I’ve said it before but it bears repeating that Edward Porter Alexander’s, Fighting for the Confederacy is a goldmine of information on the Confederate experience. It has come in handy in just about all of my projects and that is a testament to his attention to detail as well as Alexander’s honesty. What follows is me playing around a bit with a very, very rough draft of the beginning of an introduction or proposal for my latest book project, which is tentatively titled, Searching for Black Confederates in History and Memory.
At some point during the winter lull of 1861-62, Edward Porter Alexander purchased “two appendages” which remained by his side until the close of the war. “I had bought a second horse, ‘Meg Merriles,’ a very pretty bay mare with a roan spot on one hip,” remembered Alexander, “& I had hired for an ostler & servant a 15 year old darkey named Charley—a medium tall & slender, ginger-cake colored, & well behaved & good dispositioned boy.” Alexander’s physical description of Charley next to that of his horse plus his reference to the two as an “appendage” reflects the legal basis of their relationship and one of the many dehumanizing qualities of slavery that comes through in his writing even decades after the war.
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