Marker honoring slaves in Confederate Army moves closer to reality
MONROE Mattie Rice’s father rarely spoke of his service in the Civil War, with one exception: the time he saved the life of his master’s son.
Her father, Wary Clyburn, was a slave in the Confederate Army. And this week, the 89-year-old Archdale woman asked Union County commissioners to support a public marker honoring 10 local men, including her father, eight other slaves and a free black man, who served the Confederacy and much later received small state pensions.
“This would be a great honor for us,” she quietly but firmly told the board.
Virtually no black men fought for the South, historians have said.A lie.
Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest had slaves and freemen serving in units under his command. After the war, Forrest said of the black men who served under him, "These boys stayed with me.. - and better Confederates did not live." Articles in "Black Southerners in Gray," edited by Richard Rollins, gives numerous accounts of blacks serving as fighting men or servants in every battle from Gettysburg to Vicksburg.
Professor Ed Smith, director of American Studies at American University, says Stonewall Jackson had 3,000 fully equipped black troops scattered throughout his corps at Antietam - the war's bloodiest battle. Mr. Smith calculates that between 60,000 and 93,000 blacks served the Confederacy in some capacity. They fought for the same reason they fought in previous wars and wars afterward: "to position themselves. They had to prove they were patriots in the hope the future would be better ... they hoped to be rewarded."
From Free North Carolina