• Thanks for visiting the website of the North Carolina Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans. Our organization, open to male descendants of Confederate veterans who honorably served their country during the War Between the States, is dedicated to honoring their memory and preserving their legacy for future generations. Please join us! Click on the "How To Join" page under the "Membership" tab and get started. Now more than ever, we need to ensure that the contributions of our ancestors and our shared heritage are protected.

    For the South,

    Kevin Stone, Commander
    NC Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans

Wednesday 20 Jan 2021

Did Blacks Fight for the Confederacy? PDF Print E-mail
Written by James Hicks   
Saturday, 19 December 2009 15:30

Did any African Americans fight for the Confederacy? Yes, an estimated 65,000 African Americans—some free, but most slaves—assisted the Confederate cause. Many served as cooks, teamsters or in other support roles, but almost a third faced the enemy in combat. (One scholar estimates as many as 180,000 African Americans may have assisted the Confederate army.)


About 5,000 to 10,000 African Americans, possibly more, served in North Carolina units, according to Weymouth T. Jordan, editor of North Carolina Troops: 1861-1865 for the North Carolina Division of Archives and History. At least 200 African Americans were awarded Confederate pensions from the state government, suggesting that many times than that number actually served. This is because all pensioners faced a substantial burden of proof, with many soldiers not being able to demonstrate their eligibility; even the youngest applicant had to survive to age 79, to be living when the pensions were established; and needed to remain in North Carolina, though many migrated.


Much of the documentation about African American soldiers comes from Federal accounts, including this one from former slave Frederick Douglass: “There are at the present moment many Colored men in the Confederate Army doing duty not only as cooks, servants and laborers, but real soldiers, having musket on their shoulders, and bullets in their pockets, ready to shoot down any loyal troops and do all that soldiers may do to destroy the Federal government and build up that of the rebels.”


Over the last decade, several volumes have documented the role of African Americans in the war, including work by Dr. Edward Smith, dean of American Studies at American University in Washington, whose academic research has been dedicated to explaining the role of African Americans in the conflict.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 March 2010 13:25

Division News


A website redesign is underway.  Be sure to subscribe to the Tarheel Divison mailing list to keep up with ongoing activities.

Distinguished Camp Award

Congratulations to the LT. F.C. Frazier Camp, #668, High Point, NC, (Commander Ron Perdue) for winning the 2019  Lt.Col. Tazewell Lee Hargrove Distinguished Camp Award. To learn how your camp can qualify for this prestigious award CLICK HERE.

Best Newsletter Award

Congratulations to the Robeson Rifles Guards Camp, #216, Lumberton, NC, (Commander Paul B. Woody), for winning the 2019 Col. Leonidas LaFayette Polk Newsletter Award. To learn how your camp can qualify for this prestigious award CLICK HERE.

Best Website Award

BEST CAMP WEBSITE AWARD - The 2019 Private Silas Matkins Best Camp Website Award goes to the Columbus County Volunteers Camp, #794, Whiteville, NC (Commander Mike Hollingsworth) CLICK HERE.

NC WBTS 150th Anniversary