Civil War Date Corps d'Afrique Commission

2p, 8 x 11 in., 28 Dec. 1863, Headquarters, Dept. of the Gulf. Provisional Commission for Sergt. Edwin R. Wingate, 18th ME Vols. as Captain of the 13th Regiment of Corps d'Afrique, Company C. The appointment was provisional ...until the pleasure of the President of the United States be made known in this behalf.. Boldly signed by Maj. Gen'l. Nathaniel P. Banks (1816-1894). Oath of Loyalty printed on inside page, signed by Wingate.

For the most part, the free blacks and slaves were thought incapable and/or unwilling to fight in the war, but the South was especially wary of giving them arms. The Confederacy (and initially the Union) used them for construction of fortifications. When New Orleans came under Union control General Butler began actively recruiting colored men. The Louisiana Native Guards was organized in August 1862 and mustered into Union service the following month as the first black regiment. The Second LNG was mustered in in October and the Third in November. Other colored regiments were being recruited in Kansas, South Carolina, and elsewhere. The Corps d'Afrique, later United States Colored Troops, was formally ordered by Nathaniel Banks in General Order No. 40, Department of the Gulf, on 1 May 1863. By the end of the month, the black troops had proven themselves at Port Hudson, LA, opening the eyes of "nay-sayers" to the spirit and willingness to fight of these brave men. Clearly the issues of slavery had blinded these later generations to history, since there were black soldiers in the Revolutionary War.

Edwin Wingate was white, as were all commissioned officers of colored troops. Increasingly black noncommissioned officers were assigned to USCT units. The first black officers to die in battle served with the Louisiana Native Guards. This unit did not receive anywhere near the media attention that the 54th Mass. did, in part because the 54th's battle was witnessed by a group of correspondents (and, of course, it lost its white colonel), but no correspondents were present when the Native Guards fought.

Condition:Expected folds, with chips missing at margins near folds. No text or signatures affected. Overall in better-than-average condition.

Estimate: $500 - $700
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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