Blacks Permitted into the Confederate Army
A document drawn up by the auditor for Virginia identifies the number of black men in the state, both slave and free, from the ages of eighteen to forty-five, who would be fit for service in the military as of March 25, 1865. Twelve days earlier, the Confederate Congress had passed a law permitting African Americans to serve as soldiers. However, the war ended before any substantial number of black soldiers could be recruited and effectively trained.
This document is part of the executive papers of Governor William "Extra Billy" Smith.