AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive
Re: Ninteenth Century Black Military Heroes
In Response To: Ninteenth Century Black Military Heroes ()
Tony, I agree with your assessment one hundred percent of the "USCT and The Buffalo Soldiers." However, for the sake of discussion, we must include the evolution of the Black Militia units in Louisiana.
The African American Soldier in Louisiana:
African American Soldiers have a long history of military service in the Louisiana Territory and the State of Louisiana. Not only did they struggle to enter the armed forces, but when finally accepted by three governments (France, Spain and the United States), they had to work under segregated and unequal conditions and prove their abilities. This internal battle continued through the late seventeenth, eightyeenth and nineteenth centuries, up into the first half of the twentieth century.
In 1729, after the massacre of Fort Rosalie in Natchez, the French government established a small unit of slave soldiers(Slaves were promised freedom) to fight the American indians. Under Governor Jean Baptist Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, a company of 104 slaves and freemen would be organized to fight the Chickawaw an ally of the Natchez. These slave soldiers were praised for their "deeds of surprising Valor." The French Government recognized the first Black Militia unit.
When the Spanish Government took over territorial control of Louisiana, the Spanish government recognized the Black Militia unit that was in place.
One of the most significant battles in American history occurred at the Chalmette Plantation - Battle of New Orleans. It was the last time the United States and Great Britain fought as enemies.
After the Louisiana Purchase, on June 21, 1804, Governor Claiborne presented a Stand of Colors to the (Black Militia) Battalion.
Two months after the war's outbreak in 1812, the Louisiana Legislature passed a new militia bill which, in addition to authorizing 2,200 new troops, also empowered the Governor to enlist "Certain Free People of Color. As a result of the militia bill authorization, Claiborne organized four companies of Black Militia, with each company mustering 64 men. The new unit was designated as the Battalion of Free Men of Color. One provision of the bill specified that the new Black units be commanded by white property holders. However, Claiborne defied the Legislature's restriction concerning white officers. Among the battalion's newly commissioned officers were three Black second Lieutenants: Isadore Honore',Jean Louis Dolliole, and Etienne Saulet.
NOTE: These Men were the Fathers and Grandfathers of the Native Guards. On September 27, 1862, the 1st Regiment of the Native Guards was mustered into the service for three years and thus became the first officially sanctioned regiment of Black Soldiers in the Union Army.
More to come......
Messages In This Thread