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a born-digital, open-review volume edited by Jack Dougherty and Kristen Nawrotzki

“I nevertheless am a historian”: Digital Historical Practice and Malpractice around Black Confederate Soldiers (Fall 2011 version)

Permalink for this paragraph 6 I have a good deal of interest in how members of the public who are not academically trained historians “do history.” For me, then, “public history” does not mean just projects, programs, and exhibits created by professional historians for the public, but rather the very broad and complex intersection of “the public” with historical practice. Provision those occupying this intersection with freely available digital tools and platforms, and things become interesting quickly. Because setting up a blog, wiki, or discussion forum means only a few mouse clicks, and archival resources are increasingly digitized, we are seeing a burgeoning of sites that coalesce communities around historical topics of interest. Even those who have no interest in setting up their own websites can participate in history-specific Yahoo! groups, multi-user blogging communities, and genealogy sites.

Permalink for this paragraph 0 Such digital spaces expand and blur considerably the spectrum of what counts as historical practice. For example, on Ancestry.com, users piece together family histories by synthesizing government records and crowdsourced resources of varying origin and credibility. Professional historians might take an active interest, then, in how digital archival and communication resources affect the spread or containment of particular historical myths.1 It is not clear, however, how these technologies aid academic historians in participating, or impede them from intervening, in these discussions. This chapter uses discourses about black Confederate soldiers to explore how digital technologies are changing who researches and writes history—as well as what authorial roles scholars are playing in the fuzzy edges of historical practice where crowdsourcing and the lay public are creating new research resources and narratives. These digital tools and resources not only are democratizing historical practice, but also providing professional historians with new opportunities and modes for expanding historical literacy.

Permalink for this paragraph 0 The origins of the black Confederate soldier
Historian Kevin Levin recently pointed out that the discourse around “black Confederates” ramped up after the release of the 1989 film Glory, which showcased the sacrifices of the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry in the American Civil War. Viewers of that movie might reasonably have wondered whether there was a similar regiment fighting for the South, so it’s not surprising that an Ngram search of Google Books reveals the use of the term “black Confederate” rose dramatically after the movie’s release.2 More surprising is the term’s staying power over the ensuing two decades:

Permalink for this paragraph 0

Permalink for this paragraph 0 As we move through the four-year sesquicentennial of the Civil War, the term—its currency not yet graphable on Ngram because that tool does not search books published after 2000, nor websites—seems to be enjoying a resurgence. A Google search for the exact phrase “black Confederate” (inside quotation marks) turns up 102,000 matches.

Permalink for this paragraph 0 The typical discourse in support of the existence of black Confederates refers to them as “soldiers” or claims they served in vital support roles just behind the front lines; believers assert all of these soldiers and supporters were “loyal” to the Confederate cause, even if they were enslaved. Take, for example, Edward A. Bardill’s editorial  from 2005:

Deep devotion, love of homeland and strong Christian faith joined black with white Confederate soldiers in defense of their homes and families. A conservative estimate is that between 50,000 to 60,000 served in the Confederate units. Both slave and free black soldiers served as cooks, musicians and even combatants.3

Permalink for this paragraph 0 Such effusive praise may confuse Civil War historians, as the historical record does not support claims that large numbers of slaves and former slaves volunteered. Quite the contrary: as Stephanie McCurry highlights in Confederate Reckoning, slaves who served the Confederate army were volunteered by their masters, and on plantations slaves collaborated actively with agents of the Union army to secure their freedom.4 Some historians have asserted that some African Americans “passed” as white to enlist.5 Others have acknowledged free and enslaved blacks’ noncombatant contributions—as body servants, cooks, munitions factory and foundry workers, and nurses—to the Confederate war effort, but it appears no academic historians have subscribed to the narrative that there were thousands of black Confederate soldiers.6

