Next week PBS’s History Detectives will air an episode on the famous image of Andrew and Silas Chandler. We anticipate that this episode will help to correct some of the many myths that have revolved around these two individuals. The famous photograph of Andrew and Silas is arguably the most popular image on the Web purporting to demonstrate the existence of thousands of loyal black slaves, who served in the Confederate army. The research and writing that I conducted with Myra Chandler Sampson shows that this was not the case. Silas served his master as he had done for his entire life. Our research will be published in the 50th anniversary edition of Civil War Times magazine, which should be available in December. We hope that both the PBS show, as well as our article, will help to correct some of the misconceptions about Silas and the larger subject of the role of slaves in the Confederate war effort.
In light of both these efforts, Ms. Sampson has asked me to publish a petition demanding that the SCV and UDC discontinue the practice of placing a Confederate flag and Iron Cross in front of Silas’s gravestone.