Today we revisit some old themes brought back to light.
- Kevin Levin’s Civil War Memory notes the reappearance of Ann DeWitt at the gift that keeps on giving. Now posting under the name “Little Rebel,” Ms. DeWitt’s still on the track of black Confederate soldiers. Among her best known discoveries was the uncovering of a regiment of black cooks.
- Speaking of the gift that keeps on giving, here’s an example of fine minds at work. In a discussion sparked by an admission that the widely-circulated photograph purporting to be of the Louisiana Native Guards is in fact a doctored fake, we find out why some people think it’s important to uncover what we can about African Americans in Confederate military service:Setting aside Mr. Roden’s homophobic fears, the fact remains that if you aren’t enlisted in the armed services, you can’t claim to be a veteran. To claim otherwise is to mock and demean the sacrifices made by actual veterans who served. Nor has anyone claimed that the American Civil War was all about slavery, although it’s rather clear that Confederate apologists like to pretend it wasn’t about slavery at all, or slavery was okay, or that slavery had its good aspects … and that the supposed voluntary service of enslaved blacks in Confederate ranks (although not as soldiers … just “veterans”) supports those assertions. I understand that some people who don’t understand history in the first place need to construct strawmen in an effort to make themselves feel better. Here’s the problem, folks: the presence or absence of enslaved African Americans with Confederate forces has nothing to do with why there was secession or war. If this is the best that proponents of Confederate heritage can do, no wonder they are afraid that they aren’t getting anywhere. They don’t deserve it. They discredit themselves.