“We Learned How the South Was Right”

Looks like the Sam Davis Youth Camp is stepping up efforts to recruit children for their summer camp program. Any time an instructor proudly proclaims that participants will learn the “truth of history” you know that good old indoctrination is what is really taking place.

So, is this program right for your kids?

Today, General Cleburne’s words, quoted above, ring all too true. There is no question that the youth of today must run a terrible gauntlet, and that many are struck down along the way by one or more of the politically correct influences which flourish in our schools. Sometimes these youths are from the best homes, with strong families and religious training. With even the most conscientious parenting though, oftentimes in high school or college, even these best & brightest finally succumb to the liberal, politically correct view of history.

This summer, you can help turn the tide. For one week, our Southern young men and ladies (ages 12-20) will gather to hear the truths about the War for Southern Independence. This camp (named for the great young Confederate Sam Davis) will combine fun and recreation with thoughtful instruction in Southern history, the War Between the States, the theology of the South during the War, lessons on Southern heroes, examples of great men of the Faith, and for the first year, special programs and sessions for our Southern ladies!

I suspect that the central problem for institutions like this is that they are catering to an incredibly narrow clientele. This youth camp has all the trappings of a cult. The kids are entertained with water balloon fights, live fire demonstrations, horseback riding, etc. and along the way they are told that their way of life is being attacked. The younger participants are helpless in such an environment.

Glad to see that the kids are at least having a little fun on their summer vacations even if they are being taught to salute the Confederate flag.

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!

65 comments… add one
  • Forester Jun 3, 2014 @ 10:31

    That poor girl’s forehead is so shiny! Uggh, this cameraman must have never filmed women before in his life. He made her look greasy and nasty. Why didn’t he have some Clean&Clear oil absorbing pads in his camera kit? That’s a talentless hack job and I feel sorry for the girl. No accounting for skill at all here.

    However, outside of the propaganda, this camp actually looks fun. I think a Civil War themed camp is an awesome idea, but these morons are not the right people to host it.

  • Michael Williams Apr 4, 2014 @ 3:49

    That’s what I love about the southland the land of icedtea,hospitality and buttermilk biskets with sausage in the morning!

  • Michael Williams Apr 3, 2014 @ 2:20

    Seems like to me that the coin story is a family story that was passed down through the ages.
    But what I can say is they had a strong bond after the war.
    Confederate Veteran Magazine, (1894, 1910)

    • Kevin Levin Apr 3, 2014 @ 2:27

      Looks like we have different standards of evidence.

      • Michael Williams Apr 4, 2014 @ 2:11

        I ment to ask you Kevin,How was your trip through Dixie?

        Deo Vindice

        • Kevin Levin Apr 4, 2014 @ 2:32

          It was an incredible trip. Thanks for asking.

  • Michael Williams Apr 2, 2014 @ 11:28

    Sources: Confederate Veteran Magazine, (1894, 1910); Andrew M. Chandler military service record, National Archives and Records Administration; Benjamin S. Chandler military service record, National Archives and Records Administration; Silas Chandler pension record, Mississippi Department of Archives and History; West Point (Mississippi) Daily Times Leader, Jan. 4, 1950; 1850, 1910, 1860 Federal Census, 1860 Slave Schedules, National Archives and Records Administration;

    • Kevin Levin Apr 2, 2014 @ 14:31

      I have looked at all of these sources. Please explain which of these documents supports the claim that the two were close friends growing up and that Silas used a coin to help save Andrew. For the former claim we would need something that highlights the voice of Silas and for the latter claim I will want to see a wartime source.

  • Michael Williams Apr 2, 2014 @ 8:53

    Kevin I read your article on Silas Chandler and I think that you took a lot of time to write it was very good.
    Silas’s relationship with Andrew was a very close bond not just a master slave relationship but these boys grew up together they where best friends.
    When Chandler was wounded at Chickamacga creek Silas carried him to the hospital and the doctor wanted to take his leg but Silas paid him with a gold coin that they where saving.
    This is not just “assumptions” Mr. Levin I know what I’m talking about.

    Deo Vindice

    • Kevin Levin Apr 2, 2014 @ 9:04


      I am pleased to hear that you took the time to read it. The essay is based on extensive research into archival materials. Your claim that they were “best friends” must be fleshed out for it to be taken seriously. What primary sources have you consulted that support such a claim? My co-author and I found no wartime evidence to support the claim re: the coin. That being said, I have little doubt that Silas did take care of Andrew after his wounding, but there are any number of reasons as to why he may have done so. Again, what primary sources have you consulted.

      This is not just “assumptions” Mr. Levin I know what I’m talking about.

