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date: 08 April 2020

Black Militiaslocked

  • Carole T. Emberton


A not fully acknowledged facet of Reconstruction, so-called black militias and the controversies their activities engendered fueled much of the anti-Republican backlash in the South. Black militias were not, as the name implies, composed exclusively of African Americans. In fact, even black-dominated militias were rare, except for the case of South Carolina, where that state's black majority and the willingness of the state's governors Robert K. Scott and Daniel H. Chamberlain to arm them resulted in mainly black militia regiments in some locales. Overall, the derogatory moniker “black militia” referred to any racially integrated unit, no matter how small or large its African American component.

After the war the South s provisional governors many of whom harbored Confederate sympathies reorganized their state s all white militias to provide law and order in the rural areas where no reliable law enforcement existed In reality however they were most concerned about the ...

A version of this article originally appeared in The Encyclopedia of African American History, 1619–1895.

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