Sons of Confederate Veterans Kicked Out of St. Paul’s Episcopal

Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis all prayed at the church at one point or another during the war.  It was there in April 1865 that Davis learned that Richmond must be evacuated.  So, why the cold shoulder?  It’s hard to tell at this point, but here is what we know.  Yesterday the Sons of Confederate Veterans held their National Heritage Rally in the city, which was to include a panel discussion titled, “Debunking the Myth of the White Confederate Military” at the church  The panelists were to include Teresa Roane archivist at the Museum of the Confederacy and Eric Richardson, who is currently a graduate student in history at North Carolina Central University.  I’ve heard through the grapevine that he is doing some very interesting research at the MOC.  It is highly unlikely that the title of the panel or the panelists themselves were responsible for the church’s change of heart.  The panel was to be followed by a revival service at the church.  Apparently, at the last minute some time on Friday church officials canceled the event.

The day began with a small rally of SCV faithful at the Lee monument on Monument Avenue.  At least one unit marched while chanting the following:

What do we do?

Kill Yankees

How Many?

All of them

Would you want these people in your church?

Note: Updates will be posted as more information becomes available.

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47 thoughts on “Sons of Confederate Veterans Kicked Out of St. Paul’s Episcopal

  1. Pat Young

    Just like a Liberal, criticizing honest SCVs for advocating genocide.

    Don’t these guys ever consider how they sound to anybody who isn’t them.

    My favorite take on that chant was a group of LGBT protesters in New Hampshire who marched along the main drag in Manchester during the Primary. They were chanting the usual slogans when one of the protesters shouted the antiphonal “what do we want?” and the answer came back “pizza”, to which he responded “ok, let’s eat.”

    Reply
    1. Chrisitne Smith

      Pat, I couldn’t help this. “the main drag”? Was that intentional? Whatever, it added even more humor to your post.

      Reply
  2. Chrisitne Smith

    Well, no, Kevin, in answer to your question. As an Episcopalian, and the wife of an Episcopal priest, I can tell you that the Rector, and in his/her absence, the assistant/associate priests, have control over the church, it’s furnishings, and those who use it’s facilities. I can also tell you that “revival” services, in the tradition of “hands in the air, hellfire preaching, testimony, and altar call” (my quotes based on what I have been a witness to over my lifetime), especially if they would want to hold them in the nave of the church, would probably not be approved. Having said all that, I can also say that Episcopal churches, especially large ones, can be unbelievably stuffy about their buildings and grounds, not to mention their religious traditions. I strongly suspect that all of these factors came into play in the cancellation this particular event. When I first went to Richmond to do research at the Library of Virginia, I took one afternoon and did what I call the “Confederate tour”. I walked to the White House of the Confederacy and did the tour, and did a rather quick look through of the MOC (and I need to revisit that one because of the work that has been and is being done there), and then walked to St. Paul’s. I sat in the pew that Jefferson Davis was sitting in when he received Lee’s message, and prayed at the altar rail for ALL the men killed in that horrible war. I was very moved by St. Paul’s, both as an Episcopalian and a student of the Civil War. Having seen it, and knowing what I know about the Episcopal church, I can’t imagine those in charge allowing a “revival” there at any time.

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      Hi Christine,

      Thanks for the added perspective. It is indeed a beautiful church with an incredibly rich history. Keep in mind that not only was the revival canceled, but the panel as well. I’ve got a few feelers out so I am hoping to get some additional information soon.

      Reply
      1. Chrisitne Smith

        I’m sorry to hear that the panel was cancelled! I missed that somehow. I’ll be interested to know what you find out further. on this.

        Reply
    2. Will Hickox

      You’re right, it is “unbelievably stuffy” of them to be wary of people who wear 150-year-old military uniforms and advocate genocide.

      Reply
      1. Chrisitne Smith

        Will, you’re right of course, but I put that in so that anyone who might think it was because they were too stuffy and arrogant they didn’t want this program, would know that I realized that. (Some Episcopal Churches tend to be “God’s Frozen Chosen”.) I would bet money this cancellation came from the clergy, since Episcopal clergy tend to be more liberal than most of their parishioners, and would be wary of those folks. Perhaps because they did the march earlier the day, word of that little chant got back to St. Paul’s and they to pull the plug. There was an article about the march in the Richmond _Times-Dispatch_ that only addressed the events of the march and quoted the chant. No mention was made of the cancellations to follow. It will be interesting to find out “the rest of the story” if Kevin can do so.

