Someone called my attention to a recent thread on civilwartalk.com about Mayor Curtis Hayes of Livingston, Tennessee, accepting his membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Mayor Hayes is an African American. The story is old news from 2009.
The ensuing thread of comments follows a predictable pattern. Research reveals that the ancestor in question (one Sam Cullom) was a recipient of a Tennessee pension for African Americans, not a veteran’s pension, and that there is no record of his service as a Confederate soldier. Others argue that to highlight the ancestor’s actual status is to quibble with the fact that the ancestor “served,” regardless of the capacity in which he served.
In short, some folks want to reclassify those who “served” as “soldiers” regardless of the historical reality that the people in question simply were not soldiers, imposing their present needs and desire on the past … and historical accuracy be damned. I can’t wait to hear some of them whine “political correctness” when they argue that the same practices are being embraced by people with whom they disagree.
And, of course, at times the conversation goes in other directions (just as it sometimes goes in the comments section here).
Anyway, as I’ve learned that CivilWarTalk (like Yahoo’s civilwarhistory2) sometimes links to blog entries here in order to foster conversation over there, I thought I’d return the favor.