THE SEVEN COLONIES OF THE CONFEDERADOS
Lansford Hastings led Confederado settlers to the unforgiving environment of the Amazon. George Barnsley, an emigrant who originally joined the New Texas settlement, claimed Hastings’ effort “attracted much attention and a number of emigrants settled near him, but either through the climate, or rains, or insects, or more probably laziness, his colony came to nothing. ” The reality was that while unsuccessful settlers moved on, some remained. There were 92 colonists on the land in 1888. In 1940, original settler David Riker, could report, “I’m glad I stayed on. God has been good to me. My sons are good sons, my daughters are good daughters. My wife is good and true. We lack for nothing we ought to have. How many can say the same?”
A 1983 tour guide-book of South America noted of Santarèm:
This city…was settled in 1865, by residents of South Carolina and Tennessee who fled the Confederacy where slavery was abolished. …It now serves as a supply center for miners, gold prospectors, rubber tappers, Brazil-nut gatherers, and the jute and lum-ber industries. Several bars display the Confederate flag, and you still occasionally meet the settlers’ descendants, who mixed with the multi-racial Brazil-ians and have names like Jose Carlos Calhoun.
LANSFORD WARREN HASTINGS
2) Rio Doce
Founded by Colonel Charles Gunter, the Confederado settlement promised early success, but malaria, serious drought and lack of government-promised steamship service weakened the community. Some professionals in the colony migrated to Rio de Janeiro. Others moved to other settlements or assimilated into surrounding Brazilian life. Gunter died at the settlement in 1873.
CHARLES GRANDISON GUNTER
3) Villa/Vila Americana (settlement near the Brazilian town of Campinas)
The most successful and well-known of the settlements was established with colonists living close together. The community that would become Americana attracted emigrants from other struggling Confederado colonies. It’s home to the annual Festa dos Confederados and is featured, along with its residents and festa, in most contemporary media about Os Confederados. It was founded by Colonel William H. Norris who purchased the five-hundred acre Machadinho Estate and three slaves.
An American historian has written of the Confederado colony:
In many ways the emigrants comprising the group in and near Villa Americana, as the settlement came to be called, were the happiest and most successful group in Brazil. This was perhaps due to the homogeneity of the group and to the fine and unselfish leadership of the Norrises, father and son, who were men of sufficient means to help the settlers overcome the first financial difficulties.
WILLIAM HUTCHINSON NORRIS
4) Juquià (Lizzieland)
It was an enterprise of Reverend Ballard Dunn who scouted Brazil for emigration and returned to the US to write a book about the country, hoping to recruit colonists. The 350 Confederado recruits traveled to Brazil subsidized by loans from the South American country. He called his colony Lizzieland for his de-ceased wife. Barnsley described the site, as “extremely picturesque, but with the slight defect of being without good lands and in the rainy season was half under water.” Dunn mortgaged the land for $4,000 and three months after settling his colonists on the vast tract of Brazilian land, the Reverend left Lizzie-land, never to return. Floods shortly afterwards destroyed improvements and many of the settlers melted into the Brazilian cultural landscape or slipped to other colonies.
REV. BALLARD S. DUNN
5) New Texas
Texans Frank McMullan and William Bowen organized a colony of 152 Confederados. McMullan died shortly after arriving in Brazil, and leadership of the colony fell to Bowen. But Confederado Judge James H. Dyer fought for control of the settlement. The conflict, isolation, homesickness, shortage of food and money, and inability to build roads to get their crops to market soured most colonists on the chosen site and by 1870 all had returned to the US or resettled in other areas, especially the thriving settlement which would eventually be named Americana. Dyer stayed, building several successful sawmills and operating a steamboat, all the while searching for a hidden treasure of gold. When a storm took the steamboat, Dyer gave up, sold one sawmill and gave the other and his remaining property to his former slave, Steve Watson (Vassão), and returned to the States.
Dr. James McFadden Gaston, a surgeon from South Carolina scouted Brazil for settlement and wrote the 1866 book “Hunting a Home in Brazil.” He headed a 100-person Confederado settlement, but most moved over time to other areas of Brazil till the settlement essentially evaporated into other settlements or into Brazilian culture. Gaston moved several times himself, eventually ending up with a medical practice in the Brazilian town of Campinas, State of São Paulo, close to Americana.
DR. JAMES McFADDEN GASTON
Colonel M.S. McSwain and Horace Lane headed a colony to the Brazilian state of Paranà just to the South of São Paulo. Some of the colonists assimilated into ethnic groups around Paranaguà, especially German communities, while some returned to the US.
HORACE MANLEY LANE
The Confederados - A very good synopsis excerpted from an article by: Michael J. Roueche, noted historian and author
There remains a “romance” (sometimes a romantic sadness) in writings and videos from outsiders about Os Confederados. But it is only from a safe 5,000-mile distance untouched by the cultural revolutions of the post-Civil-War US that anyone can speak without inhibition (almost with pride and flippancy) about being the “only…unreconstructed Confederates on the earth because…we never pledged allegiance to the damn Yankee flag.”
Interestingly, in spite of being unreconstructed, descendants of Os Confederados main-tain sentimental attachment to the US as well as the Antebellum South, just as former Confederates in the States created a post-war Southern culture that featured a strong allegiance to the United States. In 1915, one Vila Americana-area resident Cicero Jones wrote of Os Confederados, “All are more or less content and would fight for the Stars and Stripes as we would for the Stars and Bars.”
Since the Stars and Bars saw no more action, that part of his statement remains untested, but within three years of Jones’ statement, the Confederados had lost one family member, Charles Norris, grandson of the community’s founder who had married a “local” woman and had several daughters. Although he’d never been to the United States, he “went” home to serve in the American Army during World War One and was killed in France.
Well documented is the small, annual Festa dos Confederados (Confederate Festival) where descendants of the most successful Confederado colony, Americana, sometimes dubbed the lost colony of the Confederacy, celebrate their heritage and raise funds for maintenance of the cemetery founded by the colonists. The cemetery was originally established because the immigrants were mostly protestant in a Catholic country that wouldn’t allow “heretics” in Catholic cemeteries.
Thoughtful reflection on the experience of Os Confederados leaves one with mixed feelings, but they’re the sentiment of an outsider. You can’t help sharing Governor, later President, Jimmy Carter’s thoughts after a 1972 visit he and his wife, Rossalyn—whose great uncle W.S. Wise was one of Os Confederados buried in the cemetery of Os Confederados—made to Americana, as reported in the Atlanta Constitution:
My most significant feeling was one of great sadness they had foregone for all those generations the enjoyment of being a part of this nation they still revere so deeply. The futility of it all was apparent. None of them looked upon their ancestors as mist-aken. They didn’t seem to feel any self-pity.
In the end, I suspect, Os Confederados, in spite of their affection and admiration for the US, the Confederacy and their ancestry, will continue to be slowly woven into the rich Brazilian tapestry till few will remember from what yarn a strand of them comes.
