A Very Small Army of Black Rebels

One of the topics that I take up in the final chapter of my book about Confederate camp slaves and the Myth of the Black Confederate Soldier is the presence of a very small number of African Americans in social circles that subscribe to this myth. I have written extensively about H.K. Edgerton as well as Karen Cooper and Anthony Hervey.

Add to this group one Andrew Duncomb, who is the subject of a forthcoming documentary directed by Christopher Stoudt.

It is a very short preview, but it includes a wonderful moment in which a convenience store employee offers her thoughts about a black man embracing a Confederate flag.

I think it’s a bunch of bullshit cause white folks did us in.

That pretty much encapsulates why the vast majority of African Americans have a negative view of the Confederate battle flag. That said, I do think it is worth exploring the connections that Duncomb and others have forged with Confederate heritage groups like the Sons of Confederate Veterans and Virginia Flaggers as part of this study. Stay tuned.

Civil War Memory has moved to Substack! Don’t miss a single post. Subscribe below.

17 comments… add one
  • Andrew Duncomb Feb 5, 2017 @ 5:37

    I am a SCV Mechanized Cavalry member

  • Rblee22468 Mar 25, 2016 @ 11:19

    Does anyone know if HK’s “character” portrays a soldier or a body servant?

    • Kevin Levin Mar 25, 2016 @ 11:25

      The language is vague enough to encompass both.

    • Bryan Cheeseboro Mar 25, 2016 @ 13:11

      He wears chevrons on the sleeves of his uniform so I believe he portrays a soldier.

      • RUDOLPH YOUNG Mar 25, 2016 @ 20:45

        We have come to the same conclusions ,camp servants not soldiers ; H.K Edgerton and i was in a social circle called the SCV. H.K. was associated with the scv to run a con game on people who had a need to prove that the Civil War was not about slavery. I was a commander of a camp to learn about African American history and I did learn a lot about my people . H.K is still shucking and jiving and running his con. he is addicted to the royal treatment he receives from the Neo-Confederates. i am addicted to history in America. Tthis is what I have found. Racism cannot be detected by the actions and motivations of people. God does not describe any acts cause or committed by racist in the Bible. It does talk about the nature of the relationships between human beings. Before you say something , white people do not hate black people , and black people have not been the victims of racism. Racism does not exist in human society. God said so. During the Civil War , slavery existed . slaves were there to serve economically . They were sent into the army for that same purpose , not to fight and defend the country. Long after the war, they were rewarded for serving. North Carolina paid a pension for feet on the ground . SC paid for service only as a cook or servant , a cook is a camp servant and a servant is a cook servant. in NC, reason for feet on the ground was to be a camp servant . regardless of what ever else they did. Now let me tell you about African American in Lincoln County, NC . Africans all over the country are like them , no exceptions. African Amricans believe in the bogyman the most intense . they can’t seem to ignore what is a figment of their imagination . They look for the bogyman in ever human relationship, and they always find him. even though he does not exist if racism ever existed , I would say that African Americans are the racist of all American people. but I know they have replaced nothing with not anything. What happened on a slave plantation was not about racism , it was about making good slaves to make money , void of business ethics . I wrote a book called Confederates in the Bloodline of Africans Americans , self published and uncirclated . I roll these books out when i want to create an chance to talk about African history without racism. I can’t eradicate the bogyman in the minds of my people. They even see me as the bogyman. i am trying to get my people out of the habit of victimhood . H.K. convinced the scv that i was the bogyman from a long line of bogymen ,one served in the the HQ of General RoberR F. Hoke., ancestor of General William Westmorland , I served in Westmorland’s command as a bogyman. I was honorably discharged and was kicked out of the scv.

        • Bryan Cheeseboro Mar 26, 2016 @ 3:47

          Rudolph Young,
          Your post here started off sensibly, then it became very bizarre. I couldn’t really understand what you were talking about by the end of it but what you wrote here really communicates to me that the SCV is a cult that brainwashes people about the Civil War, race and slavery. That’s really sad.

          • RUDOLPH YOUNG Mar 27, 2016 @ 17:48

            I sorry you did not understand me.so I will say it again .In this national debate over black Confederates and the Confederate Battle flag,the SCV have become masters at inciting emotional responses from other Americans. African Americans tend to react more intensely., because they are more conflicted over patriotism to ones country and ethnic loyality. This confusion is exploited best by the SCV. I LEARNED THIS FIRSTHAND. they do not hope to win this debate, they are hit and actors.

            • Bryan Cheeseboro Mar 28, 2016 @ 13:56

              Okay, Rudolph. So are you done with the SCV and their Lost Cause interpretation of the war? Are you interested in an understanding of the history based on documented evidence?

      • Andy Hall Apr 25, 2016 @ 4:29

        Looks like he got promoted to top kick.

    • Andy Hall Apr 11, 2016 @ 8:55

      Does anyone know if HK’s “character” portrays a soldier or a body servant?


      He wears a uniform, but I don’t think he means to represent any specific person.

      • Andy Hall Apr 11, 2016 @ 14:35

        I should’ve added that, while AFAIK Edgerton doesn’t portray any specific individual, his both his uniform (with chevrons) and the Dixie Outfitters shirt bearing his likeness that he often wears clearly underscore the idea of African Americans not only serving as rank-and-file soldiers in the Confederate army, but also serving as non-commissioned officers. Given that Edgerton’s every nonsensical, stream-of-conscious utterance about events of the past is taken as Gospel by his supporters, I doubt anyone’s ever questioned him about it.

        • Kevin Levin Apr 11, 2016 @ 15:11

          Edgerton figures, in part, as a performance artist in my current book project on the history and memory of black Confederates that stretches back to Steve Perry a.k.a. “Uncle Steve Eberhart.”

          • Andy Hall Apr 12, 2016 @ 8:53

            Yes, there’s a direct line from men like Perry and Howard Divinity (“Champion Chicken Thief of the Confederacy”) and others in the early 1900s to Edgerton as performers. The critical difference is that a century ago these men were viewed, in large part, as comic relief by the white veterans, while today Edgerton’s antics are treated with solemnity and reverence as speaking Great Truths of History. The performance hasn’t changed so much, but what the audience gets out of it certainly has.

            • Kevin Levin Apr 12, 2016 @ 10:18

              You and I are both familiar with the evidence that points to that distinction, but I do believe that some room needs to be left to acknowledge that these men did share an experience stretching back to the war.

              • Andy Hall Apr 12, 2016 @ 12:17

                Yes, of course. As I’ve said, there’s real camaraderie based on shared experiences there, and that must not be discounted. A number of African American men participated in those old UCV reunions, and were welcomed.

                But some, like Perry/Eberhart and Howard Divinity went beyond that, and willingly made spectacles of themselves. Edgerton and his supporters in the Confederate heritage movement don’t have the shared experience that created bonds (however unequal) between those men of a hundred years ago; all they have today is the clownish spectacle.

  • gdbrasher Mar 25, 2016 @ 7:41

    The title of your last chapter should be her last quote.

Leave a Reply to Andy HallCancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *