The Musings of Bobby Lee Image June 8, 2016Brooks D. Simpson Share this:FacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like Loading... Related
Doesn’t anyone pushing the black Confederate myth find it just a tad bit odd that there are very few photos or artist renderings of black Confederates on the battlefield? All of the paintings and drawings depict a battlefield full of almost entirely white men. Wha’happen?
Nothing more needs to be said.
In answer to the question: They were just about as numerous as the soldiers you tried to recruit for the rebel army in Wood County when the war commenced. There is a rather humorous caricature of your delusional idea that all Virginia was rallying to the Confederate cause in 1861 in Theodore Lang’s book, Loyal West Virginia.
Lang’s book, though useful, should be read with a skeptical eye.
As one needs to do with any book written by a person who was a participant in the events that he or she is reporting on. But in this case Lang was spot on. Wood County voted 1,995 to 257 against secession; 1,104-48 for the Referendum on the Dismemberment Ordinance; and 1,221-1 for the Referendum on Emancipation (Willey Amendment). Yes, that was only 1 vote against the referendum on gradual emancipation. I’m guessing it came from the guy who owned the tobacco plantation north of Parkersburg. In short, Wood County, right along the Ohio river, and 30 miles from where I’m now sitting as I write this response, was not fertile ground for CSA recruiting. REL didn’t seem to realize that, and Lang pokes fun at him for his ignorance. Fair game in my book.
This conversation is way off-thread, but Lang is terribly partisan. As for Wood County’s contribution to the Confederacy, I will agree that it was “not fertile ground for CSA recruiting.” However, men from that county did enlist in the 14th, 17th and 20th Virginia Cavalry Regiments, and the 36th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry. Men from other WV counties bordering Ohio, such as Wetzel, Tyler, Jackson and Pleasants, likewise joined those units. Even in far-northern West Virginia, in Ohio County, seat of the Restored Government of Virginia and later West Virginia, an entire company of men was recruited for the 27th Virginia Infantry. So, Lee’s efforts obviously were not in vain. (Source: microfilmed Compiled Military Service Records)
Yes, you can find men from every county in what is now West Virginia who volunteered for the Confederate Army, but my point was that in Wood County (and most of the Ohio river counties, especially those from Wood County and further north) the overwhelming number of volunteers were on the Union side. REL seems to have been oblivious to this fact. The information you mentioned about the Ohio County rebels is quite interesting. I found the following roster of the 27th Virginia company recruited in Ohio County: http://www.wvgenweb.org/ohio/confed.htm. Also, I found a rather detailed accounting of the major Ohio County rebels: http://www.wvgenweb.org/ohio/whgrebels.htm. Interesting stuff. As you probably know, there was a good deal of crossover between the counties on both sides of the river. There was one local Ohio regiment in this area that had a company made up almost entirely of West Virginia men. I had two collateral ancestors who crossed the river in the other direction from Monroe County, Ohio, and joined the 2 Virginia (USA) Cavalry in Tyler Count, Va. in 1861.
Speaking of that tobacco plantation, have you toured Henderson Hall? It was recently opened to the public. My ancestry is from Pleasants County, which was also infertile ground for Confederate recruiting–although its secession convention commissioner voted for secession. Pleasants County’s two slaveowners were sent to Wheeling on a steamboat and placed in care of the provost marshal, ostensibly for their own protection, during the secession vote.
Thanks, Phil. I have not been to Henderson Hall. I found their web site, and it is, indeed, interesting. My wife and I often go to dinner at the Italian place in Williamstown, and I’ll suggest next time that we take an extra hour or so and stop by Henderson Hall. For those interested, here is a link to the Civil War sections of the Henderson Hall website: http://hendersonhallwv.com/the-henderson-s-and-the-civil-war.html I find it interesting that though Wood County, as we have discussed, was heavily Union in sentiment during the Secession crisis and throughout the war that so many of the Hendersons had Confederate leanings. This brings to my mind the question of why their property is so well preserved today and that of many Unionists is not. My theory, based on a few minutes of thought, is that Henderson family may have profited from slavery and, therefore, were probably one of the wealthiest families in the area and that that wealth was passed down through the generations thus making it more likely that their property and artifacts would be preserved. Once I visit Henderson Hall I’ll check my hypothesis against actual data. On a related note, I ran across this interesting factoid about Union veterans in Wood County: In the Parkersburg area there were five GAR chapters, and the largest one — the Andrew Mather Post — had over 300 members at its zenith.
The picture looks like Lee is summoning his Black troops using a cell phone.
Funny! Yes, it does. Is this what historians call “presentism”? 😉
Traveler looks very surprised about something…
One of the most insidious myths to arise out of the Lost Cause stupidity. It needs to be laid to rest for eternity.
Just as I thought – Marse Robert wasn’t all that smart. They were fighting with Forrest, Stupid.
Perhaps they were on his Father-in-Law’s plantation?