Even in 1928, the signs of coming acculturation were pressing down on Os Confed-erados. Josephine Crowder wrote in the New York Times of her visit to a Mrs. Jones of Americana, granddaughter of Confederate Colonel W. H. Norris from Alabama, the first Confederado settler in the area. He had migrated to Brazil with his son, Robert, Mrs. Jones’s father, sending for the family after they got settled. Crowder noted, “struggle as hard as she can, Mrs. Jones cannot keep her children Americans. Sooner or later Brazil will get most of them.”
William Clark Griggs in his book about Os Confederados, published nearly 30 years ago, wrote:
Fourth generation Brazilian-Americans in most cases no longer speak English and thus are losing a significant part of their heritage. Letters and documents treasured by their families for over a century can no longer be read by some and consequently have lost much of their meaning to this newest group of descendants of Confederates. …The new generation of Brazilian-Americans are becoming Brazilian in the truest sense of the word, but it took over 120 years for the change to occur.
A Closer Look at Os Confederados
What attracted Confederados to Brazil?
Os Confederados were swept to Brazil by a perfect storm consisting of a felt need of the Southerners to escapedifficult post-war circumstances in the US, agents and prom-oters who went to Brazil and published encouraging reports, and a Brazilian govern-menturgently needing increased population and skilled laborers.
One young woman wrote, “’there is complete revolution in public feeling. No more talk about help from France, or England, but all about emigration to Mexico or Brazil.”
George Washington Keyes, one of Os Confederados, wrote to a friend in 1869, “I left the United States because of the anarchy I expected to prevail, poverty that was already at our doors, and the demoralization which I thought and still believe will cover the land.”
Confederado Robert Morris commented 50 years after leaving the US, “ You folks made our lives so impossible in the United States that we had to leave.”
In 1995, the Seattle Times reported the Judith McKnight Jones, who was 68 at the time, great-granddaughter of one of the original Confederados as saying, “They came here because they felt that their ‘country’ had been invaded and their land confiscated. To them, there was nothing left there. So, they came here to try to re-create what they had before the war.”
Promoters and Agents
Interest in Brazil was heightened by travel guides and books about the country, some predating the war. Confederates in various states set up emigration societies to explore moving to Brazil, and some agents published pamphlets and information about Brazil, further inflaming interest in the massive country. Some offers and agents were fraud-ulent, and some colonists would live to suffer under the deceit. When the first emi-grants entered Brazil, they also began writing home about the possibilities of the new country, and some of these letters made their way into newspapers.
A Welcoming Nation
Both the government and the culture of Brazil attracted the colonists. The country remained neutral during the war, but sought ways to help the North American Rebel-lion. Brazil’s culture was like that of the South in some ways, including being “ruled” by a rural aristocracy.
Brazil also wanted to promote emigration. In 1850, slave importation ended and the government wanted to attract workers to make up for labor loss. The government enacted the Immigration Law of September 27, 1860 which called for free colonies which could govern themselves, and subsidies for roads, schools, churches and land. It provided immigrants with temporary shelter and moved colonies located far from regular transportation to more accessible sites.
Emperor Dom Pedro II personally extended invitations to the Rebels and met with some Confederado agents. When they first arrived, emigrants were given food and lodging in a luxurious government hotel. The Emperor at least once visited emigrants in the hotel. After their brief, comfortable stay, the pioneering Confederados were sent to their chosen place of residence with the government covering cost of transportation. The government also subsidized, with loans, passage for some emigrants to come to Brazil.
However the government was in the middle of a warand never kept all its commitments, eventually leaving some Confederados in poverty with little possibility of escape.
How many Southerners fled to Brazil after the War?
Estimates cover a wide range from a few thousand to 20,000. Eugene Harter, descen-dant of Os Confederados, who with his parents and siblings returned to the US in 1935, claims 20,000 based on a study of available sources.5 But with incomplete records and the fact that some came individually, the best answer is nobody really knows. Likewise, it’s impossible to know how many returned to the US or stayed in Brazil. Some who remained in Brazil assimilated into local populations.
What type of men and women went?
The failed Mexican immigration movement included more high-ranking Confederate officers, but the Brazilian emigrants were stalwart Confederates, as shown by brief biographies of various men on the website of Fraternidade Descendencia Americana, an association of Os Confederados descendants.
Did legal slavery in Brazil motivate Os Confederados to choose that country?
It was an attraction for some Confederados, and some did buy slaves when they arrived. (Slaves cost about half the price in Brazil as in the US.) Others—maybe most—didn’t have the means to buy slaves, if they had been so inclined. Slavery in the massive South American country by the time the Southerners arrived was sloping toward 1888 peace-ful extinction.
Slavery in Brazil was dramatically different from that of the US South. Only the South’s largest slave-holders rivaled holdings of the hundred slaves of the average Brazilian slaveholder, perhaps making the South American form less “paternalistic” and per-haps, if possible, less personal.
Some slaveholders in the US, deceiving themselves, perceived or claimed slaves as an “extension” of their family, leading to accounts of masters and mistresses being sur-prised and disgusted by the “disloyalty” of slaves at emancipation when freed slaves left their former owners. With such large numbers of slaves, Brazilian holders were less likely to take that view. Slavery in Brazil also may have been harsher, especially during the sugar cane harvest when slaves worked 18 hours a day in the fields.
Race relations were different as well in the Latin country. Brazilian sociologist Josè Arturo Rios, writing of the challenges of the settlers, noted:
They imagined they would find in Brazil, a slave-holding country, the same segregation between whites and blacks. …For a long time…the social rise of Negroes and mulattoes had been going on, and the Southerners found themselves, to their stupefaction, in a society in which the color criterion was not the dominant one for social classification. With consternation they saw mulattoes and Negroes in the bosom of society, occupying important positions, and, through that fact, ceasing to be regarded as Negroes.
What was the position of US Government, Southern leaders and newspapers?
The immigration was discouraged by most in the States. Jefferson Davis initially petitioned the government to allow his family to immigrate, but after his release from government custody wrote, “Because the mass of our people could not go, the few who were able to do so were most needed to sustain others in the hour of a common adver-sity.”
Robert E. Lee offered in a letter, “They should remain, if possible, in the country; pro-mote harmony and good feeling, qualify themselves to vote and elect to the State and general legislatures wise and patriotic men, who will devote their abilities to the inter-est of the country and healing all dissensions. I have recommended this course since the cessation of hostilities, and have endeavored to practice it myself.” Union authorities also discouraged flight from the country.
Media in both regions discouraged it. The Montgomery Advertiser, on August 10, 1867, published:
The American citizens live about in huts, uncared for—there is much general dissatis-faction among the emigrants and the whole Brazil representation is a humbug and a farce. The American Consul is in receipt of numerous and constant applications from helpless American citizens to assist them in getting back to their true, rightful country . . . . Dissipate the idea that Alabama is not still a great country—cease dreaming over the unhappy past—say nothing that will assist to keep up political troubles, stay at home, but work, work, work and Alabama will yet be, what she ought to be and can be, a great and glorious country.
The Galveston Daily News observed on January 18, 1867:
We noticed a number persons on the street yesterday destined for Brazil. The party consisted of women and children, convoyed by several men with guns on their shoul-ders. All were evidently from the country, and as we gazed upon them, could not help experiencing a feeling of sadness, partly from thinking of the causes that induced them to leave the land of their nativity, and partly because they were about entering upon a life new to them; and we fear, little think of the dangers, trials, and hardships incident to being a stranger in a strange land.
