Page Proofs For *Searching For Black Confederates* In Hand

Update: The book will be available for pre-order on or about May 1. At that point you should be able to order from your preferred online retailer. Of course, I will keep you up to date.

Other than holding the actual book there is nothing quite like seeing your manuscript set for the final printing. UNC Press did a bang up job formatting the text and images. The page proofs for the book finally arrived this morning. The final hurdle will be reviewing the book for minor mistakes and constructing the index. After that it is off to the printer. The tentative official publication date is September 9. I will keep all you up to date with information about when the book is available for pre-order.

I included a couple of pics as a teaser. The table of contents should give you a good sense of the scope of the book. In many ways I think this book is an ideal introduction to the subject of Civil War memory, but through the lens of the perfect case study. The book will definitely be available for Fall 2019 courses. For those of you who do assign it, I will be more than happy to Skype with your students.

16 comments… add one
  • Andy Hall Mar 11, 2019 @ 10:46

    Just realized that the publication of your book will be on almost the exact centennial of (arguably) the first serious, academic attempt on the subject, Charles H. Wesley’s “The Employment of Negroes as Soldiers in the Confederate Army,” in the Journal of Negro History. Things have come a long, long way since then.

    • Kevin Levin Mar 11, 2019 @ 10:49

      How about that. That does put things in perspective. Thanks, Andy.

  • Shane Anderson Mar 8, 2019 @ 11:32

    I see a lot about “camp slaves” in the table of contents. Is there anything in the book about the free black population of the South and how they participated in the war?

    • Kevin Levin Mar 8, 2019 @ 12:03

      Hi Shane,

      Great question. I do detail some of the roles filled by free blacks, but the book focuses mainly on the role of enslaved men as body servants or camp slaves because it is these particular stories that have fueled the black Confederate soldier narrative. Hope that helps.

  • Msb Mar 7, 2019 @ 23:29

    Great news! Can one pre-order anywhere?

  • Rob Baker Mar 7, 2019 @ 10:13


    Congratulations, again. I’m certain I’ve told you that on other posts but it cannot be said enough. I look forward to the final publication of your work. It goes without saying that it will likely anger a few proponents of the myth but undoubtedly it will add great depth to the field. Again, congrats!

    • Kevin Levin Mar 7, 2019 @ 11:55

      Hi Rob. Thanks for the kind words. I think we can anticipate where the push back will come from, but I was never interested in engaging those people. I am anticipating having the opportunity to work through some of these tough questions with audiences that are willing to think critically.

  • fundrums Mar 7, 2019 @ 3:59


    I anxiously look forward to this book as it is a subject that deserves attention. I would venture to guess that no one knows more about this subject than you after the years of examination you have spent on it. I imagine it will ruffle a few feathers and generate discussion which is exactly what I imagine it was intended to do.

    Michael Aubrecht

    • Kevin Levin Mar 7, 2019 @ 4:03

      Thanks for the kind words. I suspect that it will ruffle a few feathers, but I am looking forward to the opportunity to talk about it with a wide range of audiences.

  • Billy Wetherington Mar 6, 2019 @ 17:59

    To coin a phrase; are you sure this isn’t “fake history.” Have you checked with POTUS Trump; America’s leading historian of the American Civil War?

  • alonzo quitana Mar 6, 2019 @ 15:41

    Congrats on your milestones, and the upcoming end to the long travail.

    I don’t suppose this is any time for editing, and for all I know you have addressed this sort of angle in your manuscript already. Assuming (perhaps entirely contrary to fact) that it seems remotely interesting to anyone with wits. In any event, last week one of your entries sent me inquiring and I ran across the following in entry regarding UDC (United Daughters of the Confederacy) Annual Meeting of Nov. 1910, Change to Constitution on the 2d day of the meeting (Nov. 10, 1910) – amending same (inter alia) as follows:

    “Article III., Section 1, was amended as follows: “Those
    women entitled to membership are the widows, wives, mothers.
    sisters, nieces, and lineal descendants of such men as served
    honorably in the Confederate army, navy, or civil service;
    or of those men, unfit for active duty, who loyally gave aid to
    the cause. Also Southern women who can give proof of per-
    sonal service or loyal aid to the Southern cause during the
    war, and the lineal descendants or nieces of such women wher-
    ever living.” (Remainder of section unaltered.)”

    (see, e.g.,

    I don’t imagine there were many negro Daughters of the Confederacy on the society’s rolls back in the day – no matter which category – which would seem to be something of an unexpected result if (for example)there had been thousands of negroes who served in Confederate forces. I imagine that’s a fair reckoning on several scores, and darned if that same volume of the Confederate Veteran doesn’t seem to lend some “primary (albeit tangential) source” support to the notion. To wit, on pp. 522-3 there is an article written about one Easter Partee Brownlee, an “old mammy”, which concludes:

    “She [Easter] is educated, and reads everything in the VETERAN, learning
    from its pages of many white friends who will no doubt remember her. She
    sheds many a silent tear as she learns of the death of old time friends.
    I suppose that she is one of the very few negroes who read this magazine,
    and as such I thought her little history might prove of interest to
    those good Southerners who all love and honor our dear and faithful old
    mammies of the antebellum times. It is sad to realize that their tribe cannot
    increase the relation that is beneficial to both races. May all such find
    their reward when the day of judgment comes!”

    • Kevin Levin Mar 6, 2019 @ 16:00

      Hi Alonzo,

      Thanks for passing along the reference to Confederate Veteran. As you might imagine I spent countless hours reading through this magazine.

  • Paineite Mar 6, 2019 @ 15:19

    Congratulations. This looks like a potentially very valuable contribution to the literature. Look forward to it. Again, congrats.

    • Kevin Levin Mar 6, 2019 @ 15:20

      Thank you.

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