        Reply
  3. Connie Chastain

    Do you people SERIOUSLY believe that the chant was SERIOUSLY advocating genocide? Or are you only pretending to so you’ll have something to pretend to be outraged about?

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      Hi Connie,

      Nice to know you are still alive and kicking. I certainly don’t believe that they were advocating “genocide” if that makes you feel any better. :-)

      Reply
    2. Will Hickox

      Something tells me you wouldn’t be quite so flippant if members of a Union heritage group were to march around calling for the death of all Southerners.

      Reply
      1. Billy Bearden

        We have the Battle hymn of the Republic, theme song of the SUVCW doing that very thing. A few years ago Prof Jonathan Farley said all southerners should have been killed.

        Reply
        1. Ray O'Hara

          The BHOTR advocates killing all Southerners?
          your version must have different lyrics because All I see are biblical references.
          and it is Historical to the war, its not some modern day creation.

          And Did Jonathan Farley say that.? I’ve never heard of him but if he did it was over the top and two wrongs don’t make a right.
          http://www.latticetheory.net/threats/index.shtml

          I looked up Mr Farley and found this.

          Reply
        2. Edward H. Sebesta

          Jonathan Farley said no such thing. In the text of his essary he used the word “deserved” and further had the context that according to the mores of the time and ours. He did not say “should,” he said “deserved”.

          The text is:

          “Lest we forget, the Confederacy aimed to destroy the United States. Every Confederate soldier, by the mores of his age and ours, deserved not a hallowed resting place at the end of his days but a reservation at the end of the gallows. The UDC honors traitors.”

          Further I might point out that the United States has executed people for war crimes. We executed Axis officials after World War II. The idea that Confederates could be conceived of criminals is only shocking to a Civil War interest community that is either saturated with Lost Cause thinking or kow tows to it.

          I am fininish up a book length manuscript on Vanderbilt and what happened to Jonathan Farley. I have an academic co-author.

          Reply
    3. Roger E Watson

      No Connie, they are just SERIOUSLY stupid !! However, it’s not “pretend” to be outraged by what the SCV does.

      Reply
    4. Lyle Smith

      I agree with you Connie… it’s probably more of a reenactment of Confederate chauvinism… but not an actual call for genocide, murder, or violence of any kind.

      Reply
    5. Michael Douglas

      I didn’t see anyone advocating or accusing anyone of genocide. I usually only hear that rhetoric from latter day Confederate apologists whose fever dreams have convinced them that there is a campaign of “genocide” against southerners. That and, of course, “evilization.”

      Reply
  4. Billy Bearden

    A nice fat juicy lawsuit for breach of contract should settle matters.
    Just a few years ago another Richmond area Episcopal Church refused to allow a Confederate memorial service and headstone dedication in the graveyard for the decendants of the Vass Brothers. There was no call to use their “precious” building, just a simple service outside seperate from their normal service times.

    My question is WWJD?
    Honor Thy Mother and Thy Father.

    Unless of course you are a Richmond Episcopal

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      Once again, the SCV is playing the victim card. It’s all so pathetic, Billy. The SCV has done everything in their power to place themselves in this position. I honestly don’t care whether the SCV takes legal action. What matters in the end is that the church did not want them there and its not because they are not good southerners or they don’t believe that it is proper to remember the Confederate past. It’s just another piece of evidence to suggest that more and more people no longer identify with the goals and agenda of the SCV.

      Reply
      1. Wayne Carlson

        Since you mentioned the “goals and agenda of the SCV”, let’s be sure we know what you are implying when you say, “more and more people no longer identify with the goals and agenda of the SCV”. I think you are wrong. My experience tells me that more and more people, across America, are rethinking the principles and rights that animated the Southern people 151 years ago. This time around, the tide of history is on the side of the decentralists. Deo Vindice.
        Charge to the Sons of Confederate Veterans

        “To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we will commit the vindication of the Cause for which we fought. To your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier’s good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles which he loved and which you love also, and those ideals which made him glorious and which you also cherish. Remember, it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations”.

