07 January 2008 by Published in: Blogging 3 comments

David Woodbury has an absolutely hysterical take on neo-Confederate nonsense on his blog today. Be sure to click on the picture to get the enlarged image, or else it won’t make sense.


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  1. Mon 07th Jan 2008 at 9:40 pm

    That is very clever and funny.

    I am one who believes that perhaps a small number did fight in the ranks, but large numbers, unmentioned by virtually everyone? No way.

    However, I do want to share (in the hope someone with access with dig further) something I discovered in the National Archives in the mid-1990s. I don’t recall the exact location, but I think it was in the Compiled Service Records. I ran across a monthly return or some similar accounting for Brander’s Battery (ANV). It was Fall 1864, and if memory serves, it was October.

    On the top of the return were these words: “Brander’s Free Negro Battery.”
    (No joke.)

    I told this to Bob Krick, and he said that would be rather amazing, but knowing me, he believed it and said he would look into it. I never heard about it again. I had copied it, but of course, can I find it now?

    Brander’s Free Negro Battery? What does that mean? I don’t know. But that is what it said.

    Perhaps someone close to the NA can check on it.


  2. Art Bergeron
    Wed 09th Jan 2008 at 9:52 am

    Ted, this may be a reference to the Letcher Artillery. Raised in Richmond, it was initially commanded by Greenlee Davidson and later by Thomas A. Brander. I hurriedly checked Pete Carmichael’s book in the Howard series that covers the battery but found no reference to “Free Negro Battery.” Perhaps a closer reading would reveal something.

    As you may remember from Will’s book, there were some artillery positions along the Confederate line southwest of Petersburg protecting the Boydton Plank Road that were called the “Free Negro Batteries.” The name apparently originated from the fact that some of Petersburg’s free men of color assisted in their construction. I do not know of a connection between them and Brander other than that Pegram’s Battalion, to which his battery belonged, was in the vicinity of Burgess Mills during part of the Petersburg Campaign.

    Art Bergeron

  3. Wed 09th Jan 2008 at 10:26 am

    Hi Art

    Thanks for the added info. I think someone should jump into the NA and see if they can find more on the Brander reference.

    Hope you are well.


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