you listen to some people, they will tell you that they're praying and watching for the day of jubilee when all the slaves would be set free. we know that nobody thought all the slaves would be set free. they knew that in order for the slaves to be set free, we must have the ability to put down the rebellion. what is the day of jubilee? what are they praying for? there watching for the genuine opportunity to rise up and strike a blow for liberty. absalom jones, mariah stewart, david walker, martin delaney, william howard day -- this is an
important event for gospel soldiers. it's a confirmation of the genius of their leaders, who were analysts the now have become prophets. that's why the emancipation proclamation is important. when people who were victims of the story say, the emancipation proclamation wasn't enforced because it did not free the slaves -- you are thinking somebody should have done it for you. that's not what gospel soldiers are saying. they're saying, we must have the ability to put down the rebellion.
that's how they're thinking. self-help is going on here. the emancipation reclamation is not held in high esteem by the gospel soldiers because they free the slaves. it is held in high esteem because it makes it legal for them to rise up and strike a blow for liberty. in the emancipation proclamation is where president lincoln issues his public order to his field commanders. the loyal league is activated in full force after this. men like hezekiah fort douglas are ready.
the loyal league is activated in full force. what is the loyal league? a secret organization that would provide the most prolific recruiters of african-americans for the union. it is a secret organization that needs to end slavery in league with the constitution. hezekiah douglas was kind of an uncle tom when it came so this mission. -- came to this mission. how many of you have learned that uncle tom means a traitor? that's the way it's presented, right? that's what soldiers are using. is thomas the traitor in the bible? no! judas! thomas is the doubter. you doubt.
once hezekiah douglas doubted -- hezekiah douglas said that the constitution was a guilty compromise with slavery. after the proclamation, hezekiah -- he would go out and enlist in an integrated regiment. yes, he was an integrated regiment. they get lost. hezekiah was a private in one. he would later become a captain in the union army. uncle tom became a really good disciple, didn't he? he would later become the captain. hezekiah was one of them, captain. martin delaney, who would later become a major in the union army, delaney would write a letter. he would tell the secretary of war, all the effective men as agents in the united states, we have a national organization
providing their services. delaney would become a recruiting officer for a northern regiment. not the first northern regiment. kansas is the first, coincides with rhode island and has a regiment in the field in 1862. but the first to request from the federal government's governor john andrew of massachusetts. the regiment that would be formed would be the 54th massachusetts. one of their recruiting agents -- recruited by governor andrew. delaney would be a recruiting agent for many different northern states. another recruiting agent for the 54th massachusetts is a young man that grew up here in harrisburg. his parents owned an oyster house and catering business. thomas chester -- during the civil war, he wasn't a general. during reconstruction he becomes a general. thomas chester becomes a recruiting agent in pennsylvania. one of the early recruits for
the 54th massachusetts is stevens. he enlists. stevens has grown up in this vigilance committee of philadelphia and he's highly competent and he brings a number of others into the 54th massachusetts with him. he really should be an officer. there is a legitimate argument that would say he's competent enough to be the commander. he becomes the first sergeant because governor andrew decides he's not going to commission any african-american officers. i will get to why that is. but there's a number of pennsylvania volunteers that won't enlist at this time.
they want to stay home. in 1863, there are rumors within the loyal league network that robert e. lee is going to invade pennsylvania. he's going to come up north. a very nice place in pennsylvania, it's actually a beautiful place, it's harrisburg -- they are really promoting harrisburg and telling us about harrisburg. telling you how beautiful it is, but i'm when you to take note of what it says here. it enjoys great facilities of communication. you have industries around here, and these industries -- you've got a cotton factory, iron in pennsylvania, central pennsylvania, and how you will get back to the union army, through harrisburg. this is a critical location and its connected to the interior.
