Searching for Real Black Confederates in The Civil War Monitor

Civil War MonitorWell, that is at least the working title of an essay that will appear in the next issue of The Civil War Monitor. I just finished with the final edits and I am really happy with the final version.  As far as I know there is nothing out there in a popular publication that deals with this tough topic.  I do my best to bring some light to the relationship between slaveowners and their camp servants at war.  It’s an incredibly frustrating and challenging topic and I don’t claim to have provided the last word.  More than anything else, what I hope it does is raise questions and challenge assumptions on all sides – assumptions that almost always tell us more about the present as opposed to the past.

With that in mind, I hope my fellow high school history teachers will think about picking up a copy for their classrooms.  I think the essay will work well in getting students to think critically about the slave-master dynamic and related issues related to the war generally.

It’s been an absolute pleasure working with Terry Johnston and his editorial team.  They did a great job pushing back with questions that helped to improve both the narrative and analysis.  It clearly reflects their commitment to put out a first-rate magazine that is both a pleasure to read and thought provoking.

Do yourself a favor and get a subscription today.

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!

5 comments… add one
  • Jazzeum Jan 18, 2013 @ 14:29

    Looking forward to it as well Kevin.

  • Gbrasher Jan 18, 2013 @ 8:55

    Several years ago North & South magazine published a piece about “Black Confederates” by Bruce Levine, and it started a dialogue in the “letters-to-the-editor” section that went back and forth over a couple of issues, with the author feeling compelled to write a lengthy follow-up response. I have no doubt that your new piece is going to spark they same type of discussion, but I know you in particular are especially very well prepared and experienced at engaging in the debate. Of course Terry Johnston (who I agree is awesome to work with) was at “North & South” back in the day, so he knows what to expect too. I suspect that the difference between your piece and Bruce Levine’s is that you take these accounts seriously (as I did in my own book), and use them to analyze the master-slave dynamic of Confederate body servants. Looking forward to reading it and all the dialogue that it will inspire!

    • Kevin Levin Jan 18, 2013 @ 9:11

      Hi Glenn,

      I remember that article and the ensuing debate. There was also a piece by John Coski that appeared in N&S. I hope the article leads to a helpful discussion even if it is likely to rile up the usual crowd.

  • Damian Shiels Jan 18, 2013 @ 7:07

    Looking forward to reading it in the next issue!

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