And Now for a Post on Black Confederates Called…

22 06 2011

…the Black Confederates post, in which your host desperately bids for hits.

I’m reading Stephanie McCurry’s Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South. It’s excellent, by the way. I sent an email to Prof. McCurry at her Penn address and asked for an interview, but I received no response.

Anywho, on page 278 I ran across this sentence:

Building on a congressional act of April 1862 that allowed for the enlistment of small numbers of slaves or free blacks in the army as cooks or musicians, the Confederate Congress passed an act authorizing the general impressment of private property for use by the army…

The footnote at the end of the paragraph refers to the later act in the OR and to B. H. Nelson, Confederate Slave Impressment Legislation 1861-1865 (1946).

I’d never heard of the 1862 act, and this footnote doesn’t point me to a primary source. Admittedly, I pay very little attention to the Black Confederate “debate” – it simply does not interest me. So this particular item may have been discussed before in the sphere. Can somebody bring me up to speed – not on the whole debate, but on this specific “act”?