given the underground railroad needs harrisburg. underground railroad, when you talk about communication, how they are communicating, you tracked the commercial line because they are working with canals. canal workers, railroad workers -- this is a keystone in the keystone state and it's very important for the league. they are determined to protect harrisburg. harrisburg becomes a rendezvous point for regiments from other states. you've got a lot of folk that are training and then being shipped to -- maybe we got connections with the interior, you go to the eastern theater,
the western theater. this is a great rendezvous point. the first invasion north of virginia, the battle of antietam, harrisburg is real active. castle grounds turning into a place where they are drilling. in 1863, there are clear reports coming from the loyal league, that lee is headed north. he's coming into pennsylvania. the first of may he's in exchange with president lincoln telling president lincoln, i need to do something because there's an impending invasion. they're not going to be coming here. this information does get to joseph hooker through the bureau of military information. what they do is they take from all different sources, they put
it together and presented to the commander, this is what we think is happening. when an african-american comes in, and informs the field officer of the bmi in virginia, he sends it forward but no one believes it. they don't believe it. lincoln was telling governor curtin, this is false reports coming from the confederates. these aren't good reports, so don't trust them. the loyal league isn't in agreement because it's their operative. when you read allan pinkerton, he can be very deceiving to those who aren't tracking his
story properly. i've had many people notify me and say, there is no john sobel. this guy said he got his information -- he says, john sobel informed him of the loyal league. sobel is a british agent in 1851 who helped establish this league. when pinkerton says jon sobel, he's telling you someone who is well trained. sobel knows what he's doing because he's been trained by the british. the british has helped train
many of these gospel soldiers and they are highly competent. and the loyal league, they know when scoble gives information, it's good information. as a consequence, thomas more, he's ready to help defend harrisburg. robert e. lee -- robert e. lee knows that he's got a problem with african-americans, negroes who are giving information to the union. lee writes in what we would call counterintelligence data. he says, the chief source of information comes from our negroes.
lee knows he has a problem. what should you really do? you should start getting rid of these negroes who are working with you. they're embedded. a lot of the information coming in in may of 1863 to the union was men who had been menservants. also, they built fortification. loyal league operative -- how are you going to deceive him? he helped build the transportation system. how are you going to turn the railroad tracks on there? he lays it. he would move equipment here it -- equipment. some of the most loyal members of the loyal league are the ones
most likely to get a weapon. they will appear or loyal to the planters. they mean to deceive. lee. they could be easily deceived. who escorted them to the exit? the guard. they can't be easily deceived. they're saying that if the rebels come to harrisburg, it is the fault of people who did not prepare. with a also mean it's the fault of those who did not believe these good intelligence reports -- it also means it's the fault of those who did not believe those good intelligence reports.
george sharp, working with these people, one thing he learns, they have a system of mutual understanding among themselves. when he's saying this, he's not talking about all persons of african descent. this is an elite group within the african-american community. gospel soldiers are a minority. they are a significant minority. i would say this group of persons of african descent -- they have a very secret organization and one of the high rancor's is thomas morse chester. he's well educated.
he would travel to liberia and come back and forth. if he was doing this today we would call him cosmopolitan. act then we say he's an immigration -- back then we say he's an immigrationist. no, he's buried in harrisburg because this is where he wanted to be. he's a well educated man, well traveled. when he comes to hertzberg in
1863, when lee is threatening harrisburg, he organizes two companies. when they are preparing for this defense, once it's believed that this effort is all out ge and thomas morsets us here -- all out and thomas morse gets us here -- that's what he's here to do. eventually john mcginty would get a report, and it was charlie right -- wright's information that he said, ok. lee is really on the move. i want you to notice the date, june 12.
they got this information may 1, governor curtin had it. five weeks plus later and they're finally acting on it. george made would take over and a chance engagement near gettysburg were turn into a full-fledged battle, the bloodiest battle in the history of the country. we often talk about a gettysburg campaign. there's a pennsylvania campaign. that's not what harrisburg does. harrisburg is very important strategically.
unfortunately, harrisburg was spared. he was defended. the volunteers of that colored regiment, the george stevens wrote to the governor about, they now can do something else. they don't have to defend harrisburg. the some of them had joined the 54th massachusetts, now they are ready to organize themselves in pennsylvania regiments, and they would begin recruiting in philadelphia after lee's army is defeated at gettysburg. that's when they begin recruiting, in philadelphia. the supervisory committee of philadelphia will put this out,
you go to 1210 chestnut street and you can sign up on july 29, 1863, they would raise the flag at camp william penn just outside of philadelphia. the third united states colored troops would be the first regiment in the field of these pennsylvania regiments. when they are sent to the field, they are sent down to south carolina where the 54th massachusetts has been in operation. lieutenant george stevens, he's the first sergeant at the time he's writing this. by the end of the work, he would be commissioned first lieutenant in the union army. stevens would write, seems like we have suffered enough and loss of life. 54th had led that assault on fort wagner on july 18, 1863. made famous in many ways by the movie "glory." the 54th had led that assault and stevens was a member of the 54th massachusetts. is referencing something about third in the loss of life. this particular assault on july 18, 1863, it failed. 54th made it all the way to the edge of the fortifications of the fort, but the union effort did not end in capturing the fort. if you read the postscript in the movie "glory," it said the fort was never taken. never really means never. i checked it out in the dictionary. when you want to appreciate how lost this story is, "glory" is a
really big indicator. they are intelligent people who use the movie as a historical reference and then will argue with you based on what's in the movie even if they have a phd. they said the fort was never taken. i can't tell you how many times i've been on a panel with military experts and they say, the fort was never taken. then they say to me is, it is your opinion the fort was never taken. first report comes from a soldier. this is a soldier, his name is james henry gooden. he talked about taking fort wagner, taking possession of fort wagner. he might know what he's talking about, but he needs somebody to
support. is there any evidence this is true? there's another report, and it comes from harmon. he gives you some details. this angers some members of the 54th. there's a whole debate if you want to track the debate in the anglo africa weekly are the christian quarter, there's a debate -- don't be saying it was just you. he goes on to talk about a technique they use. and sit of just assaulting it,
they dug trenches all the way up and while they are digging, there being fired on by this artillery. many of them are getting killed, but they keep digging. they keep digging. bravery and coolness. he said, that's what happened. this is my final in the report on me believing fort wagner was captured. general halley -- general halley, he writes in his annual report in 1863, he writes that gilmore, he kind of revolutionizes warfare.
