Today the South Carolina Secessionist Party held a rally on the Columbia State House grounds to mark the anniversary of the lowering of the Confederate battle flag in the summer of 2015. The group was allowed to raise a battle flag for a few hours, which itself symbolizes the waning influence of the Lost Cause in public life. A Robert E. Lee impersonator was accompanied by Arlene Barnum, who played the role of the loyal slave.
Barnum is a vocal supporter of Confederate heritage and as an African-American woman is embraced by the SCSP, Sons of Confederate Veterans and other Confederate heritage groups. She is best understood as the female H.K. Egerton.
As I have suggested regarding Edgerton, the Confederate heritage community values these black voices because it vindicates their view that slaves remained loyal to their masters during the war and that the Confederate cause was theirs as well.
When the Confederate battle flag was removed in 2015 the South Carolina Division of the SCV issued a statement that referenced the presence of black Confederate soldiers as proof that it did not symbolize racism and white supremacy.
In her address to small crowd that turned up in Columbia today Barnum offers her own take on the black Confederate narrative. Apparently, she went looking for an exhibit of black Confederates at the South Carolina Relic Room and Museum, but found nothing. Of course, that is because they did not exist before the last few weeks of the war. Her speech begins at the 14:20 mark.
Confederate veterans embraced former camp slaves (body servants) who attended reunions and other public events as vindication of their cause and their neo-Confederate descendants are happy to continue to do so today.