camp servant

There really is nothing quite like looking at the dust jacket design for a forthcoming book for the first time. It’s the first real indication that all of the years of research and writing will soon result in something tangible that you can share with the rest of the world and that will hopefully spark Read more

This morning The New York Times published an interesting piece that raises the question of whether ‘interracial love was possible’ in the South during the Civil War-era. The story will likely raise strong feelings that either affirm or deny the possibility of genuine other-regarding emotions between master and slave during this period. The very question Read more

This will likely be the last time that I ask for assistance in interpreting a primary source related to my black Confederates book before I complete revisions in the next week or two. This source was shared with me by historian Timothy Smith and centers on a very unusual scene that took place just before Read more

One of the benefits of having to make manuscript revisions is the opportunity to add new information to enrich the narrative. This story fits into a number of places in my black Confederates book, especially in my discussion of African Americans who buy into some aspect of this myth. African American sculptor Kevin Pullen recently Read more

One of the more difficult subjects in my Black Confederates book has been trying to understand why some African Americans identify with this myth. There are a range of perspectives from folks like H.K. Edgerton, Karen Cooper, and Nelson Winbush and they cannot be reduced to one simple interpretation. Then there is Al Arnold, who Read more

I am currently researching and outlining chapter 4 of my book on Confederate camp slaves and the myth of the black Confederate soldier. The focus is on pensions that were issued to former camp slaves. This was originally to be included in another chapter, but for a number of reasons I decided to give it Read more

Confederate Veteran magazine is filled with stories of camp slaves, who in one way or another demonstrate their unconditional loyalty to their masters. This often takes the form of rescuing their master’s injured body during or after a battle or in the event of his death escorting the body home for proper burial. These stories Read more

This has to be one of the more interesting postwar references to Confederate camp slaves that I have uncovered. Henry Grady was an Atlanta newspaper editor, but he was best known as a leading voice in the “New South” movement, which embraced industrial development through northern investment. The challenge for men like Grady was in Read more

Confederate generals such as Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were used to sell a wide range of consumer goods at the turn of the twentieth century throughout the South and beyond. Interestingly, this G.E. advertisement appeared in the New York Tribune. Let’s hear it for the cultural reach of the Confederate body servant Read more

Camp Slaves in Print

Just finished writing about this wonderful print published by the New York engraver John Chester Buttre. Many of you are no doubt familiar with Prayer in “Stonewall” Jackson’s Camp (1866). Buttre essentially stole it from an earlier sketch done by Adalbert Johann Volck. Buttre made a number of changes, including adding Confederate Generals Richard S Read more