      With all due respect, you can’t expect to be taken seriously if you do not share such references.

  • Douglas Egerton Apr 2, 2014 @ 7:31

    Dear Michael, Having watched the entire fifteen minute commercial for the camp, I much doubt that they will learn about black southerners. And if they do hear about Silas, I suspect they won’t be told what his great-granddaughter said about neo-Confederate attempts to appropriate his memory. But here’s the real problem. The young man in the video explains that at the camp they “learned how the South was right.” He means the white South, of course. Former slaves and black southerners Blanche Bruce and Joseph Rainey certainly did not believe that the Confederate cause was “right.” I say this as an historian whose great-great grandfather fought for the Confederacy and owned slaves in North Carolina. North Carolina-born Hiram Revels would not think my ancestor was “right,” and the simple fact is that they both cannot be right. So perhaps the camp will invite Professor Bernie Powers to come and speak about Robert Smalls, but I’ll believe that when I see it.

    • Kevin Levin Apr 2, 2014 @ 7:40

      We shall see whether Michael reads through my article on Silas Chandler. I have no doubt that it will challenge many of his assumptions about Silas and his relationship with Andrew.

  • Michael Williams Apr 1, 2014 @ 14:24

    Thanks Kevin I knew I mispelled his name I’ll take a look at it.

  • Michael Williams Apr 1, 2014 @ 13:46

    Yes Douglas Egerton they do talk about those people at that camp.
    Let me ask you something have you ever heard of Salis Chandler?

    • Kevin Levin Apr 1, 2014 @ 13:54

      First, try spelling his name correctly. It’s Silas Chandler. I highly recommend you read this essay that I co-wrote with one of Silas’s descendants, which was published in a recent issue of Civil War Times magazine.

  • Douglas Egerton Mar 30, 2014 @ 6:52

    I assume the “southern heroes” they will hear about will include former Carolina slave turned Congressman Robert Smalls, or his associate Robert Vesey, the son of the hanged abolitionist who designed the rebuilt AME church in Charleston in 1865. (Perhaps that will also cover “southern theology?”) Or Harry Jarvis, a Maryland slave who stole a canoe and paddled thirty-five miles across the Chesapeake Bay to find freedom at Fort Monroe, only to later lose a leg fighting for his country at the Battle of Olustee? If so, could be a great camp experience!

  • Michael Williams Mar 28, 2014 @ 12:24

    I’d bet $600 on that here is a list for you.
    1.Burning of the Shanadohah Valley.
    2.The pilageing of my home town Glouecster county VA in 1863
    3.The Mistreatment of the Irish (The Drafft) they had to pay $300 to get out of it.
    4.The burning of pretty much the whole of the state of Georgea by Gen. William T. Sherman.
    5.The shelling of Vicksburg wich the civilans had to live in caves and eat rats just to survive.
    6.Gen. “Beast” Butler’s insult to the southern ladies of New Orleans.
    7.The murder of inosent civilans.
    8.Rape of southern women.
    9.The kidnaping of young girls to sell them into prosituteion.
    10.The MILLIONS of dollars worth of stolen property.

    “Every man should endeavor to understand the meaning of subjugation before it is too late… It means the history of this heroic struggle will be written by the enemy; that our youth will be trained by Northern schoolteachers; will learn from Northern school books their version of the war; will be impressed by the influences of history and education to regard our gallant dead as traitors, and our maimed veterans as fit objects for derision… It is said slavery is all we are fighting for, and if we give it up we give up all. Even if this were true, which we deny, slavery is not all our enemies are fighting for. It is merely the pretense to establish sectional superiority and a more centralized form of government, and to deprive us of our rights and liberties.” Maj. General Patrick R. Cleburne, CSA, January 1864

    • Patrick Young Mar 28, 2014 @ 14:38

      Since you have agreed to take the bet, I would name “one thing the South did during the war” and that is the kidnapping of civilian blacks in western Maryland and southern Pennsylvania during the Gettysburg Campaign by the Army of Northern Virginia. Here is a link to further reading on this:
      Please make out the check for $500 to “Patrick Young” and send it to my legal office at “The Law Offices of Patrick Young, Esq., CARECEN, 91 N. Franklin St. Suite 208, Hempstead, N.Y. 11550.” Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter.

      • Pat Young Mar 30, 2014 @ 4:35

        Michael Wiilliama: When shall I expect the check?

        • Al Mackey Mar 30, 2014 @ 12:46

          When Satan takes up ice fishing.

          • Patrick Young Mar 30, 2014 @ 13:17

            Are you suggesting Michael Williams is not an honorable man?

