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Little has been written about the military role of African Americans in military campaigns of the United States despite the fact that men and women of color were involved in all national conflicts beginning with the Revolutionary War. Indeed, the thought of black men and women serving the Confederacy during the Civil War is difficult for some to believe because it appears to be a paradox. Yet the surviving narratives, writings of Civil War veterans and their family members, county histories, newspaper articles, personal correspondence, and recorded tributes to black Confederates, offer heartfelt sentiments and historical information that cannot be ignored--and demonstrate that they did serve the Confederacy as soldiers, bodyguards, sailors, construction workers, cooks, and teamsters.
Since his 1995 publication of Forgotten Confederates: An Anthology about Black Southerners, author Charles Kelly Barrow has continued to collect source material for this second volume. Subscribers of Confederate Veteran magazine responded to Barrow's classified ads, and excerpts from other publications such as the Journal of Negro History (Vol. IV, July 1919) and Smithsonian Magazine (March 1979) are included here. One excerpt includes the surprising testimony by black Confederate Eddie Brown Page III for the U.S. District Court that helped determine if the Confederate battle emblem should be removed from the Georgia state flag. After Sergeant Page's testimony, the case was later dismissed.
Full of surprising anecdotes, eloquent statements, tragic testaments, and admirable accounts of those blacks who fought for and with the South, this collection deserves a place on the shelf of anyone interested in the Civil War's lesser known aspects.
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