Op-Ed on Black Confederates at History News Network

Last week Rick Shenkman asked me to write an Op-Ed on the myth of the black Confederate soldier for History News Network, which I was happy to do. I decided to structure it around a recent post that highlights a simply and important point that I’ve made numerous times. In all the years that I have researched this topic, I have yet to find a single piece of wartime evidence from a Confederate soldier, civilian or politician (before March 1865) that acknowledges that black men were serving as soldiers. In fact, on numerous occasions Confederates denied their existence when confronted by stories to the contrary.

For those of you waiting patiently for the book, you will be happy to hear that I am making steady progress. I’ve got a solid rough draft of the first chapter, which is in the hands of a few people for review, including my Book Writing Group, aptly called, “Book Squad.” I am hosting the group tonight at my house for dinner and conversation about the manuscript. It’s a wonderful group of scholars that includes, Megan Kate Nelson, Heather Cox Richardson, Seth Jacobs, Nina Silber, Elizabeth Covart, Sara Georgini, and Thomas Thurston.

I am still planning on having a completed manuscript by the beginning of 2016. Onward!

CraterThanks for reading this post. Scroll down, leave a comment and join the conversation. 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.

46 comments… add one
  • Patrick Jennings Oct 20, 2015

    Over the weekend I drove over the little hills that divide the lowlands of Northern Neck Virginia from the Shenandoah Valley to watch the 151st reenactment of the Battle of Cedar Creek. I rarely go to these things but an old Iraq buddy was there so I went to see him.

    While there I met a marvelous character who reminded me of a cross between an old fashioned snake-oil salesman and a painter of Velvet Elvis works. His name is Gregory Newson, and he will one day (if he ever reads it) work hard to rebut Kevin’s work on black confederates. Mr. Newson is black, the author of “Uncle T and the Uppity Spy,” is a deep supporter of Stonewall Jackson, and an artist of some of the most amazing paintings (for their topic) I have seen. If there ever was a black confederate, it is Mr. Newson. The most remarkable thing to watch were the exchanges between the living history folks and Mr. Newson. Some just talked, some. dressed as rebels saluted him, others, dressed as federals tried to convince him to “liberate” himself. The entire thing was simply amazing.

    Kevin, if you want to see the picture I took of his display and his art, I will be happy to forward them. Good luck with the book.

  • TF Smith Oct 20, 2015

    Couple different spellings of Cuffee in the column, but well put.

  • gpthelastrebel Nov 7, 2015

    ” I have yet to find a single piece of wartime evidence from a Confederate soldier, civilian or politician ”

    Perhaps you are looking in the wrong place. If you did find documentation would you dismiss it as you usually do?

    • Kevin Levin Nov 7, 2015

      Perhaps I am, but no one else has ever found such evidence. In fact, if you bothered to read the article you would have seen that Confederates themselves denied their existence.

      • gpthelastrebel Nov 7, 2015

        If I offer one example will you accept it and admit there were Negroes who supported the Confederacy as slaves, freemen, soldiers and civilians?

        • Kevin Levin Nov 7, 2015

          I will interpret it like I do every other piece of evidence. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to seeing what you have.

          • gpthelastrebel Nov 8, 2015

            Your interpretation is no good, it is known to be biased and the fact is we are not interested in your opinion — just the facts.

            I am trying to get an answer out of you, sort of like a friendly wager. The question is– If I present one Black Confederate soldier to you, before the date you specified, will you admit the existence of Black Confederates? Now is a good chance to show your stuff.

            “If I offer one example will you accept it and admit there were Negroes who supported the Confederacy as slaves, freemen, soldiers and civilians?”

            • Kevin Levin Nov 8, 2015

              This is getting boring fast. First, you have not offered a single critique of anything that I have written. Asserting bias is not the same as posing a counter-argument.

              I am happy to consider any evidence you have that Confederates during the war and before March 1865 acknowledged the presence of black men serving as soldiers in the army. Any comment from you that does not address this specific issue on this specific post will be deleted.