The New York Times crowed in 1870 when 120 of Os Confederados returned to the States. The paper hoped returning emigrants’ disappointing experiences would dis-courage others thinking of escape. It opened an article headed “Another Brazilian Bubble Burst” with this “neutral” observation:
Everybody recalls the fever for Central American and South American colonization which seized some of our people in 1865. It raged chiefly in the South, where, at the close of the war, some heartless or deluded ultra-Confederates persuaded many of their country men to quit their native shores forever, rather than to return to the ‘hated Union.’
What became of Os Confederados?
Some Confederados slowly mixed with local Brazilians assimilating into country and culture. Others migrated to the more successful colony that would eventually be called Americana. Some returned to the United States because of financial difficulties; disil-lusionment; lack of local transportation;
homesickness related to distance from family and friends; language, religious and cultural issues and differences; inability to vote; and low pay for skilled workers.
Additionally, the Brazilian government failed to live up to many of its commitments to the Confederados, and within a few short years, many were destitute and desperate to return to the States.
Confederados emigration continued into the early 1900s.
Ironically, among emigrants who remained in Brazil were former slaves who migrated with white Southerners. A man named Rainey (I don’t know if that’s his first or last name.) settled in Rio de Janeiro and created a successful ferryboat business. Stephen Watton migrated with his former master Judge James Harrison Dyer to Frank Mc-Mullan’s New Texas colony, trusting his former master more than the economic uncertainties of the post-war South. Dyer operated a variety of businesses. Watson quickly learned Portuguese, enjoyed living in Brazil and helped Dyer build a profitable sawmill. A financial setback and homesickness sent Dyer back to the states, but he transferred ownership of his remaining property–the sawmill and land–to Watson who proved more than up to the task. He “became very wealthy, married a Brazilian lady, and had a large family. He was highly admired in the region.”
Did the colonists impact Brazil?
There were probably too few colonists and scattered too broadly to change the course of the young nation. However, Confederados did improve Brazilian agriculture. They introduced, produced and repaired the moldboard plow in an agriculturally focused country still using the hoe, leading one settler to claim of that introduction, “the leaven sown…has transformed a country whose area is larger than the U.S. By transfor-mation, I mean agriculture, and that means all.”
“Once a Rebel, Twice a Rebel”:
These words mark a headstone in the Confederados’ cemetery, highlighting one more irony in the history of the colonists. In 1932, São Paulo, the most wealthy Brazilian State, led other states in a rebellion against the provisional federal government set up following a government overthrow. The coup d’état had defeated a constitutionally elec-ted government and set new limits on states rights. Among the rebels thus fighting for states rights were residents of Americana, descendants of the North American Rebels. Brazilian dictator and head of the provisional government Getulio Vargas put down the rebellion, offering quick amnesty to those who had fought against his government.
"This monument is in the city of Americana, Brazil, home to what became known as the "Confederados". Although some later returned to the United States, there were many that re-mained to live out their lives in Brazil. To this day, there are Confederate descendants still there. Celebrations are still held to honor their Confederate and Southern Heritage."
FINAL RESTING PLACE OF MANY OF THE SOUTHERN COLONISTS WHO SETTLED THIS PART OF BRAZIL
Campo is a tree-shaded one square hectare compound separated from the surrounding cane fields by a low wall. The enclosure includes three buildings. A covered patio is located near the entrance, and off to the side stands the modest home of a caretaker family. The small brick chapel dominates the center of the compound, and the cemetery stretches over the back portion of the grounds. The sidewalk leading up to the church entrance is flanked by an obelisk-shaped monument that is decorated with the stars and bars of the Confederate battle flag. The monument features the engraved names of the families who moved to the Santa Barbara area in the 1860s.
The cemetery contain the remains of many of the original settlers and their descendants. Gravestones are inscribed with references to the old country Confederacy and comments about their new home in Brazil. The sign of the Masonic Lodge, to which several Americans belonged, is prominently displayed on some of the markers.
The Fraternity of American Descendants was established in 1954, and ownership of the compound was passed to the fraternity by the Bookwalter family. The organization oversees the maintenance of Campo and schedules quarterly and yearly reunions that draw descendants from across Brazil. These gatherings harken back to the old days by featuring dinner on the grounds and nineteenth-century America-style clothing. Most participants speak in Portuguese, but many of the older generation still use English. Pageantry abounds, some of the youth dress as Confederate soldiers and ladies, and the conversations are laced with stories of the past. The festivities conclude with a church service that according to the fraternity bylaws, must be held in a religion of the original founders, and the hymn "There s a Happy Land" is sung in unison by all.
Campo, still a community unifier, now plays a new role. The site originated as a stopgap solution to the im-mediate necessity of burying the dead, and over the years it became a social and religious community center for the scattered families near Santa Barbara. During the early years it was a site of ceremony and pleasant fellow-ship. It provided a familiar setting in a foreign land, as if a small bit of Alabama territory had been transplanted to Sao Paulo. It was neutral ground where inter-colony political or religious differences were put aside. At Campo, the individuals in the group again became one colony of displaced Americans far from their native soil. Campo developed in the location that was most accessible to all the settlers in the Confederate settlements scattered around Santa Barbara.
Today, the role of Campo is different. It is now, in many respects, a shrine to the memory of the adventurers who left their defeated states and created a new home in Brazil. As with other shrines, it has no other function. Though a blood descendant can still petition for burial in the cemetery, funerals are rare. Regular church ser-vices are no longer held, and most descendants live elsewhere.
During recent years Campo has become hollowed ground. There the heritage is nurtured, and the descending generations are instructed in its importance. The displaced artifacts and symbols recall the heritage. The battle flag and uniform of the Confederacy have quite a different meaning from their significance in the United States. The symbols are not strongly associated with the battles of the Civil war, nineteenth-century political contro-versies, a slave-based economy, or contemporary racial discrimination. To the American descendants born in Brazil, the signs of the Old South evoke memories of founding origin more akin to North American recollections of the arrival of early European pilgrims. Similarly, the gravestones in the cemetery recall the heroes of the early years and provide stark evidence of the hardships they faced.
Campo is a shrine with special meaning only to the descendants. Though reunions are sometimes reported in the local or national press, the behavior of the descendants is viewed with no more than mild interest. Campo is not marked on maps, and it can be reached only by traveling over a pitted narrow dirt road through cane fields. No signs show the way, and few local residents can provide directions.
In summary, Campo is a present feature on the landscape that has no importance other than to serve as a repository for the shared symbols that identify he American descendant as a distinct group within the larger Brazilian culture. It is at this site, on the occasion of the quarterly and yearly reunions, that the articles and traditions that identify the group are reviewed and renewed. Located on private property until 1954 and on community land since, it has always functioned as common ground not liked to any specific faction within the group.
