Mongolian Slaves in America?

Update: 50 Cent learns more about the history of slavery and South Carolina during Reconstruction. 50 Cent and MTV recently revealed a clip from his upcoming Rock Doc titled “50 Cent: The Origin of Me,” which features 50 Cent traveling to Edgefield, South Carolina, in search of his roots.  In one clip, the rapper encounters an elderly woman, who explains the significance of the Confederate Flag to 50 Cent, who appears visibly irritated with the conversation.  “People really don’t understand what’s going on at that period of time,” the elderly woman told 50 Cent. “Black citizens in this country really needs to study the history, because it’s just as much the black ancestry as it is the White ancestry.”  Despite 50’s explanation for the Confederate flag being seen as racist and why it offends many people, the woman acted as though there were no valid reasons for taking offense to it, saying that it has to do with black ancestry as well as white ancestry.   “She’s offering her truth- what‚ she’s accepted as the truth based on information given to her, but I don’t agree with it,” 50 Cent said.

The woman continued to tell 50 Cent that African and Mongolian slaves were captured and put on ships.   50 Cent politely interrupted her because he wanted to clarify what he heard: “Mongolian slaves?”  50 Cent, still remaining cordial and polite, asks her if the “Mongolian slaves” had any physical features that made them distinct from African slaves and she said there weren’t.  “Mongolian slaves?…I never heard of that before,” 50 Cent said. [source for text and source for image]

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

Purchase your copy today!

86 comments… add one
  • Felicano Nov 19, 2011 @ 17:17

    She totally meant ANGOLA. I am from Angola and I know that more than 25 percent of all African-American community were Angolans. The Portuguese were vicious slave traders that sold us as a people to the English Americans, mostly the south region. 50 cent’s facial features are undeniably Kimbundu, which is an ethnical group in Angola; Just see Chris Tucker!!!!

  • originalwoman May 27, 2011 @ 14:50

    Yawning…….the bottom line is slavery did exist in the south and if it were up to racist america it would still be live n kicking today! I’m so sick n tired of racist comments being made about Curtis Jackson trying to find his roots…he did it too find out who he is n what he came from! This country was built on racism. Racism is what divides us as a people…caucasians were taught n obviously lied to that you were the superior race!!! BS. Not in the past nor the present will u ever be superior….especially since your the minority in this country…your whole history which is not much, was based on division n conquering….n being barbaric…its because of caucasians this world is in the state its in… fear anything other than white..its expected because u are a people who are filled with hate n deceitful….so please if you really knew your history you would know your a grafted people…if it wasn’t for the original people (africans) you wouldn’t even be in existence…..

  • Cesar Moreno May 26, 2011 @ 7:03

    I’m sure she means Angola, being that Angola is on the west coast of Africa.

  • Muhammed May 25, 2011 @ 20:15

    Obviously the older woman at the museum is directly related to slave owners. She must be somewhere in her late 60’s to mid 70’s which puts her birth date around early to mid 1940’s. Racial and gender inequality in the south at that time abounded. The old lady herself was more than likely subject to gender discrimination which prevented her from even imagining free thought in a white, male dominated southern society. Her comments about how slaves were treated, as we all know, were greatly exaggerated as seen by the photos of scars on the back of the slave in the photo shown. Also the journal about how the slaves were treated, I believed portrayed a more accurate account of how slaves were really treated on a daily basis.
    The book Uncle Tom’s Cabin even is a soft core version of how blacks were actually treated during this country’s era of free labor. I was born in 1953 and it’s impossible to get my father’s birth certificate because he was born in Savannah, GA in circa 1909. Recently I found that he may have been born two to four years before that. But there is no paperwork to determine his actual date of birth. I applaud Curtis for finding his family background and I encourage anyone (Black) who can connect the dots to do so.

  • Brian May 24, 2011 @ 19:55

    Clearly this old bag was thinking of Angola, but the sheer sound of the cracker ignorance is PRICELESS!

  • Mitzi williams May 24, 2011 @ 3:38

    my eloquent educated brother cool and composed i guess he educated her.

  • johnny May 22, 2011 @ 11:46

    In the “Bellingham Herald” Newspaper, Sunday, June 23, 1940, there is an interview with former County Sheriff Felix deLorimier (elected in 1884). The last portion of the article is entitled “Mongolian Slaves”. It says (and I quote): “Resolutions passed at public meetings were to the effect that the territory was being invaded by Mongolian slaves”. It goes on, but I was quite surprised to read this. From a thorough reading of the article that it is clear that “Mongolian” was used as a synonym for “Chinese”.