              If you want to be taken seriously you should at least have the decency, if not the courage, to post under your real name. I do.

            • Jimmy Dick Nov 8, 2015

              I love this. You keep saying everyone’s interpretation is biased when it doesn’t agree with your opinion. You say you have evidence? Show it. Every time you show something it fails to prove your claim. More often that not, it proves you are wrong.

              Your evidence is the usual stuff that has already been examined and rejected. Do you have something new? You posted something on HNN that was erroneous. You made a claim there that failed to stand up to scrutiny. Then when you are proven wrong you claim bias. Go look in the mirror. There’s your bias.

  • gpthelastrebel Nov 8, 2015

    kevin,

    Think of the situation this way — You are supposed to be the man when it comes to Black Confederates. I challenged you that I could provide Black Confederates before your date of 1865. You refuse to accept the challenge unless YOU had the final say so. Facts be hanged. Now how are your readers going to believe you when you cannot prove me wrong.

    It is to the point that either way you go you are going to lose. It is a shame I was hoping we could exchange some facts. Oh well.

    Before I go I would like to share these gems with you, We know that unless a person served that could not have a Compiled Service Record(CSR). No while you are explaining away the service of Blacks in the Confederate army, you can also explain this away.

    1. Jenny “negro Girl”
    Signed William Lonergan–Keeper
    (Unfiled Papers and Slips Belonging in Confederate Compiled Service Records)

    2. Negro— appears on a list of officers and men killed or wounded at Ft. Sumter, S. C. Oct 26 -Nov. 25, 1863.
    List dated Charleston, Nov. 25, 1863
    Remarks: Wounded Nov.8. Severely

    Now op your ed.

    George

    • Kevin Levin Nov 8, 2015

      These are gems, George.

      So, now there are “Negro officers” in the Confederate army. Are you working with Ben Carson on this project? Your 15 minutes are up here. Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the laugh. This will be your final comment.

    • Jimmy Dick Nov 8, 2015

      Once again you offer nothing that proves anything. Are you really claiming that a “negro girl” is evidence of black confederate soldiers? The other one proves nothing either. A negro with no name is wounded severely. Was he a soldier? Was he a slave? What role was he in? You have nothing but a wounded negro with no CONTEXT. This is why you keep coming up wrong. You never provide context to support your claims.

      At this point I am just going to do the regal hand gesture of dismissal to your claims.

      • Kevin Levin Nov 8, 2015

        The original challenge was to provide an example that would counter the claim made in the article, which is that Confederates did not comment on black soldiers in the Confederate army before March 1865. George has a wild imagination.

  • Hoyt Cagle Nov 11, 2015

    http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=25645851

    There are pictures available at the link above. I have several more, but I’m writing about them. I have been collecting these for many years, long before the internet.

    Hoyt Cagle

    • Hoyt Cagle Nov 11, 2015

      P.S.: You just haven’t looked in the right places. I really don’t care if you buy my post or not. When my book comes out, your book will look fairly foolish. I suggest that you might want to do more research prior to publication, as I have nothing against you personally; Indeed, I don’t know you from Adam.

      Regards,
      Hoyt Cagle

    • Kevin Levin Nov 11, 2015

      “Due to his bravery on January 1, 1863 at the Battle of Shiloh where he retreived the Regiment’s Battleflag when the Color Bearer was killed, he was promoted to Color Sergeant (January 3, 1863).”

      Is this the Second Battle of Shiloh that no one knows about as opposed to the first battle, which was fought on April 6-7, 1862? I eagerly await your book. Thanks for sharing.

    • Jimmy Dick Nov 11, 2015

      If that’s all the evidence you have for that man, then I suggest you look up what constitutes primary sources. All you have is an entry on Find-A-Grave. That proves nothing.

      • Hoyt Cagle Nov 12, 2015

        Dear Mr. Cagle,

        You were the one who came here hurling insults. You accuse me of poor research by providing a link to a site that includes factually incorrect information. On top of that you fail to include one single piece of primary source information that you are supposedly working into a book. Please let me know when your book has been published. Until then you are no longer welcome to comment on this site.