The periodic gatherings, first out of necessity, then later for pleasure, were a mechanism for preserving the common culture. Though English as a first language will disappear with the passage of the current generation, other traits are being continued because of the periodic reunions. The old stories of valor, the physical artifacts, the Southern recipes, the festival traditions, and the religious practices are recalled and passed on to the next generation. Of the many settlements started in Brazil by the Americans, only those around Santa Barbara had a separate site for maintaining the cultural heritage. And only there have the Americans remained connected to their history.
The current state of good maintenance and attractiveness f the Campo site and the well-attended reunions indicate that the heritage is being preserved. A museum celebrating the early Americans in Brazil has recently been opened in downtown Santa Barbara, but the soul of the group remains out at the chapel and cemetery. Its future survival may be questioned, but traces of the Old American South have persisted in Brazil longer than anyone would have guessed possible.
CONFEDERATE VETERANS IN BRAZIL
Albert G. Carr: was a Private in Company A of the 56th Alabama Partisan Rangers.
Benjamin C. Yancey: Captain of Artillery or the 16th Battalion Alabama Sharpshooters. He returned to the U.S after living in Brazil.
Benjamin Norris: served as a Corporal in Company H of the 33rd Alabama Infantry. He surrendered at Mont-gomery, Alabama, on May 13, 1865.
Calvin McKnight: Captain of McKnight's Volunteers Company of Hill Co. Mounted Men, 28th Brigade, Texas Militia. He enlisted for a six months term in the militia on August 10,1861, in Hill County, Texas and was com-missioned Captain on September 19,1861. After his term in the militia ended, he served as a Pvt. & Sergeant in Co. I of Burford's 19th Texas Cavalry. He enlisted on April 2, 1862 at Dresden, in Navarro Co, TX in Capt. Samuel Wright's Company which later renamed Company I. At that time he was 36 years old, 5'10" tall, with gray eyes & black hair, and a resident of Hill County, TX. He listed his occupation as 'farmer'. He camped in Dallas in April and June 1862. He was promoted to 5th Sergeant on October 19,1862. He was promoted to 2nd Sergeant on October 1,1863 and was present when the regiment disbanded on May 25, 1865, at Marshall, Texas. The 19th Texas cavalry fought primarily in Arkansas, Louisiana and Missouri, in over thirty engagements, the more famous of which were Marmaduke's Missouri Raid, and the battles for Helena, Arkansas, Sabine Cross Roads, Louisiana and Natchitoches, Louisiana.
Capt. William A. H. Terrell: Company D of the 8th Louisiana Cavalry, CSA.
Dalton Yancey: Captain, Alabama State Militia. He returned to the U.S after living in Brazil.
Dr. Joseph Pitts: of Tennessee, probably Capt. of 11th Tennessee Infantry.
Ezekiel B. Pyles: Private, Company A, 11th Kentucky Cavalry & Company D, Dortch's 2nd Battalion Kentucky Cavalry. He originally joined Company A, 11th Kentucky Cavalry in September 1862, and accompanied Gen. John Hunt Morgan on his great Ohio Raid. He escaped by swimming the Ohio River at Buffington Island, and joined other Morgan's Men in Co. D of Dortch's 2nd Battalion Kentucky Cavalry in August 1863, at Knoxville, Tennessee. He fought in the Tennessee & Georgia and at the Battle of Saltville, Virginia, on October 2, 1864. He was assigned to the brigade of Gen. Basil W.Duke & was captured at Kingsport, Tennessee, on December 13, 1864. He was taken to Camp Chase, Ohio, where he was imprisoned until February 17, 1865, when he was transferred to Point Lookout, Maryland, for exchange. After his exchange, he was admitted to a Confederate military hospital at Richmond, VA, on February 26,1865. He was furloughed from hospital for 30 days on March 6,1865, and returned to southwest Virginia where he re-joined his command. When the rest of his command disbanded on April 12,1865, he refused to surrender and made his way to Greensboro, North Carolina, where he became part of the final escort for Confederate President Jefferson Davis. After being released from service by President Davis, he surrendered at Washington, Georgia, May 10, 1865. He went to Brazil and was still alive in 1913, age 66.
Frank McMullen: was born in Walker County, Georgia in 1835. During the War Between the States, he was a resident of Mexico and met with the Mexican officials on numerous occasions on behalf of the confederacy.
George S. Barnsley: Assistant Surgeon, 8th Georgia Infantry (Rome Lt. Guards). He enlisted as a private in Co. A, 8th Georgia Infantry, in Floyd County, Georgia on May 18, 1861. He was appointed as a hospital steward on December 24,1862. He participated in most of the battles fought by the Army of Northern Virginia, including Gettysburg. He was detailed to the Medical Department at Richmond, VA in 1864 and was appointed Assistant Surgeon on March 22, 1865. He was captured when the Yankees took the city in April 1865.
George Washington Carr: was 1st Lieutenant and Assistant Surgeon in Co. A of the 56th Alabama Partisan Rangers.
Green Ferguson: was a private in Company L of the South Carolina State Troops .He enlisted at Rich Hill County, South Carolina, on August 1, 1863, and fought against Sherman during his March to the sea. He surrendered near Columbia, South Carolina, in April 1865.
Henry Clay Norris: Company G, 15th Confederate Cavalry .The unit was stationed at Mobile and Pensacola and fought in battles at Tunica, Louisiana and Claiborne, AL. He surrendered on April 30,1865, at Demopolis, Alabama. He was the son of William H. Norris and was born in Dallas Co, Alabama, on June 1, 1842. He died on January 20, 1912, at Villa Americana, Brazil.
Henry Farrar Steagall: enlisted in 1862 as a private in Capt. John R. Smith's Company of Gonzales County (Texas) Cavalry, which became Co. B of Waul's Texas Legion. At the time of his enlistment, he was described as age 41, born in North Carolina, married and a resident of Gonzales County, Texas. He was listed as present on the muster roll for June 13, 1862, at Camp Waul, Washington County, Texas. He was captured at the Fall of Vicksburg, Mississippi, on July 4, 1863. He was exchanged on September 12, 1863, and was transferred for duty in Texas. He was present for duty on May 16, 1865, at Galveston, Texas, as a private, although at least one muster roll lists him as a "Brevet 2nd Lieutenant".
John Barkley MacFadden: was born in South Carolina in 1864 and enlisted on August 13,1861, at Yorkville, SC, as a private in Company C of the 12th South Carolina Infantry. He later transferred to Company B and took part in the battles of Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Sharpsburg, Fredricksburg and the siege of Petesburg .He surrendered with Gen. Lee at Appomattox on April 9,1865.
John Henry Rowe: was born Feb 22, 1846 USA and died on Dec. 16, 1922. He married to Sarah L?. He was resident of Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, when the War began . He enlisted as a private in Company F of the 50th Alabama Infantry in March of 1862 and fought at the Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee. The 50th Alabama Infantry was originally named Coltart's 26th Alabama Infantry , but was renamed the 50th in June 1863. Colonel John C. Coltart commanded it. The 50th also fought at Murfreesboro , Chickamauga , Atlanta and Franklin. The regiment surrendered in April 1865 in North Carolina . John Henry Rowe was captured during the war in the Battle of Resaca, Georgia. In 1864 he was take to Camp Douglas P.O.W Camp at Chicago, Illinois. He was kept there until March 15, 1865, when he was sent to Point Lookout , Maryland , where he was exchanged on April 12, 1865.
