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 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 04:43 pm
   
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borderuffian
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"Soldier"

Anyone on the muster roll was counted as a soldier-  privates, musicians, teamsters, etc.

I've even seen specific cases where officers refer to black musicians as soldiers.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 04:57 pm
   
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HankC
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Albert Sailhorst wrote: Since the winners write the history, it is my opinion that the subject of black confederates has been "deleted", to some extent, from fact. After all, why would the winners, who fought for emancipation (remember the Proclimation?), admit that blacks fought for the confederacy? To admit this would de-value the cost in Federal lives lost during the conflict.


ridiculous...
 
 
HankC



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 05:06 pm
   
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19bama46
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Some players have changed, some are the same, some things never change ...or die... this thread is one of them

y'all can pull each other's arms off and use them to beat each other over the head, but ya ain't gonna change anybody's mind on this one... I know very well...

Ed



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 05:22 pm
   
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Old Blu
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19bama46 wrote: Some players have changed, some are the same, some things never change ...or die... this thread is one of them

y'all can pull each other's arms off and use them to beat each other over the head, but ya ain't gonna change anybody's mind on this one... I know very well...

Ed
I agree.  All this ends up being is a low level peeing contest.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 05:47 pm
   
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Albert Sailhorst
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HankC,

What's "ridiculous" about the opinion I expressed?

Just curious.....



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 05:57 pm
   
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Under normal circumstances my reply would be in red, but for some reason I cannot do so from this PC so my replies are in Bold, if there is confusion my apologies.

This website, http://www.usgennet.org/usa/mo/county/stlouis/blackcs.htm offers the following:
Albert; thank you very much for the link, it is appreciated.   The above site originated from another and has been heavily cut and pasted around the web over the years; large amounts of the original info is distorted or outright fabricated.


1. The "Richmond Howitzers" were partially manned by black militiamen. They saw action at 1st Manassas (or 1st Battle of Bull Run) where they operated battery no. 2. In addition two black “regiments”, one free and one slave, participated in the battle on behalf of the South. “Many colored people were killed in the action”, recorded John Parker, a former slave.   Albert; when pressed no one is able to provide the unit designation of the two black Regiments.  The realit is that there were some Black men in the ranks of the CS at Bull Run; about a Company worth of Creoles from New Orleans.  I've seen no history of the Richmond howitzers that corroborates that a battery or a section was crewed by black men.  There were ample servents in the Richmond Howitzers though.

2. At least one Black Confederate was a non-commissioned officer. James Washington, Co. D 35th Texas Cavalry,  Confederate States Army, became it’s 3rd Sergeant. Higher ranking black commissioned officers served in militia units, but this was on the State militia level (Louisiana) and not in the regular C.S. Army. The Bl;ack men who were officers in the Louisiana Native Guards were never mustered into CS service, paid, armed or equipped by either the state of Louisiana or the CS.  Roughly 1/3 of the Louisiana Native Guard would serve in the USCT.

3. Free black musicians, cooks, soldiers and teamsters earned the same pay as white confederate privates. This was not the case in the Union army where blacks did not receive equal pay. At the Confederate Buffalo Forge in Rockbridge County, Virginia, skilled black workers "earned on average three times the wages of white Confederate soldiers and more than most Confederate army officers ($350- $600 a year).   I have never seen a pay sheet for a "Black Confederate Soldier."  I oft see the claim that black men were paid the same as whites in the CS army.  Whites were rareley enough paid as it was and I don't buy it.  It's a recent invention; certainly not a period one.


4. Dr. Lewis Steiner, Chief Inspector of the United States Sanitary Commission while observing Gen. "Stonewall" Jackson's occupation of Frederick, Maryland, in 1862: "Over 3,000 Negroes must be included in this number [Confederate troops]. These were clad in all kinds of uniforms, not only in cast-off or captured United States uniforms, but in coats with Southern buttons, State buttons, etc. These were shabby, but not shabbier or seedier than those worn by white men in the rebel ranks. Most of the Negroes had arms, rifles, muskets, sabers, bowie-knives, dirks, etc.....and were manifestly an integral portion of the Southern Confederate Army."   The probelm w/ this is no one else corroborates it, certainly not the men who would have been fighting them, capturing or burying them and not the men who would have served beside them.