        Sincerely,
        CWM

        • Jimmy Dick Nov 12, 2015

          I am curious as to what press will be publishing the book. I’m sure that such a fine piece of scholarly work would be desired by an academic press. I am also sure that Mr. Cagle will submit his scholarship for peer review in order to have his work vetted by experts so that his work will be positively received in the historical community.

          I am sure he would not self-publish, or go to Pelican Press or Sea Raven Press, because to do so would mean his work was not up to scholarly standards and therefore not worthy of consideration or for that matter even accurate.

          • Kevin Levin Nov 12, 2015

            I think we have a sense of what scholarly standards (or lack thereof) that he is working with. No need to continue to this thread.

  • Hoyt Cagle Jun 29, 2016

    Old Dick, the drummer.
    –A few days ago there appeared in the local department of this paper the following paragraph:

    “Dick, a venerable darkey in uniform, was arrested for carrying a huge bowie-knife. He was on his return home to Danville from a complaint against the Yankees, and the Mayor discharged him after confiscating the knife.”

    This has elicited from “A. B. V.” a “vindication” of old Dick, including a sketch of his career, which we publish entire, not only as an act of justice to ‘”the subject of this notice,”’ but because it fully repays perusal:

    The person above referred to has occupied the position of chief drummer for the 18th Virginia regiment for the last eight months, and is highly esteemed by the regiment, not only as a musician, but as a brave and gallant old man. He is a hero of two wars, and in several instances has rendered good service to the country. When the war with Mexico broke out, he enlisted as musician for a South Carolina regiment and followed it through the war, and was present when the glorious Gen. Butler fell. The war being successfully terminated, he returned home to his usual avocations. Upon the breaking out of our present war, though old and gray, he was among the first to respond to Virginia’s call for volunteers, and was regularly mustered into service with the 18th Regiment. Since that time he has not only carried his drum, but also the bowie-knife referred to above, and a musket. In the memorable battle of the twenty-first July, he deserted his drum, and with musket in hand followed the regiment throughout the battle. Several days after the battle, while strolling through the woods, he discovered the hiding place of what he thought a Yankee, and, on reporting it, went down with several of the regiment and captured three of the creatures–one of them Colonel Wood, of the Fourteenth Brooklyn. In every scene of danger or of difficulty, old Dick has accompanied the regiment with bowie-knife by his side and musket in hand. When on picket duty at Mason’s hill, in sight of the enemy, he would go beyond the picket lines to get a fair crack at the Yankee pickets. In fine, old Dick, we believe, is a gentleman and true patriot, and we feel sorry that his knife, around which clung so many proud associations to him, should have been taken from him. He valued it above all things except his musket. It is true the law may have required its confiscation, as setting a bad example to darkeys in civil life; but, under the circumstances, it does seem hard to have subjected the old man not only to the loss of his bowie-knife, but the mortification attendant, or a suspicion of evil designs. We hope old Dick may live to prove his character still further by bagging his Yankee.

    The Daily Dispatch (Richmond, VA) 02 Jan 1862

  • Hoyt Cagle Jun 29, 2016

    Old Dick.–We learn, from the Danville Appeal, that the old negro man Dick Slate, well known as the drummer of the 18th Virginia regiment, was sold on last Friday for $750. He was purchased by the corporation of Danville. Dick entered the army at the beginning of the war, and served about two years, in which time he gained considerably notoriety, both as a drummer and a fighter. He was favorably mentioned by Russell, the correspondent of the London Times, for his fighting qualities.

    Memphis Daily Appeal (Atlanta, GA) 11 Dec 1863
    ===============================================
    I have tons of this stuff.-Hoyt

    • Kevin Levin Jun 29, 2016

      Again, thanks for sharing.

    • Phil Ross Jun 30, 2016

      It seems clear that poor Old Dick was valued far higher ($750, in fact) by the Corporation of Danville for attributes other than his fighting abilities.

