Does This Mean No More Talk of Black Confederates?

Looks like the Sons of Confederate Veterans is amending their Constitution.  You can read the proposed amendments here, but one in particular struck me as kind of funny:

Proposed Constitutional Amendment – 2010-3
Proposed by Charles Kelly Barrow
John McIntosh Kell Camp 107

2.1. The Sons of Confederate Veterans, in furtherance of the Charge of Lieutenant General Stephen D. Lee, shall be strictly patriotic, historical, educational, fraternal, benevolent, non-political, non-racial and non-sectarian. The Sons of Confederate Veterans neither embraces, nor espouses acts or ideologies of racial and religious bigotry, and further, [ strongly ] condemns the misuse of its sacred symbols and flags in the conduct of same. Each member is expected to perform his full duty as a citizen according to his own conscience and understanding.

I guess this means no more talk of thousands of loyal slaves fighting as Confederate soldiers.  And while you are browsing the SCV’s online store make sure you pick up a copy of Antebellum Slavery: An Orthodox Christian View (2008) by Gary Lee Roper which claims an orthodox Christian defense of slavery:

The author follows the antiquity of slavery, and describes what the greatest theologians have written about this institution. He uses the accounts of 18th century geographer, Conrad Malte-Brun, to show that at the height of the slave trade, 60 million Africans were slaves on that continent. Sharing with the reader the depravity of the African kings, such as Gezo, Roper theorizes that for those surviving the Atlantic crossing, life actually improved if they landed in the American South as opposed to South America or the Caribbean. He questions why the South receives the lion’s share of criticism for antebellum slavery when probably the most benign form of slavery in history existed there. He castigates those who apologize for antebellum slavery, while anyone anyone can go to Haiti and obtain a child slave today. He reports that slavery in its harshest form exists in at least 16 countries today, including the United States of America!

In the  foreword of the book the reader learns that antebellum slavery was God’s providential plan to uplift Africans.  You may also want to purchase “Birth of a Nation” but don’t think for a minute that it reflects the SCV’s view of history or any racial assumptions about African Americans.  Finally, if that big-ass Confederate flag flying over a Florida highway is not a “misuse of its sacred symbols and flags” I don’t know what is.

Well, that was good for a few laughs.

89 thoughts on “Does This Mean No More Talk of Black Confederates?

    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      I think the inclusion of that one book in their online store violates most of their stated goals. :D

      Reply
      1. Thomas Highsmith

        Kevin, the Amendment was proposed because of new IRS regulations for 501-C-3 non-profits.
        Have you read any of the Black Confederate books co-authored by Kelly Barrow?

        BLACK CONFEDERATES
        Compiled and Edited By Charles Kelly Barrow, J. H. Segars, and R. B. Rosenburg
        208 pp. 6 x 9
        34 b/w photos – 4 Illustrations – Notes – Bibliography – Index
        ISBN: 1-56554-937-6
        EAN: 978-1-56554-937-1 pb

        Black Southerners In Confederate Armies
        A Collection of Historical Accounts
        Compiled and edited by J. H. Segars and Charles Kelly Barrow
        232 pp. 6 x 9 35 photos
        ISBN: 1-58980-455-4
        EAN: 978-1-58980-455-5 pb

        I know Kelly Barrow and maybe you should too:
        http://pelicanpub.com/products.asp?cat=48

        PS, Kelly has a huge amount of research about Jewish Confederates that I hope he will find time to publish one day.

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        Reply
        1. Kevin Levin Post author

          I’ve gone through all of them. They are wonderful resources when it comes to postwar primary sources, but they contain very little valuable analysis. Most people utilize these books as evidence for black Confederate soldiers and that is not what they collectively reflect.

          Reply
  1. Lane Kiffin

    I like those Big ole Flags they upset Liberals and Commies. Kevin they are putting up one on I-10 on the Texas/LA border in the next few years.

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      Why would it upset Liberals and Commies? I think it would be more accurate to say that it upsets those who have some understanding of how that particular symbol has been used in the past.

      Reply
      1. Lane Kiffin

        Liberals denounce anything they don’t like using only the History they want to trash something.
        Commies are against any personal freedom and self determination.

        Where I came from and how I was raised I respect that ole Battle Flag almost as much as I do the Bible, Gen Lee, and Gen Douglas MacArthur. Therefore I consider people who bash it regardless of their educational level as either PC, A Liberal or a Communist.

        Reply
        1. Kevin Levin Post author

          Lane,

          You said: “Therefore I consider people who bash it regardless of their educational level as either PC, A Liberal or a Communist.”

          Well, that’s a pretty narrow understanding of the history of the battle flag. I suggest that you pick up a copy of John Coski’s “The Confederate Battle Flag” and perhaps you will be able to move beyond such meaningless labels as “PC” “Liberal”, etc.

          Reply
          1. Dan Wright

            At this point, it would make too much sense to suggest something like “Lose the war, take down the flag.”

            Reply
          2. Richard

            Hi Kevin

            I was wondering what your thoughts are regarding the battle flag on t-shirts. Examples would be like a Hank Williams or Lynyrd Skynyrd t-shirt. Kids at my sons middle school try to wear these shirts and are told to wear them inside out or go home. According to my son some of these kids do it to piss off the administration. The administration has no problem with a Malcom X t-shirt but they do with Confederate images. I have problems with both images in a school setting.

            Reply
            1. Margaret D. Blough

              Probably a ban on t-shirts with any kind of images or wording on them would be the most workable, avoiding judgments on content.

              Reply
              1. Richard

                The problem is we have a gangs so the kids cant wear solid color t-shirts. Some have suggested uniforms or you can simply go hide in a private school.

                Reply
                1. Margaret D. Blough

                  I hate to have to go to that extreme,but, in those situations, possibly not a uniform per se, but a list of acceptable colors (I don’t think there’s a gang alive that picks tan or navy as its colors) may be the only answer.

                  Reply
            2. Kevin Levin Post author

              Is the image of Malcolm X problematic in that way? I’m asking since you brought it up.

              Reply
        2. James F. Epperson

          “Liberals denounce anything they don’t like using only the History they want to trash something.”—Actually, that is a fairly pervasive human trait, regardless of political affiliation or belief. For example, it applies to the Kennedy brothers of “The South Was Right” infamy. We all tend to use the sources and data which support our view, and (try to) ignore those that don’t. I’ve even seen it done in mathematics. The exceptions to this rule tend to be the more educated, scholarly types. Like Kevin.

