The Louisiana Native Guards demonstrate what free blacks, from Louisiana, thought about the Confederacy. The Louisiana Native Guards was a militia regiment comprised of 1400 black men and officers, "who offered their services to Dixie" in April of 1861. The following year 3000 black men and officers organized themselves into the 1st Native Guard of Louisiana. These pro-Confederate blacks formed for the protection of New Orleans. After parading through the city they were described in the newspaper as "rebel Negroes...well drilled...and uniformed". Historians argue the Native Guards were a unique circumstance. The difference between Louisiana and the rest of the South was its peculiar tri-racial system. There were slaves in Alabama who were organized as soldiers in the fall of 1861. There were also 60 free blacks in Virginia who formed their own company and marched to Richmond to volunteer their services to help in the war effort.