A Black Confederate’s Career Tragically Cut Short

[Hat Tip to one of Civil War Memory’s readers]

The Lost German Slave Girl: The Extraordinary True Story of Sally Miller and Her Fight for Freedom in Old New Orleans (p.13). The source is an 1864 Georgia court case, "Bryan v. Walton," 33 Ga. 11, 24, and the following musings of Chief Justice Lumpkin, of the Georgia Supreme Court, were part of one of the judge’s opinions:

A mistress and her maid recently received Episcopal confirmation together, kneeling side by side at the same altar, boarding at the same hotel, where the latter was received and treated as a white woman by the inn-keeper and his female guests, when the latter turned out to be a mulatto, and was promptly hurled from her position of social equality. A man, at the beginning of this war, dropped into a village of one of our counties in Middle Georgia, and becoming rather famous for his pugilism, he was chosen an officer in one of the volunteer companies enlisting for the military service. His status was never questioned, until, accosted rather familiarly by his fellow-servant, who had known him long and intimately, an investigation was had, and Sambo was returned to his owner. Which of us has not narrowly escaped petting one of the pretty little mulattos belonging to our neighbors as one of the family?

3 comments… add one
  • AD Powell Dec 16, 2014 @ 19:54
    • Kevin Levin Dec 17, 2014 @ 1:58

      I actually read this book back when it was published. In fact, I had a chance to chat personally with the author, who just happened to teach at the same high school as my father. It’s an interesting thesis, but one that flew under the radar of most people because of where it was published. If I am not mistaken, Earl Hess reviewed it.

  • Brooks Simpson Dec 4, 2007 @ 15:18

    Sometimes, of course, biologically speaking, they were members of the family.

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