          Reply
      2. Charles

        Yes, but of those same people who attach that view to the Confederate Flag, that it has been coopted and misused by hate groups, then those same people should also take offense to Old Glory. Hate groups and racists also carry the US flag. How is it that one gets some slack ? Look, if you are going to allow a bunch of knucklehead nazis and racists make up your mind about the meaning of the Confederate flag, then it is your loss. There are millions more who are proud of their Soutehrn Heritage than there are haters. Understanding is right and it starts by coming to the realization that hate groups should certainily not be the ones who decide what a flag stands for.

        Kevin, do you also consider ginormous US flags flying over car dealerships misuse????

        Reply
  2. Emmanuel Dabney

    This book in which the defensive “Well Slavery existed already in Africa” and “Slaves were better off here than in Africa” is amazingly 19th century defense. According to Dictionary.com there are five definitions for benign:

    –adjective
    1. having a kindly disposition; gracious: a benign king.
    2. showing or expressive of gentleness or kindness: a benign smile.
    3. favorable; propitious: a series of benign omens and configurations in the heavens.
    4. (of weather) salubrious; healthful; pleasant or beneficial.
    5. Pathology. not malignant; self-limiting.

    Synonyms: good, kindly, benignant, benevolent, tender, humane, gentle, compassionate. (Source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/benign)

    Slavery, as many readers of this blog know, was not these things. Africans and later their descendants were scattered across the Caribbean, Europe, South, Central, and North America for the primary benefit of only those people who claimed ownership of humankind. These owners had no problem in many cases parting with the people they thought of, taxed, and treated as property through sale or gambling. There is nothing kind about the rape of women such as Harriet Jacobs (http://docsouth.unc.edu/fpn/jacobs/jacobs.html#jac44) and Elizabeth Keckly (http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/keckley/keckley.html#keckley38) among scores of others. There is nothing gentle about separating mothers from children to merely turn a profit such as Louis Hughes (http://docsouth.unc.edu/fpn/hughes/hughes.html#hughes5) among many others. There is nothing favorable, pleasant, or healthy about people living in fear of having someone sell their wife, husband, mother, father, children, grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. as manifested and became a reality for Henry “Box” Brown (http://docsouth.unc.edu/neh/brownbox/brownbox.html) among so many others.

    Anyway, the picture is clear that it is sickening to defend slavery in the 21st century as benign anywhere. It is oppressive and offensive to the human existence everywhere. The practice of human enslavement is still in action today which is why we must remain committed to telling the stories of slave owners and enslaved people. Yes there were moments in which slaveholders could be kind but the practice was wrong and remains wrong.

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      Hi Emmanuel,

      Thanks for the links. I’ve used all of those sources at one point or another when discussing the harsh realities of slavery. I may poke fun at the SCV in my posts, but I want to make it clear that there is nothing humorous about their agenda and desire to be taken seriously.

      Reply
      1. Emmanuel Dabney

        I know you were already familiar but for some others who probably don’t read your blog I just felt the need to point out the reverse of “benign.”

        Reply
  3. C. W. Roden

    Oh wow Kevin…all this time talking about Black Confederates and I just saw from your picture that you yourself are not African American….damn and for awhile there I thought you might of had something there.
    Pity.
    Looks like I will be renewing my membership with the SCV….oh and thank you for the laughs over the last year or so, me and my friends have been getting a kick out of your level of fear in your rants about Black Confederates.

    As far as the resolution you mentioned goes, it is merely a reformation of the same stance that the SCV and the UDC have taken for decades regarding the symbolism of the Confederate flag, and you can bet your bottom dollar that several descendants of some of those Black Confederates themselves will be voting for that particular amendment and serving up a big slap in the face to those white supremacist morons who continue to defile our flag and to people like you who would hand it over to them forever.

    Oh and FYI, the book you mentioned, as well as the Birth of a Nation DVD are clearly posted as there for research purposes only in the catalog….after all knowing your enemy is the first rule of engagement is it not?

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      C.W.

      Thanks for the comment. I’m not sure what my race has to do with the fact that the SCV and UDC have done a very poor job of commemorating and remembering the past. The fact that you took the time to write suggests to me that your level of interest in my blog goes beyond amusement. Furthermore, that you would describe my posts as “rants” reflects a complete unwillingness to engage in serious debate. My posts on this subject are well thought out and include specific references to examples that are clearly not examples of black Confederate soldiers.

      Finally, nothing more needs to be said about the amendments referenced in the post or the books available for purchase on the SCV’s website. To suggest that they are there simply for research purposes is ridiculous.

      Thanks again for the comment.

      Reply
  4. C.W. Roden

    The fact is Kevin that despite your claims that the SCV and UDC have no “real” evidence that Black Confederates preformed willingly for the South, you yourself have offered no real evidence that they haven’t…ever heard the expression “the burden of guilt lies with the prosecution”?
    I have read virtually all of your posts regarding Black Confederates as well as enjoyed with a great deal of amusement your mockery of those men, their descendants who honor their ancestors service, and the SCV. You imply that there is an agenda beyond a simple service toward remembering Confederate Veterans…and while the ongoing defense and struggle to redeem the Southern Cross is indeed a big issue, it is hardly all the SCV is consumed with these days…unlike our opponents.
    As for the emphasis on Black Confederates, I would deny that there is such an emphasis on them considering that there are literally only perhaps one to about 30 or 40 Confederates of other races, religions, and national origins who are honored with headstone re-dedications, re-internment, or grace cleanups. The particular “race” (I only use the term to give you a basis for understanding) of an individual is irrelevant to the act itself of honoring and preserving the heritage of their service and duty to their respective homeland of Dixie.
    Now I suppose you could indeed have a point that some with certain political agendas (the people you term neo-Confederates) do exaggerate the issue and numbers of such individuals to further goals that are not in keeping with the charters of the SCV itself. I of course have no such political axe to grind and my sole concern is that soldiers who served and their individual stories would be forgotten or cast aside because it does not fit with some specific political ideology. Black Confederates and their motivations are only one of a specific subject of Civil War (as you call it) study I specialize in, though I have to admit that after reading some of the accounts and speaking to descendants of these men they hold a place as precious in my memory and respect for Confederate history as the story of my own Confederate ancestor does.
    I have a deep and abiding respect for soldiers who served in America’s wars and I would defend a Black Confederate’s memory and his service as assuredly as I would the memory of the Buffalo Soldiers who went up San Juan and Kettle Hill with Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in 1898, or the service of the USCT, or the services of any Union Soldier in fact.
    When I remember the men who served in the War Between The States, I do not do so to glorify war, or try to justify either sides motivations, or to justify or condemn either sides atrocities (and yes both side are not innocent of malicious actions). To me the war is what it is, history, and I do not seek to re-fight it, despite what some people would claim neither do 98% of the members of the SCV.
    These men–All of them– are American Veterans! They deserve to be remembered and honored by their descendants “with malice toward none, with charity toward all”.