      • HankC Jul 1, 2016

        good point.

        If they were valued more for soldier skills, the CSA could easily have armed, clothed, drilled and fed, say, 750,000 and sent them to the sound of the guns.

  • Hoyt Cagle Jun 29, 2016

    I don’t suppose that your bloated, humongous, swollen ego (you know, the ego that sneered and laughed quite publicly at me and others) would allow you (after you check as to the veracity of said item (and perhaps a check of the London Times, etc.,etc.) to quite publicly apologize, right? No, I doubt you have it in you. I sent you that picture and find a grave merely to show you there is material around which refutes your basic premise. I am quite aware of the date of the battle of Shiloh, thank you. The fact that that lady put the wrong date on what was sent doesn’t reflect badly on me. I just am not going to give you freebies such as a lot of hard earned research. Get out there and find it. You will be amazed.

    I detest and despise people with an agenda, whatever the topic. You set out with an agenda to prove no Blacks fought pre 1865 with the Confederacy. Don’t start on that basis, but start looking for whatever is there. (Hint: Think of the Scientific Method!)

    Anyway, I await your apology, but I’m sure the blizzard warnings will be out in Hades prior to that event accruing.

    Hoyt Cagle

    • Kevin Levin Jun 29, 2016

      How quickly we resort to insults.

      I apologize if you thought this site was a place where you could simply post a primary source without any interpretation whatsoever and believe that readers would simply arrive at your preferred conclusion.

      Perhaps you could explain how you arrive at your conclusion. This is what serious historians do. What other documents do you have beyond a newspaper article? Again, what conclusions do you expect readers to draw?

  • Hoyt Cagle Jun 29, 2016

    You Asked:
    What other documents do you have beyond a newspaper article?

    I send you copies of official military records, which you immediately delete. Does it not agree with your (intellectually bankrupt) preconceived agenda? Naw, that couldn’t be it. You show your true colors, sir. You are about as much a “serious historian” (in your words) as my Right Rear Rectum. I guess I will have to post around on various Boards & Sites that you deleted that material and refuse to acknowledge it even exists. Bye, Mr. Serious Historian.

    • Kevin Levin Jun 30, 2016

      You must think you are the first person to share documents with me. Before we discuss additional documents how about interpreting what you have already sent as I requested? Anyone can access documents, but what matters is interpretation, which for some reason you believe is not required. The ball is in your court.

      What exactly do you believe the documents you already shared show?

  • Hoyt Cagle Jun 30, 2016

    “The ball is in your court,”sayeth the man. I am an old man dying slowly and painfully from Cancer (Capital C). I breathe through a hole in my neck, because of throat Cancer that took my laranyx and thyroid, rendering me speechless (both literally and figuratively.) I am in agony from Cancer surgery I had in my left lung which left a major nerve throbbing most of the time, & medication wont touch. Currently I have a new Cancer in my right lung. The point to all of that is to say I have little time, and “suffer not fools to come unto me.”

    You asked for primary documentation that said Blacks were serving the Confederacy pre 1865. I presented his military record, and newspaper stories about him from 2 continents, written by people that knew him and spoke to him (Primary? Up to you to decide.) The fellow that wrote the Dispatch item, with a little census work, etc., could be figured out. I imagine he knew Mr. Dick well. The London correspondent met him and saw him in action at his military camp. Not stuff written by people 75 years after his death, but written by his contemporaries that knew him. Before you go say that he was merely a musician, not a soldier, please remember that white soldiers of the era were sometimes teamsters, musicians, nurses, prison guards, etc. but no one denies their service. (Hell, I have a brother who volunteered for Vietnam, never even heard a gunshot, being a staff Weinee, and to this day, he wears his Viet Vet hat & people pay his bar tabs for him.) Besides that, the news items specifically talk of his battlefield activities. I really don’t think you want to find Blacks that served the Confederacy. Whatever. I will leave you the following items to dwell upon. (And by the way, I know of a few hundred Black Confederates by name and reputation, etc.)

