Looks like the story of Andrew and Silas Chandler is now the subject of a poem by Yusef Komunyakaa, which appears in the collection, Lines in Long Array: A Civil War Commemoration: Poems and Photographs, Past and Present. There is something satisfying about the story of Silas making it into such a collection and some of the stanzas are quite beautiful, but it is unfortunate that Komunyakaa makes so many mistakes. More to the point we are presented with the story of Silas as the loyal slave whose world is defined by service to Andrew and the Confederate cause.
I can only imagine what sources this poet consulted in addition to the famous image. A number of specific claims in this poem were called into question in the essay that I co-authored with Myra Chandler Sampson for Civil War Times. You can download it here. Below is a reading of the poem by Komunyakaa at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.
[Uploaded to YouTube on April 21, 2014]