        Lt. General Stephen Dill Lee
        Commander-General
        United Confederate Veterans
        New Orleans, 25 April 1906

        Organization Purpose

        The citizen-soldiers who fought for the Confederacy personified the best qualities of America. The preservation of liberty and freedom was the motivating factor in the South’s decision to fight the second American Revolution. The tenacity with which Confederate soldiers fought underscored their belief in the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. These attributes are the underpinning of our Republic and represent the foundation on which this nation was built.

        Today, the Sons of Confederate Veterans is preserving the history and legacy of these heroes so future generations can understand the motives that animated the Southern Cause. The S.C.V. is the direct heir of the United Confederate Veterans and is the oldest hereditary organization for male descendants of Confederate soldiers, sailors and Marines. Organized in Richmond, Virginia in 1896, the S.C.V. continues to serve as a historical, patriotic and non-political organization dedicated to insuring that a true history of the 1861-1865 period is preserved.

        Reply
        1. Roger E Watson

          “My experience tells me that more and more people, across America, are rethinking the principles and rights that animated the Southern people 151 years ago.”

          Hey Wayne, what rights would those be ? To own other people and profit from their labors ? The Southern people are no longer just white slave owners. There are an overwhelming number of Southern people that think you are way out in left field along with the rest of the SCV !

          Reply
        2. Andy Hall

          Organized in Richmond, Virginia in 1896, the S.C.V. continues to serve as a historical, patriotic and non-political organization dedicated to insuring that a true history of the 1861-1865 period is preserved.

          It’s asinine to claim that the current SCV is “non-political.” When senior leaders in that organization — one of whose day job is as a lobbyist on Capitol Hill — call a press conference at the National Press Club in DC to formally denounce a sitting governor and a likely candidate for the U.S. Senate on their positions on “heritage” issues, you’d better damn well believe they’re getting into politics.

          Reply
  5. Eric Richardson

    Kevin,
    The presentation was actually done at the Confederate Memorial Chapel and it was the same panel, without our chair, Dr. Freddie L. Parker of North Carolina Central University, that was done at the Association for the Study of African American Life & History (ASAAL&H). You sat in on the second panel, that I chaired, with Ms. Roane & Earl Ijames.

    I started off with our panel was OK in Richmond in October for an African American audience but not for a white audience during Black History Month in the same city. The SCV had asked me during ASAAL&H to present to one of the Richmond camps and I gave them the same presentation that you missed. I specialize in ethnicity, gender, and discrimination during the rise of Jim Crow, so the presentation is not “Moonlight & Magnolias” but it covers something southerners–African, European, and Native–have not talked about in public; we are blood kin to one another.

    I have periodically read your blog and you mentioned being in Southampton County with Waite Rawls and you were addressed as “Yank” and you could not understand the implications. You got, at best, the public face of the community in that audience because Anthropologically, one word marked you as “Other” and one does not talk about anything important, or necessary for an Historian, with an outsider. They labeled you that from the beginning and you cannot undo that appellation.

    Thank you for linking to Michael Paul Williams’ article. http://diverseeducation.com/article/12737/ is a link to the AP article from 2009 about our internship program. When we talk about 40% of the population of the Confederacy being non-white, a minimum of 10% are free or, to use the term deployed at the time, free Persons of Color. My research focuses on the state sponsored, socialist pension programs aimed at destitute soldiers’ families, the maimed, disabled, and widow’s pensions. They are the great leveler of southern post-war society and they are very poorly understood, historiographically, in regards to ethnicity, gender, and inclusion. Hence, “Colored” Confederates because “Black” does not enter the lexicon the way it is used in this context until the 1960s with the rise of the Black Power Movement. I also research Native American groups in the South that also mustered for Confederate service although they were enumerated on the census as “Mulattoes” or “Negroes.” So we have “Mulatto” Confederates and “Negro” Confederates but no “Black” Confederates because “Black,” in this sense, is from a century after we are talking about these men’s service.