because of this technique, he's saying they revolutionized warfare. he goes on to say since the captor of fort wagner -- the chief of the army said it was captured, i'm going to report it was captured. it's pretty clear. i don't care what "glory" is saying. i care what the general and chief said. then he goes on to talk about the importance of it being captured. what happened as a captured fort wagner? -- they captured fort wagner? you get these battery set up with heavy artillery and they're firing on fort sumter, firing on charleston. they can close out the harbor. this is strategically important. i'm sorry, if you're a victim of the lost story and you are a phd saying it was never captured, i don't trust your analysis anymore. i can't trust it. you are leaving out the report of the general in chief of the army. you will also hear from those who are victims of the lost story, that there were no african-american officers. i have counseled some scholars on this and give them primary source information and say, here are some officers who were commissioned. then they will say, but then there were no [indiscernible]
officers. alexander augustine was commissioned in october 1862 by president lincoln. african-american officers were actually more effective in recruiting african-americans. initially he's a surgeon who goes to work initially at a contraband can't in washington, d.c. -- camp in edgington, d.c. --washington, d.c. and, in the seventh united states colored troops he would be promoted to lieutenant colonel. that is a field grade officer. as the surgeon, he's also very active as a military surgeon in the war. the seventh of the united states colored troops and the eastern theater, more action than any
other regiment. he's very active but because he's also with the army, he treats a lot of soldiers, not just the ones in his regiment. this is a very experienced combat surgeon who is a field grade officer. those individuals responsible for recruiting over 50% of the african-american recruiting officers, butler, he gets real lost. most of the time i've seen scholars who turn to what i'm going to call juvenile
name-calling. the won't even use his proper name. they will call him names that his enemy called him. i won't do that. butler, he would meet in august of 1862 with another man in new orleans, and he called the meeting though they had initially tried to organize the regiment. butler had said no because it was illegal at the time. when it became legal, he gets a letter from the secretary of the treasury and says, you should do this. he said, the spokesman was the man that was as black as the ace of spades. when you look at the description of most of the officers, most of them are actually very
light-skinned. but their spokesman is black as the ace of spades. i'm quite confident he's talking about captain andre cal you. someone challenged him. he said, i'm the blackest man in america. when he was asked by general butler if his men would fight, he said, general, we will fight. this is very important. our followers were brought here as slaves because they were captured in war, and in hand-to-hand fights too. they are coming from a military tradition they are very conscious of. he's very conscious of military
plantations. military plantations, where the manager of the plantation is actually a military officer. if i call him, captain abraham or colonel abraham. colonel abraham spent 40 years in captivity. he's a manager of a plantation. you've got a professional military man listed. you don't say, if they take a prisoner of war and call you a slave, then i'm a slave and just
be a salve. no -- salve. -- slave. no, they don't. there's a certain protocol. this is one of the key individuals. he would meet with items in the white house in april of 18 -- april 1828. that's when david walker would write his appeal. he's referring to a real military tradition. april 1828. and these officers in louisiana native guard, 77 of them were commissioned in 1862 by benjamin butler. 77. in this print in harper's weekly, they let it be known that two of these men have
african descent --they simply claim to be of african descent. he said, the other three, you can see some indicator. they were eager to prove their loyalty, and assert their manhood. they are proving their loyalty, but asserting their manhood. this has become very important in the gospel. gospels don't question their own manhood. they don't question that. along the -- along the mississippi is where we get the most recruiting. one of the major contributors to these cultures -- 50% of the united states cultures, recruiters along the mississippi river. new orleans and louisiana is tops. one is because of these african-american officers. they are going to have to be convinced that they need the sentiment of god and liberty. they already have it, so they're very effective recruiters. along the mississippi, lincoln had put an emphasis. he had called pittsburgh the key to victory. in chase's letter to butler in july of 1862, he said the
president suggested the only way we will open up the mississippi and keep it open is that we take its black population. we are going to have to bring it into the army. lincoln would follow up on this. the butler was replaced by chagnon -- general nathaniel bates in 1862. lincoln would write to bates and say, i'm sending danielle yeoman there. he's going to go up and start recruiting. lincoln knows that there's going to be resistance. lincoln knows there is going to be resistance. he also goes to the governor of tennessee, andrew johnson, later becoming his vice president. he says, i want you to do it.