    Oh and as for the comment on your race….I would ask your apology for it. It was a rather cheap shot at what I suspect to be your political ideologies…which if I am not mistaken suggests that only African-American people are capable of criticizing other black people. Please attribute the words to a lack of sleep and too much barbecue for Memorial Day. It is not up to the level of a Southern gentleman or the honor of a historian to answer ones critics with sarcasm. I will refrain in the future from doing so again.

    Of course, the amusement part…that I admit is real. No I do not mean that in a bad way, but it is telling of exactly how far off base those who do not understand Southern Heritage and Historical identity are. In a way you sir are a sort of barometer for that.
    If it is your call to continue and label the South the “bad guy” for the war, and to point out what you call “hypocrisy” or “down-playing” of the institution of slavery and its motivations for secession then God bless you, its you’re right….of course, don’t expect that I will allow you to make assumptions about those who honor the South without an argument.
    On that note, if we are going to re-fight the war, then I’d rather do it with words rather than bullets…because at least this time, we Southerners are on even footing. LOL!

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      Mr. Roden,

      I do not claim any authority on this issue beyond the time that I have spent evaluating claims made by those like yourself. Whether my counter-arguments are convincing is up to the individual to decide. I am not going to respond to most of your comment beyond agreeing that the black southerners who were present as slaves in Confederate armies do indeed deserve to be recognized. In doing so, however, we should not distort their status for any reason.

      Finally, you said: “Black Confederates and their motivations are only one of a specific subject of Civil War (as you call it) study I specialize in, though I have to admit that after reading some of the accounts and speaking to descendants of these men they hold a place as precious in my memory and respect for Confederate history as the story of my own Confederate ancestor does.” That claim means nothing to me unless you can point me to a peer-reviewed publication that I can read.

      Thanks again for your comment even if you continue to fail to add anything to our understanding of this particular subject.

      Reply
      1. C.W. Roden

        Black men (slaves and freedmen) served support roles in the Confederate army as cooks, laborers, teamsters, drummers, fifers, and personal servants to certain officers (roughly the same as the roles black men served in the Union Army prior to the establishment of the United States Colored Troops).

        Some of these black body servants and teamsters picked up fallen rifles and weapons and fought alongside Confederate soldiers in battle, or helped serve on the cannon crews when a crucial individual went down dead or wounded. Many of these same men kept the weapons they picked up and continued to serve with the Confederate army as reported by a Union eyewitness account in 1862. Of course they were not officially authorized to carry weapons…then again neither was the black cook on the USS West Virginia who took to the 50 Cal. guns and fought back against the Japanese planes attacking Pearl Harbor, nor was Col. William Washington’s black bugler who fired a pistol at a British trooper at the Battle of Camden.

        Black freed men could not formally enlist or volunteer in the Confederate army, however they were permitted to serve as drummers, fifers, musicians. They served at times in the thick of battle just behind the Confederate front lines (again Black men and boys prior to the USCT had the same options in the Union Army). Musicians often came under fire themselves in the thick of battle and sometimes became casualties. In 1862, the Confederate Congress authorized that black musicians be given the same pay as white Confederate soldiers (an irony given the way the Union Army’s OFFICIAL Black Regiments were denied equal pay till near the end of the war).

        Black men served on US and Confederate ships as laborers who stoked the fires and as cooks, or as pilots (the best known example is Robert Smalls who served both sides in the same capacity) and both are known to have fought and served in boarding parties or to repel them in the thick of battle (the same can be said of those black men in the British and French navies of the time too).

        Black men slaves and free volunteers served in Confederate hospitals as orderlies and as stretcher bearers, again the same capacity as black men in the Union Army.

        Black Confederates captured along with white and Native American Confederates were also interred at Union POW camps and many refused to take the oath of allegiance despite the fact that they could have left at any time since they were not formally considered soldiers. Such actions of course do not fit in with the notion that anyone held them at gunpoint or the end of a whip to keep them there…which in and of itself suggests that these men were loyal at least to the regiments they had served under in their respective capacities.

        After the War these men attended Confederate Reunions of their own free will (including notably the 50th and 75th Anniversary Reunions at Gettysburg), despite the fact that most of them (with only notable exceptions) were denied a place at Confederate Soldiers’ homes or buried with their comrades (again except for notable exceptions) due to disgraceful segregation laws and codes. These men were eventually given by their individual States a pension of sorts for their services if proven, though again due to discrimination these things usually didn’t happen till well after the war and only after the requests of the Confederate Veterans themselves. South Carolina waited until 1923…a sad fact and a blot on Southern honor if I do say as a Confederate descendant.

        I will not try to insult your intelligence and say that Black men were formally enrolled as Confederate soldiers until March of 1865 near the end of the War. There were no Black Regiments of Confederates until the very end. That fact I can accept to be true. However, I would also be less than honest if I also did not point out that since State Militias in wars prior to and including the War Between the States were also for the most part not formally enrolled as soldiers yet served and were considered by modern military historians as soldiers….or at least warriors if thinking in terms of a gathering of clans. So in that regard a cook, a teamster, or a drummer who decides to pick up a sword or a pistol and fire at the enemy is considered a soldier, if only an informal one.

        Records exists to prove these facts in any Southern State Archives and publications detailing these can be found in the collective works and books of the following historians:
        J.H. Segars, Charles Kelly Barrow, R.B. Rosenburg, Rudolph Young, Ervin L. Jordan and several others. These works include photos, copies of records, letters, period newspaper articles, and other interesting items that took years of independent study to locate.

        Now even if you will not find a historian like Ken Burns who will admit these facts, I would also point out that 70 years ago you would not find too many who would admit that the Buffalo Soldiers went up Kettle Hill with Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders, or that Black Americans had to serve in the French Air Corps in the First World War, or even that both Washington and Cornwallis had black men serving in their ranks in the American Revolution even though the evidence of their involvement can be found in diaries, personal accounts and very old records in archives. Today nearly every National Park Service site concerning America’s Wars has information on African American participation. So many new stories about Black Americans serving in Americas wars comes to light all the time if you only look for the information objectively (Ironically with evidence less extensive that the sources I mentioned)….so why are Black Confederates denied now that they are finally getting their own long overdue recognition? Perhaps to serve some modern agenda?