    Finally, I have been friends with Earl Ijames for many years and I used to give him any non-white “musket-toters” I found in North Carolina. He said to me one day, “Eric, it now safe for us to talk about ‘Colored’ Confederates.” I was very skeptical because we were not explaining just to other southerners but to people like yourself, who view the South through the lens of “Mississippi Burning.” Southerners of all complexions get it but not so much people from elsewhere. I have given more than thirty different presentations at academic conferences and at countless local presentations–Michel Foucault’s deposit in the oral archives–confirms that assertion because of how mad people get when Confederate records are combed with a view toward ethnicity and gender. Ultimately, I hope Earl is right and when can talk about this somewhat startling fact. A law of unintended consequences that came from southern integration and northerners always seem stunned that southerners of all ethnicities actually talk to one another today. Thank you’ll Yankees for making it so we are safe from the groups that kept this out of public sphere since the implementation of Jim Crow in the South, although it was LBJ who declared war on those groups. You now get to observe a family air its most dirty laundry in public, what it tried to hide for generations, and it will surprise, upset, and expose the agency and humanity of Southern history. Certainly, not what is expected and it makes Jim Crow, the failure of Reconstruction and Fusionism, and segregation all the more tragic, sad, and unnecessary.

    As to the other comments, what exactly did you’ll win? I know the South lost and always begin my presentations at that point but no one wants to talk about what the North won. For more than 140 years, North Carolina’s copy of the Bill of Rights was kept in Connecticut as a prize of war in violation of Lincoln’s orders. Tye descendants of the looter tried to extort money for its return from the state and are now in Federal prison. I have said for years that the North lacked the guts to actually finish the job and that they should have lined us all up and shot every one: men, women, & children of all ethnicities. Remember, complexion does not indicate familial connections in the South, so you should have killed us all but you missed your chance. In vacuus locis was the plan but the pesky detail of northern profit squashed the deal. The Federal army, under Grant’s Presidency and the command of Sherman & Sheridan, did that to the Plains Indians but not the South. Perhaps, they made a poor choice of genocide victims in retrospect because we are now guilty of ethnic cleansing of Native Americans. One of my English professors from California asked me last week, “Why is it that white northerners don’t like you but African Americans in the South do?” Because speaking truth to power has a long history down here and if you are willing to stick your head up to talk about the inconvenient truth, you earn respect, especially if you go to the nation’s oldest state supported Historically Black College, are phenotypically white, and do not mind making other white folks mad. Actually, they revel in the fact I make other white folks mad but that is African Diasporic in nature.
    Eric

    Reply
    1. Kevin Levin Post author

      Hi Eric,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to respond and share a bit about your work. I heard that the talk did indeed take place at another location, which is great to hear. I do hope it sparked an interesting discussion. I do want to respond to a few points you made, if only because they are not sufficiently clear.

      I have periodically read your blog and you mentioned being in Southampton County with Waite Rawls and you were addressed as “Yank” and you could not understand the implications. You got, at best, the public face of the community in that audience because Anthropologically, one word marked you as “Other” and one does not talk about anything important, or necessary for an Historian, with an outsider. They labeled you that from the beginning and you cannot undo that appellation.

      I lived in Virginia for ten years and only on the rarest of occasions was I made to feel like an outsider or as an “other.” To put it simply, Virginia was my home and I was sad to leave it last year.

      Hence, “Colored” Confederates because “Black” does not enter the lexicon the way it is used in this context until the 1960s with the rise of the Black Power Movement.

      Any attempt at fleshing out these terms is welcome by me.

      Finally, I have been friends with Earl Ijames for many years and I used to give him any non-white “musket-toters” I found in North Carolina. He said to me one day, “Eric, it now safe for us to talk about ‘Colored’ Confederates.”

      Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, Ijames has done very little to bring clarity to the discussion of the roles of African Americans in the Confederate army. His talk in Richmond last October was very disappointing as was another talk that he gave that was recorded. I am more than happy to read his work once it appears in published form, but that is unlikely.

      I was very skeptical because we were not explaining just to other southerners but to people like yourself, who view the South through the lens of “Mississippi Burning.” Southerners of all complexions get it but not so much people from elsewhere.

      You are going to have to explain to me what this means.

      I will stop there. Perhaps at some point I will have a chance to consider your research in published form, which may give me a better sense of what exactly you are finding in the historical record. Unfortunately, your comment has left me more confused about what exactly you are researching. Still, I wish you all the best.