            • Al Mackey Mar 30, 2014 @ 14:58

              One cannot be an honorable person and have what it takes to be a neoconfederate.

    • Jimmy Dick Mar 28, 2014 @ 16:43

      You left out the part where none of that would have happened if slaveowners had not arranged to force their states into leaving the Union unconstitutionally. You also made a few up because in those burnt up areas like Georgia and South Carolina there sure are a hell of a lot of Antebellum era buildings to see. If you would use primary source records you would find where the Shenandoah was not destroyed by the Union forces either. But of course I do not expect you to use primary sources, just the usual made up stuff that sounds good in your echo chamber.

    • Bob Huddleston Mar 30, 2014 @ 9:08

      Michael is wrong about #10: the actual figure is more like $3.5 Billion, the 1860 value of the slaves who were stolen from their masters.

    • The other Susan Jun 3, 2014 @ 13:03

      I’m not sure that the South did the first 6, unless you mean they are to blame for starting the war. But 7 – 10 You are correct about.

  • London John Mar 28, 2014 @ 7:58

    The comment by “Michael Williams” reads to me like a parody rather than an authentic lost-causer. Most of them on this blog can spell.

  • Michael Williams Mar 27, 2014 @ 5:11

    Looks like a fun camp to go to water balloon fights horse rideing?
    who wouldin’t want to ride horses?
    “Lastly, note that everybody in that video is Caucasian, most likely Anglo-Saxon and Protestant.” Ben you forgot to say Catholic and Christin during the war many southerners where of scots-irish desent and many still are like me for example i’m irish.
    And Pat Young “that theology” was the defense of their homes from rapeing murdering thieving yankees just think about the Shanadoah Vally,the state of Georgia,the city of Vicksburg Tennessee,Shurmen’s Brutal treatment of prisoners useing them to clear out mines!,the burning of sevreal southern towns and homes so pat if the south was SO BAD then I bet you can’t even name one thing the south did during the war.

    • Pat Young Mar 27, 2014 @ 18:59

      Michael you wrote “so pat if the south was SO BAD then I bet you can’t even name one thing the south did during the war.” How much money would you like to bet? My girlfriend would like to go to Maine, so how about $500?

  • London Mar 24, 2014 @ 2:00

    Is it just me, or is there something a little sad about the children who talk in this video? The way the boy described what a water-balloon fight is in so much detail gave me the impression that he rarely had fun. At first their seeming naivety is sort of appealing, then it’s troubling. Maybe it just demonstrates that a “sheltered” upbringing produces nice kids who are easily indoctrinated.

    • Bryan Cheeseboro Mar 25, 2014 @ 15:20

      “The way the boy described what a water-balloon fight is in so much detail gave me the impression that he rarely had fun.”

      I didn’t get that impression. I think he really did have fun; but the sad part of it all is that the indoctrination these children receive with neo-Confederate falsehood propaganda will make it very hard for them to go away from this summer camp experience and relate to the real world. Now, having said that, chances are they and their families don’t want to relate to the real world anyway… a place of diverse cultures, religions and ethnicities; a place of demands for equality for women, racial groups and LGBTs; and a place where they feel like White Christians are losing power and control.

  • Pat Young Mar 23, 2014 @ 4:54

    One thing the video promises that campers will learn about is “the theology of the South during the war.” Can anyone help a poor Catholic understand what that theology was?

  • Pat Young Mar 23, 2014 @ 3:26

    It just did not look like the kids were having much fun.

    • Andy Hall Mar 24, 2014 @ 5:59

      A few years ago they had a camp photo album up showing the exciting activities the campers engage in. One of the images was someone giving a PowerPoint talk. On the screen behind him were the words, “THE BOER WAR.” Pretty much what every teenager wants to do during the summer, amiright?

      • Pat Young Mar 25, 2014 @ 9:32

        The problems with the vieo:

        1. It is mostly adults talking about their indoctrination agenda.
        2. Very limited number of young people speak and they primarily talk in ways parroting the adults’ line.
        3. Little indication of spontaneity or of campers taking control of an event.

        As I have said, most camps reflect the values of parents to one degree or another. But I have never seen anything, from Bible Camp to Commie Camp, that feels as heavy handed as this.

  • Robert Gudmestad Mar 22, 2014 @ 17:20

    I threatened to send my 15 year old son to the Sam Davis camp. He looked at the video for about 20 seconds and said, “Looks like a summer camp for southern white racists. I don’t think I’ll fit in.” I think he summed it up fairly well.

  • Jefferson Moon Mar 21, 2014 @ 10:59

    Hate to say it but Hitler Youth does come to mind.

