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Enon in Chesterfield County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

African-Americans in the Confederate War Effort

The Bermuda Hundred Campaign

 
 
African-Americans in the Confederate War Effort Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, October 28, 2017
1. African-Americans in the Confederate War Effort Marker
Inscription.  Like its pre-war economy, much of the southern war effort relied on slave labor. When Richmond became the capital for the newly formed Confederacy, both freedmen and slaves were used to maintain railroads, build fortifications, and perform other jobs that were vital to the war effort. They were also used in a variety of support roles for the Confederate armies in the field and as nurses and servants in hospitals.

Late in the war, with Gen. Lee’s manpower reserves quickly dwindling, General Orders #14 were issued which allowed for the enlistment of blacks into the Confederate service.

The only known company of African-American troops in the Confederate army was recruited out of Richmond by Major James W. Pegram and Thomas P. Turner in the final days of the war. On April 5, 1865, these men were captured during Lee’s Retreat when the wagon train they were guarding was attacked by Federal cavalry at Painesville.

On April 10, as Confederate prisoners were being marched back to City Point, a Union Chaplain observed the column:
“The first installment [sic] of Rebel prisoners, numbering seventeen
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hundred and seventy, have just passed, under strong guard...In the squad were many negros recently armed by Jef. Davis”


The incident seems to be the only documented episode of “official” Black troops serving the Confederacy in Virginia as an armed unit under fire.

African-Americans were also with the First Regiment Engineer Troops on the retreat. These men repaired roads, built bridges, and helped to extricate artillery pieces and wagons that were stuck in the mud

When Lee surrendered his army at Appomattox, thirty-six African-Americans were listed on the Confederate paroles. Most were either servants, free blacks, musicians, cooks, teamsters, or blacksmiths. While few Black southerners served as combat troops in the Confederate Army, many worked in other capacities.

This sign was sponsored by Dr. Mike Chesson, Belmont, MA
 
Erected 2016 by Chesterfield County and the Blue & Gray Education Society.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansWar, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is April 5, 1865.
 
Location. 37° 19.082′ N, 77° 20.225′ W. Marker is in Enon, Virginia, in Chesterfield County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of Enon Church Road (Virginia Route
Slave laborers placing a gun prior to the attack on Ft. Sumter, 1861. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By William Waud, April 12, 1861
2. Slave laborers placing a gun prior to the attack on Ft. Sumter, 1861.
Negroes mounting Cannon in the works for the attack on Ft. Sumter 1861- Morris Island. Library of Congress LC-DIG-ppmsca-21740
746) and Point of Rocks Road, on the left when traveling west. The marker is located in Historic Point of Rocks Park (under development). Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1005 Enon Church Rd, Chester VA 23836, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. United States Colored Troops in the Army of the James (here, next to this marker); Point of Rocks Hospital Ward (here, next to this marker); The Siege of Petersburg Begins (within shouting distance of this marker); The First Attacks on Petersburg (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Abraham Lincoln at Point of Rocks (about 400 feet away); Broadway Landing (about 400 feet away); Appomattox River Overlook (about 400 feet away); Nurses at Point of Rocks Hospital (about 600 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Enon.
 
Also see . . .  Bermuda Hundred Sign Campaign. Blue & Gray Education Society (Submitted on October 30, 2017.) 
 
Confederate wagon train being captured by Federal cavalry under the command of Gen. Henry Davies image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Alfred R. Waud, April 5, 1865
3. Confederate wagon train being captured by Federal cavalry under the command of Gen. Henry Davies
Gen. Davis [sic]-Near Paines Crossroad April 5, 1865. Library of Congress LC-USZ62-6894
African-Americans in the Confederate War Effort Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Bernard Fisher, October 28, 2017
4. African-Americans in the Confederate War Effort Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 30, 2017. It was originally submitted on October 30, 2017, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 283 times since then and 10 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on October 30, 2017, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.   2, 3. submitted on October 30, 2017.   4. submitted on October 30, 2017, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.

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Feb. 28, 2024