Another Example of Black Confederate Gullibility

Following up on my last post I thought I might share this little gem from a site called, Confederate Digest. A quick perusal of the sidebar reveals the typical neo-Confederate texts that are a mainstay for those who believe in the existence of large numbers of black Confederates and who also believe that their existence is being suppressed by various groups.

This particular blogger came across a very short news item from the June 15, 1900 issue of the New York Times. [My guess is that given the political convictions of this particular blogger, this is the only instance in which something written in the NYTs is taken at face value.] The blogger prefaced his find with the following:

Here’s another interesting article I’ve found in the archives of the New York Times which tells of a Black Confederate Veteran. One such article might be overlooked, but the large multitude of such accounts which are constantly being uncovered indicates that today’s “politically correct” view of the Confederacy may not be historically accurate.

Here is the account:

DALLAS, Tex., June 14 – Two negroes, Henson Williams and his son William, were shot dead from ambush in Brazos County, while they were plowing in a field. Officers were searching for a white man who is believed to have shot them. The elder Williams fought through the Civil War as a soldier and made such a good record that he was a full member of the Confederate Veterans’ camp at Milliken. The old white Confederate soldiers are enraged at the assassination and threaten vengeance on the assassin when captured.

That’s it. There is no attempt to find a service record for this individual. Supposedly, he was a “full member” of the SCV, which in and of itself, tells us nothing about his official capacity during the war. We don’t even know who wrote up this short description of the murder. Is it really a reflection of “political correctness” to question these stories and to expect at least an attempt at analysis? I think those people who constantly refer to political correctness as a reason to believe or deny a claim in history simply have no ability to engage in anything that remotely resembles historical analysis.

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What I find interesting about all this black confederate hype is the difference of how black confederates are viewed then and now. It would appear that the modern neo-confederate views the actions of black confederates as a positive good…something to be elevated and honored. Back then, ie: after the war, the black confederate…if there really is such a creature…was seen as someone to be kept down…kept from the vote, from land, from basic civil rights. It is obvious that the modern day neo-confederate looks past the treatment of African-Americans during the period of Reconstruction. If they were to really study the actions of many southern whites towards African-Americans during Reconstruction they may be forced to rethink the their idea of the “black confederate”.

I guess you could ask these people where all the black Confederates were when it came time to stand up against the evil Yankees during Reconstruction.

Thanks for uploading a new pic. I think you raise a relevant question in this post. Perhaps SCV members were too busy taking part in various forms of “Massive Resistance” during the 1950s and 60s.

Here's another interesting quote from Confederate Digest: “…on April 9, 1865 General Robert E. Lee had surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to General George T. Sherman at Appomattox Courthouse.”

Where is the evidence at; like Pension records and service documents. The more I dig the more I agree with Kevin that 95% of the Black troops were either Body slaves or were doing other jobs with in the Army but were not considered as soldiers even if they took up arms and killed Yankees.

Here's another interesting quote from Confederate Digest: “…on April 9, 1865 General Robert E. Lee had surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to General George T. Sherman at Appomattox Courthouse.”

Where is the evidence at; like Pension records and service documents. The more I dig the more I agree with Kevin that 95% of the Black troops were either Body slaves or were doing other jobs with in the Army but were not considered as soldiers even if they took up arms and killed Yankees.

Kevin, I’ve looked at this news item from 1900 a couple of times — I lived in Brazos County, a few miles from Millican, as a kid, so it’s of personal interest as well as historical — and have never found anything on Henson Williams, from either 1861-65 or later, in the census records or local news accounts of this incident. It’s been a dead end for me, so far, the NYT story can neither be refuted, nor corroborated. It just sort of hangs out there, all by itself.

For the record, there is at least one case of an African American, former slave/body servant in Texas who was a member of a UCV camp, but who was nonetheless very explicitly not described as a soldier by the white veterans.

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