      Reply
      1. Eric Richardson

        Kevin,
        I lived in New Jersey, your home state, for two years. It is beautiful and when I moved, I regretted having to leave. However, I was never “from there” like you describe in Albemarle County. And that is a key difference, from an Ethnographical and Anthropological viewpoint, you were an “Other” like I was in New Jersey. This is not used pejoratively but we are both etic, observing culture as an outsider, and Earl’s comment to me was emic, as a participant native of the culture. What he and I both describe is a polyglot South that was intentionally obscured by white reconciliation after the fall of the Knights of Labor, the defeat of Fusionism, and the rise of white supremacy in America as a whole.

        As an example of what I’m talking about, I work in the Quaker archives because they and my own Dunker/Brethren (anti-slavery and pacifist; served in the Confederate military) and attend their conferences. The Secretary of the New England Meeting asked me, after learning of my research focus, if I knew who headed the largest Klan in American history. “Nathan Bedford Forrest?” I hazarded. “No, a female Quaker minister from Indiana in the 1920s,” she said. I was perplexed because the Quakers and the Brethren are closely aligned in their Pacifist testimony, until the Secretary of North Carolina’s Meeting said, “That’s where we are a little different than you’ll, Eric. Not supposed to kill them but it is alright to hate them.” They understood the Theological position because they were carried into the Quaker Meeting as babies and are emic to that culture. I just described my own etic position. In theory, there should be a third position that presents an unbiased interpretation from a completely disinterested party but it is unavailable because there were only three people present.

        As to terminology, Black, as racial description, is a modern term. The southern tautology that all Negroes are Colored Men but not all Colored Men are Negroes, gets conflated when you use the term Black. It is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not Negro, or African, or, in our case, Black People. It is a presentist position. The lexiconography and etymology of the term is both incorrect and ahistoric. I hold the Dr. James Howard Brewer Memorial Supervisory Internship between the Museum of the Confederacy and North Carolina Central University and the title of his book is “Confederate Negro.” In his Introduction, Brewer says, “Although barred from carrying arms, he bore them for the Confederacy.” He published after Dr. King’s assassination and when asked about the comment, he is reported to have replied, “We are not ready to hear about that.” He was my Dean’s mentor at NC Central. Earl’s comment and my response, reference Dr. Brewer’s cryptic comment.

        Yes, this is an inappropriate medium to present research. I did however, wish to afford yourself and your readers, an account of the event by a participant. Thank you for your good wishes.

        Reply
        1. Kevin Levin Post author

          Eric,

          Thanks for the follow up. Exactly what are the implications of this? Are you suggesting that only certain individuals/groups are properly disposed to research and understand certain subjects? I certainly agree that the language we use when referring to race is often vague and in need of conceptual analysis, especially when sifting through layers of interpretation. You’ve mentioned Earl Ijames a number of times, but I am still uncertain as to why. My problem with Earl’s claims about “colored Confederates” has nothing to do with his race or personal background. My problem is with his interpretation and his methods. Many of his claims border on complete incompetence.

          Finally, I am familiar with Brewer’s book and have found it to be incredibly helpful. Again, I look forward to reading your research in a published form at some point in the future. Perhaps you could put together a guest post for this site if you are so inclined. Let me know as I am very interested in your research and I am sure it would lead to a thoughtful discussion.

          Reply
          1. Eric Richardson

            Kevin,
            Again, thanks for the kind words. I will make this my last post because I am writing up the last chapter of my Thesis now. No, I think we need both an etic and an emic view and I do all I can to encourage it. However, race in the South remains not just a definitional challenge but also, perhaps more importantly, a question of nuance. I have been in groups of my colleagues from NC Central when a person from outside the area said something that appears innocent on the surface but had a huge resonance in Southern history. It is inadvertent racism and the offender meant no harm. However, syntax and grammar in the South has racist overtones. I hear it and can read it in body language but I am unable to teach you how to do so. I attempt to describe it for you and its roots in Southern history but I do not have all of the questions. To arrive at a more useful view, an etic view is necessary but it must be culturally neutral.

            I mentioned Earl because he said to me that it was now “safe” to talk about Colored Confederates. That is a tough word in the South when you step beyond traditional bounds. Nothing more, nothing less. I submitted myself and my research to professorial review at a Historically Black University, I follow historical methodology, and supplement archival research with ethnographic fieldwork and relevant literary works. It should suffice for the purpose.