5. Frederick Douglas reported, “There are at the present moment many Colored men in the Confederate Army doing duty not only as cooks, servants and laborers, but real soldiers, having musket on their shoulders, and bullets in their pockets, ready to shoot down any loyal troops and do all that soldiers may do to destroy the Federal government and build up that of the…rebels.”   I believe Douglass had an agenda when he said this, he wanted black men in US service badly and he eagerly repeated a second hand story that cannot be tracked to its origin.


6. Black and white militiamen returned heavy fire on Union troops at the Battle of Griswoldsville (near Macon, GA). Approximately 600 boys and elderly men were killed in this skirmish.   I've studied Griswoldsville heavily; there are no period references to ANY black men in the ranks.  By either the men who were inflicting the casualties or the men who would have been beside them.  I have a real problem w/ the original author of the quote, no footnotes and when queried on his sources he grew quite upset.



7. The Jackson Battalion included two companies of black soldiers. They saw combat at Petersburg under Col. Shipp. "My men acted with utmost promptness and goodwill...Allow me to state sir that they behaved in an extraordinary acceptable manner."


8. 14. On April 4, 1865 (Amelia County, VA), a Confederate supply train was exclusively manned and guarded by black Infantry. When attacked by Federal Cavalry, they stood their ground and fought off the charge, but on the second charge they were overwhelmed. These soldiers are believed to be from "Major Turner's" Confederate command. Verifiable and quite true, the same men as above in #7... counted twice by the original author.


Blacks did serve in the Confederate armed forces as soldiers and sailors. However, not to the extent that they comprised a great percentage of the army's numbers.  I agree wholeheartdedly and I've said so many times.  My own research points to somewhere in the neighborhood of 1300-1400.  Other legitimate research has come up w/ numbers of 13,000 and I can agree w/ the methodology that came up w/ such a number; though I believe it very high.

Since the winners write the history, it is my opinion that the subject of black confederates has been "deleted", to some extent, from fact. After all, why would the winners, who fought for emancipation (remember the Proclimation?), admit that blacks fought for the confederacy? To admit this would de-value the cost in Federal lives lost during the conflict.  I don't quite see it so, the history of the USCT was heavily downplayed after the war and they have never really been given their due by either side of the scrap.  The best respect they were given was by the men who fought beside them and those who commanded them.  IMO the Lost Cause movement had to do everything possible to push the idea that slavery had anything to do w/ the war to the rear... and the myth of the Black Confederate does that.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 06:10 pm
   
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Albert Sailhorst
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Johann,

Thanks for looking into the website I quoted. That was very insightful!

Eventhough that particular website may not have given the entire story, I felt that it was, in part, representative as an example of services in general rendered by black people to the Confederacy.

In my opinion, your number of 1,300 to 1,400 is probably pretty accurate.

Also, in my opinion, a true number may never be known as a result of poor or inadeqate records keeping, etc.....

It would be nice  to see some documentation (diary entry, letter) from a Reb that definitively states that a slave/freed slave was actually given rank (Private) and served as such in a continual basis.

I know blacks fought, to an extent, for the South, but a first person account would make interesting reading!



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 06:15 pm
   
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I don't quite see it so, the history of the USCT was heavily downplayed after the war and they have never really been given their due by either side of the scrap. 

I agree.  But this hidden agenda would have been worse having blacks fight for the South.
As time goes on, there will be found more Black Confederate Soldiers.

The best respect they were given was by the men who fought beside them and those who commanded them. 

That was the same with Southern soldiers and their Black compatriots

IMO the Lost Cause movement had to do everything possible to push the idea that slavery had anything to do w/ the war to the rear...

Which was pushed there by the yankee winners to save face about slaves fight for the South and reminds the South everyday about slavery.


 and the myth of the Black Confederate does that.