    • Kevin Levin May 22, 2011 @ 11:55

      That’s very interesting. Thanks for the comment.

    • Andy Hall May 22, 2011 @ 18:06

      Johnny, following your lead, I see that also — “Mongolian” was widely used in newspapers in the latter 19th century as synonymous with Chinese. The phrase “Mongolian slaves” pops up some, too, in reference to low wages and labor conditions, and the threat they pose to white workers. Here’s an 1882 article, “John Chinaman,” from the February 4, 1882 Salt Lake Tribune, which in turn quotes the Providence, Rhode Island Star, warning of the coming influx of Chinese laborers to eastern U.S. cities:

      Then shoemakers, cigar makers, laundry men and all men engaged in simple manufactories would be forced to move away because they could not compete with these creatures. Why? Because the Chinaman will work twelve hours a day, year in and year-out, on food that the poorest white man in Providence could not swallow were he starving. Then in the streets pale and wild-eyed young men and women would begin to be seen and the strict families of Providence would grow anxious at the physical appearance of their sons and wonder if they were not going into a decline. Those who might know the truth would be aware of the fact that these unfortunates had been lured into the opium and other dens in the Chinese quarter, and that already they were tainted for life. . . .

      There are abundant evidences that China was once peopled by a superior race. Probably it was the first home of the Chaldeans [i.e., Babylonians]. From mementoes dug up from the soil of China, it is certain that a great race once occupied that country. Where are those people now? The reasonable answer is that from the North the Tartar hordes poured in, with poles and baskets on their shoulders, with a bland smile on their face, and non-resisting when insulted. Their coming only excited contempt at first; then they were employed as domestics and the housewives as they exchanged calls congratulating each other upon their Tartar treasures and upon the fact that at last they were relieved from the tyranny of servant girls. The servant girls went West; the serving men followed the girls’ the Tartars kept coming, smiling and working, and at last the white race having nothing to do went away and left their land in the possession of the invaders. American has 50,000,000 of people. Within ten years, if unrestricted China could send hither 50,000,000 of her people and their absence would not be missed amid the surging millions of that realm. . . .

      The nations of Europe was all of one original race. Through differences of climate, occupation, soil and discipline they have taken on different characteristics, but they are all Caucasians, and their blending here is liable to restore to the earth a race like that which was the master race when the earth was freshly fitted for man’s habitation, and when man stood up in the original image of his Maker. But the Mongolian has distinct attributes. He is but a mal-formed man at best; he is destitute of that pride which makes a mortal brave and honorable; and the Mongolian women cannot resent shame even with a blush. Then, too, the Mongolian has been a slave for centuries, until his finer sensibilities have been bred out fo him, and under the hardships of the ages everything has been made subservient to a merciless thrift and a cruel industry until as he walks he is but the depraved embodyment [sic.] of these two attributes. Intellectually he has been trained to minister to his physical needs until he is the most subtile of all the earth’s creatures, and is so equipped that in a far race the ordinary poor laborer cannot compete with him. He looks upon the whole earth as his prey; he is today the most perplexing of human problems, and now that the hive has begun to swarm the whole earth has a right to dread him, and it would be madness for the men of the United States to neglect to guard our coast against him.

      I doubt that has anything to do with the lady in the video, but it’s an interesting language/cultural thing to be filed away for future reference.

      • Sherree May 26, 2011 @ 3:52

        Another feather in your research cap, Andy. What an amazingly racist diatribe. Minus the overtly racist sentiments expressed by the writer of “John Chinaman”, Salt Lake Tribune, 1882, the arguments presented in the article sound very much like some of the arguments put forth today concerning immigration.

  • John May 11, 2011 @ 6:28

    I assume the 1st Camel Battalion (USMT) never came up against the Confederate Camel Corps (CCC), which would have been an interesting tho not significant American first. The deservedly-forgotten CCC was apparently raised out of respect for President Davis’s responsibility (as federal minister of war) for introducing camels into army service in west Texas, rather than any military logic. It never found a role beyond patrolling for Texas Unionists making for the Mexican border. Its personnel probably increased the racial diversity of the CSA; two sergeants (actually camel-wranglers) are named as Mohammed Ali and Ali Mohammed. These may not be their real names, as Mohammed Ali was the first Khedive of Egypt, but they were presumably North African Arabs.
    In spite of its lack of battle honours, I think it’s rather a pity this unusual unit does not have a Wikipedia entry yet.
    Interestingly, the club that organises the famous annual Fort Stockton Camel Races calls itself the Sons of Confederate Cameleers.

