Does Unionism have a place in Southern memory? Check out this very interesting article in the Tuscaloosa News on George Spencer and the 1st Alabama Cavalry. Much of the article is pulled from Spencer’s testimony to the Joint Committee on Reconstruction which sought to impeach President Andrew Johnson. There is a kind of reductionism in connection to Civil War memory in the South, which involves the tendency to see history as white-only and as monolithic. The effect of this works to overshadow the various regions whose loyalty remained with the Union. In comparison, we seem to have a much easier time acknowledging Northern dissent during the war.
Remembering Southern Unionism
Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth
“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History