A couple of weeks ago I was asked by an editor at one of the Civil War journals to write an essay on the black Confederate controversy. I decided to reflect a bit on what the controversy tells us about the differences between academic and popular history as well as the rise of the Internet as a place where history is both consumed and created. While I am close to finishing I thought I would ask for your assistance with the title. I want to play off of Tony Horowitz’s classic, Confederates in the Attic: Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War. Here is a suggestion from one of my friends on Twitter: “Black Confederates: Out of the Attic and into the Mainstream.” Not bad.
Let’s hear it.
Yesterday Myra Chandler Sampson and I spent about 45 minutes with Voice of America radio host, Ric Young, to discuss our recent Civil War Times article about Silas Chandler and related topics. I thought the interview went well. It was nice to have the opportunity to talk for an extended period of time and I was particularly interested in Myra’s reflections on a number of topics related to Civil War memory. Have a listen.
I know I mentioned it before, but it bears repeating that I absolutely love the fact that Silas is pictured alone on the cover of the magazine. That was a great move by the design staff.
Tomorrow at 12 noon [E.S.T.] Myra Chandler Sampson and I will be interviewed on the Voice of Russia radio to discuss our recent Civil War Times article about Silas Chandler and Black Confederates as well as other issues related to Civil War memory. The interview will be about 45 minutes long and you should be able to listen live. If not, I will make sure to make it available once it is archived. Myra and I are looking forward to it.
I absolutely love this photo. Pictured below are two generations of the Chandler-Sampson family taking the time over the holidays to learn about their famous ancestor. The photo conveys the power of history and reinforces my firm belief that what we do as historians matters. I am sure my co-author, Myra Chandler Sampson, agrees. There is still time to pick up the most recent issue of Civil War Times at your local newsstand. I think it is safe to say that 2011 was a good year for Silas Chandler.
I know many of my most loyal readers are still struggling to come to terms with having their favorite black Confederate outed as a slave. So, just to show them that there are no hard feelings and in the spirit of the Christmas season I wanted to share at least one sighting of a black Confederate that is sure to stir their Lost Cause shaped hearts. They Are Out There.