        Reply
        1. Kevin Levin Post author

          Mr. Roden,

          You obviously care a great deal about this subject. Without going into detail we agree on a number of points, including the broad claim that slaves were present in Confederates armies and performed any number of support functions. They were also impressed by the federal government in Richmond, which constituted a serious threat to the rights of slaveowners. I’m not sure what your comparison w/WWII and the Revolution has to do with the status and function of slaves, so I will let that go. You rightly point out that a few slaves were formally recruited into service at the very end of the war and only after a vigorous debate throughout the Confederacy. I highly recommend Bruce Levine’s “Confederate Emancipation” (Oxford University Press) on this subject. I am familiar w/both books that you recommend and believe they are helpful for different reasons. I should also point out that Ken Burns is a documentary filmmaker and not a historian.

          As a historian who is interested in the history of the Confederacy I find the role of slaves to be crucial to understanding the broader contours of the war, including emancipation. For me the fundamental question is how did the Confederate war effort influence the master-slave relationship. This is an important question, but most of the “arguments” in favor of “black Confederates” boils down to countless stories that include no context and/or analysis. With all due respect, much of what you’ve written hear has been repeated time and time again.

          I am very interested in any scholarly publications on this subject that you’ve written. Thanks for your assistance.

          Reply
          1. C.W. Roden

            I have to admit, you are a pretty good dance partner Kevin…I have never encountered someone who was so good at the ole apologist two-step check as you. I will give you and your colleges here some credit, at least none of you have degenerated into a ranting denial that somehow leads to the inevitable last ditch “Confederate-Nazi” comparison….so apparently you really do know something of history.

            Lets begin with the functioning slaves part: I have done a great deal of study about the origins of African slavery in America and throughout the world…my guess is that your study of it ends about oh 1820 or so? The role of African slaves in the construction of America as well as Black History is also an area of expertise on my part…indeed I happen to teach High School Black History and World History….though my hobbies and passions do include all of America’s wars….so FYI you are not dealing with an amateur. (Oh and yes my classes are fully aware that I am both a member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans as well as on the board of the local historical society).
            One of my favorite books on the subject of black history is a book by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar entitled: “Black Profiles in Courage: A Legacy of African-American Achievement” which I do not suppose you have read have you? No? Pity…even if Kareem would not live up to your standards as a historian (considering his athletic background) he did in fact write a very telling book concerning the roles African Americans had in the formation of America including…yes…as slaves.
            The book starts out with how growing up as a black child in America he didn’t read about the small but significant role that black men and women played in shaping American into what it was today. It spoke to me all too well, as he explained how he never knew until recently about the black men who took part in major historical events, including America’s wars and how African-Americans have so much to be proud of.
            Of course, you will say he never mentioned Black Confederates did he? No of course not, however he did point out about how racist policies in America have held back black contributions to American history as a whole…this I think is strongly evident in the War Between The States.
            Up until the movie “Glory” came out, few people outside of historian circles knew much more about black participation in the Union Army aside from the existence of the United States Colored Troops (USCT)…but the details, including the wonderful story of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment, the grand experiment….even though Colonel Montgomery had already established the beginnings of what would be the First South Carolina Colored Troops months before the Emancipation Proclamation was even considered…opened up a whole new area of interest in Civil War history.
            On an interesting note, the 54th Massachusetts re-enactor regiment today is highly respected among their peers (both Union and Confederate) in the living history community (no I am not a re-enactor myself though I respect those men and women for their portrayal of history).
            Now we come to Black Confederates and their role and motivations. The interest today in the subject, one that I readily admit was caused by the recent struggle to redeem the Confederate Southern Cross and condemn its misuse by hate groups, has been quite the lively debate…as your blog and others like it clearly shows.
            Most of the denials have been….well, they range from amusing to down right insulting to African Americans as a whole. Most of the latter come from members of hate groups who accuse Confederate heritage supporters as little more than “race traitors” for even suggesting black men served willingly for the South (I find the term “race traitors” ironic in this case considering that Confederate heritage defenders are neither all white, nor just Americans). As from the former they come from individuals who would choose either not to believe the stories of individual black heroism as Confederate veterans, or would condemn such men for their service and degrade their character….the language they use I will not utter here.
            Then there are slick people like you sir, who sit there hiding behind their compute screens, creating their blogs and gathering a small group of like-minded robots who parrot your propaganda and stroke your ego.
            You hear the evidence and then you deny it with a few fleeting remarks and dismiss all comparisons and sources because they do not fit into the square pegs in your round head. Or is it truly that you see some deep “neo-Confederate conspiracy” that your mind created to deal with the assault on your deep seated disdain for those who have sought no harm from anyone other than to have their ancestor’s story told…even if you don’t care much for the tone of the story.

            I would suggest, for the sake of your students and your own children that you refrain from mixing your own personal politics with historical fact and teach them to look at history, study the facts, encourage independent objective study, examining the pros and cons and to draw their own conclusions free of ideological underpinnings.

            Well boys and girls, I have certainly had fun and I hope we have learned a lesson here. This is were I leave you to your thoughts…no doubt you will go back to your sad bashing of all things Confederate, including your disdain for those black men who choose to fight for the South that was their homeland. I myself am out as of right now, though I want to thank you for behaving predictably….even if you did surprise me by not collapsing into the whole “Nazi comparison” like so many on your side of the struggle does. Maybe there is even hope for you in the future?

            Sincerely,
            Carleton W. Roden
            Proud descendant of a Black Confederate and martyred POW at Camp Douglass, Chicago in 1863

            PS: Kevin…if you really want to go on about slavery in America, I would strongly recommend the subject of Black Slave Owners in Charleston, SC and New Orleans, LA (yes I know…I was rather appalled too when I first heard of it, of course I was 12 at the time and the story was told to me by my grandfather). I think you will find quite a lot more for your blog there…and who knows, maybe I will come back to read it sometime? LOL!
            Peace Out! ~C.W. Roden

            Reply
            1. Kevin Levin Post author

              Mr. Roden,

              I’m sorry to hear that you consider a book by Kareem Abudul-Jabbar to be serious history. As for my knowledge of the history of slavery I suggest that you watch one of my home videos, which should give you some sense of the depth of my understanding: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T8eTuJVXi4

              Interestingly, we agree on quite a bit. I think it is important to understand that the history of slavery/race was distorted and/or downplayed for any number of reasons up until the 1960s. Glory did indeed have a major impact on popular understanding of the war.

              I have to say that I am at a loss for words re: your claims to providing evidence for the existence of black Confederate soldiers as well as the following claim: “Now we come to Black Confederates and their role and motivations.” What kinds of wartime documents do you use to get at the motivations or anything having to do with the perspective of free and enslaved blacks in Confederate armies? You’ve provided no evidence here nor have you provided any references to publications that would back up your claims of expertise in this field.

