Number of Black Confederates Will Increase in April

Fold3

How do I know this?  Fold3 is offering free access to all of its Confederate records during the month of April, which happens to be Confederate History Month.  Well, it’s CHM in the few places that still acknowledge it.  Check out the press release from the Georgia Division SCV.

So much is portrayed by Hollywood today that Georgia and the South were evil; when, in reality, the South was the most peaceful, rural, and Christian part of America before war and Reconstruction destroyed the pastoral way of life here. April gives us a chance to celebrate the positive things about our Southern heritage and culture, as well as a chance to learn from the political dangers that once led to a deep division in America over the role of the federal government in people’s individual lives.

yada…yada…yada.

I think it’s great that Fold3 is making it possible for ‘everyone t0 be his or her own historian.’ That said, I am also thankful that hospitals don’t invite the general public into their operating rooms to give surgery a try.  Now get in there and find me some black Confederate soldiers for my book.

CraterThanks for reading this post. Scroll down, leave a comment and join the conversation if you are so inclined. Follow me on Twitter and join the Civil War Memory Facebook group for continuous updates and additional links to newsworthy items from around the interwebs. Stay up to date by subscribing to this blog’s feed. You can also check out my recently published book, Remembering the Battle of the Crater: War as Murder.

13 comments… add one

  • Brad Apr 3, 2013

    Is Fold 3 something like Ancestry.com? Do they have Union records as well?

    I wonder if the slaves would agree that it was a peaceful society? Somehow, I don’t think so.

    • Kevin Levin Apr 3, 2013

      Yes, they include Union records as well.

      You are probably right that the slaves would not agree with such an assessment. It’s unfortunate that such a point still needs to be made.

    • Andy Hall Apr 3, 2013

      Brad, Fold3 includes compiled service records (CSRs) from all states of the Confederacy. Mike Musick, a former CW area specialist with NARA, recently clarified on my blog that “The [United] Daughters [of the Confederacy, that funded the microfilming of records long ago] stipulated that all CSRs for Southern and border states be filmed. This resulted in the filming, in addition to CSA records, of CSRs for all the white Southern Union regiments (e.g. 1st Alabama Cavalry, USA, etc.), as well as Union regiments with Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, and Delaware designations.”

      Union records are much less incomplete, except for USCTs, which I think are all scanned. I believe only Confederate records are available under this offer, though.

      • Kevin Levin Apr 3, 2013

        Thanks for the clarification, Andy.

      • Robert Moore Apr 4, 2013

        “This resulted in the filming, in addition to CSA records, of CSRs for all the white Southern Union regiments (e.g. 1st Alabama Cavalry, USA, etc.), as well as Union regiments with Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, and Delaware designations.”

        Records for Union units from West Virginia have also been scanned and are available on Fold3.

        What’s interesting is to when you go into Union records and see all the Union states… and then “CSA”. That’s where the “Galvanized Yankees” of the United States Volunteers are located… also scanned in their entirety.

  • Brad Apr 3, 2013

    Thanks to you both for the answer. Looks like a heck of a resource.

    • Mike Musick Apr 4, 2013

      Regarding African Americans in the Confederate Compiled Military Service Records, some will be found indexed under given names common among blacks in the southern states. That is, when you find someone shown with just a first name, but not a last name, that person will ordinarily be a black man. I’ve found Broadfoot’s printed index to Confederate CSRs especially useful in this respect. This would seem to be an indication of their status in a status-obsessed environment.

      • Kevin Levin Apr 4, 2013

        Thanks, Mike.

  • Nathan Towne Apr 5, 2013

    Kevin,

    “I think it’s great that Fold3 is making it possible for ‘everyone t0 be his or her own historian.’ That said, I am also thankful that hospitals don’t invite the general public into their operating rooms to give surgery a try. ”

    Hahaha, what does that mean?

    Nathan Towne

    • Andy Hall Apr 5, 2013

      “Hahaha, what does that mean?”

      There are numerous examples of people looking for “black Confederates” who have misunderstood, misquoted or or even fabricated quotes from these documents to “prove” that such men existed. They don’t know the material, how it was compiled, or its uses and limitations.

      • Kevin Levin Apr 5, 2013

        Thanks, Andy.

  • Craig Swain Apr 5, 2013

    In addition, under this offer Fold3 is also offering access to Confederate records beyond the CSRs. The Citizens Files and others are included.

    With much hyperbole, I’d say one could reconstruct the Confederacy down to the nail and pen using the records found in the Citizens Files. Point being these are a vast, and accurate, set of records, even if truncated towards the end of the war. Over the years I’ve, of course, spent time tracing cannon manufacturing through those records. But it is very common to find documentation which correlates to historical events. And, for those looking for “black Confederates”, they will find plenty of receipts posted for the labor of rented slaves.

  • Nathan Towne Apr 11, 2013

    Andy,

    Thanks for the clarification.

    Nathan Towne

Leave a Comment