if we get 50,000 drill black men, it will bring this conflict to an end. this particular letter usually get omitted. the one that gets commented on, and you can evaluate the scholarship yourself, in august 1862, president lincoln met with a group of preachers, clergymen. they said congress has asked you to make emancipation per the policy, and you are not doing anything. you can also harm the negro. why don't you do this? -- arm the negro. they use what he told the preachers in august 1862. that is not why he gives the orders. preachers are not responsible for executing his military plan. this is the document that needs to be included. some say you can't include anything.
but if it is a germane, you need to include it. this is germane in lincoln's priority to colored troops. johnson -- and i don't disagree with johnson necessarily -- johnson at this point-- his priority is making treaty railroads are finished. -- making sure that railroads are finished. this is an intelligent priority that would lead to strategic success later in the war. i will not criticize that
because i will include as much information as i get. lincoln's priority also leads to him sending the adjutant general of the army to the mississippi river. he knows that there will be officers trying to get him away from recruiting these soldiers. he sends the adjutant general. this shows you a high priority by president lincoln. very high priority. he's ascending the adjutant general to make sure they don't get in the way. soldiers would be very critical in the campaign in the capture of vicksburg. very critical. and again they would represent
the most 50% of those recruited along the mississippi river. another issue in recruiting colored troops is the issue of pay. the militia act of 1862, signage a lot july 17 1862 gave lincoln the authority to receive men of african descent into the armed services. prior to that act, the militia act of 1792 restricted enlistment to "able-bodied white males.' when persons of color about into the military, said by dp master that it's under this legislation, regardless of race. -- by the pay master. this legislation would mandate that they are paid as laborers. $10, with three dollars taken
away. they would have to pay three dollars for their uniform. they get seven dollars a month. the commission officers getting about $100 a month. this is what is mandated. the corporal of the 55th massachusetts makes it clear, i am willing to fight without getting any money. many of them don't accept money. they say, i am fighting for equal rights. the question of equal pay is about equal value for service. it's not about the money. it's about fighting for right. i am fighting for liberty and my right. he makes it very clear. in the 54th massachusetts, corporal gooding writes a letter to president lincoln.
you saw how they did the protests in the movie "glory." that is not have a did it. -- how they did it. in the movie there are a bunch of runaway slaves, right? they are contraband. that is not true in the 54th massachusetts. you see this including's -- in gooding's letter. he said we are not any kind of contraband. we are not contraband. we are freeborn men. this should not even apply to us. this is his argument in a letter to the president. emphasized-- he says, i don't have any problem. i do want you to think that i have a problem with those that are runaways, and that they should not be getting equal pay.