    ———————————————————-
    Worthy of notice.
    The Montgomery Daily Advertiser says that a slave belonging to Mrs. Josbert, of Marengo county, took $400 in the bonds of the Confederate States, and paid for it out of his own money; and another slave, belonging to Mr. Hatch, of the same county, took $500 worth of the same stock, and paid for it out of money which he had laid up from time to time.

    The Daily Dispatch (Richmond, VA) 04 May 1861
    —————————————————————————–
    A Nut for the Yankees.
    Austin Wright, a colored boy, belonging to Colonel Latham, of Campbell county, a few days ago handed to Mr. William Watkins, acting Mayor of this city, ten dollars, with instructions to apply it to the benefit of our absent soldiers, or their families, as he might think best. Austin remarked at the time that he thought it his duty to contribute what he could to aid our people in this struggle with the Yankees; that he had given as much before, and expected to continue to do so. Atlanta (Ga) Intelligence.

    The Daily Dispatch (Richmond, VA) 09 Dec 1861
    ————————————————–
    Whatever! Farewell-

    • Kevin Levin Jul 1, 2016

      I am sorry to hear about your condition.

      You asked for primary documentation that said Blacks were serving the Confederacy pre 1865.

      Yes, I asked for evidence (pre-March 1865) that Confederates acknowledged that blacks were serving as soldiers in the army. You have yet to provide it. More importantly, however, you still have failed to offer an interpretation of the evidence already provided. I am beginning to think that you simply do not understand what that entails. Unfortunately, I don’t get the sense that you are interested in learning and for that reason I will leave it by wishing you the very best.

  • Hoyt Cagle Jul 1, 2016

    His CSR (Confederate Service Record) collaborates the newspaper item (and you with such university resources as J Star could probably figure a way to call up the London story and find even more.) The newspaper item collaborates and illuminates the CSR. Hell, I could win a court case with less documentation than I have given you. I notice that you will not leave up (for other people to decide) the service record. You are too scared people will see through your little face saving bull. You are right; the more you fight it the more your reputation will suffer. You could still surrender gracefully, but you lack the personal grace to do so.

    • Kevin Levin Jul 1, 2016

      If it gives you some satisfaction, feel free to post the service records on the condition that you offer an interpretation of what you believe it demonstrates about the individual in question.

  • Hoyt Cagle Jul 1, 2016

    Old “Uncle Dick.”
    –On Tuesday afternoon last a considerable crowd collected on Main street, near 12th, to listen to many interesting incidents of the battle at Manassas, which were being related by an old colored hero named ‘”Dick,”’ who was an active participant in the eventful engagement at that memorable place. His age, he said, was over sixty years, and every one who saw the venerable, silvery locks which covered the old patriot’s head, readily credited the statement. Having enlisted as a drummer, on the day of the battle he marched out into the field at the head of his company, performing in his best manner on that soul-inspiring instrument. Soon the balls began whizzing thick and fast around his head, when, thinking his time could be better employed, without waiting for orders, old uncle Dick swung the instrument on which he was playing over his shoulder, and picking up the gun of a defunct Hessian, participated in the popular amusement of the day of pulling down the enemy at long taw. He seems certain of having made more than one of them bite the dust.

    The capture of a live Yankee by this old negro, was related by him in the most enthusiastic manner. He espied one of them somewhat separated from the rest, in the act of cutting stick for Washington, and immediately started in pursuit of him. On coming up with the brave Lincoln soldier, he brought his gun to bear on uncle ‘”Dick; “’ but this, he said, he had no fear of, and did not halt until he had a fast hold on the Yankee’s collar, and lost no time in conducting him where the prisoners had been confined.

    On asking the old negro if he intended returning to his army, he promptly answered that he should do so as soon as he transacted his business in this city, and that he expected in a short time to beat on his drum in the streets of Washington that good old tune, ‘ “Dixie.”’ ‘”Our pickets,”’ he said, ‘”were in two miles of Alexandria, and Mas. Beauregard would not be long in driving the d — d Yankees from Arlington.”’

