Saturday, July 30, 2011

Black Confederate Redux

The black Confederates issue pops up again like breakfast toast out of a three-slice Cuisinart.

To recap the argument as I understand it -- the yes-they-did folks believe that evidence supports blacks -- slave and free -- serving the Confederacy in a military capacity, whether cooks, teamsters, foragers, or infantrymen, snipers, whatever -- regardless of the Confederate government's official stand on the issue.

The no-they-didn't folks cite the Confederate government's refusal to allow blacks to serve in the army as proof that they didn't serve.

As I may have noted before, I'm not deeply invested in this issue. Still, I've developed a mild interest, not in the issue itself, but in the mentality of those taking sides on it.

Personally, I don't think the Confederacy "needs" blacks among its military to justify its struggle for independence. I think it was justified first in seceding and second in protecting its people and territory from a particularly brutal military invasion. On the other hand, I think all who served, in whatever capacity, but especially those who served on the battlefield risking life and limb, should be acknowledged, and I believe this notion motivates many yes-they-did folks.

What I find most interesting is the no-they-didn't camp's almost mad scramble to neutralize any documentation discovered and presented by the yes-they-did people. If it says "servant" or "slave" anywhere on it, that is proof enough to these folks that the servant or slave was not a soldier -- or, did not engage in soldierly conduct (i.e., shooting at the enemy). As if the two statuses are mutually exclusive. They aren't. Slaves have served in armies throughout history and around the world.

One thing I find interesting about the debunkers is their virtually total reliance on what they accept as official documentation. If the Confederate government prohibited it -- or at least didn't authorize it -- it couldn't have happened. Of course, we know all sorts of unauthorized and even prohibited activity takes place all the time -- but they can't allow themselves to accept it in this case.

I went to school with a guy who became an officer of the U.S. Navy and commanded a boat that patrolled rivers during the Vietnam war. He flew a Confederate flag from his boat. Presumably, this was/is officially prohibited somewhere, because his superior officers repeatedly ordered him to remove it. He didn't.

To believe something didn't happen -- couldn't have happened -- because it was forbidden by law is to believe there were no abortions in the USA before 1973, or that nobody drank alcohol during Prohibition.

I believe the reason there is such resistance to the notion of black Confederates has nothing to do with documentation or historical accuracy or any of that. It is the belief, shaped by modern, politically correct (i.e., socialistic) indoctrination, that blacks simply would not, could not, have fought to keep themselves enslaved.

Of course, this thought process is totally dependent on believing that Confederates fought the war solely for the purpose of keeping black folks in chains. What that means is, South=fought to keep slavery=evil, North=fought to free slaves=saintly, the war was all, all, all about this and nothing, nothing, nothing else.

Anyone who scratches off the layer of victor-pablum coating the "history" of the war is likely to see in short order that it simply wasn't that cut and dried -- indeed, slavery itself wasn't that simplistic -- but people are loathe to go against what they've been spoonfed their entire lives. They simply cannot violate their programming, regardless of the enormous amounts of truth it leaves out.

But there's an even greater/deeper reason for this belief, I suspect. What the north did to the South in the Civil War was not justifiable by any standard of decency known to civilized man. There was no justification for responding to the peaceful and democratic act of secession with war -- particularly war on civilians and particularly not with such savagery and barbarism. And so, to justify the unjustifiable, the victors had to fabricate a people so evil and a culture so malevolent that destroying both justified the union's bloody brutality.

That was accomplished by focusing solely on slavery, and not the whole of it, but the small, worst component of it -- and then smearing all Southerners with it. This process actually started before the war, and helped to build up the bloodlust of the north that resulted in the horrors perpetrated upon the South during the war. To acknowledge that blacks could have fought for the Confederacy is to acknowledge that the evilization of white Southerners, to justify their destruction in war, was wrong.

But once it was done, there was no turning back possible. The victimization of the South, justified by it's "evil," had to continue, and the result was four or five generations of deliberately created regional poverty that did not begin to ease until World War II. The demonization of Southerners continues to this day in books, fiction and nonfiction, scholarship, movies, comics, video games -- the whole of the popular culture.

