How Does *Searching For Black Confederates* End?

This morning I started writing with the intention of finishing a rough draft of the final chapter of my black Confederates book. The big question that I still needed to nail down was where exactly to end it. By mid-morning I had my answer.

News out of South Carolina revealed that two Republican state legislators proposed that a monument to African Americans who fought as soldiers for the Confederacy should be erected on the State House grounds in Columbia. It should come as no surprise that both men voted against the removal of the Confederate battle flag in 2015 and that they fully embrace the Lost Cause narrative of the war. Later in the day I did an interview with Newsweek about this story.

This most recent proposal proved to be the perfect place to end my final chapter. The embrace of the black Confederate narrative is now little more than a desperate attempt to hold back the tide of monument removals and the continued assault on the Lost Cause. As I have argued elsewhere, ultimately the goals that the SCV and other heritage groups hoped to achieve by rallying around mythical black Confederate soldiers failed.

Tonight for the first time I am looking at a book manuscript with a beginning and an end. I am still not quite finished. Over the next three weeks I will go back through the manuscript to tighten up and revise certain sections before it is sent off to the University of North Carolina Press. Finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

11 comments… add one
  • Algernon Oct 9, 2017

    I’m looking forward to reading a scholarly work that finally examines the mythology of thousands of black confederate soldiers. It’s a laudable exercise well worth the effort. Good for you Kevin!

    • Kevin Levin Oct 10, 2017

      Thanks for the kind words.

  • Kevin Dally Oct 9, 2017

    Seems that in 2017, (as they did in 1865) they are trying to manipulate and use a race of people, to reach a desired end! Sad folk get to thinking they have to somehow appease the Confederate Heritage folk in some way.

    • Kevin Levin Oct 9, 2017

      In a sense, but the Lost Cause myth that evolved after the war did not turn slaves into soldiers. They were loyal slaves until the 1970s when an evolving Civil War memory demanded that they become soldiers to counter the growing awareness of United States Colored Troops.

  • Boyd Harris Oct 9, 2017

    Just saw that myself. Glad the book is coming together.

  • Neil Hamilton Oct 10, 2017

    Kevin,

    Can’t wait to buy my copy. Thanks for gutting it out when confronting such an issue.

    Neil

  • Mark Snell Oct 11, 2017

    Although it will never happen, a monument to Thomas W. Higginson’s 1st South Carolina Volunteers would be an historically accurate memorial to sit on the same plot of ground as the SC Confederate soldier statue.

    https://civilwartalk.com/threads/1st-south-carolina-volunteers-usct.78843/

    • Kevin Levin Oct 11, 2017

      I agree.

  • Kevin Dally Oct 12, 2017

    You have got to get that book published ASAP…please?

    • Kevin Levin Oct 13, 2017

      Probably more important to get it right, but I appreciate the words of encouragement. 🙂

  • kbrown2225 Oct 13, 2017

    Keep up the great work, Kevin. I am looking forward to reading your book!

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