    • Scott MacKenzie May 11, 2011 @ 9:30

      Another piece to this story comes from George Perkins Marsh, the Vermont-born politician and diplomat who urged the use of camels in the West. In 1856, he published “The Camel, his Organization, Habits, and Uses, with Reference to his Introduction into the United States”.

  • RICHARD WASHBURN May 10, 2011 @ 8:57

    “Imagine someone explaining to your kids that Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were the good guys,”

    • Rob in CT May 12, 2011 @ 9:25


      KKK = terrorists.
      OBL/AQ = terrorists.

      Therefore, if you think the KKK was good, it’s like praising Al Qaeda.


      • Ricky Washburn May 14, 2011 @ 20:11

        except that were not talking about the klan, were talking about Confederate Soldiers

        • Brooks Simpson May 15, 2011 @ 7:00

          Ricky, the Red Shirts were a postwar group in South Carolina that functioned as a paramilitary arm of the Democratic party and fulfilled the functions usually associated with a terrorist group. Many of its members were former Confederate soldiers.

        • Andy Hall May 15, 2011 @ 8:27

          Ricky, the Reconstruction-era Klan was almost entirely composed of former Confederate soldiers and civil officials. If you go back and read the memoirs of former klansmen and their sympathizers, they saw themselves as carrying on the Confederate cause, and an extension of their formal, military service under arms during the war. Old issues of the UCV’s Confederate Veteran magazine are full of paeans to the Reconstruction-era Klan, and mentions of it turn up regularly in veterans’ obituaries. In short, in the postwar decade or so there is considerable overlap between Confederate veterans and the Klan.

          • RICHARD WASHBURN May 16, 2011 @ 8:29

            Still, the Klan pre-1875 was completly differant than 1900s klan; the focus after the war was trying to save what they had from notherners coming down and taking property (crapetbaggers) etc.. and the newly appointed state governments forcing the survivors and their families into a new way of life, even if these veiws and laws were exaggerated by the survivors… and trying to scare away these people or even physically attacking a few is very different than what Al Qaeda does on a day to day basis.. and also what I am arguing is that I dont think it is right to compare the two, I hear comparisons of the South to the nazi party alot, and it distorts the view of the south to people who dont know much of history and i think this will add to it. Just like everyone pointing out the mistake an 80+ year old lady says to a culture icon, all it will do is make the South look bad and have people tell us, who celebrate the valor, honor and pride of the Confederate Soldier, that we are the worst kind of evil.

            • Kevin Levin May 16, 2011 @ 8:32


              Your view of Reconstruction as nothing more than carpetbaggers and scalawags preventing innocent families from rebuilding their farms gets us nowhere and has been discredited by decades of sound scholarship. Four million former slaves would no doubt disagree with your overly simplistic characterization.

              • RICHARD WASHBURN May 16, 2011 @ 14:17

                Reconstruction was alot more than that, and obviously took along time and has not finished in many places. I didnt say anything about anyone trying to prevent anything(?) Im saying people came down and took advantage of suffering people. same thing happened after Katrina.. Its human nature, newly inexpensive property thsat locals cant afford, because they lost everything.
                Some white southerners eventually took this out on black southerners because they had no where else to vent thier frustration. what i mean by that is they obviously couldnt fight the war again, and people that just won the war said you must obey this man who is from your area and pulled a gun on you and fought along side us against you.
                And four million, but where is the mass graves, the mass atrocities … whoa i didnt say atrocities didnt happen im saying the 2,000 plus that a hand full of al queda carried out in ONE attack… im just saying that how can someone compare people defending their home from even a logical percieved threat to people who will attack someone in someone elses home in another part of the world because they want to kill other people?
                White Southerners have continued to live side by side with Black Southerners for along time with a few terrible exceptions, but those exceptions were never on the level of violence as seen in Northern cities like Detroit, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. But yet the fingers always seem to point right back at White Proud Southerners.

                • Kevin Levin May 16, 2011 @ 14:24


                  You said: “Im saying people came down and took advantage of suffering people.” Can you provide me with the kind of example that you have in mind here?