i'm just saying this should not apply to us, because we are not runaway. his appeal is to the chief executive. he understands he wants him to go to tell congress, no, we will not enforce this law. that is his appeal. i want you to appreciate the sophistication of corporal gooding. lincoln response, but not with the enlisted men. --lincoln responds. lincoln response because the paymaster in south carolina refuses to give him his $100 a month. what governor andrew does his rights to lincoln and says, i want you to look after this. -- writes to lincoln. lincoln calls on his attorney general. he tells him, i want you to see if these commissioned officers,
this chaplain, should be given this unequal pay. bates comes back and says, the law that says you can bring in them applies to one group of people. there is another law that applies to chaplin and how you bring in chaplin. bates said it's a violation of both lost if you don't pay him equally. -- both laws if you don't pay him equally. chaplain harrison gets equal pay. sailors aware of this unequal pay. the navy had been integrated set 1798. there is no debate on their pay. plus, they get extra money. if they captured a blockade runner. and if the cargo on that ship is sold, they get a piece of that action. with the sailors do is put
together funds primarily for distributing the anglo-african to the soldiers and u.s. colored troops. this is the most important journal among them. that is the priority. that is what the sailors are finding at this time. the first general to weigh in on this in a public way is, guess you? benjamin l butler. -- guess who? when he takes command over fortress monroe in north carolina in 1855, what does butler do? he issues an order. -- in 1865. in this order he also says that soldiers and their families recruited out of virginia, slaveowning states, he will be given special privileges. special notes so that you can buy things from the commissary. so he subsidizes. he says to the noncommissioned officers, being a noncommissioned officer, you basically have extra duty. some ongoing to put you extra pay for extra duty, so it
equalizes the pain. --equalizes the pay. he goes further and says congress, you need to do something about this injustice. soldiers taken equal place in the rank and an equal space. he says to congress, you need to change the law. congress, you need to do in december of 1863, senator wilson in the senate introduces an amendment to that militia act. it gets passed very quickly in
the senate. but in the house, this amendment runs into all kinds of difficulty. mainly from democrats from indiana, pennsylvania, and new york. the argument by these democrats is that if you give them will pay -- equal pay, this will be equalizing the negro with the white man. this will make them equal to us if you give them equal pay. that is actually their argument. a republican out of california, thomas shannon says, that is not really the issue. i raise this as a point of
order. what is the issue? the issue is this, "shall americans of european descent rob americans of african descent the fruits of their labor?" that is the issue here. stevens leaves the effort to get this passed in the house, the representative out of pennsylvania. stevens faced the point that if anybody should get extra pay, it should be the black man. that is what stevens said to the congress. because they suffered the greatest peril. if we are going to get anybody
equal pay, it should be the black. not a question of equalizing. in june of 1864, this amendment does past and pay is equalized. this helps recruiting. the chaplain of the fourth united states colored troops, william hunter, would see this much like the democrats have argued. they put us on equal footing. there is equality in the army. so he sees this almost as a civil rights victory, in the sense of equalizing the footing in the army. stevens was saying that this extra peril -- in december 1862, when the first u.s. colored regiment was being organized in louisiana, kansas, the president of the confederacy, jefferson davis, sent out a plug formation saying all negroes captured as prisoners of war will be returned to savory. -- returns to slavery. and says that the officers will be tried by a military tribunal for inciting an insurrection. when stevens is making this point in april of 1864, a massacre had occurred. colored troops were really angry about the proclamation. in march 1863, the confederate legislature passed legislation that supported that particular proclamation. it was identical to it, in fact. stevens says we need to do something about this. we need retribution. what they are referencing is what happens when he is talking about the messenger -- the messenger --massacre. a confederate division, over 2000 men with 550 union soldiers. 250 of those union soldiers are
african-americans. prisoners are not taken. meaning they are killed. they are massacre. the massacre at fort pillow becomes a rallying cry for united states colored troops. that is what stevens is referring to. they are not being treated as prisoners of war. retribution does come. often in the lost story. they will mention what happens after fort pillow. this is a mistake of the confederacy. u.s. colored troops get the recognition. sadly the civil war is
characterized by many massacres. u.s. colored troops would massacre more confederate troops than vice versa. general logan would write, the crime of when union-- remember fort pillow, as struck with fear the hearts of the enemy on many a field. fort pillow was avenged. this is a sad episode in the civil war. but it creates an interesting phenomenon. often when colored troops are attacking a position, the confederate after this retribution has been established typically run very quickly. there is a lot of evacuation. this would lead scholars to say things like, will they did not capture the fort, the
confederates left it. the protocol of taking african-american soldiers as prisoners of war and treating them as slaves, putting them to hard labor continues until benjamin butler steps in. what does butler do? butler is constructing a canal. you have confederate artillery here. it fires on a ship that comes around, they blockade runner. it's an easy target because they have to slow down this bend. the idea is that you can get some of your ironclads closer. the rebels are firing on this canal from this position. when you are working, you are being fired on by confederate artillery.