You can't have it both ways.  First you say there were 1200 at best and now you say it is a myth.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 07:02 pm
   
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"The three mentioned were all established around 1900. I know of only one monument to the USCT established during that period. The rest are of modern vintage."

This statement is correct. The only monument until recent years to a USCT unit was the one for the 54th Massachusetts. You will have to define "recent" years as there are several mentioned earlier in the thread dating from the early half of the 20th century.



As to individual gravestones this is standard practice. Confederate Veteran organizations supplied or helped to pay for many monuments and markers for black Confederates.  Would you be kind enough to give the numbers of gravestones provided to Black Confederate soldiers by any state or CS veterans organization?  Any veteran of the US military is entitled to a stone and the GAR was very good about marking graves.  There are numbers of USCT graves that are marked in several National Cemetaries.  I can count on one hand stones I have seen for black men in the south dating from the period in question and I have never seen a monument to the black confederate and am only aware of one at all.


1890 Census

The census is very clear. The number of survivors at that time indicate there were at least 7,000 black Confederate soldiers
You'll have to provide a link, I've looked the the various census reports several times over the years, seen no evidence of such a listing or catagory.  But I also wasn't looking for "Black Confederate Soldiers."  Historians like Krick and McPherson would be quite suprised I think.

It was certainly custom and regulations that said 'whites only' but there was never any law enacted that prevented blacks from serving.  Are you serious?  Are you forgetting the fits in the CS congress over arming black men in April of 65?


Number of USCT

The USCT was never 20% of the Federal army. At its height -near the end of the war- it was only about 10%.

By the end of the 1 in 6 soldiers wearing the Blue around Petersburg were black men.  The numbers were similar elsewhere.

Blacks that "Escaped" to Enemy Lines  Escaped is correct; they weren't sent.

The largest number estimated by historians (McPherson?) is about five hundred thousand (unfortunately a great many of these people died). I don't know of anyone who has put forth the number one million.  I've seen it a score of times in the last several months, three locations on the eastern seaboard alone will total up w/ numbers of well over 100,000.  Find every US post or bridgehead along the eastern seaboard and I expect you'll get a rather large number; add the USCT men to the total and I can easily see it reaching a million people.  So 1 million is not unreasonable.  As to how many died and the implication the percentages of known death to disease were on par w/ the US military of the time and considerably less than that of the US military during the Mexican War.


 

See:

History of the Freedman's Bureau by Bentley

A Documentary History of Emancipation, 1861-1867.  SEries 2: the Black Military Experiance by Berlin

The Confederate Negro: Virginia's Craftsman and Military Laborers, 1861-1865 by Brewer

Blockaders, Refugees & Contrabands by Buker

The Gray and the Black by Durden

South Carolina's African American Confederate Pensioners... I'm not certain of the author.

Black Confederate and Afro Yankees in Civil War Virginia by Jordan

Like Men of War by Trudeau.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 07:06 pm
   
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Old Blu; 12-1300 or even 13,000 Black men bearing arms is not a myth. Grossly exaggerated and patently ridiculous numbers all the way up to 250,000 is a myth.  "1200 at best" are your words not mine.

Read what Ranger Dabney had to sy in one of my earlier posts in this thread, he is spot on about the Black Confederate question.

Last edited on Wed Mar 18th, 2009 06:30 am by Johan Steele



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 07:08 pm
   
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"Soldier"

Anyone on the muster roll was counted as a soldier-  privates, musicians, teamsters, etc.

I've even seen specific cases where officers refer to black musicians as soldiers.



Can you give us examples?  The CS system of counting troops was inconsistant and erratic and can be VERY confusing.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 07:20 pm
   
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Albert Sailhorst
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An intersting PDF file from the North Carolina Dept. of Cultural Resources, dated Feb. 2002 (http://www.ncdcr.gov/news/2003/opa_2-26-03.pdf):

"Among the records in North Carolina’s archives that document African Americans’ service are newspaper enrollment notices that give times for free Negroes to enlist in the Confederate Army, correspondence, Confederate pension applications, and depositions. Some military records note that slaves helped to construct forts or do other work at military facilities. Other documentation can be found in the “North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865,” a 15-volume set of reference books that chronicles Confederate servicemen and includes the names of black soldiers."