                  I tend to agree with you that our popular memory of the civil rights movement and race relations generally tends to pit northerners against southerners with the former somehow being granted the moral high ground when it is not justified. That said, it is a distortion to suggest that white and black southerners lived peacefully side by side “with a few terrible exceptions.” Consider the number of blacks who were lynched between 1880 and 1940 as well as the violence that functioned to maintain the legal boundaries of Jim Crow and society steeped in white supremacy.

          • Richard May 20, 2011 @ 10:07

            Andy, I just started reading the Confederate Veteran Magazine and I noticed the same references to the Klan that you mention. Some folks might want to sugar coat this thing but, “It is what it is”.

            • Andy Hall May 20, 2011 @ 10:24

              My sense from the Confederate Veteran magazine (some issues available through Google Books) is that the Reconstruction-era Klan mentions peaked around 1915, coinciding with the release of Birth of a Nation, and the year after the dedication of the Arlington monument. As I recall, there were special showings of the film scheduled for Confederate reunions.

  • Scott MacKenzie May 8, 2011 @ 13:16

    Is this in the same vein as the war elephants the King of Siam allegedly sent to America? That little anecdote, for which I found no evidence in diplomatic records, has been found in stage, screen, and print in “The King and I” and even in Ken Burns’ Civil War.

    • Will Hickox May 11, 2011 @ 13:06

      This is wildly off topic, but Lincoln’s letter refusing the king’s offer of elephants can be found in Basler’s Collected Works of Lincoln, volume 5. As far as I know no one claims that the elephants were actually sent to America.

  • Connie Chastain May 8, 2011 @ 8:22

    Dear Ms. Chastain,

    I’ve had enough of your obnoxious comments. I think it would be better for all of us if you were to offer your personal critiques of me on your favorite Facebook page or on your own blog. Best of luck to you.

  • Carl W. Roden May 7, 2011 @ 15:22

    More and more I see that the line between those who misuse the Confederate flag to intimidate fellow Americans and those who hate it gets thinner and thinner.
    What is the difference between someone like 50 Cent who has been taught to hate all their life and now reject out of hand the words of another human being to a white supremacist who has been taught their whole like to hate others of a different culture and ethnic group because of some false doctrines of Christianity or worse bottle fed the cult of Nazism?
    The difference…..not a damn thing in my book, both are just as narrow-minded and deserving of pity.

    • Kevin Levin May 7, 2011 @ 15:38

      You apparently know more about the personal history of 50 Cent than I do. I consider your comment to be an endorsement of this woman’s interpretation, which clearly reflects your understanding of the history. That’s pathetic.

      • melanie May 8, 2011 @ 5:26

        First of all Mr. Levin…you do not know Carl, because if you did you would never say his understanding of history is pathetic. You say these things because in fact his “understanding” and knowledge of history far surpass your own. Maybe you should ge back, just like 50 cent and reread the history lessons. So this woman isn’t remembering things old is she??? what do you expect at that age? I think your pathetic for picking on this old woman.

        • Kevin Levin May 8, 2011 @ 5:31

          Hi Melanie,

          Thanks for the comment. You apparently are not familiar with Mr. Roden’s angry diatribes about me on other websites. He should appreciate that I even allow him to comment on this site. I don’t know the age of this woman, but she clearly does not understand the history that is being shared with the public at this particular site. Exactly how is sharing a video on this blog and calling her interpretation for what it is problematic?

          • melanie May 8, 2011 @ 5:42

            Oh I am very familiar with carl and his posts and I usually agree with him completely. Therefore i must be as angry as he is, so you best watch out that i dont start ranting too! As far as the old woman, yes it is a very flawed view but does that warrant picking on her ? i feel bad that her view is soo flawed. she too needs a history lesson. and of all people to go and talk to her…50 cent, really? poor woman was probably nervous and scared of him. (LOL) which i am sure will be found as a racist statement, but I don’t care.

            • Kevin Levin May 8, 2011 @ 5:53

              Why am I not surprised that the two of you agree. I am not really interested in your anger. I have found that the angry types tend to have very little to say about the actual history. At least you admit that this woman needs a history lesson. Carl can’t even bring himself to admit that much, but the two of you go out of your way to attack 50 Cent. And for what? All he seems to be doing is looking into a little local history, which seems to be all the rage these days on various channels.

              As for your final statement, well, you said it and not me.

