Civil War MonitorWell, that is at least the working title of an essay that will appear in the next issue of The Civil War Monitor. I just finished with the final edits and I am really happy with the final version.  As far as I know there is nothing out there in a popular publication that deals with this tough topic.  I do my best to bring some light to the relationship between slaveowners and their camp servants at war.  It’s an incredibly frustrating and challenging topic and I don’t claim to have provided the last word.  More than anything else, what I hope it does is raise questions and challenge assumptions on all sides – assumptions that almost always tell us more about the present as opposed to the past.

With that in mind, I hope my fellow high school history teachers will think about picking up a copy for their classrooms.  I think the essay will work well in getting students to think critically about the slave-master dynamic and related issues related to the war generally.

It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Terry Johnston and his editorial team.  They did a great job pushing back with questions that helped to improve both the narrative and analysis.  It clearly reflects their commitment to put out a first-rate magazine that is both a pleasure to read and thought provoking.

Do yourself a favor and get a subscription today.

5 thoughts on “Searching for Real Black Confederates in The Civil War Monitor

  1. Several years ago North & South magazine published a piece about “Black Confederates” by Bruce Levine, and it started a dialogue in the “letters-to-the-editor” section that went back and forth over a couple of issues, with the author feeling compelled to write a lengthy follow-up response. I have no doubt that your new piece is going to spark they same type of discussion, but I know you in particular are especially very well prepared and experienced at engaging in the debate. Of course Terry Johnston (who I agree is awesome to work with) was at “North & South” back in the day, so he knows what to expect too. I suspect that the difference between your piece and Bruce Levine’s is that you take these accounts seriously (as I did in my own book), and use them to analyze the master-slave dynamic of Confederate body servants. Looking forward to reading it and all the dialogue that it will inspire!

    1. Hi Glenn,

      I remember that article and the ensuing debate. There was also a piece by John Coski that appeared in N&S. I hope the article leads to a helpful discussion even if it is likely to rile up the usual crowd.

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