Black cowboys of the late 1800s. From the plantations of the South to the plains of Texas, black cowboys made their mark on the subduing of the vast western territories, keeping the peace with indigenous peoples, "putting out fires" as buffalo soldiers sent to hot spots, and later as cowboys in America's cattle industry and -- gaining fame and glory in the rodeos of our nation.
Liberated slaves were treated as contraband or captured property at this time. The confiscation act of 1861 allowed seizing Confederate property but did not clarify the fate of captured slaves. One Union general gained notoriety for general order No. 11 which freed all slaves in areas under his control. President Lincoln countermanded this order amid concerns of the political consequences in four slave holding border states that remained in the Union.