John Henry Scurlock: enlisted in Company I of the 6th Texas Cavalry at Dallas, Texas, in September 1861. He fought in the battles of Elkhorn Tavern, Corinth, Hatchie Bridge and the Atlanta Campaign .He surrendered in Mississippi in May 1865.
John R. Bufford: enlisted in April 1862, at Eufaula, Alabama and was appointed Sergeant in Captain Reuben Koulb's Battery of the Barbour Alabama Light Artillery. He transferred on November 6, 1864, with the rank of private to the Eufaula Battery of Alabama Light Artillery. He was in St. Mary's Hospital at Union Springs, AL from September 29,1864, until November 6, 1864, but took part in the battles of Kentucky Campaign, Hood's Tennessee Campaign, and Chickamauga, and was paroled at Meridian, Mississippi, on May 10, 1865. At his parole, he listed his residence as Eufaula, AL. He moved to Brazil and was alive in 1913 at age of 72.
Jonathan Ellsworth: Drummer, 1st Arkansas Brigade. Joseph E. Whitaker: 2nd Lieutenant & 1st Lieutenant , Company A& L, 24th Mississippi Infantry. He fought in the Battles of Lookout Mountain, Chickamauga and Franklin, while in Walthall's Brigade . He was slightly wounded at Franklin. He also participated in the Battle of Bentonville , North Carolina , and was promoted during the last days of war to 1st Lieutenant of Company L of the 24th Mississippi Infantry. He surrendered at Greensboro, North Carolina , in April 1865. He moved to Brazil and was live in 1917 , age 81.
Joseph Long Minchin: Co. I, 4th Florida Infantry & Orderly Sergeant and prison guard at Andersonville, Georgia. He was alive in 1913, age 71. He was born near Thomasville, Georgia on January 16, 1841, and went to Florida as child. He enlisted in 1861, and fought at Chickamauga & Atlanta. He surrendered at Macon, Georgia in April 1865. He married to Julia Antionette Pyles on March 15, 1866. She was born near Macon, Georgia in 1849. They moved to Brazil on June 24, 1867. He worked as foreman on coffee plantation and later acquired his own farm of 900 acres. Living in 1921 in Nova Odessa, Brazil.
Joseph Meriwether: enlisted in Company H of the 1st South Carolina Volunteers in December 1861 and took part in the bombing of Ft.Sunter. This unit disbanded in July 1861 and re-enlisted at Edgefield, South Carolina, in August 1863, as a private in Company D of the 1st South Carolina Infantry. He served under General Robert E. Lee in the Army of Northern Virginia until the surrendered at Appomattox on April 9,1865.
L.S.Bowen: served as a private in CompanyA of the 8th Texas Cavalry (also called Terry's Texas Rangers). He fought at Shiloh, Chickamauga, Murfreesboro, Knoxville, the Atlanta Campaign, and surrendered in Georgia on April 26,1865.
Louis Demaret: Private, Co. C, 5th Texas Infantry. He fought in the battles of Seven Pines, Cold Harbor, Gettysburg, Chickamauga and Petersburg. He moved to Brazil and was alive in 1913, aged 73.
Lucien Barnsley: Private, Company A, 8th Georgia Infantry (Rome Lt. Guards) .He enlisted on May 18, 1861, in Floyd County, Georgia, and participated in most of the battles fought by the Army of Northern Virginia, including Gettysburg. On October 31,1864, he was detailed to serve as a private on the staff of a Dr. Miller in the Medical Department at Greensboro, North Carolina, and surrendered when that city was occupied by the Yankees in April 1865. Major by the other Confederate officers during and after the war . It appears that he was commissioned as a Major and assigned to diplomatic service in Mexico under the direction of Confederate Consul John T. Pickett. McMullen was granted amnesty in Texas on May 29, 1865.
Napoleon Bonaparte McAlpine: was a private in Co. C, 2nd Alabama Cavalry. He enlisted on March 22, 1862, at Eutaw, Alabama. The record on file is a muster roll for August 31 through October 31, 1863, which shows that he had been on detached duty at Okolona, MS but had returned to duty. The unit fought in Atlanta and Carolinas campaigns and was part of the last escort for President Jefferson Davis and surrendered in May 1865 at Forsyth, GA. He moved to Brazil and was alive in 1913, age 66 or 68. Niels Nielson: Alabama Unit.
Raibon Steagall: In 1850 he was resident of Franklin County, North Carolina. He enlisted in the C.S.A in Robeson County, North Carolina, and was appointed in September 6,1861, as 2nd lieutenant of Company A of the 31st North Carolina Infantry. He was born about 1831 in North Carolina.
Robert Cicero Norris: Private, Company F, 15th Alabama Infantry & 1st Lieutenant company A, 60th Alabama Infantry. He was alive in 1913, age 75. He was born on March 7, 1837, in Perry County, Alabama, but was a resident of Dallas County, Alabama. He was the son of William H. Norris, and was educated at Fulton Academy & Mobile Medical College. He enlisted on January 28, 1861, under Capt. Theodore O'Hara to take Pensacola Navy Yard. On July 3, 1861, he enlisted in Co. F, 15th Alabama Infantry, in Stonewall Jackson's Brigade. In 1862, he was appointed Sergeant Major, and in 1864, was appointed 1st Lieutenant of Co. A, 60th Alabama Infantry. He was wounded 4 times and fought at Malvern Hill, Cold Harbor, Cedar Run, 2nd Manassas, Sharpsburg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Wilderness, Petersburg, etc. He was captured at Hatcher's Run & held at Ft. Delaware until June 17,1865. He went to Brazil in 1865, but returned in 1890 to finish his medical degree. He returned to Vila Americana, Brazil and practiced medicine. He was a master mason. He died on May 14,1913 in Brazil.
Robert Cullen: He enlisted in the Confederate State Army on June 15,1862, at Dallas - Texas, as a private in Company A of R.M. Gano's Squadron of Texas Cavalry. Later in the same month his company was transferred and became Company A of Gano's 7th Kentucky Cavalry in the famous cavalry command of Gen. John Hunt Morgan. Pvt. Cullen fought at Gallatin, Tennessee, at the battle of Murfreesboro, and on Morgan's famous Ohio Raid in 1863.Private Robert Cullen swam across the Ohio River to avoid capture. He made his way to Sparta, Tennessee, where he rejoined the remnants of Morgan's command. He joined Company D of Dortch's 2nd Battalion of Kentucky Cavalry, along with Ezequiel and William Pyles. These men served together and fought in most of the major battles around Atlanta. In the last days of war, they served as part of the final escort for President Jefferson Davis until they were forced to surrender at Washington, Georgia, on May 10, 1865. Later on all three of the soldiers moved to Brazil along with their families.