what does butler do? he takes confederate prisoners of war and puts them to work in the canal. now they are being fired on by confederate artillery. but what would later report the experiment worked. [laughter] on october 20, generally notified general grant --general lee notified general grant that negro prisoners had been withdrawn from the trenches and would be treated as prisoners of war. i want you to appreciate this. butler is defame among law story scholars. but he is defamed. also among lost cause scholars, both north and south. if you read it from the perspective of the u.s. colored troops and readers letters and orders, he looks quite different than what he has been presented
in the lost story. colored troops, these gospel soldiers are performing on the battlefield very well. this attracts the attention of their enemy, the rebels. the governor of louisiana would write a letter to the secretary of war of the confederacy in september of 1864. in this letter, governor alan would say the time it has come -- the time has come to bring every able-bodied negro men into our forces. there was a lobbying campaign, trying to get them to change the law. robert e late joins in this lobbying effort. -- robert e lee joint in this lobbying effort to qualify colored men as soldiers. "we have learned from experience that negroes can be taught to fight." this is similar to the argument, "negroes can't play quarterback." some coaches say, we have learned from experience that they can. they said, we know how good they are on the battlefield. i don't want to hear another
argument about them being so inferior that they don't make good soldiers. that is what the governor of louisiana is taking in 1864. the confederate legislature listen. they will pass this legislation. when that is in the legislature, and is about the past, martin delaney comes to washington. he goes to president lincoln and tells him, that part of the
underground railroad, known only to undo ourselves can enlist to the confederacy. for our leaders to be most effective, what you should do is a finalist position -- is a sign us position commensurate with our abilities. they handed letters of recommendation to president lincoln. he says, i don't need letters of recommendation, i know all about you. he received letters of recommendation for him a year before this meeting. saying any money you give to martin delaney and his people will be used for our cause. when delaney says this, lincoln does not hesitate. he commissions martin delaney as a major of infantry in the u.s. army regular. not u.s. army volunteers, u.s. army regulars. this is a big deal among
soldiers. lincoln is recognizing the contribution of the gospel soldiers. what delaney, the day he gets commissioned is the day they have a 100 gun salute celebrating the capture of charleston. charleston was captured by the 21st united states colored troops, a south carolina regiment. they had 2 companies from the 54th massachusetts that would beat bravo and foxtrot with the 21st. if the movie "glory" had ended in true glory, it would and with the capture of charleston. also with the 54th our officers recently commissioned. you have commissioned officers. lost story people will say, there were no african-american officers. yes there were. they have african american authors as well, this is lieutenant james strider.
for those who say, this is just your opinion that charleston was captured. many tell me, it's just my opinion. let me report what the general said. general gilmore is ordering a 100 gun salute. and he is ordering it not because we occupied charleston, but because we captured it. i would agree with the general. this is part of his command. they are ordering a 100 gun salute a few days later in jacksonville. it's pretty clear, for what? the capture of charleston. when i say that, i want you to appreciate that. i am reporting. also in charleston, martin delaney is sent. he is sent to south carolina. he is sent to do some recruiting. when he goes to charleston -- i want you to appreciate the irony
in this. when he goes to charleston, the citadel is occupied by u.s. colored troops. if you read scholars from the citadel, a rather notorious work. he says in the late 1920's, the negroes are the only people in the world that never did anything to free themselves. he was a graduate of the citadel. i guess he didn't know that this. he didn't use primary sources. that is where martin delaney's office was at the citadel. major martin delaney, regular officer recruiting right out of the senate l. back in virginia, u.s. colored troops, the pennsylvania troops a part of the frontline. many scholars of the lost story will say they are on the frontline because they were sent to get killed. i don't know what military
theories they have been reading. i spent 21 years in the marine corps. in there, we will tell you we go in the front because we are the best. the army's first airborne littleton they go first because they are the best. -- airborne will tell you they go first because they are the best. thomas moore knew what he was talking about when he becomes a general. chester is a well trained military man himself. that is why he becomes a
general. he is representing and taking care of the philadelphia troops by being a gentleman for the -- a journalist for the philadelphia press. he is campaigning for them, if you will. chester also points out these are auxiliaries of the lilies-- they were trying to come up with a plan to work against the confederacy. this is the work of the loyal league. they are christian soldiers who believe in the constitution. one of the characteristics of what they did, they did not commit massacres against women and children. indeed what they do, is they-- they would be accused of not fighting for liberty because they did not kill women and children. they didn't because these are christian soldiers. among their top recruiters is representative john langston. a lawyer from ohio, one of the top recruiters. he is more prolific than frederick douglas.
he is recruiting these gospel soldiers. and and from a north carolina would work mississippi valley as a recruiter. and he is a ame pastor. when you track these members of the loyal league, there are different members. ame, others. very consistent you will find interconnections. this would be the case with others. in other top greater that would then become a senator. easterwood. -- pg stewart. the churches are established in the union army. the union army goes through nashville, churches come up. they go through savannah, churches come up. they come up as they go along. pg stewart would work on the eastern seaboard. you would see him in georgia. there are churches named after him.
