If you set aside the usual discussion about black Confederates in favor of serious scholarly inquiry, one subject worth studying would be free blacks who sought to serve as Confederate soldiers. After all, students of southern race relations are aware that during the late 1850s black southerners who were free found themselves under increased scrutiny from white southerners ( most work on black slaveholders concentrates on South Carolina); at the same time references to “the South” tend to flatten regional variations and complicating issues, including the Creole population (primarily in Louisiana), where a substantial free black population provided the source for the oft-cited Louisiana Native Guards. Moreover, given contemporary definitions of race, one could be predominantly “white” in terms of ancestry while being defined as “black” legally; we know of plenty of cases of people of mixed racial heritage attempting to “pass” as white.
Concentrating on free blacks in Confederate service offers a way to explore certain questions in a different way. Such people were not fighting to perpetuate their own enslavement (as they were not slaves); they would not under normal circumstances have been likely to volunteer to be servants, and it would be interesting how many blacks listed as cooks, teamsters, and musicians were free. Yet these people might well have sought to join the armed forces as a sign of loyalty to deflect queries about their disloyalty; better to be seen as a friend than as a potential enemy. Moreover, the tendency to blur distinctions of circumstance and status when it comes to black Confederates does a disservice to history and to the study of those individuals.
In short, we might try to be a little more careful, not only in documenting the fact of service (including whether the individual involved was a soldier or served/supported the CSA war effort in some other capacity), but also in discussion about what such service meant. Individuals may serve without supporting the goals of the belligerent/nation in whose army they serve.