To Deny the Black Confederate is denying history. These men were some of the bravest men to fight on either side.
Henry “Dad” Brown of South Carolina was a veteran of the Mexican war when he enlisted in the Confederate army in May of 1861. He was a valued member of the Darlington Camp # 78 United Confederate Veterans after the war. This is some of his obituary from the Darlington Press in November of 1907:
“In Memorial – Henry “Dad” Brown, Black Confederate Drummer
DEATH OF HENRY BROWN
Drummer of Darlington Guards And Well Known And Highly Respected Colored Man
On Saturday afternoon the old drummer Henry Brown, well known colored man, passed away. …the Darlington Guards assembled at their armory and marched to the house under arms. There the Captain was requested to detail pall bearers from the ranks, which he did.
When the body was brought out, the company stood at present arms. The line of march was then taken up to the church. …When the church was reached a representative five number of the white citizens of the town acting as pall bearers took the body into the church the Company again presenting arms.
The colored Masons…took its way to the cemetery where the rest of the masonic ritual was given…the bugler Mr. Angus Gainey sounded “taps” very softly and the Company fired three rounds over the grave. Should the stranger in our gates ask, “What mean ye by this service. Why should white people thus pay honor to a colored man?” The answer would be because he was a man. In life he was faithful to every trust, his word was his bond and not only were his friends numbered among those who live in Darlington but wherever he was known and that was throughout the length and breadth of the State.
The grave was covered with beautiful flowers, the offerings of his friends, both white and colored. Only in the South where the negro is known and appreciated could such a demonstration could have been seen, it was a cordial recognition of the worth of a citizen of this county whose death was a loss to the community.”
Meet Levy S. Carnine from DeSoto Parish, Louisiana. Company D. Second Louisiana Regiment Pelican Rifles.
Carnine was a slave belonging to a young doctor named Hogan from Mansfield. Hogan enlisted in the Pelican Rifles, the first infantry company to leave DeSoto Parish for the Confederate Army.
Carnine went to war with Hogan and served as his valet and cook. Early in the war, Hogan was mortally wounded in Virginia and Carnine carried him to the hospital where he nursed him and cared for him until he died. Carnine buried his old friend, found a minister to perform a service, and even carved his gravestone.
Unsure of what to do next, Carnine returned to his regiment and found Hogan’s old friend Colonel Jesse Williams who helped organize the company. Williams told Carnine to stay with him until he could arrange for safe passage for him back home. This became impossible as the war went on and Carnine stayed and helped Williams, the same as he’d done for Hogan. Soon Colonel Williams was promoted to Brigadier General, but not long after he too was killed in battle. Once again Levy Carnine buried a friend.
Carnine stayed with his company and became their cook. However, as more and more of his friends were killed, Carnine began to take up arms and go side by side into combat with his friends and neighbors from DeSoto Parish. What a shock it must have been for the Yankees to see a black face among the charging Confederates in so many battles.
Serving with the Second Louisiana Volunteers Regiment, Carnine also used his race to travel through enemy lines to deliver letters from his company back home to DeSoto Parish. The people of his town welcomed him as a hero and eagerly awaited his arrival to listen to what news he could bring.
After the war, Levy Carnine served as a historian of the Pelican Rifles and was a member of the United Confederate Veterans. In 1924 at his death the Confederate Veteran Magazine praises Carnine calling him “a hero of the war between the states.”
Levy Carnine is buried in the Confederate section of Mansfield Cemetery, Mansfield, DeSoto Parish, Louisiana. He is one of the only black people in the cemetery, buried by and at the insistence of his brothers-in-arms because of his devotion and courageous service to his country and state.