Robert Meriwether: enlisted in the Confederate Army before there was a force! He was Captain of Company H of the 1st South Carolina Volunteers. This regiment fired the FIRST SHOTS at Fort Sumter, the act that officially started the War Between the States. The 1st South Carolina Volunteers disbanded soon after the surrender of Fort Sumter and Captain Meriwether joined the 6th Battalion of South Carolina Reserves and was promoted to the rank of Major and was the commanding officer for the battalion. The 6th Battalion of South Carolina reserves served as guards at the prisoner of war camp at Florence, South Carolina, until November 1864. On November 5,1864,the 6th reported 262 men present for duty. On November 3,1864,Major Meriwether was ordered to take his Battalion to Augusta, Georgia, and join the fight against Yankee General Sherman and his March to the Sea. Over the next four months the 6th fought numerous battles and skirmishes against Sherman in Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. On March 31,1865,Major Meriwether was present with the 6th near Smithfield, North Carolina, under the command of Gen. Joseph E.Johnson. The 6th fought at the Battle of Bentonville, NC, and was present for duty in Blanchard's Brigade near Raleigh, NC, on April 10,1865. Major Meriwether surrendered at Greensboro, NC in May 1865,after being surrendered by Gen. Johnson .He returned to South Carolina, but moved to Brazil in August 1865, to become one of the earliest Confederados.
Robert Porter Thomas: served as a private in Company F of the 32nd Texas Cavalry.
Thomas Lafayette Keese: was a confederate soldier .He enlisted as a Private in Co. B of Wood's 36th Texas Cavalry in 1862 and fought in the battles of Pleasant Hill and Mansfield , Louisiana . He surrendered with his regiment on June 2, 1865 at Galveston , Texas .He died on Sept 23,1894 and is buried at Santa Barbara D'Oeste, Sao Paulo Brazil
Thomas Stewart McKnight: Private, Co. I, Burford's 19th Texas Cavalry. He was the brother of Calvin McKnight. He enlisted on April 2, 1862 , at Dresden at Navarro County, Texas , at age 34, 5'9 1/2"tall, with gray eyes and brown hair . He listed his occupation as "blacksmith". He served honorably until discharged on August 13,1864, based on a surgeon's certificate that he was physically unfit for service.
William A. Prestrige: Private, Co. A, 3rd Alabama Cavalry. He enlisted on September 25, 1861, at Mount Sterling, Alabama. He was present for every action of his regiment, including Shiloh, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, the Atlanta Campaign, and Bentonville, and was paroled at Charlotte, North Carolina, in May 1865. He moved to Brazil and was alive in 1913, age 73.
William F. Pyles: Private, Company A, 11th Kentucky Cavalry & Company D, Dortch's 2nd Battalion Kentucky Cavalry. He was the brother of Ezequiel Pyles, and originally joined Company A of the 11th Kentucky Cavalry in September 1862. He accompanied Gen. John Hunt Morgan on Great Ohio Raid, and escaped capture by swimming the Ohio River at Buffington Island, Ohio. He joined with the remnants of Morgan's command in Company D of Dortch's 2nd Battalion Kentucky Cavalry in August 1863 at Knoxville, Tennessee, and fought in Georgia & Tennessee, and at the Battle of Saltville, Virginia, on October 2, 1864. He was transferred to Gen. Basil W. Duke's Brigade and was captured at Kingsport, Tennessee, on Dec 31,1864. He was taken to Camp Chase, Ohio, where he remained until transferred to Point Lookout, Maryland for exchange on February 17, 1865. He rejoined his command in southwest Virginia. He refused to surrender when his unit disbanded near Christiansburg, VA, on April 12, 1865 and made his way to Greensboro, North Carolina, where he became part of final escort for Confederate President Jefferson Davis. After being released from the service by President Davis, he surrendered at Washington, Georgia, on May 10, 1865. He went to Brazil and was still alive in 1913, age 67.
William Meriwether: enlisted in Company H of the 1st South Carolina Volunteers at Barnwell, SC, in December 1860 and took part in the bombing of Ft. Sumter. He enlisted for only a 6 months term and was discharged in July 1861.
Search form The Lost Confederados Robb Aaron Gordon
BY GARY HAWKINS - EVEN FARTHER SOUTH - SEPT/OCTOBER 2008
Why thousands of Southerners fled to Brazil after the Civil War, why they stayed, and why their descendants still remember>View more photos from the story I set out from rural North Carolina where folks drink beer, eat barbecue, and listen to Skynyrd on the local classic rock station, flew ten hours to São Paulo, took a cab eighty miles north through a pleasant stretch of Brazilian countryside, and exited onto a dirt road that wound through endless fields of sugarcane before delivering me here to the Cemitério do Campo, where I’ve just stepped through the gate to find folks drinking beer, eating barbecue, and listening to Skynyrd on the PA. The occasion is the Festa Confederada, an annual fund-raiser hosted by the Fraternidade Descendência Americana for upkeep of the grounds, and I’ve come south, way south, in hopes of discovering why, after five generations of intermarriage with Brazilian locals, the people here still seem so obsessed with their Southern heritage.
A little-known fact: Of the more than forty thousand Southerners who fled their homes after the Civil War, at least nine thousand migrated to Brazil. Many of these Confederados assimilated into the Rio or São Paulo societies, some returned to America for financial or nostalgic reasons, but the more determined formed insular Protestant colonies that more or less re-created Dixie on foreign soil. Five generations later I’m visiting the most successful of these settlements, the Santa Bárbara D’Oeste colony founded by former Alabama senator Colonel William Norris, who at age sixty-five declared that although he knew nothing of the Brazilian culture or its language, he was “just mad enough to give it a go.” The cemetery itself was gifted to the Confederados by Colonel Anthony T. Oliver, a first-generation colonist whose wife died shortly after their arrival here in 1867. Evidently, Protestants couldn’t get themselves buried in Catholic cemeteries, so Oliver donated two and a half acres for this unforeseen need. I can just make out the cemetery on the far side of the outpost, occluded by shady foliage and the general busyness of the Festa. That’s where I’ll conclude my sweep of the grounds.
The Festa feels like a cross between a low-key county fair and a formalized picnic. Half of the estimated fifteen hundred Festa goers are seated in rented chairs under awnings in a grassy clearing near the center of the outpost. The rest are milling around the retail booths that line the perimeter. I blend right in, smiling and nodding my way to an open-air kitchen where I find a generous spread of Southern basics—frango frito (fried chicken), salada repolho (coleslaw), and pudim de banana (guess), mingled with a dozen or so Brazilian mystery dishes.
When a fellow beside me orders a hamburger, the server places a slice of ham on the ground beef and asks him if he would also care for eggs. He declines, and I mosey over to check out my beverage options—Skol, Ashby, Crystal, or Cerpa—all beers. Then to the sweets, booth after booth, where I am hoping to find signature holiday edibles, perhaps a Confederados version of Peeps, candy corn, or green beer, but can do no better than a yogurty concoction with red, white, and blue sprinkles. When I reach the non-edibles, I find every kind of Descendência paraphernalia—mugs, belt buckles, bumper stickers, caps—all emblazoned with the Confederate battle flag, which means you can buy it down here but good luck wearing it around town back home. The T-shirts are lettered with Portuguese phrases that are lost on me. I’m pretty sure they don’t say, Brazilian by birth, Confederado by the grace of God! or, Hell no, we won’t forget! The Confederate infantry caps with the ironed-on Brazilian flag patches are especially cool. Cool enough that I’m mentally converting reals to dollars when Kenny Rogers drops abruptly off the PA. Tap tap, mike check. Looks like something’s happening on the stage at the northern end of the outpost, so I return the cap to the vendor and say, “Not today,” which she doesn’t understand, and join the herd heading northward.When I reach the stage, I find a color guard of sorts standing at attention on a concrete patio. All are dapper young men, dressed in Rebel gray with showy yellow sashes and aviator shades. The fellow on the end, the one who keeps looking around self-consciously and chuckling to himself as if he’d been asked to come down and help out because we’re short one Rebel and could sure use you, is sporting a soul patch. The floor of the patio has been painted into a likeness of the Confederate flag so enormous that it could double as a regulation shuffleboard lane.
