Grave of Silas Chandler

Next week PBS’s History Detectives will air an episode on the famous image of Andrew and Silas Chandler.  We anticipate that this episode will help to correct some of the many myths that have revolved around these two individuals.  The famous photograph of Andrew and Silas is arguably the most popular image on the Web purporting to demonstrate the existence of thousands of loyal black slaves, who served in the Confederate army.  The research and writing that I conducted with Myra Chandler Sampson shows that this was not the case.  Silas served his master as he had done for his entire life.  Our research will be published in the 50th anniversary edition of Civil War Times magazine, which should be available in December.   We hope that both the PBS show, as well as our article, will help to correct some of the misconceptions about Silas and the larger subject of the role of slaves in the Confederate war effort.

In light of both these efforts, Ms. Sampson has asked me to publish a petition demanding that the SCV and UDC discontinue the practice of placing a Confederate flag and Iron Cross in front of Silas’s gravestone.

Petition to Remove the Confederate Flag and Iron Cross Permanently From the Grave of Silas Chandler

We, the descendants of Silas Chandler view placing the Confederate flag and Iron Cross on the grave of Silas Chandler a great insult to Silas and all of his descendants.  As of this day July 29, 2008, we are asking the Sons of the Confederate Veterans and Daughters of the Confederacy to CEASE AND DESIST from placing any objects on the grave of Silas Chandler.  This grave is private property and to trespass would be in violation of the wishes of the descendants listed on this petition.



Lucy Chandler Glenn (deceased 03-04-2011 at 107 years old)

Great Grandsons: John L. Glenn Jr., Jimmie L. Chandler, George E. Chandler, Cyril Lang Chandler, George J. Duckett, Phillip Duckett

Great Grandaughters: Sara Chandler Wims, Myra Chandler Sampson, Mozell Duckett

Great Great Grandaughters: Sharon Chandler Harris, Joyce Wims, Angela Wims Hurd, Cheryl Wims, JoAnn Sampson Welch, Lynn M. Gardner Greene, Janice Malone, Dorothy Malone, Velma Malone, Ayana Ducket, Ngina Duckett, Dawn Duckett Anaiscourt, Cheryl Chandler Harris, Nicole Chandler McNairy, Gwen Chandler

Great Great Grandsons: Jervis Chandler, Alexander Glenn, John B. Sampson, Mark A. Sampson, Barry Chandler Williams, Jaime A. Williams, Andrew Foster Williams, Brian A. Wims, Levi Greene, Corey Malone

Great Great Great Grandsons: Raphael Newsome, Travius Chandler, Le3Lee Greene

Great Great Great Granddaughters: Amber Harris, Whitney Chandler, Fuchsia Newsome, Brandye Lee, Sydney Chandler

Great Great Great Great Grandsons: Tyrone Chandler, Van Robert Chandler Sr

Great Great Great Great Granddaughters: Colondra Chandler, LaNise Chandler

Great Great Great Great Great Grandsons: Van Robert Chandler Jr., Dezmon Chandler

Great Great Great Great Great Grandaughters: Lakeisha Chandler, Alexcia Peart, Tylecia Chandler


25 comments add yours

  1. Myra, has there been any response from the SCV or UDC? And thanks to both of you for working to set the historical record straight. The only way to turn back this tide of nonsense is case by case.

  2. Mrs. Sampson-I shared this on my Facebook page (I don’t have a huge number of “friends” but some of them aren’t heavily into the Civil War so I wanted to spread the word to those who wouldn’t learn of it through Kevin’s wonderful site. I included this message (I am correcting a couple of typos I missed):

    Margaret Blough
    The image in question is the Civil War image of Silas Chandler, an enslaved man, and a member of the family who enslaved him, both dressed in Confederate uniforms. The white man is holding a knife and there is a rifle across their laps with Silas Chandler’s hand on it. This has been used by the SCV and others in an attempt to prove there were Black combat soldiers in the Confederate army through most of the war. Part of the CW Memory post is a petition by a large number of Silas Chandler’s descendents asking the Confederate flag & iron cross that the SCV/UDC placed on his grave be removed & that they cease & desist from placing anything else on the grave.”

  3. Kudos to both Kevin and Ms. Sampson. I am looking forward to the article.

  4. Kevin, I have to ask. During your research on the Silas Chandler story, have you spoken with Bobbie Chandler, who I understand is Mrs. Sampson’s brother?

    • No, I have never spoken with him. Let me be clear that my primary interest in Silas Chandler has always been through the available historical record. Myra provided me with extensive documentation collected in Mississippi.

        • I have no idea whether he has something to add. Perhaps Myra can respond to your question.

        • Yes, Bobbie Chandler is my brother and you will soon see and hear what he has to say on the History Detective episode of the Chandler Tintype.

  5. Thank you civil war historian, Kevin Levin, for assisting my mom, Myra Sampson, in researching and writing the article concerning my great great grandfather, Silas Chandler.

    “Who does not know that the first law of historical writing is the truth.”

    • You are very welcome, Mark. It’s been a real joy having the opportunity to work with your mother on this project.

  6. A big thanks to my mom (Myra Sampson) and Kevin for setting the record straight. I’m very proud of my great, great, grandfather Silas Chandler and I hope the SCV and UDC respect my family’s wishes.

  7. I am the great grand daughter of (Lucy Chandler Glenn) but i don’t see her children or grandchildren or her great grand children

    • Gloria, I did not know how to get in touch with you, however I did ask Alexander Glenn, who is listed to help me contact all of Aunt Lucy”s descendants. I am so sorry, and I understand that there are quite a number of her descendants.

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