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Searching for Black ConfederatesThe Civil War's Most Persistent Myth$
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Kevin M. Levin

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781469653266

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469653266.001.0001

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Turning Camp Slaves into Black Confederate Soldiers

Turning Camp Slaves into Black Confederate Soldiers

(p.123) Chapter Five Turning Camp Slaves into Black Confederate Soldiers
Searching for Black Confederates

Kevin M. Levin

University of North Carolina Press

By the 1990s, photographs of uniformed black men as well as pension applications in which the distinction between slave and soldier was sometimes clouded were perceived as evidence that there were large numbers of Black Confederate soldiers. In the late 1970s, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, became more aggressive in their claims that Black men enlisted in the Confederate army as the general public sought accurate information regarding the history of slavery. This interest intensified during the civil rights era as historians and Black Americans pushed back against the Lost Cause narrative, specifically the belief that enslaved population was loyal to their enslavers. The belief that there were willing, Black soldiers in the confederacy spread with the advent of the internet, as many people did not know how to vet sources. Additionally, films and other media blurred the distinctions between camp slaves and soldiers. Ultimately, false narratives made their way into textbooks and even historical sights.

Keywords:   Internet, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Slavery, Slave, Soldier, Black, Confederate, False narrative

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