Behind the Confederate patio stands a two-room museum, and lining the concrete dance floor are five flagpoles. When enough of a crowd has gathered, the president of the Fraternidade, Cicero Carr, orders up the music. The crowd falls silent, and the flags are hoisted.In Festas past, the ceremony went this way: The Brazilian flag, or Auriverde (“of gold and green”), was raised to the Brazilian national anthem, which is a bouncy number but goes on longer than a four-verse hymn. Next up was the American flag, raised to “America the Beautiful,” and everyone more or less stood through that. Then the Stars and Bars went up to a rousing chorus of “Dixie” and everyone went crazy, especially the old-timers who whooped it up and rebel-yelled and danced all over the place. I would’ve paid to see that, but the ceremony proved a little too ebul-lient, a little too in-your-face for some sensitive someone somewhere, so it was bagged in favor of its present staid alternative: All flags, including two that I’d never seen, are raised together, verrrry slowly, to the singing of the Brazilian national anthem.Getting Out of DodgeIt’s impossible to exaggerate the harsh feelings of defeated Southerners toward the Northern army. They might have been willing to accept military defeat, but when their families were burned out of their homes, robbed, and left to starve, a deeper resentment began to take hold. A resentment against America itself. With citizens starving and property in distress, unscrupulous Yankee agents purchased estates at fire-sale prices. A farm worth ,000 could be purchased for 0. The entire town of Fernandina, Florida, was purchased for ,000. Congress piled on by branding 3.5 million Southerners traitors and depriving them of their citizenship. Northern newspapers called for mass hangings. Jefferson Davis was thrown in jail. It’s no wonder that thousands of Southerners began to pack up and flee to almost anywhere else.
The voyage to Brazil was booked through emigrant organizations such as the Southern Colonization Society of Edgefield, South Carolina. Most of the original colonists were the equivalent of our present-day upper-middle class: doctors, lawyers, teachers, engineers, and businessmen. They were lured to Brazil by the land, the promise of a new day, and a profound spirit of adventure. The journey was often difficult: hammocks sleeping three, with upwards of three hundred passengers per vessel. The early colonists set out from Charleston and traveled thirty days to Rio de Janeiro.
Later expeditions set out from ports as far south as Galveston and as far north as New York. The trips were organized the way the pioneers organized their wagon trains—one after another and each responsible for all others, and for the most part this technique worked. Sometimes, however, the trips became perilous, as recorded in the diary of Sarah Bellona Smith Ferguson on the ship Derby in 1866. The shady Spanish captain had been bribed by Yankee agents to orchestrate a shipwreck in the treacherous waters near Cuba by tying down the helm and retiring to his cabin. “When the trick was discovered,” Ferguson writes in her diary, “McMullen and Judge Dyer and other resolute men entered the [cabin] and at the point of a six shooter forced the captain to loose the helm.” But they were too late. The vessel slammed against the rocks, and its passengers barely escaped with their lives."Dixie" in Portuguese.
When the flags are up, a tribute to the Confederacy begins. The event resembles a Miss Teen USA pageant, and the girls pull it off so convincingly that it almost feels like a parody. Teen and preteen girls, wearing sashes to represent their states, form a line across the stage. Their escorts are the same dapper young men who hoisted the flags, each now bearing a state flag. When a moderator calls a state, its representative steps forward to a smattering of applause, and some variation on this we’ve all seen. The feature that stands out, the one quality that makes the tribute more Brazilian than Southern, is the defiant, check-me-out posture of the young ladies. It goes like this: A moderator speaking with the relaxed monotone of a fashion show emcee calls for Miss Georgia and she steps forward, hands on her hips, chin lifted, sweeping the crowd with her gaze as if coached to make eye contact with everyone there. The moderator says something in Portuguese, then “state song by Ray Char-lees, ‘Georgia On My Mind-ee,’” after which Miss Georgia swings her hips away from the crowd and steps aside. The same routine is performed by all of them, even a deliberately nerdy nine-year-old with thick glasses and a schoolmarmish hair bun.
The baddest of the bad girls is probably Miss Tennessee, a raven-haired beauty with impressive shoulders, a garnet gown, and black formal gloves. She parks her hands on her hips, shifts her weight to one foot, and looks me dead in the eye. Intended or not, these gestures are downright provocative, and now I’m wondering how tough it would be for a Protestant colonist to look the other way when the right Catholic local came along. Intermarriage for the first generation of Confederados—easily the most xenophobic—is estimated at 17 percent. From there the number escalated, and something in this hand-to-hip maneuver suggests the reason for it.Announcements, presentations, and some awards. Cicero Carr is buying time for a gown change. When he finishes, the young adults return to the stage, the boys unchanged and the girls in bright, off-primary hoopskirts—crimson, lavender, custard, periwinkle, pomegranate, fandango, and fuchsia. The music is cued and they launch into an energetic period dance that I’ve seen somewhere before, but it’s not until they segue into a group waltz that I recognize it as a re-staging of the Virginia reel–waltz montage from Gone With the Wind. “Tonight I want to dance,” Scarlett tells Rhett. “Tonight I would dance with Abe Lincoln himself.” Maybe I don’t get out (of the country) enough, but this demonstration of Hollywood’s image-making authority took me by surprise.
The Confederates migrate to Brazil, form an isolated society largely immune to four generations of American homogenization, and Hollywood still manages to rewrite their history for them.When the waltz concludes, the youth perform a square dance set to “Dixie” followed by a line dance set to a medley of Irish jigs. It’s all very lively and spring-like, even if April is autumn in the southern hemisphere. The girls in their gowns are capsized tulips skipping along invisible currents, and the boys are upstanding courtiers from an old-fashioned mating ritual. Another gown change and the girls come prancing out in pastel yellow to the tune of “The Yellow Rose of Texas.” Judging by the enthusiastic response, this is a crowd favorite. For me it’s dangerously close to a Lawrence Welk skit. Yet another gown change, and just when I thought I had this thing pegged as fifties Americana, the girls strut out in black petticoats and launch into a spirited, high-kicking cancan. If the girls get their way, this one will become another big crowd-pleaser. They’re practically begging for wolf whistles, throwing up their skirts to “Galop Infernal,” locking arms for an up-tempo chorus and building to a big rowdy finish.It couldn’t get any better than that, so I slipped away from the main stage and strolled in the general direction of the cemetery, thinking how all of this could go terribly wrong—a benefit concert, the booking of a professional dance troupe from São Paulo, an overblown ribfest—and then I realized that if it was going to go wrong, it would’ve gone wrong already, but it hasn’t, because the Festa coordinators are not simple folk who take themselves too seriously, but accomplished professionals with bigger fish to fry.
