A textbook says that thousands of African Americans fought for the South during the Civil War

Jan 2010
2,974
Incline Village near Lake Tahoe
#1
A textbook says that thousands of African Americans fought for the South during the Civil War

Virginia 4th-grade textbook criticized over claims on black Confederate soldiers
By Kevin Sieff
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 20, 2010; 12:53 AM

A textbook distributed to Virginia fourth-graders says that thousands of African Americans fought for the South during the Civil War -- a claim rejected by most historians but often made by groups seeking to play down slavery's role as a cause of the conflict.
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The passage appears in "Our Virginia: Past and Present," which was distributed in the state's public elementary schools for the first time last month. The author, Joy Masoff, who is not a trained historian but has written several books, said she found the information about black Confederate soldiers primarily through Internet research, which turned up work by members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
Scholars are nearly unanimous in calling these accounts of black Confederate soldiers a misrepresentation of history. Virginia education officials, after being told by The Washington Post of the issues related to the textbook, said that the vetting of the book was flawed and that they will contact school districts across the state to caution them against teaching the passage.
"Just because a book is approved doesn't mean the Department of Education endorses every sentence," said spokesman Charles Pyle. He also called the book's assertion about black Confederate soldiers "outside mainstream Civil War scholarship."
Masoff defended her work. "As controversial as it is, I stand by what I write," she said. "I am a fairly respected writer."
The issues first came to light after College of William & Mary historian Carol Sheriff opened her daughter's copy of "Our Virginia" and saw the reference to black Confederate soldiers.
"It's disconcerting that the next generation is being taught history based on an unfounded claim instead of accepted scholarship," Sheriff said. "It concerns me not just as a professional historian but as a parent."
Virginia, which is preparing to mark the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, has long struggled to appropriately commemorate its Confederate past. The debate was reinvigorated this spring, when Gov. Robert F. Mc*Don*nell (R) introduced "Confederate History Month" in Virginia without mentioning slavery's role in the Civil War. He later apologized.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans, a group of male descendants of Confederate soldiers based in Columbia, Tenn., has long maintained that substantial numbers of black soldiers fought for the South The group's historian-in-chief, Charles Kelly Barrow, has written the book "Black Confederates."
The Sons of Confederate Veterans also disputes the widely accepted conclusion that the struggle over slavery was the main cause of the Civil War. Instead, the group says, the war was fought "to preserve their homes and livelihood," according to John Sawyer, chief of staff of the Sons of Confederate Veterans' Army of Northern Virginia. He said the group was pleased that a state textbook accepted some of its views.
 

Viperlord

Ad Honorem
Aug 2010
8,109
VA
#2
Re: A textbook says that thousands of African Americans fought for the South during the Civil War

Sad but typical neo-confederate revisionism in Virginia. The truth is there was no more than a couple battalion strength or so combat units of black soldiers. The SCV, as usual, is full of horseshit.
 

tjadams

Ad Honoris
Mar 2009
25,362
Texas
#4
Re: A textbook says that thousands of African Americans fought for the South during the Civil War

It's not all false. Some slaves were enlisted, but as the other link provided states, its was half-hearted and greatly too late to be of real effect.
 
#5
Re: A textbook says that thousands of African Americans fought for the South during the Civil War

It's not all false. Some slaves were enlisted, but as the other link provided states, its was half-hearted and greatly too late to be of real effect.
When the Confederate Army was in Winter Camp in Dalton, Ga, winter 1864, a general recommended the use of slaves as soldiers in the army. I don't recall which general, and I don't have time to look it up, but I am thinking it was Pat Cleburne. Whoever it was, the suggestion was quickly rejected.
 

Salah

Forum Staff
Oct 2009
23,284
Maryland
#7
Re: A textbook says that thousands of African Americans fought for the South during the Civil War

When the Confederate Army was in Winter Camp in Dalton, Ga, winter 1864, a general recommended the use of slaves as soldiers in the army. I don't recall which general, and I don't have time to look it up, but I am thinking it was Pat Cleburne. Whoever it was, the suggestion was quickly rejected.
This story rings a bell, I think you are right that it was Cleburne.

I've read that there were small numbers of free black soldiers who voluntarily fought for the Confederate cause.
 

Viperlord

Ad Honorem
Aug 2010
8,109
VA
#8
Re: A textbook says that thousands of African Americans fought for the South during the Civil War

This story rings a bell, I think you are right that it was Cleburne.

I've read that there were small numbers of free black soldiers who voluntarily fought for the Confederate cause.
From what I've read, it amounted to nothing more than a couple of battalions raised near the very end of the war as a desperation move.
 

Frank81

Ad Honorem
Feb 2010
5,050
Canary Islands-Spain
#9
Re: A textbook says that thousands of African Americans fought for the South during the Civil War

Battalions? So it's true that thousands of blacks fought for the south.
 
Jan 2009
8,298
Tennessee
#10
Re: A textbook says that thousands of African Americans fought for the South during the Civil War

Here we go again...

Yes, thousands of Blacks did indeed fight voluntarily for the Confederacy. The text book is correct. While it may not be politically correct, it is factually correct. And it wasnt all at the end of the war, either. It was right from the start.

Here is a link to an African-American Black man, who had an ancestor killed in action while serving in the Confederate Army at the battle of Shiloh, in the spring of 1862...

http://www.revisionisthistory.org/black_confederates.html

And there are these as well...

http://www.scvcamp469-nbf.com/theblackconfederatesoldier.htm

And there are the grave stones. Here are just a few...

http://blackconfederates.blogspot.com/

And so, we must conclude that African Americans did render voluntary service to the Confederacy. Why, we might ask?

Simple. They were defending thier homes from a brutal invader. Perhaps thier lives as second or third class citizens was not very pleasant, but it was thier home and thier lives. They gained a level of acceptance and respect from Southern White society on an individual level that they had never known before. Important "Big High Men" of Southern culture showed some respect and affinity to the Blacks that served the South.

And that was the very real, and important crack in racism that they had been looking for. For this meant more to actually better the lives of African Americans than any court ruling would.

The North wanted to take the moral high ground after the war, and justify the corruption of the reconstruction. But in truth, the North never made freeing the slaves a part of its stated war aims until well into the war, and when it looked like England and France might enter the war on the side of the South.

Lincoln knew that niether France nor Britain would enter the war to defend the institution of chattel slavery. And that is why the EP. France had entered the revolution, when Britain hadnt really made emancipation of the American slaves an all encompassing blanket goal and stated war aim.

Perhaps it should have?

Lincoln used the EP to shore up the wavering support for the war back home, and to take the moral high ground on the diplomatic front.

I believe that, had the North had won the war in the first 6 months, there would have been no EP for a long, long time...If ever.