            Let me think on your kind offer for a guest post. At present, my writing time is dedicated to other purposes.

            Good day.

            Reply
            1. Kevin Levin Post author

              All good points, Eric. I agree, no more comments for now. Finish your thesis. :-) Please feel free at any point to run an idea by me for a guest post.

              Reply
              1. JosephineSouthern

                Something good from your site today, now I am acquainted with Eric Richardson and his work. I will be looking forward to learning more from him. Very perceptive gentleman and he has a handle on it!

                Reply
                1. Kevin Levin Post author

                  We agree on something. It’s nice to know that you can comment without getting emotionally bent out of shape.

                  Reply
                  1. Doug didier

                    Some info on mr. Richardson…

                    VII.C.3. Eric J. Richardson, North Carolina Central University & University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
                    Title: Onward Christian Soldiers: John Brown’s Impact on Southern Abolitionist and Pacifist Anti-Slavery Groups, 1859-1900

                    040. 2:00 pm to 3:50 pm Panel Session Room 2
                    ReConsTRUCTInG THe naRRaTIVe: DIsseCTInG THe HIsToRY of THe ConfeDeRaTe sTaTes of aMeRICa (Csa) fRoM ITs HeRITaGe.
                    Chair:
                    Rhonda D. Jones, North Carolina Central University
                    Participants:
                    Abdur Ali-Haymes, Museum of the Confederacy 
                    Eric Richardson, North Carolina Central University 
                    Clyde Wilson, North Carolina Central University

                    NORTH CAROLINA STATE CAPITOL MEMORIAL STUDY COMMITTEE REPORT
                    Eric Richardson, North Carolina Central University graduate student, issued a call to “interrupt the narrative” represented by the Confederate monument and endorsed the addition of new memorials. He noted the central role American Indians have played in the history of the state and said that even Cherokees in Oklahoma consider North Carolina home. He suggested additional hearings in Swain, Robeson, and other counties with sizable Indian population.

                    Reply
        2. Michael Douglas

          “As to terminology, Black, as racial description, is a modern term. The southern tautology that all Negroes are Colored Men but not all Colored Men are Negroes, gets conflated when you use the term Black. It is the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People not Negro, or African, or, in our case, Black People. It is a presentist position. The lexiconography and etymology of the term is both incorrect and ahistoric.”
          ————————————————————–

          What era are you saying “modern” began? In “Slave culture: nationalist theory and the foundations of Black America,” (Sterling Stuckey, Oxford University Press, 1987) there is a chapter titled “Ideology and Identity: the Names Controversy.” In it, Stuckey points out that, “While brown and colored enjoyed popularity among certain ‘free’ Southerners of African descent in the late eighteenth century, the word African found significant expression among blacks, slave and free, in the South.”

          In a discussion pointing to the use of the word African among individuals and in organizational titles, he says, “. . .an almost bewildering number of names were put forth as the legitimate name for black people in the nineteenth century, including African, Ethiopian, Free African, Colored, Negro, Children of Africa, Sons of Africa, Colored American, people of color, free people of color, blacks, Anglo-African, Afric, African-American, Afro-American, Afmerican, Aframerican, Africo-American and Afro-Saxon.”

          As you can see, even the much-maligned “African-American” is hardly a new term. But my point is that black is not a modern term. As for the NAACP, it grew out of an organization originally called The National Negro Committee. I can’t cite a source at the moment but I’ve also read that one of its founders (Mary Ovitz) originally want to call it the National Association for the Advancement of the Negro People.”

          Reply
          1. Andy Hall

            But my point is that black is not a modern term.

            Quite right. It’s common in contemporary documents, though not as common as “Negro” or “colored.” Both Frederick Douglass and Howell Cobb used it at the time in reference to persons of African descent, in the context of arming them as soldiers.

            Reply
          2. Eric Richardson

            Yes, I used the term in the context of a question I asked in a Black Experience in the 20th Century course. “Black” had no standing in the law during the 19th Century in the South and so I asked how it was used in the course title: internal or external description. Internal was Dr. Parker’s answer. Confederate records do not deploy that internal definition in the mid 19th and early 20th Centuries. It follows the census, with variations, of Negro or Mulatto. Post war laws that defined race as fractionality of blood quantum did not use the word Black but instead used Colored because they included non-African groups as well. A Diasporic view of the records would be an interesting approach but it is predicated to a large extent, I believe, on a false dichotomous binary of black & white. I have no problem using black but then what are Natives? Depending on the county in the South at that time, they might be white, black, and Mulatto in sequential censuses. Fine, I was taught to argue the dichotomy but the actuality is much more complex. However, if all non-whites are black in the antebellum South, which I do not believe is the case at all, then it becomes the myth of the myth of “Black Confederates.”