    The Daily Dispatch (Richmond, VA) 01 Aug 1861

    • Kevin Levin Jul 1, 2016

      Once again, no interpretation. What exactly do you believe this shows about “Uncle Dick”?

  • Jimmy Dick Jul 1, 2016

    Oh, that magic word “context.”

    • Kevin Levin Jul 1, 2016

      I am trying my best to be patient, but I don’t think he understands what I am asking. That is a big problem in this so-called debate. Mr. Hoyt seems to think that primary sources speak for themselves or that any individual source necessarily points to one conclusion.

  • Hoyt Cagle Jul 1, 2016

    It shows that, contrary to your preconceived conclusions, there was no cover-up nor conspiracy to cover up the service of Black troops in the Confederate States Army or State Volunteer Units. Here we have the major newspaper of the Capitol City of the Confederate States printing this material (as it was happening) very publicly and openly. The Southern papers were widely read in New York and Ohio and etc.,etc. (And Vice Versa.) So where is it that people are denying Black CSA troops? (Besides you, of course.)

    I have even sent you material showing slaves buying Confederate bonds with their very own hard earned money, as counterintuitive as it is, as well as contributing toward soldiers’ families having a hard time.

    The CSR shows that the CSA government wasn’t hiding anything as Mr. Dick Slate’s paperwork was exactly like everyone else’s paperwork.

    “I have yet to find a single piece of wartime evidence from a Confederate soldier, civilian or politician (before March 1865) ” you said. Well, what is the editor of the Dispatch? Wait, I know this one! He’s a civilian.

    • Kevin Levin Jul 2, 2016

      I posted the newspaper account of Dick Slate back in 2011. Andy Hall, who has done very good work left the following comment after looking through the available documentation.

      There was special measure during the war where the CS Congress authorized pay for slaves employed as musicians. This was, I suspect, a belated recognition that men were bringing their slaves along with them and employing them as musicians (e.g., Captain Thomas Yopp and Bill Yopp). Not clear to me that this pay went directly to the slave; as in other cases it may have gone to the master, who may or may not have passed it along.

      Without clear documentation of formal enlistment or discharge, I wonder what official status Dick Slate actually had within his regiment, or if he was only carried on the rolls as a drummer at his master’s pleasure — which would be an entirely different sort of status than a soldier who was enlisted for a specific term — one year, three years, for the duration, which could not be broken without a formal process and review.

      Quite a few of the men now identified as BCS were musicians — Bill Yopp, Henry Brown, Dick Slate — so the actual, official status of these men within the army is relevant to the discussion. Generally speaking, the laws passed by the CS Congress differentiate between non-commissioned officers, privates and musicians — implicitly identifying the latter as distinct and separate from the first two — but (for me at least) it remains a very confusing story that bears further digging.

      Slate is an interesting story given his legal status. There are a number of questions that need to be addressed, which Andy raises above. The most important one has to do with his legal status, which you completely ignore. I have come across numerous black musicians, but it is not at all clear that they were enlisted soldiers even with the CSR.

  • Jimmy Dick Jul 2, 2016

    Let’s try a primary source from a different era so we can prevent the polarization involved with the Civil War for a moment.

    This is Joseph Warren’s account of the Battle of Lexington & Concord. Using the Five C’s of Historical Thinking, analyze the document. Is this an accurate account? Why or why not?
    http://wwphs.sharpschool.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_10640642/File/bugge/Chapter%206/Account%20of%20the%20Battle%20of%20Lexington%201775.pdf

    I use this as an exercise in my survey course.

    • Kevin Levin Jul 2, 2016

      In addition to simply analyzing the documents the reader has to understand the broader context. In the case of Dick Slate the reader would have to know something about Confederate policy throughout much of the war regarding the enrollment of black men as soldiers. We know the Confederate government did not allow it.

