Slavery

Update: Early on in the production of this episode a producer with Finding Their Roots reached out to a reputable historian about the ongoing research into Martin Lamotte. In an email exchange that I have seen the producer was told specifically that the Louisiana Native Guard was never accepted into service by the Confederate government Read more

At the very beginning of his new collection of essays Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a few thoughts about the historical significance of the Confederate slave enlistment debate. According to Coates the debate itself reflects a deeply ingrained and long-standing “fear” that assumptions of black inferiority are unfounded. The fear had precedent. Toward the end of the Read more

Having just finished writing about the debate over slave enlistment that took place throughout the Confederacy by mid-1864 through March 1865, it is safe to say that I’ve read hundreds of letters, diary entries and op-eds that explored what white southerners took to be the dangers of arming their bondsmen. Even those who came out Read more

Today The Post & Courier in Charleston published my op-ed in response to Monday’s proposal from two South Carolina legislators, who would like to see a monument to black Confederates erected on the State House grounds in Columbia. For many of you there is nothing new in this piece, but I believe that it is Read more

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 Read more

The violence in Charlottesville this past weekend has already pushed the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky to take steps to remove its Confederate monuments. A councilman in Baltimore wants to see its monument of Lee and Jackson destroyed. Protesters marched last night in Richmond down Monument Avenue. This will continue and more monuments will come down Read more

This is one of the most unusual accounts that I have ever come across about Confederate camp slaves. It is also one that I am struggling with how – if at all – to utilize. The account comes from Battle-Fields of the South: From Bull Run to Fredericksburg. This 2-volume work was published between 1863 Read more

This is part of my ongoing research on the origins and evolution of the myth of the black Confederate soldier. It can be incredibly draining having to read these posts day in an day out. And yes, I have no doubt that these people believe every word of what they share on these sites. I Read more

For obvious reasons I’ve been looking forward to reading Philip Dillard’s new book, Jefferson Davis’s Final Campaign: Confederate Nationalism and the Fight to Arm Slaves (Mercer University Press, 2017). I spend a little time in chapter 2 of Searching For Black Confederates tracing the broad contours of the debate throughout the Confederacy over whether to Read more