              Finally, on the issue of black slaveowners I recommend two books: http://www.amazon.com/Black-Slaveowners-Masters-Carolina-1790-1860/dp/1570030375/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275471104&sr=8-1 and http://www.amazon.com/Black-Masters-Family-Color-South/dp/0393303144/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275471104&sr=8-3

              Once again, thanks for stopping by and best of luck with your classes.

              Reply
    2. Margaret D. Blough

      The burden of proof you cite belongs to criminal law, where the state seeks to deprive the accused of life, liberty, or property, not scholarship. I agree with Kevin’s response. I will add that I find it ironic that you quote from Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural on malice towards none but ignore the rest of it including this passage:

      >>On the occasion corresponding to this four years ago, all thoughts were anxiously directed to an impending civil war. All dreaded it– all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, insurgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war– seeking to dissolve the Union, and divide effects, by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war; but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive; and the other would accept war rather than let it perish. And the war came.

      One-eighth of the whole population were colored slaves, not distributed generally over the Union, but localized in the Southern part of it. These slaves constituted a peculiar and powerful interest. All knew that this interest was, somehow, the cause of the war. To strengthen, perpetuate, and extend this interest was the object for which the insurgents would rend the Union, even by war; while the government claimed no right to do more than to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Neither party expected for the war the magnitude or the duration which it has already attained. <<

      Reply
  5. james F. epperson

    “Black men (slaves and freedmen) served support roles in the Confederate army as cooks, laborers, teamsters, drummers, fifers, and personal servants to certain officers (roughly the same as the roles black men served in the Union Army prior to the establishment of the United States Colored Troops).”

    But an important difference is that the men serving the CS army were doing so under compulsion, while the men serving the United States military were doing so voluntarily.

    JFE

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      Thanks James. I simply don’t have the patience to point out all of the problematic claims in these comments.

      Reply
      1. AP

        In response to JFE, I would like to point out that many black Confederates were not only freedmen, but they were also paid for enlistment and received further payment upon musters. I can’t believe many people do not know this. I can name at least a dozen friends offhand from my small community, alone, whose black Confederate ancestors enlisted as free men and fought bravely as soldiers. They were not coercoed. Also, my ancestors freed their slaves before moving from SC to MS prior to the war, but they followed him there out of love as family. They, also, went on later in life with their sons to enlist in the same regiment as my ancestors as free Confederate soldiers. Why is it so difficult to research a little bit in the state archives department to find proof of these brave individuals? I never thought, until recently, that the valiant efforts of black Confederates was ever under scrutiny.

        As per the SCV amendment – their constitution has ALWAYS

        Reply
        1. Kevin Levin Post author

          Thanks for taking the time to comment. Please provide the names of the individuals in question as well as the units in which they supposedly fought in. This will allow those interested to look up the muster rolls and other wartime documents that would confirm that these black individuals (slave or free) served as soldiers rather than in a support role.

          Reply
          1. AP

            Ok – I shall have to locate the newspaper in which they were publicly honored, but I do not feel comfortable listing the descendanta’ names on a public website.
            In addition, this thought comes to mind: The first Confederate Memorial monument to ever have shown an image of a black Confederate with a rifle is located in Arlington Cemetery. Also, the monument in Vicksburg includes black Confederates wielding weapons, too. Why would these monuments, among others, include blacks as soldiers if they were not?

            Will get back to you soon with the other data.

            Reply
            1. Kevin Levin Post author

              The monument you speak of was dedicated at the height of Jim Crow so it has very little to do with history. Rather, it ought to be interpreted as a reflection of race relations at the beginning of the twentieth century. Names and units are the only thing that matter as a way to begin the conversation.

              Reply
                1. Kevin Levin Post author

                  Find me Holt Collier’s muster roll sheet and other wartime documents that confirm that he served as a soldier and we can talk about him all you want.

                  Reply
                  1. AP

                    Co. T, 9th TX Cav. I know his family, and they would act defensively if someone approached them and asked for proof of his heroism. I am sure they would give it proudly. Do you doubt that he served as a combatant, or are you only trying to make a point that evidence is an historian’s tool for preserving truth?

                    Reply
                    1. AP

                      If you are interested in looking the documents up, yourself, I suggest contacting the MS Dept. of Archives and History since Holt Collier was a Mississippian and is buried there. I often find that people learn more about history when they do their own research.

                    2. AP

                      “At Green River Bridge in Tennessee, Holt Collier went from being camp servant to a soldier on the side of the Confederacy. Collier served in the Confederacy until the war ended in 1865. ” – Holt Collier SCV Camp #2018

                      Sure, it’s not historical “evidence.” However, maybe you could ask these guys (who are, apparently, Holt Collier experts) to provide the info you request.

                    3. Kevin Levin Post author

                      I suspect that this is something you discovered online. Sorry, but that is not going to work here. Either do the necessary research or refrain from making any additional claims on this site. You must understand that I do not consider most websites (especially those created by the SCV) to be legitimate digital resources.

                    4. AP

                      That was a quote from the National Multicultural Western Heritage Museum. I included the SCV camp as a potential reference, but it appears that you do not need their help. I would recommend contacting the museum or university professors other than me. Don’t worry – I shan’t post any more on this website.

                    5. Kevin Levin Post author

                      It’s not that I don’t need the SCV’s help. The problem is that they are no help when examining this issue. Sorry you are not satisfied. You expect me to go out of my way and confirm the claims that you are making and yet you fail to do just that before making the initial claim about Hold Collier. Sounds like a double standard to me. Thanks for stopping by.

                2. Andy Hall

                  I can’t find his service record in the National Archive service files through Footnote (which are 99% complete for Texas), nor in the NPS soldier database. Googling around, there seem to be lots of references to his service as a soldier that date from decades after the event — which is fairly routine among claims of “Black Confederates” — but it’s imperative to show a contemporary record of his status.

                  Related, I understand your reluctance to provide names of current descendants, out of respect for their privacy, but perhaps you could ask them to get in contact with Kevin directly. No one’s privacy violated in that case, and I’m sure they’d like to discuss their ancestors with him.

                  Reply
                  1. Kevin Levin Post author

                    Hi Andy,

                    Sorry you weren’t able to respond directly to AP. Thanks for taking the time to look up Collier, but I am not surprised that you found nothing.

                    AP,

                    It’s the responsibility of those making the claims about supposed black Confederate soldiers to provide the necessary documentation. Unfortunately, that is almost always lacking in these cases. I suggest you get to work locating the enlistment papers for the soldiers that you initially referenced. By the way, I don’t care whether Holt Collier’s descendants are offended by my questions and skepticism. Thanks again.