      Mr. Cagle does not seem to understand this fact. His broad understanding of this subject paints Confederate officers as insubordinate and willing to threaten their own careers for the sake of recruiting black soldiers. Beyond this, Mr. Cagle seems to have absolutely no understanding of the fears that white Southerners harbored in placing weapons in the hands of black men on a large scale. This certainly emerged during the enlistment debate in late 1864 – early 1865.

      • Jimmy Dick Jul 2, 2016

        Mr. Cagle is simply doing what the other ne0-confederates do. They see something that supports their beliefs and they seize upon it for use. They do not consider anything that might refute their beliefs and completely reject any and all evidence that contradicts their beliefs.

        The word “Context” is anathema to them because they do not understand what it means, much less how to apply it. This is because they have no understanding or training in historical thinking. They prefer presentism and cherry picking.

        In what capacity did blacks serve whites in slave states in the Antebellum era? If slaves could be soldiers, then why were they not enlisted in large numbers? Where are all the records? Why is it the primary sources show blacks working for whites in multiple roles with the Confederate armies, but not as armed soldiers?

        These questions require answers which Mr. Cagle and the other neo-confederates refuse to address with facts.

  • Hoyt Cagle Jul 3, 2016

    I really don’t have any more time to screw around with you mental midgets who think you are so wise and everyone else so pathetic and ignorant. You sit here and read of the battle exploits of (for example) Mr. Dick Slate contained within the pages of one of the largest and most rabid Southern newspapers and then say, “There’s no signs of any Blacks fighting anywhere (and then say: you dumbass people cherry pick what you want, but we’re perfect and smarter than the average bear.)

    One of you Said Mr. Cagle doesn’t know it was against policy to enroll Black troops. There’s one place you midgets are having trouble comprehending: I am quite aware of the fears of the Southern people (and indeed can show you Northern papers where Northerners were terrified of Battalions of Black Southern troops) to enroll and concentrate whole huge battalions of Black troops (that is until the end was in sight, at which point it was too late.)

    HOWEVER:
    It wasn’t against policy to have Black troops both official and non official in various outfits and states, which there is a ton of material available on to any one with one eye, half sense, and 2 & a half atoms worth of an unbiased, unprejudiced outlook. Yall’s problem is your preconceived agenda. I detest, despise, and abhor anyone with a personal agenda, which (and this will lose me some friends on other boards, but I don’t give a rat’s patoot by this point) includes people who set out to prove that Confederates were Gods, could do no wrong, etc.,etc. You call me a Neo Confederate. If you only knew my thoughts and political beliefs (oh! but that’s right yall know everything and can probably read minds to boot. Never Mind!)

    • Kevin Levin Jul 3, 2016

      Thanks for confirming for all of us your inability to engage in even the most rudimentary historical analysis. You had every opportunity to present and interpret the documents shared. Instead, you chose to insult people. I have no doubt that this experience has reinforced your own views of those people who do not share your views. Perhaps you should stick to websites where members are predisposed to agree with your conclusions.

      Take care.

    • Jimmy Dick Jul 3, 2016

      I have 21 students in my American History to 1865 course this summer. I am currently grading their first essay assignment (topics covering European arrival in the Americas to the American Revolution). If any of my students handed me an essay that avoided the use of historical thinking skills and arrived at conclusions like the ones you have arrived at, Mr. Cagle, they would fail the assignment.

      Did you ever stop to think that the newspaper article about Dick Slate was highly embellished and meant to portray a specific image to the reader? No, of course not. You chose it because it fit your desired interpretation. Yet, when asked for context you cannot provide any nor do you intend to provide any. When asked for additional facts to support your interpretation you provide none, but make empty claims.

      Historians work with facts. They use historical thinking skills. You cherry picked one thing and are ignoring everything else that proves otherwise. Therefore, you are not working with facts. You are not using historical thinking skills. I have 21 students who are using facts and historical thinking skills to make their own interpretations of the past.

      Now you know why the lost cause is disappearing. It fails to stand up to historical analysis because of the facts.

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