he would later become a regular chapman in the regular army. another cover quarters of gospel soldiers was a woman. her name was mary and jay kerry. --mary and shea kerry. she was commissioned by the governor of indiana to be a recruiting officer. recruiting agents worked for recurring officers. she is a leader of men and a recruiter of men. she is recognized as a leader among these gospel soldiers. they are recruiting the best persons, not the best man for the job. who is at the top? none other than william howard day. he is our guy in organizing. we are going to track him and see where he goes. martin delaney, everybody is talking about him.
a sailor would write a letter near the end of the war talking about the progress we have made. look at the progress we have made over the last 2 years since the emancipation proclamation. he would cite his progress as a man was admitted to the bar of the supreme court in 1865. he would say that martin delaney is a regular officer. he uses the term in the letter "regular major." not just surgeon, not just chaplin. he is very proud of it. without a call from buffalo in 1843 for soldiers, which is what buffalo soldier means -- a means
a freedom fighter. answering this call against the tyranny of slavery. the revered henry garnet before congress. he would give a sermon to the joint session of congress in 1865. he said, we have begun to say that we have more work to do. the point they are making is that we need to balance. this is a beginning. we have begun our exodus. this is not the end of it. the loyal league is ready. the loyal league's-- the conversation to get there was, who comes? what do you desire? life and liberty. when you look at the description of what the leader was that pinkerton met with after this meeting, it's clearly someone that matches the description william howard taft. when delaney says---- william howard day. the question is, from where? you command them to replace what you have -- them from a place
where you have great medication between the exterior and interior. you can follow william howard taft to harrisburg. -- william howard day to harrisburg. fort douglas was once an uncle tom. he did not believe. but the day came when the war to save the union became a war to end the tyranny of slavery. in the words of senator henry wilson of massachusetts, "it became a holy war." when we talk about recruiting gospel soldiers, these american patriots of american ascent, we're talking about men and
women that belief in god's divine providence. this was their opportunity to rise and strike a blow in the with what they called a divine interest -- instrument of goodness, the constitution of the united states. thank you. [applause] thank you very much. i must tell you, i decided not to time this because this is not information sensitive. i don't know how much of your time you have given me. but how much of it was, i want to thank you for it. are there any questions? yes ma'am. >> who donated the uniforms? >> a group of new yorkers who donated the uniforms. >> was that martin delaney at the citadel [indiscernible]
>> he is later sent to become a recording officer. he would go there april of 1865. it was captured in february of 1865. the state of massachusetts paid them a bonus, a signing bonus is the term. this becomes an issue because they promised equal pay. and of course we know what happened. that wasn't captured by the 54th. i think it was captured afterwards. >> on december 7, 1863, about five weeks after the assault, it's captured by the 30 united states colored troops, the 54th, and the south carolina. corporal norman -- i will say it, he pissed some people off. there were people angry in the 54th. it was five weeks after the assault. he got killed on the 18th. the 54th loses in casualties 281 men out of 600. the movie "glory" said over half. my math said that was not true. killed in action in the assault
was 54. an interesting number 40 54th massachusetts. that was those killed in action. --number for the 54th massachusetts. >> [inaudible] >> 1798 is when the department of navy was established. they recruited whoever they could to go on their ships. they often got you drunk in the pub and would take you out. when you came to, they would say welcome, you are in the navy now. [laughter] the begin, more than 60-55 years before the civil war, there was full integration of the navy. navy ships were integrated. african-americans are not kicked out of the active navy until 1913 under president woodrow
wilson. >> what was the relationship between white union soldiers and black union soldiers? >> tense at first. it's very tense. there's a sense that they are coming in, they are inferior to us. it's a part of the american raise paradigm. it's a real serious problem. -- american race paradigm. there is not much confidence initially, like there wasn't in african-american football players. we know how that changed. that change is very much a battle, witnessing how they
perform. then you see the change. you see the closeness of them. where you can gauge that in this experience and where it worked is in the various chapters of the grand army of the republic after the war. african-americans will be elected commanders. 100 men in the chapter, and 5 african-americans. 1 elected commander. you will see this kind of camaraderie that grows out of it. initially it was not there, it was earned. >> in the recruiting process, with a particular about who they wanted -- were they particular about who they wanted? was it chicken farmers, a bricklayer, mathematician, dr., scientists? what was the recruiting requirements?