                    Reply
                    1. AP

                      Is your true desire to learn or to only prove your point? There is no need for a real historian to disregard the feelings of the descendants of the historical figure. If you really wanted to know the truth badly enough, it seems that you would put more effort into your research. Why demand I do the research for you, when you are probably hoping that I do not find proof to dispute your claims? Maybe you feel confident because you feel “certain” that I’ll not find it. Remember – people do not owe you a free history lesson – you only owe the world your best efforts in trying to learn more. Do not stop short at mere attempts to prove your beliefs. I sincerely hope you are interested in finding the information you request instead of only using the lack of it as a defense.

                    2. Kevin Levin Post author

                      I am not disregarding anything. I was simply making the point that my ability to think critically about the past is not in any way influenced by the descendants of those I am studying. I’ve written and published quite a bit over the past few years and recently completed my first book manuscript. I say this because my conclusions are based on the research that I’ve done in various archives over the past five years. In other words, I tend not to draw conclusions without doing the requisite work first. That’s all I ask of anyone who makes claims about the past, especially when it comes to the issue of black Confederates. I am now in the beginning stages of a book-length project on free and enslaved blacks who were present in the Confederate army for various reasons as well as how they are now remembered as loyal black soldiers.

                      I don’t wish to continue this line of discussion because it isn’t going to get us anywhere. You may believe anything you wish about what motivates me. I have no interest in steering you one way or the other. All I ask is that claims are backed up by evidence. Thanks again.

                    3. Andy Hall

                      Very often folks cite newspaper stories or obituaries from decades later, as evidence of someone’s status during the war. That’s highly problematical, as my own family history shows.

                      As I’ve mentioned before — but will repeat for the benefit of AP and others — have a Confederate ancestor who everyone in the family “knew” was an officer. It wasn’t until recently, when I looked up his service record, that I discovered he was a buck private from the day he enlisted in 1862 to the day he was released from the Rock Island, Illinois PoW camp in 1865. Officer? Hell, he never even made corporal.

                      But yet, we “knew” he was an officer, and I have, in front of me as I type, an obituary from 1907 that titles him “Col. Soandso.”

                      What the obituary doesn’t mention is that in his later years he was active in veterans’ organization, and it was they who bestowed on him the rank of colonel. He apparently liked the title, and used it, so that by the time he died years later, everyone (including the family) “knew” that he was an officer.

                      In this case, both family tradition and the man’s obituary “confirmed” his status as an officer. But it wasn’t true, and that’s why contemporary records are so important.

                    4. Kevin Levin Post author

                      Thanks Andy. This is the kind of point that unfortunately will have to be made over and over and over.

                    5. AP

                      If you still want Holt Collier’s Soldier’s Pension paper, then I can send it to you. It, actually, was not very difficult to find through the Dept of Archives and History. It only took about half an hour. Please note that cooks, teamsters, etc. were only allowed “Honorary” pension applications, while Holt Collier applied for the combatants’ “Soldiers and Sailors” pension, which he received in the amount of $200. I fail to comprehend why this document has been so very elusive to those who have written so much to disprove his combatant status. Five years of research is not really enough to write a proper book abut the subject you have chosen, and I have only offered a virtual lifetime of research for your sole benefit. Sorry to disgruntle you, but I am used to a more professional approach, dealing with historians who have helped preserve the very documents you probably use in research. I do not expect you to post this message, because it, ultimately, doesn’t matter where your opinion lies in the grand scope of history. Just knowing that many others around the world can access the truth through accurate historic preservation efforts will satisfy my purpose. What you claim does not matter, for history has already occurred. Regardless of its appearance, the truth remains. I hope I have helped your cause. Where would you like me to send the document image from the archives?

                    6. Kevin Levin Post author

                      AP,

                      Pension applications do not necessarily point to service as a soldiers. A number of states granted pensions to former slaves for their services. This is one of the most common mistakes made by people who are unable to interpret documents correctly. You may be interested in this article which focuses on Mississippi http://mshistory.k12.ms.us/articles/289/black-confederate-pensioners-after-the-civil-war Regardless of the kind of pension Collier received we still need his enlistment papers if we are to grant the status of soldier to him. Let me be clear that I have not spent much time at all disproving anything re: Collier. I simply asked the kinds of questions that historians are supposed to ask when confronted by specific claims. If you are offended or taken a back by such a move than perhaps you should stick to communicating with people who don’t question. Thanks again and happy reading.

                    7. Dr. CS

                      “By filling out a servant’s application, these men acknowledged at the onset that they were noncombatants, not soldiers. African Americans who may have enlisted as soldiers in the Confederate army, which would have entitled them to a larger pension, would have applied using a soldier’s pension form. ”

                      This is a quote from the link you posted for AP. Holt Collier did not fill out a servant’s pension application – it was a soldier’s application. The quote above implies that he enlisted as a soldier. Are you aware of the verification process these pensioners went through? I can assure you it was not very lenient (like the Southern Claims Commission app). I, too, have seen Collier’s soldier’s application. He would not have received a soldier’s pension if his soldier’s status was not verified by enlistment papers. Maybe the muster rolls are down there in MS – I don’t know. I do know that the articele you posted supports AP’s claim.

                    8. Kevin Levin Post author

                      Andy Hall has addressed this point. It’s a point that I’ve made over and over and over and over on this blog. I hope you now understand the importance of locating the actual enlistment papers.

                    9. Andy Hall

                      Dr. CS wrote:

                      Holt Collier did not fill out a servant’s pension application – it was a soldier’s application.

                      He filled out both, at different times, and the picture of his status presented by the pension records is — at best — contradictory.

                      Holt Collier applied for a pension in 1906 using a servant’s form, despite a letter from the Mississippi Division of the United Confederate Veterans stating that Collier “is the only negro ever enrolled in our army.” His name appears on the pension rolls for the first time in 1913 as a servant. Collier used a servant’s form again in 1916 when the State Auditor’s Office purged the pension rolls, but he switched to a soldier’s form in 1924. Nevertheless, the Auditor’s Office continued to pay him a servant’s pension. Collier reapplied in 1928, again using a soldier’s form, and this time he was awarded a soldier’s pension, which he continued to receive until he died in 1930 (MDAH).

                      Quote from “Looking for Bob: Black Confederate Pensioners After the Civil War” by James G. Hollandsworth, Jr.

