Thursday, August 15, 2013

August 15, 1863: "Runaways--$210 reward"

Richmond's wartime defenses.
Free southern Blacks impressed to work on Confederate fortifications weren't inclined to stick around when no one was looking. From Richmond's Daily Dispatch on August 15, 1863:
Runaways--$210 reward.

-- from the defensive works around Richmond the following free negroes, impressed from Richmond--
John E Brown,
John H Campbell,
Patrick Columan,
Nickolas Pleasants,
Timothy Roper,
Jonus B Thomas,
Elias Pittman,
George Dixon,
John Thacker,
Jos Tonguitt,
Wm George,
Robert Blarer,
William Marris,
Alex Whiting,
Edward Gray.
By the act of the Virginia Legislature, passed 12th February, 1863, to provide for the surmount and employment of free negroes in the public service, these negroes being amenable to the rules and regulations of the articles of war, are deserters, and a reward of thirty dollars each will be paid for their apprehension and delivery to Capt. W. G. Turpin, at Engineers' office, corner 19th and Cary sts.
W. S Stevens, Col. jy 30--ts

Neo-Confederates often push stories about so-called Black Confederates. Almost invariably these stories refer to free or slave Black impressed into Confederate service as forced labor to construct fortifications--and these men typically took the earliest opportunity to desert and flee to Union lines.

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