            Reply
            1. Kevin Levin Post author

              Hi Eric,

              You said: Confederate records do not deploy that internal definition in the mid 19th and early 20th Centuries.

              In the same way that you caution others to note the complexity of racial concepts we should also be careful when referring to Confederate records. Documents/records produced after 1865, such as pension records, are not strictly speaking Confederate records; they are creatures of states that were now part of the United States.

              I know you need to budget your time on this site, but it would be very helpful to have some sense of what kinds of questions you are attempting to answer through your research.

              Reply
            2. Andy Hall

              “Black” had no standing in the law during the 19th Century in the South and so I asked how it was used in the course title: internal or external description. . . . It follows the census, with variations, of Negro or Mulatto.

              I hate to be contrary, but most of the slave schedules I’ve seen from the U.S. Census record B for black, or M for mulatto. The schedules for free inhabitants carries the notation (column 6), “Color/White, black, or mulatto.” The suggestion that the census — at least the U.S. Census on the eve of the Civil War — did not recognize the term black just isn’t so.

              Reply
    2. Richard Williams

      Eric:

      “it covers something southerners–African, European, and Native–have not talked about in public; we are blood kin to one another.”

      You’ve made some excellent points in your comments here and noted that it is often difficult for folks outside the region to get their minds around. I agree.

      My wife is of Native descent and is also the great-great granddaughter of a Confederate veteran. I know several families from the Irish Creek area of Rockbridge County (VA) and, in speaking to an older man from one of those families a few years ago, he told me that his ancestry included African, Italian, and Irish. I now have grandsons and granddaughters who are of mixed ancestry – Latino, Native, Lebanese, Scots-Irish, Welsh, and Jewish. All are descendants of Confederate soldiers and all are quite proud of that aspect of their heritage, as well as the rest of it.

      Reply
  6. Tom Logue

    Dear Mr. Richardson:

    You write, “As to the other comments, what exactly did you’ll win? I know the South lost and always begin my presentations at that point but no one wants to talk about what the North won.”

    In 1861, half of the Southerners — the people living in the South — were enslaved. By law, they had “no will distinct from the will of their owner.” In 1865, as a result of the war, those Southerners were free. So for starters, 4 million more Americans were free in 1865 than were free in 1861. If you value freedom like most Americans– white, black, Northerners, Southerners, Westerners — that is an awful lot that America won.

    Also, a friend of mine from South America said that the Civil War helped the United States by destroying the wealthy, educated, backward-looking conservative class that Latin Americans call “latifundistas” — the great land owners that held back South America. I have been studying the writings and speeches of Confederates like Calhoun, Rhett, T.R.R. Cobb, Toombs, Benjamin, and even Alexander Stevens. In their own way, these men were accomplished and brilliant, particularly Calhoun. But they were profoundly wrong and wrong-headed. They lead their people into war against the tide of history to protect a property right that is a property wrong. It is best that these men lost their influence. It is hard to read a page or two of what they have said or written without blushing.

    Reply
  7. Edward H. Sebesta

    References?

    1. Is there an article about the SCV being kicked out of the church?

    2. Is there a reference about the MOC being involved?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    Reply
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  9. Russell Lynn Drysdale

    Richard Williams
    Have you spent time living on Irish Creek ? I my self have[ as did generations before me] The diversity you speak of , I have never heard of , aside from Native and Scot-Irish [that much is true] the diverse group you speak of African, Italian Lebanese and Jewish , you didnt realize he was pulling your leg ?

    ”he told me that his ancestry included African, Italian, and Irish. I now have grandsons and granddaughters who are of mixed ancestry – Latino, Native, Lebanese, Scots-Irish, Welsh, and Jewish. All are descendants of Confederate soldiers and all are quite proud of that aspect of their heritage, as well as the rest of it.”

    Reply

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