A New Black Confederate Monument in Kentucky

Update: A few people have speculated that the image below may have been Photoshopped. I can confirm that this is not the case after receiving additional photographs this morning.

I came across this photograph yesterday on twitter that was posted by a user named @farradawg101. This is the first that I have heard of what is more properly described as a marker that sits in a larger Confederate-themed park in Paducah, Kentucky and organized by a local SCV Camp. It’s as if someone chose to dedicate a marker to the absurdity that is the black Confederate narrative.

What I don’t understand is why they didn’t just round it up to 100,000. Even the depiction of the black soldier looks more like a caricature and the Forrest quote only adds another level of absurdity to this display.

As I was reviewing copy edits this morning for Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth I came across this passage that perfectly sums up this historical myth.

Speaking of copy edits, I am making steady progress and will have it completed by December 12. Early next year I should receive the page proofs and by that time should have more specific information from the University of North Carolina Press about pre-ordering the book and a final publication date.

About the author: Thank you for taking the time to read this post. What next? Scroll down and join the discussion in the comments section. Looking for more Civil War content? You can follow me on Twitter. Check out my forthcoming book, Searching For Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth, which is the first book-length analysis of the black Confederate myth ever published. Pre-order your copy today.

22 comments… add one
  • paineite Dec 2, 2018 @ 7:01

    Someone needs to knock this over. It’s worse than pure nonsense and deserves zero respect.

    • Kevin Levin Dec 2, 2018 @ 7:06

      I think to knock it over is already to spend too much time worrying about it.

      • Alex Raines Dec 2, 2018 @ 9:54

        Kevin,

        The problem is, if it isn’t knocked down, eventually it will serve as a virus infecting people with this stupidity.

        • Kevin Levin Dec 2, 2018 @ 10:01

          I think the ‘stupidity virus’ is much larger than a small marker. Anyway, I am not taking a stand on whether the marker/monument should be removed. That is up to the people in this community.

  • Stevens D Bunker Dec 2, 2018 @ 10:41

    Ridiculous and sad at the same time. And the “artist” ought to be ashamed but I doubt he would understand why.

    • Kevin Adams Dec 2, 2018 @ 14:34

      I was scrolling down to the comments to say the same. The depiction is about as unracist as the art in a 1930s Sambo book.

  • Richard McCormick Dec 2, 2018 @ 14:35

    That would s disappointing, to say the least, especially because it looks like a newer monument to me.

    I could understand its creation or existence better if it was from the post-war years when Kentucky “joined the Confederacy” but that looks much more recent. That seems worse to me for some reason.

    • Kevin Levin Dec 2, 2018 @ 14:37

      Well, as I argue in my forthcoming book there is no black Confederate soldier myth before the 1970s.

      • Arthur Wallace Miller Dec 10, 2018 @ 11:41

        The marker clearly states “Black Confederates.” We know from the the reports and recordings of Union officers of Black Confederates (not Black CSA soldiers) shooting at Union soldiers from the Official War Records (USA). 60,000 — 90, 000 is a terrible exaggeration. More accurately – 7000-7500 Black Confederate combatants.

        • Kevin Levin Dec 10, 2018 @ 12:12

          Perhaps you can explain why the presence of 7-7500 black men serving as soldiers never once came up in 1864-65 when Confederates in the military and the home front were debating whether to enlist slaves as soldiers. They could have saved themselves a lot of effort given that according to you thousands were already serving in such a capacity. You make real Confederates look pretty silly.

          Perhaps you are the one who should take a step back and do some real research or you could just wait for my book to come out next year.

          • Andersonh1 Dec 12, 2018 @ 7:37

            Because the 1864-65 debate was about mass enlistment and emancipation of slaves and the effect that would have on southern society and the military effort, not about the relatively small percentage of black/mixed race men, usually “free men of color”, who had already been in the field.

            • Kevin Levin Dec 12, 2018 @ 10:02

              First, I have no doubt that free blacks, who passed as white, managed to enter service in Confederate armies. We know this, in part, because a number of them were forced out when their racial identities were revealed. Once again, what is interesting is that no one referenced these men during the very open debate about black enlistment in 1864-65.

        • Andy Hall Dec 10, 2018 @ 14:04

          “We know from the the reports and recordings of Union officers of Black Confederates (not Black CSA soldiers) shooting at Union soldiers from the Official War Records (USA).”

          There are, as I recall, 12-14 mentions of African American Confederates in the 128 volumes of the Official Records, that are each 600 to 800 pages long. All are included in reports by U.S. military personnel; none by Confederates. It’s passing strange, as Molly Ivins used to say, that the Confederate who surely knew of these men and their actions best never mentioned them in thousands or reports, memoranda, and dispatches. Why would that be?

  • gdbrasher Dec 2, 2018 @ 14:45

    Kevin, I really pray that your book gets wide exposure and that you get an explosion in speaking engagements/media appearances. It can’t come out soon enough.

    • Kevin Levin Dec 2, 2018 @ 14:59

      I certainly hope it brings me down your way. Perhaps we can arrange for a lecture at Alabama.

      • Arthur Wallace Miller Dec 10, 2018 @ 10:35

        Stop spreading the hate.

        • Jim Dick Dec 12, 2018 @ 10:53

          Tell that to the people who participated in the Unite the Right rally in Virginia. One of them was convicted of murder last week and was sentenced to life in prison this week. That’s how you stop spreading the hate. You convict the racists for their crimes and put them behind bars.

  • Jerry McKenzie Dec 2, 2018 @ 18:39

    Looking forward to your book! A slap in the face to the escaped and freed slaves that fought for the Union and Freedom. And a fundamental misunderstanding of Kentucky’s support for the Union.

    • Steve Taylor Dec 18, 2018 @ 4:10

      Please, Mr. McKenzie, explain this “fundamental misunderstanding” concerning Kentucky and the War Between the States.

  • Msb Dec 2, 2018 @ 22:58

    Lordy. Can you use it as an illustration in your book?
    As to your except, rather than adding an additional “was”, why not say “argue that the Confederacy was as responsible as the United States for ending slavery”? (Sorry. Copy editor.)
    While I’m here, thanks for the link to the Foner review of “Field of Blood” in the news section!

  • HankC Dec 3, 2018 @ 17:23

    reminds me of the bar bet, ” I can do between 2 and 3 hundred push-ups”, get on the floor, do 3 push-ups and drink the night away.

  • Mike Furlan Dec 4, 2018 @ 8:02

    Between 2 and 3 hundred? I’m waiting for someone to name one.

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