On the Black Confederate Front

Today I completed a rough draft of an essay on John Christopher Winsmith and his servant Spencer for the NYTs Disunion column.  Winsmith’s letters are incredibly rich and help to sketch a constantly evolving master – slave dynamic during the first sixteen months of the war.  As a teaser consider the following reference to Spencer…

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Honor Slaves For Surviving the Confederacy

I am not surprised that public officials in Union County, North Carolina have finally authorized the inclusion of a marker/monument on courthouse grounds to honor its local slave population.  [I've followed this story for quite some time.]  Given everything I know about the folks involved in this project I am not optimistic that the final…

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Almost Moved to Tears in Fredericksburg, Virginia

I am delighted to hear that residents of Fredericksburg, Virginia have resurrected a civic ceremony that was lost as a result of reunion between white Northern and former Confederates.  For a number of years after the war the black residents of the city took part in annual marches on Decoration Day to the cemetery to…

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Body Slamming the History of Slavery

I finally caught an episode of American Digger last night and I was appalled.  This episode focused on the history of slavery in Aiken, South Carolina.  It begins with a few rebuffs from folks who want nothing to do with this past; however, the boys finally come across a home owner who is more than…

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