There are likely diehards, like the pro-yankee bloggers who can't seem to get through a week without "monitoring" Southern heritage advocates online, who will never change. But it is past time for the self-deluded north to come to terms with what it did -- to realize that the evilization of Southerners was and is a fabrication (we're no worse than anyone else), and admit that, slavery notwithstanding, the union's savage war on the South was wrong. Just plain wrong -- whether a single black fought for the Confederacy or not.

(Photo: Matthew Bowden, Stock.Xchng)

Friday, July 22, 2011

A Reply to a Responce [sic]... Corey Meyer, aka Kindred Blood, aka Billy Yank, who wrote about me on his blog. His comments in italics, mine normal text:


I nor the other blogger* claim no more authority than you…you run a blog about the south…what authority do you have? You and yours have repeatedly shown that you do not have a grasp of the original source material that you present.

Nope. We haven't shown that. You're expressing an opinion, that's all. We show that we have a grasp of the original source material that's at least as strong as yours.

However, the other blogger* and I have history degrees which is the be-all-to-end-all on the situation, but it does help us when we are working with source materails…we have a background understanding of how to work with those items.

Your degree didn't help much with your spelling and grammar, though -- so why should I believe it gives you some kind of edge understanding history or anything else? Having a degree doesn't automatically give you a "background understanding" of anything. It depends on how well your were taught, how well you learned, and whether you were learning for the sake of knowledge, or to promote your pre-existing agenda.

Your problem is that you want to define any black person who supported the war effort of the south to be labeled a black confederate and even black confederate soldier.

That is not correct. Besides, it's not a matter of what I want, anyway, but a matter of what is/was. The people of the Confederacy were Confederates. If they were black, that made them black Confederates. YOU are the one trying to equate "black Confederate" with "soldier" -- not I, so don't try to palm your misconception off on me, buster.

Moreover, many heritage defenders who make claims of black Confederate soldiers, are using neither the dictionary definition of "soldier" nor the legal or political or military definition -- they're using the organic definition or the reality-based definition -- i.e., did the black Confederate pick up a gun in a battle and shoot at Yankees? Then that makes him a soldier to those folks -- in the sense that a soldier is as a soldier does.

The problem is … is there is no strong evidence that those who are claimed by you to be black confederates or black confederate soldiers are soldiers.

That may be a problem for you. It's not for me. Besides, where do you imagine I have made such a claim? I'd like chapter and verse, please. I've already 'splained it and 'splained it and posted a link to my position on this subject; so where are you getting this misinformation? Do tell. It might give some insight in how you traverse convolutions to arrive at the conclusions you arrive at.

Do I deny that tens of thousands of blacks were in a support role for the confederacy…no.

Now, why don't you tell me why I should care what you don't deny?

Do I deny that a very small number of blacks fought…no. However I will not and the historical data does not support the contention that tens of thousands of blacks fought as actual soldiers.

I don't contend that, either, so what are you bitching at me for? The ones who fought, however many there were, probably fought because they were at a place where circumstance -- i.e, marauding yankees shooting at them -- demanded it. I recognize that as soldierly conduct. Because this fellow wasn't on some muster roll somewhere, you refuse to see that as soldierly conduct. What? Certain conduct is what it is, only if something is written down on a piece of paper somewhere? You self-styled academics are so trussed up in paper that you're smothered by it, blinded by it, so you can't see the reality of the world and human nature and the human experience going on all around you.

You calling them black confederates denotes soldiers and loyalty.

No, you INFER that's what it denotes. That isn't necessarily what I'm implying, so don't put your words in other people's mouths and then condemn them with your own misunderstanding. If you could learn not to judge people, their beliefs, and what they say by your own misperceptions, you'd be waaaay ahead. I don't denote anything by it. I'm saying what was. They were residents of the Confederacy -- that made them Confederates, just like blacks, slave and free in the USA, were Americans. Voila -- black Americans, black Confederates.

Despite what you think, we just simply do not have the documentation to provide evidence of loyalty.