  • Bryan Cheeseboro Mar 21, 2014 @ 1:54

    I just get a kick out of “a great place for your kid” thing. I’d love to see how these people would deal with watching a Black boy dancing with one of those White girls. Then we’d see what “a great place for your kid” this brainwashing cult place really is.

  • Marian Latimer Mar 20, 2014 @ 19:08

    Wow, just wow. First, I had to pull my knitting needles out of my throat, because I didn’t know I was engaging in a Confederate ladies’ activity. I thought I’d used my 15 minutes for something productive. Did I hear a young man say they learned how the south was right? About what, pray tell.

    I was a teacher in a former life and yes, in a northern state. I’ve only lived in NC for a little over five years. Before that, ironically, I worked in a summer school program for migrant kids who came up mostly from Texas. Somehow I don’t think they’d be welcome at this camp. I did not make education my career, but I’ve been around it quite a bit and I’m pretty offended at the statement that it would be all northern teachers telling the history. I’ve encountered a number of teachers in my time down here and every one of them was educated at a southern school and are from the south. They are, however, leaving in droves, because they are on the low rung of the pay scale in the country and haven’t had raises in years. (word of advice, don’t go to Michigan)

    I don’t know how many kids attend this wonderful indoctrination festival, but how is letting some of this die out a bad thing?

  • Ben Allen Mar 20, 2014 @ 18:27

    “With even the most conscientious parenting though, oftentimes in high school or college, even these best & brightest finally succumb to the liberal, politically correct view of history.” First of all the concept of political correctness and incorrectness is all a bunch of bunk. It is used by the Right in lieu of the terms “rude” (politically incorrect) and “polite” (politically correct) as an excuse for them to be impudent. Also, by their standards, I’d consider the “liberal” view of history to be “politically incorrect,” for it upsets them. Something that is upsetting is usually considered rude, at least in neurotypical society. In other words, to Lost Causers, saying that the Civil War was caused by slavery is like telling a lady she gained weight, which is insolent in the United States.

    “… and for the first year, special programs and sessions for our Southern ladies!” Special programs and sessions for our Southern ladies? Knitting, embroidering, and tea parties just for ladies? Why can’t men participate in them, too? Considering the prose and rhetoric of their advertisements and the Lost Causers in general, I think Camp Sam Davis reflects at least a little bit of male chauvinism.

    Lastly, note that everybody in that video is Caucasian, most likely Anglo-Saxon and Protestant.

  • Bryan Cheeseboro Mar 20, 2014 @ 11:02

    An “Us against them” attitude is at the heart of cult thinking and this place reeks of it. It’s brainwashing and these poor children will need to be deprogrammed to overcome it.

  • Al Mackey Mar 20, 2014 @ 10:59

    I noticed in the PowerPoint at the camp’s website that Kirk Lyons is associated with this group. I think that tells us all we need to know.

    • Andy Hall Mar 20, 2014 @ 12:47

      Lyons has been actively involved with the Sam Davis Camp program for years. It was the brainchild of Lyons’ close ally in the SCV, former SCV C-in-C Ron Wilson. Because if there’s anyone who should be teaching kids about honor and integrity, it’s Ron Wilson.

    • Nathan Towne Mar 30, 2014 @ 11:25

      Excuse my ignorance, but who is Kirk Lyons? I am aware of thousands of titles and authors on a litany of different subjects and I don’t even know who this is.

      Nathan Towne

      • Michael Rodgers Mar 30, 2014 @ 11:51

        Here’s some info.

      • Andy Hall May 4, 2014 @ 13:32
        • The other Susan Jun 3, 2014 @ 13:44


          • Andy Hall Jun 4, 2014 @ 7:39

            Lyons spent years embedding himself, personally and professionally, at the core of the white nationalist/supremacist/separatist/identity movement, and happily served as its public spokesman. He determined to re-brand himself in the late 1990s as an activist for Confederate heritage, and adopted a pliable local NAACP official as a beard to deflect charges of racism based on the (voluminous) evidence of his past associations.

            It really says everything you need to know about the willing ignorance of the Confederate heritage movement today that Lyons remains a prominent and presumably respected figure in those circles. I really think they will embrace anyone, and rationalize any past act (if they don’t ignore it altogether), so long as that person makes a big show of fealty to the Confederate flag and shouts loudly about “Southron honour.”

  • Al Mackey Mar 20, 2014 @ 10:55

    I notice they never identify who these “nationally known” historians are who they bring in to indoctrinate these kids.

  • Eric A. Jacobson Mar 20, 2014 @ 9:56

    I’m amused by how the young lady says “rifles” and is corrected to say “muskets.” Oh my. Also, of course, if the South was right, then the North was wrong. Thanks for a little Thursday fun.

