Yet more nonsense about slavery and the Confederacy:
Black Confederates: exploding America’s most persistent myth
Set up a straw man, fail even to burn that down, then proclaim the New History.
“For many people, that is evidence of black Confederate soldiers,” Kevin Levin told an audience at the National Archives in Washington last month. “But it’s not. In fact, no one was confused during the dedication that this was in fact a body servant.”
In other words, an enslaved man.
The American civil war has never been in short supply of myths, but Levin describes black Confederates as the “most persistent”. Hundreds of articles, organisations and websites rewrite history by asserting that between 500 and 100,000 free and enslaved African Americans volunteered as soldiers in an army fighting to preserve slavery.
Just because it is counterintuitive does not make it true. In the wake of Donald Trump’s election and the white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, where a statue of the Confederate general Robert E Lee still stands, the issue resonates beyond the halls of academia.
Levin, a historian, educator and author of the blog civil war memory, has been writing on the subject since 2008.
The straw man – that there were black confederate soldiers shows that the South was right.
The supposed disproof – there were slaves that whities brought along to take care of them in camp.
The disproof has the obvious merit of being correct, in that there were camp slaves.
But that there were camp slaves does not mean there were no black volunteers who fought for the Confederacy. It’s not a disproof that is.
The matter wasn’t so, err, black and white. Not all blacks in the South were slaves. Rather more importantly, not all slave owners in the South were white. There were indeed black slave owners. Actually, the first person to actually own a full on chattel slave in the US was black.
That slaves fought for slavery may or may not be true. That some blacks fought for the Confederacy – voluntarily – is true. Just as it’s also true that some blacks owned black slaves.