Well, you don't know what I think. You only prejudge what I think. However, if the documentation cannot provide evidence of loyalty, neither can it provide evidence of an absense of loyalty, can it? Thus, the documentation is neutral -- and irrelevant.

I too and saying that those who served should be acknowledged…but for what they were…and that was that the lions share of those you call black confederates were really slaves or free blacks that felt that any action in support of the south would lead to greater freedoms for themselves.

You know how they felt? You demand "written proof" from others, but you turn around and imply that you know how they felt? How? Do you hold seances? Do you put your hands on the "documentation" and the knowledge just ... sort of ... flows up your arms and into your head? I simply recognize what they did. You're telling me you know how thousands of people who lived a century and a half ago felt? This is one of the most ludicrous claims you've ever made.

Besides, being a slave, and being a black Confederate were not mutually exclusive, any more than being a slave and being a black American were mutually exclusive.

The only issue we have is how those men are acknowledged…and that needs to be done in a historically correct way. Calling a black slave who served his master during the war a black confederate will sound to a lay person on the War of the Rebellion as if blacks served as soldiers willingly and that the south openly enlisted blacks as soldiers and we….despite what you say…know that is not true.

You are once again doing the thinking for people you don't know, haven't met, never will know. You don't know that's what they'd think. Not everyone, lay person or not, has your mental limitations, Corey (limited to fit into your preexisting agenda). Frankly, I don't know how many "lay persons" would care one way or another. However, they are perfectly free to hear both sides of the issue and make up their minds about it. YOU would deny them that by shutting down the voices of those you disagree with, claiming that only YOUR way is the "historically correct" way.

Besides, when you show the same zeal for "historical correctness" regarding the Union's treachery, brutality and betrayal of the Founders, maybe we can revisit this.

As for the the example you refer to a couple of things. 1)If the writer is refering to new found information they need to tell the reader what that information is and where it comes from…Historical Honesty. 2)As for Kevin’s right to call anyone out I have this to say. Kevin is a published author, his first book is at the publishers and he has had numerous article published in journals and magazines about the War of the Rebellion. He is also currently under contract to write a book about black confederates and is in the research stage of the process. Therefore I would take his comments in higher esteem than say someone who writes southern romance novels!!

You expect me to be impressed? I'm not as gullible as you are. Levin is a published propagandist. I freely acknowledge my novels are fiction, and that they're written to an agenda. I say so right on my author website. You think Levin is candid enough to admit his writing is propaganda designed to push his pre-existing agenda? Ha!

Can't wait to see his book about "black confederates," which you and he say didn't exist. What's it gonna be, a back and front cover with nothing in between? LOL!

So are you saying that southern heritage is not synonymous with history.

Well, it's not me saying it, Corey. It's the very definition of the words themselves. Why don't you look and see? From


his·to·ry [his-tuh-ree, his-tree] Show IPA
noun, plural -ries.
1. the branch of knowledge dealing with past events.
2. a continuous, systematic narrative of past events as relating to a particular people, country, period, person, etc., usually written as a chronological account; chronicle: a history of France; a medical history of the patient.
3. the aggregate of past events.
4. the record of past events and times, especially in connection with the human race.
5. a past notable for its important, unusual, or interesting events: a ship with a history.


her·it·age [her-i-tij] Show IPA
1. something that comes or belongs to one by reason of birth; an inherited lot or portion: a heritage of poverty and suffering; a national heritage of honor, pride, and courage.
2. something reserved for one: the heritage of the righteous.
3. Law.
a. something that has been or may be inherited by legal descent or succession.
b. any property, especially land, that devolves by right of inheritance.


Is the distinction too subtle for you? Perhaps I need to spell it out. Our history is PART of our heritage in that it has been handed down to us. It is a part, a large part, of what we as Southerners have inherited. But it is not the WHOLE of our inheritance. Our region -- the very land itself, the mountains,, the plains, the rivers and bays, the flora and fauna -- our culture, our food, our kinfolk, our music, our language and much, much more. That's heritage. And while the SHPG concentrates mostly on Confederate history (primarily because it is under concerted attack, and has been for over a decade, and the attack will get worse now because of he sesquicentennial) that is not all we post about.