  • Rob Baker Mar 20, 2014 @ 9:00

    ‘Cult’ is an accurate description.

  • John Heiser Mar 20, 2014 @ 7:50

    Their promo is somewhat similar to recuitment videos for civilian militias and hate groups, though I’m not certainly not calling the Sam Davis Youth Camp one of those. Is there anything in their agenda at this “camp” that deals with being Americans? Doubtful; instruction and indocrination in sectional heritage certainly takes precedence for these young campers so enjoy the punch. It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye to the spear point of the flag staff bearing a CBF.

    • Kevin Levin Mar 20, 2014 @ 8:01

      Is there anything in their agenda at this “camp” that deals with being Americans?

      I was wondering the same thing.

  • Ken Noe Mar 20, 2014 @ 4:44

    An institution trying to sell a first-rate educational experience needs to cite a survey that isn’t fourteen years old. I doubt if most of my students have ever heard of Beavis & Butthead. As I discovered yesterday, I have students who don’t remember 9/11.

    • Pat Young Mar 20, 2014 @ 5:47

      I was thinking the same thing about Beavis. I will bet more kids today know about Washington’s Farewell Address than can tell you anything about Beavis.

      • Andy Hall Mar 20, 2014 @ 6:05

        Yup. I saw a story the other day about a church youth minister who dressed up as Mr. T to better “relate” to the kids he ministers to. It got a attention because the youth minister is white, and went in blackface makeup, as in Al-Jolson-Kiwi-shoe-polish black. Entirely apart from the blackface thing, though, I wonder just how in touch he is with young people that he thinks they even know who Mr. T is.

        • Ken Noe Mar 20, 2014 @ 6:37

          “I pity the fool.”

  • Sinclair Barton Mar 20, 2014 @ 4:39

    Do you permit critical examination and open discussion on this board Mr. Levin ? It seems there is a very, very, low threshold for dissenting opinion here, and the overwhelming majority of opinion expressed is the rather predictable “slavery caused the war”, and “Southerners are bad”. From what I have observed in the past, anyone who disagrees with those general views is silenced almost immediately. If you truly favor open discussion, I am all for it. If not, and your answer is “it’s my blog” fair enough, but remember, on that same basis, it’s their camp, and they too are entitled to advocate a particular position and silence another.

    • Kevin Levin Mar 20, 2014 @ 5:34

      Dear Mr. Barton (aka Carmichael or Terry Wieder)

      I think you will find a wide range of point-of-view on this site. What I don’t tolerate are insults, threats and visitors who are interested in little more than hijacking a thread.

      The more relevant comparison would be with my classroom. I’ve never presented American history as a set of “truths” that students are expected to regurgitate. My students are encouraged to come to their own conclusions based on their understanding of primary and secondary sources. This approach seems to stand in sharp contrast to what takes place at the Sam Davis Camp.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

    • Brendan Bossard Mar 20, 2014 @ 9:23

      Sinclair, I can testify that Kevin & I have disagreed very amiably on this site, and have even misunderstood each other on occasion. I have also posted disagreements with others, who have been very respectful–even though on at least one occasion my manners lacked somewhat!

  • Pat Young Mar 20, 2014 @ 3:40

    It is rare in a summer camp video that the phrase “our enemies” is used so many times.

    At first I assumed this was just a conservative version of the leftist Jewish summer camps that many of my friends attended, like Camp Kinderland, set up by Arbeter Ring and other bundists. However, where they promote free discussion, albeit within a set of presumably like-minded kids, Sam Davis seems focused on shutting down critical examination.

    NOTE TO CAMP SAM DAVIS: Don’t end a promo for a “fun” camp with sinister music.

    • Kevin Levin Mar 20, 2014 @ 3:47

      You don’t get the sense that there is anything approaching open discussion. Very sad.

      • Pat Young Mar 21, 2014 @ 4:00

        Another blogger is going to town with the fact that I mentioned Camp Kinderland. My point was that even that most lefty of summer camps does not have the same heavy handed feel of the SCV camp. Here is the video from Kinderland that is the equivalent of the Sam Davis video at top of Kevin’s post. You may or may not agree with the inclusion of civil rights and labor rights in the camp program, but it still looks a lot more child centered than the SCV camp.:

  • James F. Epperson Mar 20, 2014 @ 3:35

    Not sure whether to laugh or to cry …

    I think “cult” is the right word.

    • Kevin Levin Mar 20, 2014 @ 3:48

      I apologize for slicing off 15 minutes from your life. Than again, you probably had some sense of what was coming. 🙂

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