>> i would say that you could pass the medical examination. but there are those that didn't pass it and that could still getting. the biggest motivation for the recruiters was getting paid for everybody they brought in. you would get commanders who would complain that no one had a physical examination when they were brought to come in. you have these kind of problems. it's nothing like the screening we have today. the earliest units are the ones who are part of what i will refer to as the buffalo soldiers.
those who trained before the war. they are that first layer. then when you get the next layers, you get people that are not necessarily interested in being freedom fighters. they might become interested. there is no real standard that is enforced. there is a lot of complaints about them not being medically examined before being brought in. >> you mentioned one woman responsible for recruiting. >> mary anne kerry. she was born in delaware, grew
up in wilmington. her father was a conductor on the railroad. made her an abolitionist in the free persons of colors. he would immigrate to canada after the slave law. he would become the first elected official of african descent in canada in the 1850's. she would open schools in canada. she was an author. when she got tired of health chauvinism and editing her work in a newspaper -- male chauvinism, she opened her newspaper on her own. martin delaney was once asked what he thought of her because she was such an aggressive personality. he says david are many gifts and he thanks got that uses them. -- says god gave her many gifts and he thanks god that she uses them. >> after the massacre that occurred, what was that? >> in mississippi, the 39th stage colored cover it would take on a texas unit. none of those soldiers would leave the battlefield, none of the confederate soldiers. it's often referred to in the record, the officers don't want to say it was a messenger -- a massacre. they call it a lake of blood. the daughters of confederacy would later go to dedicate a memorial to 700 confederate soldiers. >> at fort pillow, one of the commanders on the confederate side.
did he have a key role after the civil war in the continuation of terrorism? >> he does. but i want to stick to the civil war. there's an interesting event -- incident in northern alabama in 1864 where he captures a unit of the u.s. colored troops. as he takes most of them, he would send them down to mobile to go to work as hard labor. then he would take those that were from his county and he kept them with his army. he didn't put a guard over them. and they escaped and joined their units back. she took the officers and sent them up to near memphis. they were all exchanged on a
program. this is not a protocol robert e lee is using at that time. he is not trying them for resurrection. i would say that this behavior, i believe in when he says he was not present at fort pillow when the messenger -- wendy massacre went on. -- when the massacre went on. that is why he wanted to make sure that he took prisoners later on. he established the first chapter of the ku klux klan in plessis county, tennessee, after the war. -- in polaski county. i will deal with the crater in the next lecture. yes, there is. and as a consequence there are massacres all around the vicksburg campaign. you have a tit for tat. this is one of the sad stories
of the civil war, this massacre and taking no quarters. in the next lecture we will get into detail with sherman and what he says and does. i will say this as a teaser. anytime idea with anybody, i take with what you say and i compare it with your walk. sometimes when sherman didn't use any colored troops, people are only paying attention to his talk. >> with the training process, did they actually bring in irish, or someone that had a self-hatred towards blacks? >> never in the northern unit, i will say that. if there are in any other units, i have yet to find it in the record where you have this kind of exchange. one of delaney's duties was creating confident nco's. he's bringing entities buffalo soldiers that have been trained professionally. he has been in canada himself. never did that happen. that is hollywood's imagination. if that is what you believe, that is because you are a victim >> with the training process, did they actually bring in irish, or someone that had a self-hatred towards blacks? >> never in the northern unit, i
will say that. if there are in any other units, i have yet to find it in the record where you have this kind of exchange. one of delaney's duties was creating confident nco's. he's bringing entities buffalo soldiers that have been trained professionally. he has been in canada himself. never did that happen. that is hollywood's imagination. if that is what you believe, that is because you are a victim of the lost story. thank you for your time. have a great day. [applause] >> first of all, i wasn't elected. it didn't make that much difference. i did notice the difference [applause] >> first of all, i wasn't elected. it didn't make that much difference. i did notice the difference between being the vice president's wife and the president's wife was huge. the vice president's wife could say anything. nobody cared. the minute you say one thing as the president's wife, you make the news.
>> during george h.w. bush's presidency, barbara bush used the office of first lady to promote literacy, raise awareness about aids and homelessness. she earned her way into the history books by becoming only the second first lady besides abigail adams to be both the wife and mother of a president. barbara bush, this sunday night at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's original series "first ladies" influence an image. examining the public and private lives of those that field first lady and their influence on the presidency from martha washington to michelle obama. at 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3 sundays. >> all weekend long, american history tv is joining our time warner cable partners to showcase the history of syracuse, new york. to learn more about the city's honored 15 four, visit c-span.org/citiestour. we look at the history of syracuse. >> the third national women's