Last week I shared the news that the iconic image of Andrew and Silas Chandler had been donated to the Library of Congress. Over the weekend The Washington Post picked up the story. The title of the article makes it perfectly clear that the image does not show two men going off to war voluntarily. What it depicts is one of the many horrors of slavery.
The title of the Post article is a clear victory over the self-serving agendas of certain heritage groups such as the Sons of Confederate Veterans and United Daughters of the Confederacy and a broader unwillingness and/or inability to engage in the most basic historical research.
Those who still have difficulty accepting this can huff and puff all they want. It doesn’t change anything.
I am pleased that Ron Coddington got some press coverage in the article, but I want to acknowledge the crucial work that Myra Chandler Sampson did years before Ron or I came into contact with her. Myra did a wonderful job of gathering the relevant sources that left no doubt as to Silas’s legal status. If I did anything as part of our co-authored essay for Civil War Times it was to bring some organization and context to these materials.
Chalk this up as a victory for the good guys.