14 November 2010 by Published in: Neo-Confederate hooey 11 comments

Prof. Brooks Simpson sums up my position on the issue of Black Confederates quite nicely here. So what, indeed.

Neo-Confederates and Lost Causers like to argue that blacks served in the Confederate army willingly because it puts a more human face on the issue of slavery. A few may well have served for reasons entirely of their own. Most would have done so involuntarily for the simple reason that they were slaves.

At the end of the day, though, so what?

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  1. James F. Epperson
    Mon 15th Nov 2010 at 8:41 am

    It enables people to (try to) minimize the role of slavery in the war.

  2. Brooks Simpson
    Wed 17th Nov 2010 at 7:58 pm

    I don’t think so, Jim. Really. It doesn’t enable them to do anything. Because those people who make that argument now would have made it regardless of the issue about black Confederates. I think people assume this link, and that heats up the conversation across the board. That’s why one should ask, “So what?” Let’s see the argument out in the open.

  3. Rick Allen
    Thu 18th Nov 2010 at 4:58 pm

    That was good stuff.

  4. Fri 19th Nov 2010 at 7:52 am


    Isn’t going the “so what?” route a tacit acknowledgment that their claims have merit? It’s admitting the premise as a reasonable starting point. You’re right, though, in that’s they’ve nowhere to go from there.


  5. Brooks Simpson
    Sat 20th Nov 2010 at 2:11 am

    I don’t think I’m conceding anything. I’m simply pressing people who believe that significant numbers of African Americans served as enlisted soldiers in Confederate ranks to tell me why that’s important. I’m not admitting the premise as a matter of fact: I’m stipulating it for the sake of debate so that someone can tell me how evidence of such service changes anything. I note I don’t see anyone taking up that challenge.

  6. Jeff Mancini
    Thu 25th Nov 2010 at 12:04 am

    I don’t doubt that many black men served the Confederacy during the American Civil War. They may have been compelled to serve, some volunteered others forced to serve. Could the same be said on the Union side? Not a bad question. Always ask yourself if the North, the blue, was the right side, the good side of this conflict….the side supposedly on the correct side of this war then how in the world could these same men, the victors proceed to commit cultural and social genocide…to literally exterminate no less than 25 American Indian tribes from 1865 until 1890? Answer that question then we can begin to answer the question of if and why black men served the southern armies during the American Civil War.

  7. Wed 15th Dec 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Hello all!

    I’m a home-grown boy from Missouri – I agree with Jeff. It has been the last several years of researching local history, and letters / writings of individuals from the era, that I have sought to understand the issues that went into the division of our nation. I don’t think any wise person today would debate the merits of slavery, although I do understand where 1860 society may have had troubles in this regard. I have come to believe that Federal victory wasn’t such a good thing, especially when viewed through the last 150 years of national history. The bloated Federal government we have today, and the abuse of constitutional and state rights continues, set in motion by the precedent of 1861-1877, has twisted our Founding Father’s notion of a Constitutional Republic. Yes, emancipation of people from slavery is glorious cause – as evidenced by Britain’s own successful, and peaceful emancipation. But the way the Lincoln’s radical Republicans went about it committing a string of serious wrongs to accomplish something good, has left a bitter legacy in history. Read more on my essay: The American Civil War: 150 years of Constitutional Rejection over at http://missouritenth.files.wordpress.com/2010/08/americanslavery.pdf

  8. C. W. Roden
    Tue 25th Jan 2011 at 1:09 am

    Neo-Confederates….Lost Causers….wow pretty handy with the labels there huh?
    So much for tolerance and changing the tone.

  9. Tue 25th Jan 2011 at 12:21 pm

    Thanks so much for making my point, Mr. Roden.

    Please, do enlighten me as to why it is so important to you as to why blacks might have fought for the Confederacy.

  10. BorderRuffian
    Fri 28th Jan 2011 at 1:56 pm

    “might have fought”…???

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