                      Hollandsworth goes on to explain that the particular form used in an application cannot be seen as a definitive indicator of an applicant’s military status decades previously:

                      There is a simple explanation for the inconsistent use of pension forms. The various forms for soldiers, widows, and servants, each asking questions relevant to that category, were printed by the state and distributed to the counties. In a time before photocopy machines, these forms could not be easily duplicated, and all of the states mandated that applications had to be submitted on a state form. Not surprisingly, when a county clerk ran out of a particular form, he or she would use a form for another category, modifying it as needed. There are numerous examples among the pension applications in Mississippi and North Carolina of black noncombatants using soldiers’ forms and vice versa.

                    10. Kevin Levin Post author

                      Thanks Andy. I actually linked to another one of Hollandworth’s articles on this subject. Thanks for reinforcing the point. I don’t know why it is so difficult for some to understand the importance of locating the actual enlistment papers. This is a never ending narrative loop.

                  2. AP

                    I know – I have found the only way to research any soldier, at all, is to see the microfilms at archives buildings. Internet databases are often lacking in credibility. I have even discovered inaccuracies in my own ancestors’ records through those databases! I think Collier’s should be in the MS archives dept.

                    Reply
                    1. Dr. CS

                      AP, if you know his family, then maybe you could ask them about the enlistment papers. There is no need for them (or you) to get upset over that. If they have them, they might show them to you. Did you contact the SCV camp you mentioned about it?

  6. AP

    included that statement , but it was merely emphasized in order to assure the public that the organization is strongly (more than you might reckon) opposed to racial or political groups who defile the very meaning of the flag.

    Reply
  7. Larry McCluney

    Where in this passage of the SCV constitution indicates that we do not recognize “Black Confederates”? It does not imply that at all, it points out that our organization is not racial and that we condemn those who misuse our symbols. Oh, by the way, the “Big Ass” flag your refering to in Florida was put up by an SCV camp. Go back and reread the passage your referring to it does not imply what your referring to and by the way, the passage you are referring to is not part of the Constitution but a proposed amendment.

    Reply
      1. Larry McCluney

        Hi Kevin,

        Thanks for the response but I still cannot see how you have interpreted a proposed amendment that was voted down as reflecting a change in the SCV that we will not “talk about Black Confederates” or even recognize them. Were does your assumption come from and where in the amendment is this implied? Very confused here. I am on the GEC as a voting national officer in the SCV and was just interested in how you came about this. Also, our book store sells items that tells of the history of Black Confederates, that in itself should defunct your stance. Just curious not aurgumentative.

        Larry

        Reply
        1. Dr. CS

          Larry, don’t even bother with this website. These persons claimed they doubted that anyone could find Holt Collier’s proof of enlistment. Then, after being offered a copy of his soldier’s pension app., they claimed that pension apps meant nothing because “when a county clerk ran out of a particular form, he or she would use a form for another category, modifying it as needed.” The type of form simply does not matter; it is the information on the form which matters. The pension apllication quotes Collier’s own words that he enlisted in the TX Cav. and served until the end of the war. None of the other information on the form could have been entered on the servant’s pension app. Even I know that historical documents can be incorrect (researching historical records inaccuracies is my job), but denying the authenticity of Collier’s pension app. is just calling Collier a liar (or whoever filed it, initially). Collier was so honest that he did not even apply for the soldier’s pension at first because he felt he deserved a servant’s pension, having served as a “body servant” at the beginning of the war. Now that I know who you are, I can contact you so we can join a proper discussion among unbiased historians.

          Reply
          1. Kevin Levin Post author

            Did you not read Andy Hall’s response to you? Here it is again:

            Dr. CS wrote:

            Holt Collier did not fill out a servant’s pension application – it was a soldier’s application.

            He filled out both, at different times, and the picture of his status presented by the pension records is — at best — contradictory.

            Holt Collier applied for a pension in 1906 using a servant’s form, despite a letter from the Mississippi Division of the United Confederate Veterans stating that Collier “is the only negro ever enrolled in our army.” His name appears on the pension rolls for the first time in 1913 as a servant. Collier used a servant’s form again in 1916 when the State Auditor’s Office purged the pension rolls, but he switched to a soldier’s form in 1924. Nevertheless, the Auditor’s Office continued to pay him a servant’s pension. Collier reapplied in 1928, again using a soldier’s form, and this time he was awarded a soldier’s pension, which he continued to receive until he died in 1930 (MDAH).

            Quote from “Looking for Bob: Black Confederate Pensioners After the Civil War” by James G. Hollandsworth, Jr.

            Hollandsworth goes on to explain that the particular form used in an application cannot be seen as a definitive indicator of an applicant’s military status decades previously:

            There is a simple explanation for the inconsistent use of pension forms. The various forms for soldiers, widows, and servants, each asking questions relevant to that category, were printed by the state and distributed to the counties. In a time before photocopy machines, these forms could not be easily duplicated, and all of the states mandated that applications had to be submitted on a state form. Not surprisingly, when a county clerk ran out of a particular form, he or she would use a form for another category, modifying it as needed. There are numerous examples among the pension applications in Mississippi and North Carolina of black noncombatants using soldiers’ forms and vice versa.

            Reply
            1. Dr. CS

              Yes, I did read it. The fallacy lies in Hollandworth’s neglect of the question:
              “Why did Collier change application?”
              The answer lies in my response to Larry McCluney as “he did not even apply for the soldier’s pension at first because he felt he deserved a servant’s pension, having served as a “body servant” at the beginning of the war.”
              If any soldier applied for a soldier’s pension and RECEIVED it, as Andy’s post claimed Collier did, then his enlistment docs were, indeed, found by those in charge of distributing the pension. Some enlistment papers will never be found – partially due to records being destroyed or lost prior to or after the war’s end, since states often moved their gov. documents in order to avoid the effects of battle.

              Reply
              1. Dr. CS

                Denying that Collier’s soldier’s pension, which yielded a sum until his death, is authentic is the same as claiming that either Collier fabricated his soldier’s status or those in charge of distributing his pension were corrupt.

                Reply
                1. Dr. CS

                  The fact that you have not read the application limits your input on this subject. I need to geet a copy of it, for I can not recall the document in its entirety. If you have not rec’d a coopy from the person who offered it to you, then please do so if you seek a greater bearing on the matter. Do you know how to get in touch with the person who claimed to have it? I would like a copy, as well. If you have not even tried to contact him for a copy, then you are ignoring the evidence. I have nothing better to do these days besides my job, which bores me at present! I think this is a good subject in which to delve. Believe it or not, part of me wants to find discredit in this document – that is my specialty.) However, I am afraid that might not be possible, considering the era of the documents in question. I am going to contact an historian who specializes in Collier – I think he lives in MS. Please get the document (copy) holder to send us one.