From what I have read on pages like Facebook’s Southern Heritage Preservation Group or Virginia War Between the States Sesquicentennial you are very correct…history and heritage are in no way connected or your’e not connecting them.

Sigh. Certainly they're connected. They're just not the same thing. How difficult a concept is that to comprehend? That two things which are not the same thing are nevertheless connected?

As for being drawn to your type…I suppose I am**…I won’t speak for others. You provide a comic relief!

Nope, that doesn't get it. If all I provided was comic relief, you wouldn't have responded here with such ernestness and gravity. LOL!

The difference between you and me, as bloggers, Corey, is that you're a censor. You would silence those you disagree with if you could, or make what they say conform to what you believe. I, on the other hand, don't seek to silence anybody. I just point out how wrong you are.


*The "other blogger" being Kevin Levin, owner of an anti-Southern, authoritarian, granite-minded blog called Civil War Memory (a virtually limitless subject matter that allows him to pontificate on anything and say it is "connected" to the Civil War because it's really about how the war is remembered, not about the war itself....) Anyhow, this fellow is a thin-skinned yankee teacher who came South to "educate" the poor, benighted chirren of scum-sucking, racist hick Southerners, and teach them about the evil reality of themselves and their kin, region, history, heritage, culture.... and who now -- praise be -- has relocated to Boston. I can't think of a better place for him. (Yes. This is my opinion, developed from reading Levin's blog and my personal experience with his childish whims and tantrums .)

**You can see how long Cory has been drawn to us by reading these columns from my original 180 DTS e-zine. They date from 2000 or so. About the only thing I got wrong was my caricature of Billy as a big, burly, Bluto-type of guy.... Talk about comic relief....

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Getting OUR Message Out

(Note: A slightly different version of the following appeared in a post by me at the Southern Heritage Preservation Group's Facebook page.)

Recently at the forum Southern War Room, there were two posts that illustrate part of the reason why our side of the story is seldom heard.

The first was a link to an excellent essay by Dr. Donald Livingston, *Why The War Was Not About Slavery, found here:

The second was a link to a Power Point presentation titled *The Antebellum South by Ms. Susan Pojer of Horace Greeley High School, Chappaqua, NY, found here:

(The Power Point Palooza page is here: While there, you might want to check out other of Ms. Pojer's Power Point Presentations -- Civil War Atrocities, which concentrates heavily on the Ft. Pillow lie and Andersonville, barely gives a nod to Point Lookout, and doesn't have a syllable about deliberate starvation and murder at Hellmira and torture at Camp Douglas, what a surprise, huh?.... Also check out Reconstruction and I'm A Good Ol' Rebel [that last one's great, although I'm sure Ms. Pojer doesn't think so!] )

My observations:

1. Dr. Livingston's essay is wonderful but it isn't likely to be read by anyone except we who are in the choir. It is nicely laid out, illustrated, etc., but it is thirteen pages of almost unrelieved text. THIRTEEN. PAGES. We do not live in a thirteen-pages-of-text world anymore. We live in a Power-Point, Facebook, Twitter, You-Tube, e-reader, SMS, sound-bite world.

2. If Ms. Pojer's entire lesson plan for her students follows what she has put in these Power Points, and if they're representative of what's taught in northern schools, is there any wonder why yanks continue to hate us?

3. ProSoutherners and Southern heritage advocates need to be making our own PPPs -- Power Point Presentations -- (and You-Tube videos, and other short-message venues) to get our message out. For example, a Power Point that distills the major points of Dr. Livingston's essay (with his permission, of course) that includes a link to it for those who can still read. A PPP refuting and/or "expanding" on Ms. Pojer's anti-South PPPs (i.e., showing what she leaves out). A PPP showcasing northern slavery, the truth about how/why it ended up there, and how the region continued to profit from "remote" slavery in the South. Think of all the subjects that can be presented this way. The truth about Forrest. Sherman's March. Black Confederates. Torture of Confederate captives in northern POW camps. And on and on and on.

