24 thoughts on “Is This The Best They Can Do?: An Essay on Black Confederates

  1. Jimmy Dick April 24, 2016 / 3:07 pm

    Earl Ijames and the Abbeville Institute…what a combination. He flat out lied about the Louisiana Native Guard, but what do you expect from the guy? He made a grand old lie a few years ago and now he keeps flailing away to keep it alive so he can cash in on it from the gullible heritage crew members.

  2. Jeffry Burden April 24, 2016 / 3:09 pm

    FWIW, I think this would be a fairly decent report for a 7th grader.

    • John Foskett April 25, 2016 / 8:58 am

      Really? You’re apparently grading only for grammar and not for historical accuracy, since this is mostly a large bucket of intellectual night soil. I wasn’t aware that McClellan and Lee targeted Farmer Miller’s cornfield as the crucial objective in September, 1862. Sort of agriculture’s equivalent to the crossroads at that town in southern Pennsylvania. I know those fellers were powerful hungry, though.

      • Jeffry Burden April 25, 2016 / 12:38 pm

        I think that’s more of a reflection of low expectations for 7th grades than anything else. šŸ˜€

  3. tmheaney April 24, 2016 / 3:49 pm

    I wonder what the source is for the Brooks brothers quote? According to the Brooks family, the brothers “succumbed to pressures from white neighbors to support the southern cause.” Daniel had apparently served “as cook and wagon driver,” and the brothers “had privately rooted for the North to win.” Not exactly “Confederates of color.” (http://www.trdudley.com/brooks/Brooks%20Heritage%20-%20The%20Beginning.pdf)

  4. bob carey April 24, 2016 / 3:59 pm

    Dr. Simpson;
    If I were a junior high school student I would take offense at your remark.
    I do not wish to be overly critical of Mr Ijames but I do believe that the Gallopolli landings of WW1 and the North African, Sicilian, Salerno and Anzio landings were bigger than the operation to capture Fort Fisher.
    Mr Ijames seems to put a lot of stock in the role of body-servant as being a full fledged soldier in the Confederate Army, how many Confederate body-servants were white?

  5. Sandi Saunders April 24, 2016 / 4:08 pm

    And this is the propaganda that so many neo-confederate flaggers bank on. You are right, it is sad. Sad and damaging.

  6. Mike C. April 24, 2016 / 4:12 pm

    Just imagine how many student first drafts wishing to explore “black Confederates” will visit and cite [and likely plagiarize] this page. Ugh.

    • Andy Hall April 24, 2016 / 5:07 pm

      Just imagine how many student first drafts wishing to explore ā€œblack Confederatesā€ will visit and cite [and likely plagiarize] this page.


      If they do, they will be exhibiting more sound scholarship than the authors of the booklet, who didn’t provide any citations or bibliography.

    • Joshism April 24, 2016 / 7:21 pm

      Hopefully some of them will learn the hard way not to automatically trust everything on the internet.

    • Patrick Young April 25, 2016 / 10:12 am

      Love the opening line:

      “Written in 2015 by Sixteen Members of The Society of
      Independent Southern Historians as a gift to America”

      • Andy Hall April 25, 2016 / 11:33 am

        It’s a strange concept, an educational text that is supposedly intended for use by students from middle school through college.

        As for the Society of Independent Southern Historians, send them $25 and a one-page review of a book you’ve read, and you’re a member. It’s not really a high bar.

      • Shoshana Bee April 25, 2016 / 4:18 pm

        I have heard this term “Independent Historian” only recently, so I looked it up. No clear- cut definition, as it seems to run the gamut of truly legitimate folks who have a career and write history on the side (I have several valued books by one who falls under this description) and then there are the alternate history folks to who seem to reside on the dark side of the universe (dark like dim bulbs) Unfortunately, the gift of bad history is one of those gifts that just keeps giving.

    • C. Meyer April 25, 2016 / 1:46 pm

      I believe both images on the back cover of the booklet PDF are of confederate soldiers at Petersburg.

      • Andy Hall April 25, 2016 / 4:51 pm

        That’s correct. In fact, the two images appear to show the same soldier, right down to the knotted leather strap at the neck and the bent flap on the U.S. cartridge box.

  7. Ken Noe April 24, 2016 / 6:22 pm

    Lincoln was a “psychological operative?” Good to know.

    • John Foskett April 25, 2016 / 9:00 am

      I believe that Nicolay and Hay referred to him as Special Agent Double-Ought Seven.

  8. Jerry Greenfield April 24, 2016 / 7:47 pm

    Where can I find the original if you talk of re black Confederates? and the 7th grade paper on same subject? I seem to be out of that loop.

    • Brooks D. Simpson April 25, 2016 / 11:21 am

      I have no talk about Black Confederates, and the link to the page in question is on the blog. Thanks you.

  9. hankc9174 April 26, 2016 / 7:17 am

    I’m frequently unsure how a paragraph’s last sentence relates to the first.

    also, for a native North Carolinian and state library archivist, one would think he’d know where Henderson is.

  10. hankc9174 April 30, 2016 / 6:36 am

    “Confederates of Color served and died on the battlefields”.

    we know the names of thousands of white confederate soldiers who died in battle.

    we know the names of dozens of purported ‘black confederates’.

    do we know the names of any ‘black confederates’ who died in battle?

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