                  Reply
              2. Kevin Levin Post author

                Given the fact that Confederate government explicitly denied the rights of free and enslaved blacks to enlist as soldiers it seems to me that a skeptical stance is justified. I have no problem if Collier indeed served as a soldier. In fact, it would then be a fascinating question of how he was able to get around the existing regulations and who assisted him in this process. My questions are not intended to debunk anything, but as a reflection of my belief that we need to move carefully when it comes to this complex issue. Thanks for your comment.

                Reply
                1. Dr. CS

                  Moving carefully is also my aim. Consider all the many privately-outfitted units who fought that were never consolidated into CSA service – i.e., the Choctaw Greys in Mississippi, who were under the command of Col. Drane, who was never a bonified Col. (it was common to find the title “Col.” used to denote high social status before the war.) This unit utilized the efforts of planter, yoeman slave and ex-slave alike. Basically, if you had a horse, you could join as long as you would take orders from Drane. Finding a service record for a soldier in this type of unit might be very difficult. Moreover, there is no “enter race here” box on the pension app’s., which also makes it very difficult to determine. One shouldn’t assume none were black based solely on regulations. Many who fought often disregarded regulations enacted by the CSA because they did not agree with consolidation (i.e., sending AL troops to fight a battle in VA.)

                  Reply
                  1. Kevin Levin Post author

                    No doubt, there are difficulties involved in doing serious research. I didn’t say “none were black”. What I am suggesting is that given the regulations we need to be careful about what kinds of evidence (especially postwar) we utilize to draw conclusions about the war itself and the men who fought it. I read this comment as reinforcing my overall point.

                    Reply
                    1. Dr. CS

                      Thank you. I agree with your overall point, but you must admit that viewing Collier’s document is necessary for research on this subject. My secretary is attampting to obtain a copy for me through the MS Archives dept. I should have it this morning for further review. When I get it, I shall be pleased to send you a copy via e-mail if you wish.

                    2. Kevin Levin Post author

                      That would be great. Of course, I agree that the documents are relevant to pinning down Collier’s wartime status in the army. I’ve never denied that. Let me just say again that I’ve looked at scores of pension files and what I find so troubling is that they are all too commonly misinterpreted. Thanks again.

                    3. Dr. CS

                      I have received a copy of the document. They also sent me some excerpts from the Federal Writers Project, Works Progress Administration libray, in which Collier was interviewed during a WPA field study. He claimed to have trained as a soldier at Camp Boone, TN. He also told the interviewer that he “served as a soldier and did not go as a body- servant to Colonel Hinds.” The interviewer included, “During the four years conflict, he served with the Texas Cowboys, Ross’ Brigade and was under Colonel Dudley Jones at the close of the struggle.” A better-suited unit researcher than I would recognize these units and be able to check their reports of military operations. Sure, this is only proof that Collier told U.S. government workers that he was a soldier, but the words did come from his mouth. So, from this, an historian is assured a major issue about which to write a book:
                      1. Holt Collieer was a combatant
                      or
                      2. Holt Collier lied to state and U.S. officials (or was senile / insane, etc.)
                      Either way, both findings would produce a great book!

                    4. Kevin Levin Post author

                      Thanks so much for the information. I would love to see a transcript of the interview. Why do you limit the interpretation of the transcript to two possibilities? It seems to me there are other ways to look at the interview. WPA narratives are wonderful resources, but historians have pointed to challenges associated with their use. What about his enlistment papers? Finally, is your doctorate in history? If so, where do you teach? Just curious.

                    5. Dr. CS

                      Yes, there are many ways to utilize the information. Perhaps there is a way to view the interviews online, but I am lacking in much computer capacity! I was hoping that we could find an expert researcher of Collier’s units noted in the WPA files. Surely, there are commander’s reports, etc. which could enlighten us on the matter. Ha! I do miss my teaching days – especially when situations like this arose from skeptical students (they were spectacular at keeping me on my toes!) Yes, history was my bag. Now all I do is research – just a fact-checker. haha! You might be surprised how many college-level text books I have helped discredit in order to help the revision process! It never ends! History is revised upon each new discovery (and today’s historians have better tchnology with which to research!) I am too old to compete with their lightening-paced techniques! If you do not mind, I would like to omit my credentials, as my anonymity would certainly be lost. Feel free to e-mail me so I can send the text you would like.

                    6. Dr. CS

                      This is the interview I received. Maybe one of you whipper-snappers (in jest, of course!) can use your computer to look up this material:

                      Title: Holt Collier Materials
                      Author: Armistead, Lottie, et al
                      Type: Interview

                      Listed Under:
                      American Slave Narratives

                      Notes: Published in George P. Rawick, ed., The American Slave: A Composite Autobiography. Westport, Connecticut: The Greenwood Press, Inc.,1979, Supplement Series1, v.7, p. 447-478.

          2. Andy Hall

            Dr. CS wrote:

            but denying the authenticity of Collier’s pension app. is just calling Collier a liar

            Yeah, let’s don’t go off on who’s-calling-who a “liar.” Just don’t go down that road, all right? It adds nothing to the reasonable discussion of an issue, and only inflames emotions. All heat, no light.

            Reply
            1. Dr. CS

              No offense, Andy. I was merely pointing out a fallacy in deductive reasoning. There is no heat in my comment, regardless of others who have posted heated comments on this website. Unless Collier’s statement is true, how else could you account for his claim to have served as a soldier? He gave a statement in his own words on his pension app. and signed it with his own hand. If the statement is not true, then he lied.

              Reply
  8. Mark

    Civil War historian huh? Can’t imagine that we would receive an unbiased discussion or lecture on the War Between the States in your class. Your mockery of the SCV is sad.

    Reply
    1. Andy Hall

      Mark, the SCV doesn’t have a lot of historical cred around here because its members don’t generally engage on the actual historical merits, the evidence, of the issues under discussion. What I’ve seen here and elsewhere from the SCV members tends to be of the sort message that you post directly above, of the you-guys-are-pathetic variety. I’ve noticed that with Southern heritage folks’ “criticism’ of my own blog, which isn’t actually criticism at all, but equal parts snide remarks and insults.

      On those occasions when the SCV does try to present a case, it’s almost always a copy-and-paste of unsupported assertions, irrelevant arguments (Lincolns was a racist!) and isolated quotes (e.g., Frederick Douglass’ mention of alleged Black Confederates), that are offered without context or analysis, or as part of any coherent narrative. And you won’t countenance reference to established, professional historians (Blight, MacPherson, Pryor), whose work is usually dismissed as Northern, politically-correct propaganda.

      So why on earth should the SCV be taken seriously when it comes to historical interpretation or analysis? Because the Southern heritage folks certainly don’t take anyone here seriously, and go out their way to mock and insult some of us.

      Reply

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