Recently I shared a story out of Chattanooga, TN about the uncovering of what was determined by the Sons of Confederate Veterans to be the tombstone of a black Confederate soldier. As is the case with other stories, within a day the article was picked up by a local news station that basically repeated the claims made by the SCV without any further investigation.
Yesterday I came across the story of Shaderick Searcy at the Atlanta Black Star. The story pretty much repeats previous findings with a few little additions. I have to admit there is something incredibly disappointing about finding this story on a website that caters to an African-American audience.
The author bounces back between referring to Searcy as a soldier and slave, clearly not understanding the difference between the two. We also see repeated the claim that Searcy received a pension for his service as a solider, which a quick glance at the file clearly shows that he did not. Even more problematic is the use of an image of black Union soldiers that at some point was intentionally altered.
But the most disturbing aspect of this article is its characterization of the Sons of Confederate Veterans:
Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the oldest hereditary organization for male descendants of Confederate soldiers, recognizes Searcy as a noble African-American figure in history and one of the most prominent men laid to rest at the cemetery. SCV prides itself on preserving the history and legacy of fallen heroes, so that future generations can understand the motives that animated the Southern Cause. It offers ongoing programs for members and a wide range of activities, such as preservation work, marking Confederate soldier’s graves, historical re-enactments, scholarly publications, and regular meetings to discuss the military and political history.
Such a characterization suggests that the author of this article lacks any understanding of the history of the Civil War and slavery. That a red flag did not go up from anyone else at the Atlanta Black Star reflects poorly on their editorial staff and their understanding of this important history.