Cicero Carr is an engineer, and his cousin Daniel Carr de Muzio, an interpreter by trade, holds advanced degrees in sociology and cultural anthropology. Daniel’s son is a prominent surgeon in São Paulo, and his daughter is a practicing civil attorney, and those are just the first few folks I met. So no, this is not Mayberry, Brazil. These are disciplined, tough-minded individuals, worthy of their ancestors’ commitment to the Terra Nova.
Wikipedia - Confederados
Posted 01 jul 2017 by mamawthomas
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Confederados (Portuguese pronunciation: [kõfedeˈɾadus]) is an ethnic sub-group in Brazil descended from some 10,000 Confederate Americans who immigrated chiefly to the area of the city of São Paulo,Brazil after the American Civil War. Although many returned to the United States, some remained and descendants of Confederados can be found in many different cities throughout Brazil.
In 1865 at the end of the American Civil War a substantial number of American Southerners left the South; many moved to other parts of the United States, such as the American West, but a few left the country entirely. The most popular country of Southern emigration was Brazil.
Emperor Dom Pedro II of Brazil wanted to encourage the cultivation of cotton. After the American Civil War Dom Pedro offered the potential immigrants subsidies on transport to Brazil, cheap land, and tax breaks. Former Confederate President Jefferson Davis and General Robert E. Lee advised Southerners against emigration, but many ignored their advice and set out to establish a new life away from the destruction of war and Northern rule under Reconstruction.
Many Southerners who took the Emperor's offer had lost their land during the war, were unwilling to live under a conquering army, or simply did not expect an improvement in the South's economic position. In addition, Brazil still had slavery (and did not abolish it until 1888). Although a number of historians state that the existence of slavery was an appeal, Alcides Gussi, an independent researcher of State University of Campinas, found that only four families owned a total of 66 slaves from 1868 to 1875. Most of the immigrants were from the states of Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, and South Carolina.
No one has determined how many Americans immigrated to Brazil in the years following the end of the American Civil War. As noted in unpublished research, Betty Antunes de Oliveira found in port records of Rio de Janeiro that some 20,000 Americans entered Brazil from 1865 to 1885. Other researchers have estimated the number at 10,000. An unknown number returned to the United States when conditions in the southern US improved. Most immigrants adopted Brazilian citizenship.
The immigrants settled in various places, ranging from the urban areas of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo to the northern Amazon region, especially Santarém, and Paraná in the south. Most of the Confederados settled near São Paulo in the area to the north of it, around present-day Santa Bárbara d'Oeste and Americana, Brazil. The latter name was derived from Vila dos Americanos, as the natives called it. The first Confederado record-ed[by whom?] was Colonel William H. Norris of Alabama. The colony at Santa Bárbara D'Oeste is sometimes called the Norris Colony.
Dom Pedro's program was judged a success for both the immigrants and the Brazilian government. The settlers quickly gained a reputation for honesty and hard work. The settlers brought modern agricultural techniques for cotton, as well as new food-crops, that spread among native Brazilian farmers. Some dishes of the American South were also adopted in general Brazilian culture, such as cheese pie, vinegar pie, and southern fried chic-ken.
The early Confederados continued many elements of American culture, for instance, establishing the first Baptist churches in Brazil. In a change from the South, the Confederados also educated slaves and black freedmen in their new schools.
A few newly freed slaves in the United States emigrated alongside their confederate counterparts and in some cases with their previous owners. One such former slave, Steve Watson, became the administrator of the sawmill of his former owner, Judge Dyer of Texas. Upon returning to the USA (due to homesickness and financial failure) Dyer deeded his remaining property, the sawmill and 12 acres, to Watson. In the area of the Juquia valley there are many Brazilian families with the surname Vassão, the Portuguese pronunciation of Watson.
The American Civil War fought in Brazil
Main article: Bahia Incident
The USS Wachusett was typical of the vessels used by the Union Navy for offshore blockading and intercepting Confederate commerce raiders. Commissioned in March 1862, Wachusett initially served with the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron before being transferred to the special "Flying Squadron". This organisation was tasked with tracking down and sinking Confederate raiders. In February 1864, the ship was ordered to go to Bahia, Brazil, with orders to protect American commerce in the area. That October, Wachusett encountered the raider CSS Florida in Bahia harbor. Though technically in neutral waters, Wachusett's captain, Commander Napoleon Collins, ordered an attack. Catching Florida by surprise, men from Wachusett quickly captured the ship. After a brief refit, Wachusett received orders to sail for the Far East to aid in the hunt for CSS Shenandoah. It was en route when news was received that the war had ended.
Descendants of the immigrants
The first generation of Confederados remained an insular community. As is typical, by the third generation, most of the families had intermarried with native Brazilians or immigrants of other origins. Descendants of the Confederados increasingly spoke the Portuguese language and identified themselves as Brazilians. As the area around Santa Bárbara d'Oeste and Americana turned to the production of sugar cane and society became more mobile, the Confederados moved to cities for urban jobs. Today, only a few descendant families still live on land owned by their ancestors. The descendants of the Confederados are mostly scattered throughout Brazil. They maintain the headquarters of their descendant organization at the Campo center in Santa Bárbara D'Oeste, where there is a cemetery, chapel and memorial.
The descendants foster a connection with their history through the Associação Descendência Americana (American Descendants Association), a descendant organization dedicated to preserving their unique mixed culture. The Confederados also have an annual festival, called the Festa Confederada, dedicated to fund the Campo center. The festival is marked by Confederate flags, Confederate uniforms and hoop skirts, food of the American South with a Brazilian flair, and dances and music popular in the American South during the antebellum period. The descendants maintain affection for the Confederate flag even though they identify as completely Brazilian. Many Confederado descendants have traveled to the United States at the invitation of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, an American descendants' organization, to visit Civil War battlefields, attend re-enactments, or see where their ancestors lived.
The Confederate flag in Brazil has not acquired the same political symbolism as it has in the United States. Many descendants of the Confederados are of mixed race and reflect the varied ethnic groups of Brazilian society in their physical appearance. In the wake of then-Governor Jimmy Carter's visit to the region in 1972, Americana incorporated the Confederate flag into the municipal coat of arms (though the largely Italian-descended popu-lation removed it some years later, reasoning that descendants of Confederado now comprise but a tenth of the municipal population). While in Brazil, Carter also visited the city of Santa Bárbara d'Oeste and the grave at the Campo of a great-uncle of his wife Rosalyn. Her relative was one of the original Confederados. Carter remarked that the Confederados sounded and seemed just like Southerners.
Campo Cemetery with its chapel and memorial, in Santa Bárbara d'Oeste, is a site of memory, as most of the original Confederados from the region were buried there. Because they were Protestant rather than Catholic, they were prohibited from the local cemeteries and had to establish their own. The Confederado descendants' community has also contributed to an Immigration Museum at Santa Bárbara d'Oeste to present the history of immigration to Brazil.