What Do Black Confederates and UFOs Have in Common?

Craig Swain offers his own take on this debate about Confederate slaves/black Confederates over at Cenantua’s Blog.  It’s an incredibly thoughtful post in which he compares advocates of black Confederates with UFO Hunters.  Rather than summarize his argument here I urge you to read his post and offer your feedback.

About the author: Thank you for taking the time to read this post. What next? Scroll down and join the discussion in the comments section. Looking for more Civil War content? You can follow me on Twitter. Check out my forthcoming book, Searching For Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth, which is the first book-length analysis of the black Confederate myth ever published. Pre-order your copy today.

10 comments… add one
  • Woodrowfan May 15, 2009 @ 10:55

    Thanks for the link. I think Craig is right. I was thinking that they reminded me of 9-11 Truthers, or the “Birthers” (who are convinced that president Obama was born in Kenya or somewhere else outside the US) or the “Chemtrail” folks, or the anti-vaccination nuts, etc., etc. No amount of proof will ever dissuade a true-believer and they truly see proof where none exists.

    They also tend to swarm online discussions on their obsession of choice….

  • Kevin Levin May 15, 2009 @ 11:07

    Woodrow,

    He nailed it. Notice that not one of my detractors has engaged in serious research on this subject. I can do a search right now on the Internet and pull up page after page of evidence for the existence of thousands of black Confederates. What they don’t realize is that the interpretation of any piece[s] of evidence is only as good as the set of competing explanations. What strikes me as absurd is the outrage that many express over the simple questioning of evidence. That, of course, is the anti-intellectual streak and in the case of a select few it’s a function of not understanding of how research and interpretation is done. After all, everyone is a Civil War historian. 🙂

  • Greg Rowe May 15, 2009 @ 15:15

    Kevin, he makes a very interesting and accurate parallel. I must also apologize for how the comments got out of hand on the “…Manipulation of the Past” post. I should have quit while I was ahead.

  • Kevin Levin May 15, 2009 @ 17:17

    Greg,

    Please don’t apologize. It’s to be expected given the nature of the topic.

  • tony eggleston May 18, 2009 @ 19:06

    If those interested in the subject of Black Confederates would like extensive , professional, documented information on the subject, search the Raleigh News& Observer for a front page article published last week. This Seminar was held by/for the NC African-American Geneaolgy Society. in conjunction with the annual meeting of the National Geneaology Society. Earl Ijames, a historian who spent app. ten years working in the state archives, and is currently working at the history museum heading up the “Colored Confederates Project.” His work has collected official, original records from the NC Archives related to service in the Confederate army by free men of color, slaves, and other people of color. (Earl uses the term of persons of color due to his belief that this term is more precise.) Other professionals also participated.
    Of the attendees participating, the majority were of African American decent and many were professional geneaolgists. The material and documentation adds a lot to the debate concerning the role of persons of color in the War Between the States.

    Anyone really interested in the subject should follow up on the information presented in this recent forum.

    Tony Eggleston, Ph.D.
    son_of_dixie@bellsouth.net

    • Kevin Levin May 19, 2009 @ 1:00

      Tony,

      Thanks for the comment, but we are already aware of this seminar. In fact, that is how this discussion began. Unfortunately, it’s not very helpful since genealogists are not necessarily trained historians. By the way, what work of Mr. Ijames’s do you speak of? He has already admitted that he has never published anything about his findings. Are you aware of something that we are not? If so, please share. In the end your comment is not very helpful at all.

  • garycummings Oct 15, 2009 @ 12:44

    According to James McPherson the great Civil War historian, there were never any organized black soldiers. It was approved by Jefferson David in the last months of the war, but never came to fruition. It was never passed by the COnfederate Congress, and Southern generals dissaproved of it, for it would admit that slaves were human beings, and this went against what the South fought for..

    • Kevin Levin Oct 15, 2009 @ 12:47

      A proposal of one form or the other was debated within the Confederacy throughout much of the war. A plan was finally approved in March 1865 and a small unit was raised and began training in Richmond. Of course, the war ended which ended the program. I highly recommend Bruce Levine's _Confederate Emancipation_ (Oxford University Press).

  • garycummings Oct 15, 2009 @ 17:44

    According to James McPherson the great Civil War historian, there were never any organized black soldiers. It was approved by Jefferson David in the last months of the war, but never came to fruition. It was never passed by the COnfederate Congress, and Southern generals dissaproved of it, for it would admit that slaves were human beings, and this went against what the South fought for..

  • Kevin Levin Oct 15, 2009 @ 17:47

    A proposal of one form or the other was debated within the Confederacy throughout much of the war. A plan was finally approved in March 1865 and a small unit was raised and began training in Richmond. Of course, the war ended which ended the program. I highly recommend Bruce Levine's _Confederate Emancipation_ (Oxford University Press).

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