"In some instances, officials even denied the existence of black Confederate soldiers. For instance, Sarah Venable, widow of John W. Venable, applied for a widow’s pension. Venable is listed in the “North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865,” as a member of Company H, 21st Regiment N.C. Troops. The roster shows that he was “Negro, enlisted June 5, 1861. No further records.” However, John Sawyer, a white Confederate veteran who served with Venable, submitted a deposition as part of Sarah’s application stating that he knew John Venable, and that Venable had “made a good soldier.” Yet the claim was disallowed with the notation, “No law for this.”


I think it is interesting!!


I'd like to find/see similar documentation at the State level!!



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 07:27 pm
   
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19bama46 wrote: Some players have changed, some are the same, some things never change ...or die... this thread is one of them

y'all can pull each other's arms off and use them to beat each other over the head, but ya ain't gonna change anybody's mind on this one... I know very well...

Ed


agreed...
 
The best of these opinions typically peak with the Steiner quote and some definition of the word 'soldier'. Lacking any real evidence, and confronted with real facts, they scuttle for other forums and start over.
 
 
HankC



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 07:30 pm
   
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Albert; over the years I've found some from Arkansas, Texas and Alabama as well that detail black men fighting but they are very few and far between. I believe the records of Appomatox were parused by a historian and he found 27 Black men in the ranks. It is important to take a hard look at pension records as applicants had to be vouched for by other veterans and their comments can be very interesting, whether they have anything to do w/ the black CS subject or not. Some are an outright hoot, others quite touching.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 07:31 pm
   
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HankC... very true, very true.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 07:56 pm
   
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Albert Sailhorst
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The website for the SCV Camp 469 of Rome, GA (http://scvcamp469-nbf.com/hollandservice.htm) presents the following in relation to a black Confederate's grave:

"Sunday, September 08, 2002

    The time came for Creed Holland to get the recognition he was due. He was a black slave, but also a Confederate soldier. And for such, Creed Holland was honored Saturday morning at a graveside ceremony in a small cemetery behind Riverview Baptist Church in Rocky Mount. 

    The Jubal Early chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy 
dedicated Confederate memorial markers to Creed Holland and two other 
black Confederate soldiers, also named Holland, from Franklin County. 

    Hazel Holland Davis, a member of the Jubal Early chapter and 
great-granddaughter of a Confederate soldier, organized the service as 
part of a chapterwide project to identify Confederate soldiers' graves in 
Franklin County. 

    The three Holland soldiers, of no known relation to each other or 
to Davis, worked as slaves on Thomas J. Holland's 732-acre farm in Glade 
Hill. Thomas Holland was Davis' great-great-grandfather. 

    The service was a rare memorial that honored the little-known Confederate soldiers: enslaved black soldiers. 

    About 45 Confederate re-enactors and members of the United Daughters of 
the Confederacy and Sons of Confederate Veterans performed the ceremony, 
which included poems, speeches, prayers and customary military funeral rites such as cannonball volleys and rifle shots." 


The article goes on in other detail (but I felt was too long to continue quoting here).

Without name-caling and dismissing opinions as "ridiculous", I think this is a very interesting, educational topic! It has certainly caused me to do some research and I am learning from it!

Thanks!!



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 08:51 pm
   
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barrydancer
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Johan Steele wrote: Wall Street Journal, May 8, 1997

And here's some more from the WSJ article.


"'It's pure fantasy,' contends James McPherson, a Princeton historian and one of the nation's leading Civil War scholars. Adds Edwin Bearss, historian emeritus at the National Park Service: 'It's b.s., wishful thinking.' Robert Krick, author of 10 books on the Confederacy, has studied the records of 150,000 Southern soldiers and found fewer than a dozen were black. 'Of course, if I documented 12, someone would start adding zeros,' he says.

