Confederate First Louisiana Native Guard: “The Question Into Consideration”

In spring 1861 as the American Civil War began, some of the free men residing in New Orleans, Louisiana, decided to form a militia unit which became known as the "Native Guards." While this unit took ranks for the Confederacy, participants would later suggest they volunteered in this way to shield their families from hostile suspicions and hoping to raise their social or political standing in the local community—following precedent from the War of 1812. The next year, when Union troops took over New Orleans, this militia unit willingly changed sides, fighting for emancipation and the Union cause. 

This newspaper except appeared in a New Orleans publication in April 1861.



We some days ago mentioned that the Creole free colored population down town had taken the war question into consideration, and determined to offer their services to Gov. Moore, for home defence. At the meeting held for this purpose some 1500 men were present. With one voice and with the greatest enthusiasm they agreed to offer themselves, and did so. The Governor accepted them, and they are now forming companies as their fathers and grandfathers did in 1814 and '15. Should their services be needed, they will be among our hardest and best fighters. Jordan Noble, better known as "Old Jordan," the Drummer of Chalmette, is raising a free colored company; and we learn a similar company is being organized in Jefferson City. When the down-town free colored men form their regiment (and it will be a rousing one,) they will make a show as pleasing to all, as it will be surprising to many of population. We will give further particulars as the organization progresses.



"The Free Colored Soldiers," The New Orleans Crescent, Saturday, April 27, 1861, Page 1. Accessed through