              • melanie May 9, 2011 @ 0:38

                Oh see there is 1 difference between carl and myself..i am not actually angry., especially about this or about you Mr. Levin. And I am not attacking 50 cent. I was only stating what could be an obvious truth. The man has been to jail alot, and isnt really the ambassador type, so it would be fair to assume that this old man maybe nervous or intimidated by him. And yes I can admit her so called memory is very flawed, and yes she is in need of a history lesson. I however sir, am quite knowledgable on the subject of history and the “civil war” and take offense to you saying that I am not. Just because my views on this are not the same as yours does not mean I do not know anything, nor does it mean I am a racist.

                • Kevin Levin May 9, 2011 @ 1:27


                  Based on your comments here I have no idea what your views are about anything.

                  • melanie May 9, 2011 @ 2:20

                    plain and simple..i love the confederacy and my southern heritage.

                    • Kevin Levin May 9, 2011 @ 2:27

                      Good for you, Melanie.

                      I’ve been lucky enough to live in central Virginia for the past ten years. I absolutely love to read and write about its rich history.

                • Andy Hall May 10, 2011 @ 6:39

                  “. . . nor does it mean I am a racist.”

                  Pre-emptive denial? No one here accused you of that.

                  Reminds me of the case in my town several years ago where the cops investigating a string of burglaries were going door-to-door, asking residents if they’d seen anything unusual in the neighborhood. They knocked at one house, and before they could explain why they were there, the guy blurted out, “I don’t know anything about that murder!”

                  • RICHARD WASHBURN May 10, 2011 @ 8:59

                    Being southern you almost have to do a preemptive denial like that because that is the first thing people will slander you with.

                    • Kevin Levin May 10, 2011 @ 9:02

                      There was no need to bring it up in the first place. That woman had as much of a reason to fear 50 Cent (with all of the cameras around) as you have to fear the old woman. That we are even talking about this is ridiculous. The only thing that matters is that this woman is sharing a fundamentally flawed view of history with the general public.

                    • RICHARD WASHBURN May 10, 2011 @ 9:10

                      how is it “fundamentally flawed “

                    • Kevin Levin May 10, 2011 @ 9:33

                      There is not a reputable historian working today that would support her picture of slaves at the end of the war.

                    • Andy Hall May 10, 2011 @ 9:19

                      Doesn’t happen to me, or most of the Southerners I know.

                    • RICHARD WASHBURN May 16, 2011 @ 8:13

                      Andy, People have never assumed you must be racist just for being from the South? I hear it quite frequently, though many times just in jest but it is still common place.

  • Ryan Quint May 7, 2011 @ 10:41

    The first video almost made me laugh, but the second actually leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. Claiming that 19th-Century American Terrorists were formed to deter renegade blacks is absolutely appalling.

  • Craig May 6, 2011 @ 16:47

    Could she have meant Congolese? Ned Sublette’s book on the history of New Orleans makes a clear distinction between the original slaves brought to New Orleans by the French in 1720 who were from Mali and therefore Malian and the later Congolese arrivals in the 18th century imported from outposts in the Congo. It’s an important distinction for Sublette as his background is music and his interest is in the development of jazz and the blues. Malians played stringed instruments with distinctive chord progressions. Drums and horns derive from an Angolan or Congolese tradition that produced syncopated variations on Western martial or military music .

    • Kevin Levin May 6, 2011 @ 16:55

      I think we should take her at her word. Once you leave that realm the sky is the limit in trying to interpret her words.

  • David Woodbury May 6, 2011 @ 15:58

    South Carolinians think Sherman’s men were rough on their state — just imagine if Genghis Kahn got a crack at them.

  • TF Smith May 6, 2011 @ 12:43

    Actually, if you featured a post that referenced the 1st Camel Battalion, CSCT, there would be an entire reenactor’s group devoted to it within days, probably located in Stone Mountain; unfortunately, the participants would only be able to portray the battalion’s officers…

  • Matt McKeon May 6, 2011 @ 12:14

    Mark Twain: ignorance isn’t not knowing, its knowing things that are wrong.

    • Carl W. Roden May 7, 2011 @ 15:24

      Quoting a man who was in fact a Confederate himself….lovely.

      • Larry Cebula May 8, 2011 @ 9:03

        Matt, that is not a real Twain quote.

        Carl, it is really stretching the truth to call Twain a Confederate. His alleged two-week service with a Confederate bushwacker outfit is not supported by any contemporary evidence. Even the name of the outfit that Twain gives doesn’t show up in the historical record. I think he made it up. In any case, within a few months of the outbreak of the war Twain was on his way to Nevada to work with his staunchly Unionist brother Orion for the federal government there. He was a Union man.