"These and other scholars say claims about black rebels derive from unreliable anecdotes, a blurring of soldiers and laborers, and the rapid spread on the Internet of what Mr. McPherson calls 'pseudohistory.' Thousands of blacks did accompany rebel troops -- as servants, cooks, teamsters and musicians. Most were slaves who served involuntarily; until the final days of the war, the Confederacy staunchly refused to enlist black soldiers.

"Some blacks carried guns for their masters and wore spare or cast-off uniforms, which may help explain eyewitness accounts of blacks units. But any blacks who actually fought did so unofficially, either out of personal loyalty or self-defense, many historians say.

"They also bristle at what they see as the disingenuous twist on political correctness fueling the black Confederate fad. 'It's a search for a multicultural Confederacy, a desperate desire to feel better about your ancestors,' says Leslie Rowland, a University of Maryland historian. 'If you suggest that some blacks supported the South, then you can deny that the Confederacy was about slavery and white supremacy.'

"David Blight, an Amherst College historian, likens the trend to bygone notions about 'happy plantation darkies.' Confederate groups invited devoted ex-slaves to reunions and even won Senate approval in 1923 for a 'mammy' monument in Washington (it was never built). Black Confederates, Mr. Blight says, are a new and more palatable way to 'legitimize the Confederacy.'"


7 pages in, I think this posting bears repeating.  Some excellent, professional, and well-respected historians have looked into this topic, and as Ed Bearss said, "it's B.S."

I also bristle a bit at the idea that, at least as far as the Civil War goes, the winners write the history.  I don't think history has ever been kinder to a similar group/movement than it has been to the Confederacy.  Do some research into Lost Cause mythology and you'll easily see how prevelant its tenets still are in Civil War historiography.  Eric Foner and David Blight are two historians who I would recommend if anyone is interested in studying the ways in which the service of black men in the Union army, and the issue of slavery, were pushed to the rear in the 1890's in the name of "reconciliation" between North and South.



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 10:30 pm
   
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barrydancer wrote: Johan Steele wrote: Wall Street Journal, May 8, 1997

And here's some more from the WSJ article.


"'It's pure fantasy,' contends James McPherson, a Princeton historian and one of the nation's leading Civil War scholars. Adds Edwin Bearss, historian emeritus at the National Park Service: 'It's b.s., wishful thinking.' Robert Krick, author of 10 books on the Confederacy, has studied the records of 150,000 Southern soldiers and found fewer than a dozen were black. 'Of course, if I documented 12, someone would start adding zeros,' he says.

"These and other scholars say claims about black rebels derive from unreliable anecdotes, a blurring of soldiers and laborers, and the rapid spread on the Internet of what Mr. McPherson calls 'pseudohistory.' Thousands of blacks did accompany rebel troops -- as servants, cooks, teamsters and musicians. Most were slaves who served involuntarily; until the final days of the war, the Confederacy staunchly refused to enlist black soldiers.

"Some blacks carried guns for their masters and wore spare or cast-off uniforms, which may help explain eyewitness accounts of blacks units. But any blacks who actually fought did so unofficially, either out of personal loyalty or self-defense, many historians say.

"They also bristle at what they see as the disingenuous twist on political correctness fueling the black Confederate fad. 'It's a search for a multicultural Confederacy, a desperate desire to feel better about your ancestors,' says Leslie Rowland, a University of Maryland historian. 'If you suggest that some blacks supported the South, then you can deny that the Confederacy was about slavery and white supremacy.'

"David Blight, an Amherst College historian, likens the trend to bygone notions about 'happy plantation darkies.' Confederate groups invited devoted ex-slaves to reunions and even won Senate approval in 1923 for a 'mammy' monument in Washington (it was never built). Black Confederates, Mr. Blight says, are a new and more palatable way to 'legitimize the Confederacy.'"


7 pages in, I think this posting bears repeating.  Some excellent, professional, and well-respected historians have looked into this topic, and as Ed Bearss said, "it's B.S."