4. Keep our presentations honest. In a section titled, "The South's Peculiar Institution," Pojer's The Antebellum South PPP includes a drawing of a slave wearing a metal muzzle, and a photo of three slave brands. If branding slaves had been routine in the plantation South, we would already have heard about it (and would never hear the end of it). I've done some rudimentary Google research on these images, and according to this site -- -- these items are relics of the Atlantic slave trade. To identify them as part of the South's peculiar institution as Ms. Pojer has done is either boneheaded ignorance, or willful lying. However, you see this all the time -- the conflatation of the Atlantic slave trade (which sent far more slaves to other parts of the western hemisphere than the South and was truly horrifically inhumane) with Southern plantation slavery, and it needs to be vigorously refuted -- with facts.

5. Thus, our presentations, whatever method is used to present them, must, must, must include source documentation. Pojer's doesn't. (Does anyone really believe she tells her students, "Now, that picture of slave muzzles and brands actually relates to the Atlantic slave trade, not the antebellum South, but I included them in this presentation about the South because _____ "(fill in the blank).

6. A note about execution. Don't use fancy transitions (checkerboard wipes, etc.) in PPPs and videos, as Pojer does, or use them sparingly. Especially don't use them on title pages. Don't make the fonts on your title pages too big, also as Pojer does. There's lots of instructions available for making high-quality video, much of which would apply to slide presentations like PPPs. There's no excuse for making stuff that looks amateur and thrown-together. (In the future, hope to write or link to articles with instructions on how to make professional-looking videos and presentations that have impact, so check back often.)

7. How do we get our view out there? We need to move beyond blogs and forums, and create our own proSouthern alternate media, including e-newspapers and e-magazines, books, both fiction and nonfiction (we already have many fine books, but more never hurts!), videos and PPPs, our own coloring books for our kids, comics for our teens, puppet shows, toys -- an entire proSouthern pop culture, including music, movies, radio and eventually television (featuring our own "stars") -- our own sports, our own schools (shadow schools with classes held after regular government indoctrination center classes, or on Saturdays and in summer), our own home-schooling curriculum and our own **awards for excellence in these endeavors. The digital revolution makes most of it accessible, relatively affordable, and easier than ever. We simply need to learn how to use it.

So read up on self-publishing, learn screenwriting. Educate yourself on independent filmmaking. Draw a coloring book or comic book (called "graphic novels" these days). Write songs, form a band or singing group, record the music, burn it on CDs and/or make your own digital recordings to sell as downloads. If you don't have the time or inclination to do all this, donate money to those who do and cheerlead for them. (Which leads to another though -- we need our own fundraisers and financial backers.)

In my wanderings through cyberspace, I've found lots of Southern sites. These aren't necessarily heritage or Confederate sites (though some to pay homage to Confederate heritage) but they are very, very culturally Southern. (See and What this says to me is, despite encroachment by the rest of the country, despite the homogenizing effects of TV and other pop-culture elements, and ridicule of the South by Hollywood and the big six publishers in New York, and despite anti-Southern indoctrination in schools, our people still tenaciously retain much of their regional identity. These are the people we need to be reaching.

I would add one other item to my list:

8. Don't confine your efforts for the South to Facebook, forums and such. As wonderful as it is to "meet" with likeminded folks in this manner, there is a possibility that it will become too cathartic and take the fire from our bellies.

How do we create our own media, movies, pop culture, etc. Start small, with Power Points or YouTube videos that will not only illustrate our views, but attract others (perhaps even indie filmmakers or financial backers we need). We start with what we can do, and then move up....

In the spirit of practicing what I preach, I have produced a short (under three minutes) video about secession that I will post at the end of this essay. If you agree, please repost far and wide, and leave comments here and/or at the video's YouTube page.

*(These were posted by Roy and RHC40AL; thanks to forum manager PoP for permission to repost.)

**Kudos to the Military Order of the Stars and Bars for their Literary Awards:

If you know of other awards issued by proSouthern organizations, please let me know and I'll post links here.