Edgerton, a former president for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in North Carolina, said that during his 2002 march he was able to stop along the way to talk to people. He told them of the “black heroes” that fought alongside Confederate soldiers during the war. His Web site states that 50,000 African-Americans served willingly and that almost four million stayed behind to care for the plantations and farms in the South out of their own free will. This information is what Edgerton wants students to be aware of; his organization Southern Heritage 411 says that their mission is to reveal the truth of those who helped to support the South in the struggle for independence.
So, we are to believe that 50,000 African Americans served in Confederate ranks and 4 million stayed behind to care for their masters. Meanwhile , yesterday my students took the opportunity to read R. E. Lee’s 1865 letter in support of the utilization of black southerners in the ranks. I’m sure Lee would have been surprised and pleased to hear that 50,000 were already openly serving in his and other armies (LOL). I would love to know where the 200,000 black Union soldiers were pulled from and the thousands of fugitive slaves that flocked to the armies as they made their way through the South. Don’t hold your breadth for an answer.