        • Bob Huddleston May 11, 2011 @ 11:04

          Those who love Mark Twain, and who also love the Civil War, should read and enjoy “The Private History of a Campaign that Failed.” It is especially enjoyable to Civil War nuts because it was published as one of the Century Magazine’s “Battles and Leaders” series – but unfortunately did not make the cut for the printed volumes! Go to and you can read it as it appeared in the December 1885 issue of The Century.

          Mark delightfully satirized the pompous generals’ accounts, pretending that his story was the equal of Grant and Joe Johnston. Twain even provided a “map” of the “Seat of the War” and another of the “Engagement at Mason’s Farm”!

          Having enjoyed that, go then to for “Why Sam Clemens was never a Confederate… and a few other things you should know about Hannibal in 1860 and 1861” by Terrell Dempsey and find out what Sam Clemens’ military career was really like!

  • Kevin Levin May 6, 2011 @ 11:49

    If you want a sense of how subjective memory can be just pay attention to the stories that we tell about our own past. We are constantly reshaping our self-narratives in response to present pressures.

  • Matt McKeon May 6, 2011 @ 10:49

    “False Memory” Maybe she is remembering something she was taught incorrectly, or is what she was taught incorrect, or both?

    Since no living person can remember the Civil War, what you mean by memory is myth. Myths can have a greater or lesser relationship with historical fact. Myths give meaning to events. Either Ambrose Bierce, Samuel Johnson or possibly Voltaire called history a “set of lies agreed on” Isn’t that what cultural “memory” or myth is? As a culture we decide what events mean.

    I would say it isn’t necessarily lies

    • Andy Hall May 6, 2011 @ 11:47

      It’s a ridiculous enough claim that I don’t think anyone would accuse her of lying, but that still doesn’t make it any less ridiculous.

      False memories (or confabulation) is always a problem, and every person’s memory is subjective. Memory is not, unfortunately, a videotape that we can access and replay an infinite number of times, that never changes and is always and forever an objective view of the event. Human memory is a messy thing.

      But as you note, she’s not “remembering” something from her personal experience; she’s repeating (and muddling up) something she was told, or came to believe somehow. People believe all sorts of stuff that is ridiculous and objectively wrong, and that fact that she is earnest and sincere in that belief is largely irrelevant.

      This is relevant to the debate about BCS, as well. H. K. Edgerton and Nelson Winbush are, as far as I can see, entirely sincere in the claims they make for their ancestors. They believe it and they’re not lying. But that doesn’t make the claim objectively true.

      • Woodrowfan May 6, 2011 @ 13:12

        I wonder if she originally heard “mulattoes” and that became “Mongolians.”?

        • Kevin Levin May 6, 2011 @ 13:14

          Given the content of the second video it’s safe to say that her whole picture of the period in question is fundamentally flawed.

  • TF Smith May 6, 2011 @ 9:20

    The 1st Camel Battalion (USMT) was a little-known civil war era volunteer unit formed in 1865 by Department of the Pacific commanding general George Wright, who, concerned over the prospect of war with France over Maximillian’s Mexican Empire, believed the 1st and 2nd California volunteer cavalry regiments and the 1st California volunteer cavalry battalion would not provide a large enough mounted contingent for the mooted Sonora expedition that was serve as a complement ot Sheridan’s proposed campaign in northeastenr Mexico. Wright, who had supportd Jefferson Davis’ pre-war experiments with camel-mounted dragoons in the Southwest, saw the possibility of a dromedary mounted unit as a significant force multiplier in the event of a campaign in northwest Mexico. Believing the failure of the Davis experiement came directly from the involvement of American troops without any experience working for camels, Wright sought out the only element of the California population with innate camel experience, thus the unique ethnic make-up of the 1st USMT. The unit was organized provisionally in the spring of 1865 under Wright’s authority as department commander, and was scheduled for federal recognition July 31, 1865; Wright’s death in the sinking of the mail steamer Brother Johnathan, however, led to cancellation of federal recognition by Wright’s sucessor, and the 1st USMT was disbanded.

    • Kevin Levin May 6, 2011 @ 9:35

      The scary thing is that if I were to feature this as a post within a few hours we would find entire websites devoted to it. 🙂

    • Jonathan Dresner May 6, 2011 @ 11:28


      Great movie. Granted, I was 9. There was a camel who drank beer.

