I know I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating that our recent forum concerning black Confederates/Confederate slaves is perhaps the most intelligent discussion on this topic to be found on the Internet. My commentary over the past ten days has clearly paid off in terms of its place in the Google rankings. If you had searched for “black Confederates” six months ago the first post from Civil War Memory would have appeared on page 7. Try searching for “black Confederates” now (7/28/08) and you will find Peter Carmichael’s essay on the subject at the bottom of the first page. Search for “black Confederate” and you will get my 9-part series of posts on Weary Clyburn at the bottom of the first page.
It is going to be difficult to move up in the rankings even further given that these sites have been around for quite some time. The 37th Texas site is one of my personal favorites. It’s a real whoot. Some of the others reference the shoddy work that went into Pelican’s Black Confederates, which is nothing more than a collection of accounts without any serious attempt at analysis. Between my own commentary on the subject and Peter’s essay this blog does not claim to offer the final word on Confederate slaves. We have tried to show that the subject is much more complex and that the questions that have tended to be posed are inadequate for understanding the master-slave relationship. Between Peter’s essay and the discussion which ensued it is clear that we also need to take a much more critical stance in regard to the range of sources used as well as how those sources are interpreted. I see a couple of research projects coming out of our discussion that could begin to fill in some of the major gaps in our understanding.
It may be a trivial matter to some, but I am delighted that people are now much more likely to find this site when searching this particular subject.