I also bristle a bit at the idea that, at least as far as the Civil War goes, the winners write the history.  I don't think history has ever been kinder to a similar group/movement than it has been to the Confederacy.  Do some research into Lost Cause mythology and you'll easily see how prevelant its tenets still are in Civil War historiography.  Eric Foner and David Blight are two historians who I would recommend if anyone is interested in studying the ways in which the service of black men in the Union army, and the issue of slavery, were pushed to the rear in the 1890's in the name of "reconciliation" between North and South.


Now that's funny.

In one sentence- no one has "ever been kinder to a similar group/movement than it has been to the Confederacy."

And in the next they're called the "Lost Cause mythology."



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 10:36 pm
   
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Number of the USCT

Apparently this is not going to go away until I give the numbers.

During the latter part of 1864 and into 1865 the Federal army averaged about 1 million men total.

On specific dates:
Jun 30, 1864- 1,001,782
Dec 31, 1864- 936,996
Apr 30, 1865- 1,052,038

The USCT numbered about 100,000 in October 1864.

The largest number in service at any one time was 123,156.
But that was on July 15, 1865 after the war was over.

At the end of the war the USCT was about 10% of the Federal army.

Last edited on Tue Mar 17th, 2009 11:06 pm by borderuffian



 Posted: Tue Mar 17th, 2009 11:25 pm
   
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barrydancer wrote: Johan Steele wrote: Wall Street Journal, May 8, 1997

And here's some more from the WSJ article.


"'It's pure fantasy,' contends James McPherson, a Princeton historian and one of the nation's leading Civil War scholars. Adds Edwin Bearss, historian emeritus at the National Park Service: 'It's b.s., wishful thinking.' Robert Krick, author of 10 books on the Confederacy, has studied the records of 150,000 Southern soldiers and found fewer than a dozen were black. 'Of course, if I documented 12, someone would start adding zeros,' he says.

"These and other scholars say claims about black rebels derive from unreliable anecdotes, a blurring of soldiers and laborers, and the rapid spread on the Internet of what Mr. McPherson calls 'pseudohistory.' Thousands of blacks did accompany rebel troops -- as servants, cooks, teamsters and musicians. Most were slaves who served involuntarily; until the final days of the war, the Confederacy staunchly refused to enlist black soldiers.

"Some blacks carried guns for their masters and wore spare or cast-off uniforms, which may help explain eyewitness accounts of blacks units. But any blacks who actually fought did so unofficially, either out of personal loyalty or self-defense, many historians say.

"They also bristle at what they see as the disingenuous twist on political correctness fueling the black Confederate fad. 'It's a search for a multicultural Confederacy, a desperate desire to feel better about your ancestors,' says Leslie Rowland, a University of Maryland historian. 'If you suggest that some blacks supported the South, then you can deny that the Confederacy was about slavery and white supremacy.'

"David Blight, an Amherst College historian, likens the trend to bygone notions about 'happy plantation darkies.' Confederate groups invited devoted ex-slaves to reunions and even won Senate approval in 1923 for a 'mammy' monument in Washington (it was never built). Black Confederates, Mr. Blight says, are a new and more palatable way to 'legitimize the Confederacy.'"


7 pages in, I think this posting bears repeating.  Some excellent, professional, and well-respected historians have looked into this topic, and as Ed Bearss said, "it's B.S."

I also bristle a bit at the idea that, at least as far as the Civil War goes, the winners write the history.  I don't think history has ever been kinder to a similar group/movement than it has been to the Confederacy.  Do some research into Lost Cause mythology and you'll easily see how prevelant its tenets still are in Civil War historiography.  Eric Foner and David Blight are two historians who I would recommend if anyone is interested in studying the ways in which the service of black men in the Union army, and the issue of slavery, were pushed to the rear in the 1890's in the name of "reconciliation" between North and South.

I don't know about Bearss or Krick but I do know that McPherson, Blight and Foner have an extremely biased view of history.  They are leftist academics and leftists see history as a tool to advance their political agenda.



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