      • Kevin Levin May 6, 2011 @ 11:30


  • Tom Perry May 6, 2011 @ 9:19

    I think what she meant to say was mongoloid not mongolian. I can remember seeing video during the 1950s and 1960s of white supremacists using the term mongoloid, but I could be wrong.

    I actually gave a talk in Red Shirt Shrine in Edgefield once. In the cemetery behind the First Baptist Church are Mathew C. Butler, Francis Pickens and Strom Thurmond.

    • Kevin Levin May 6, 2011 @ 9:33

      Hi Tom,

      You could be right, but I don’t think it’s safe to try to assume what was in her head at the time.

      • Ann May 15, 2011 @ 20:09

        Well, guys!! mongoloid means still Asian face,

    • Chucktown Buck Apr 5, 2015 @ 10:26

      You are right, she doesn’t have clue about what she is talking about.

  • Billy Bearden May 6, 2011 @ 8:44

    It’s amazing that $O.5O found enough time away from jails and courts and drugs and guns and thuggery to even consider a ‘documentary’

    • Sammie May 8, 2011 @ 13:11

      YOU would try to dull the point with useless rhetoric, especially since he hasn’t been that dude you described in over ten years. Wasted comment because it has nothing to do with the topic.

  • Rob in CT May 6, 2011 @ 7:33

    [riffing off the title of this blog]

    Is it “memory” if it’s utterly false?

    • Kevin Levin May 6, 2011 @ 7:39

      It’s an interesting question: Can memories – whether they be individual or collective – be understood as true or false?

    • Woodrowfan May 6, 2011 @ 8:37

      sure, it’s just a false memory. It still can influence how I make a judgment or react to something.

  • Jennifer Gross May 6, 2011 @ 6:31

    I love 50 cent’s last comment: “I need to study my history?”

  • Lee White May 6, 2011 @ 6:16

    Edgefield is definitely different. Check out the Red Shirt Shrine at Oakley Park.

    • Andy Hall May 6, 2011 @ 10:30

      As I recall, Edgefield was the birthplace of Preston Brooks and Louis T. Wigfall, as well. There’s definitely something in the water there.

      • Vociferous Billy Bearden May 20, 2011 @ 3:03

        Ironically Mr Hall, the something in the water led to “50 Cent” and Preston Brooks was included.

        I love how the writer went south with liberal hate filled yankee stereotyping and was treated with good ol Southron Hospitality (TM)

        • Kevin Levin May 20, 2011 @ 3:05

          Wow! You really are obsessed with this guy.

          • Billy Bearden May 20, 2011 @ 8:41

            I am. Not only do I eat drink and sleep Curtis, but I have all his records, 10 full photo albums, and a shrine to him I make animal sacrifices to hourly. Oops, it’s almost 1:15, time for another ritual…

            • Kevin Levin May 20, 2011 @ 8:47

              It speaks volumes that of all the things to criticize about this story you can’t get over the fact that the individual who entered the museum is a black rap artist.

        • Andy Hall May 20, 2011 @ 3:59

          I had no idea you were a Vanity Fair reader, Billy. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.) 😉

          • Vociferous Billy Bearden May 20, 2011 @ 8:47

            Aw shucks, I read all kinds of stuff. Heck, education truly begins AFTER graduation from high school. Reckon I might one day even look inside Kevin’s book on the Crater.

            • Andy Hall May 20, 2011 @ 8:55

              Aw shucks, I read all kinds of stuff. Heck, education truly begins AFTER graduation from high school.

              I need a fainting couch. Billy and I agree on this, though I suspect we mean different things. 😉

  • Woodrowfan May 5, 2011 @ 16:01

    WOW! Dixie Outfitters is right, the CSA really was more diverse than we knew!

    • Andy Hall May 5, 2011 @ 16:57

      I understand the Mongolians made excellent light cavalrymen.

      • Woodrowfan May 6, 2011 @ 6:44

        not to mention a killer BBQ!

  • Corey Meyer May 5, 2011 @ 13:33


  • Jonathan Dresner May 5, 2011 @ 9:17

    I wonder if she’s conflating coolie labor with slave labor. The chronology’s still off, but it’s not completely bizarre. And a lot of the debates about coolie labor equated it with the slave trade.

    • Kevin Levin May 5, 2011 @ 9:22

      I don’t think she is conflating anything. 🙂

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