Permalink for this paragraph 4 The rapid spread of black Confederate soldier narratives is a function not only of proponents’ apparent desire to openly admire the Confederacy without appearing to favor a white supremacist society and government, but also of the rise of inexpensive and easy-to-use digital tools.7 Prior to the widespread adoption of the Internet, published discussion of the black Confederate soldier was contained to books like James Brewer’s The Confederate Negro, which is careful to emphasize that blacks—free or enslaved—working on behalf of the Confederacy were “labor troops” and not soldiers; Ervin Jordan’s Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia, which does not always distinguish as carefully volunteer soldiers from impressed or hired laborers; and Charles Barrow, Joe Segars, and Randall Rosenburg’s Black Confederates, which relied on the Sons of Confederate Veterans to “submit information about blacks loyal to the South” and emphasizes “many instances” of “deep devotion and affection” that “transcended the master-slave relationship” and inspired blacks to “[take] up arms to defend Dixie.”8  Today, however, the digital footprint of people who maintain there were significant numbers of black Confederate soldiers appears far larger than that of historians and others who attempt to refute the myth.  (Alas, the twenty-first footprint is no longer merely digital; a textbook distributed to Virginia students in September 2010 stated that “thousands of Southern blacks fought in the Confederate ranks, including two black battalions under the command of Stonewall Jackson.”9)

Permalink for this paragraph 0 Proponents’ use of digital platforms and sources
Black Confederate soldier and related “Southern Heritage” sites seem to arise from both a desire to tell a history suppressed by northern partisans—including the assertion that the war was fought over states’ rights, not slavery—and an explicit goal of recognizing the service of African Americans in the military. Blogger Connie Ward, for example, writes, “So they weren’t on some official muster roll and they weren’t handed a uniform and soldierly accouterments. So? What interests me is. . .did they pick up a gun and shoot at yankees? Then they need to be commemorated.”10

Permalink for this paragraph 0 These claims are grounded in shallow, often uninformed, and frequently decontextualized readings of primary source documents that have been digitized and made available online.  Take “Royal Diadem’s” reading of a ledger digitized on Footnote.com:

Captain P.P. Brotherson’s Confederate Officers record states eleven (11) blacks served with the 1st Texas Heavy Artillery in the “Negro Cooks Regiment.” This annotation can be viewed on footnote.com. See the third line on the left.11

Permalink for this paragraph 0 In this case, Andy Hall of the Dead Confederates blog stepped up with an additional analysis of the document, noting first that the phrase “Negro Cooks Regiment,” does not actually appear on the document. Hall provides the digitized document and transcribes it: “Provision for Eleven Negroes Employed in the Quarter Masters department Cooks Regt Heavy Artillery at Galveston Texas for ten days commencing on the 11th day of May 1864 & Ending on the 20th of May 1864.”12 (“Cook” in this case refers to the commanding officer, Col. Joseph Jarvis Cook.) In a comment on his post, Hall expands on his research methods:

There are a number of cases of African American men being formally enrolled as cooks in the Confederate army and, so far as CSRs seem to indicate, formally enlisted as such. The researcher has been highlighting a number of these individual cases lately, always leaping straight from them to a universal assertion, this proves all Confederate cooks were considered soldiers. . . .

I took 20 Confederate regiments more or less at random, and went through their rosters as listed in the CWSSS, and in those 20 regiments. . .found a total of FIVE men with records of formal enlistment as cooks. . . [C]learly the takeaway is that formal enlistment of cooks in the Confederate army was not only not common, it was exceedingly rare.

Permalink for this paragraph 0 Here, Hall demonstrates an alternative, and ultimately more persuasive, reading of the document. He also illustrates how to place a source in a broader archival context.

Permalink for this paragraph 0 This demonstration of contextualization and interpretation might be a sound response to another common sticking point on the black Confederate websites: the pensions awarded to African Americans following the war. Mississippi, Tennessee, South Carolina, Virginia, and North Carolina all eventually provided pensions to African Americans who served as noncombatants in the Confederate war effort, including soldiers’ personal servants, many of whom had been slaves.13 They were not enlisted soldiers, as it was only in March 1865 that the Confederate Congress passed, and Jefferson Davis signed into law, a bill that allowed the recruitment of blacks.14

Permalink for this paragraph 2 Black Confederate websites, however, frequently cite these pension records as evidence that African Americans served as soldiers in the Confederate armed forces.  Sometimes the writers imply this elision of noncombatant and soldier; Ann DeWitt (also known as Royal Diadem) makes it explicit:

Over the course of history, these men have become known as Black Confederates.  Because their names appear on Confederate Soldier Service Records, we now call them Black Confederate Soldiers.15

Permalink for this paragraph 3 At the blog Atrueconfederate, David Tatum blurs the line between cook and soldier, writing that a cook named William Dove appears on a muster roll that includes the term “enlisted” followed by a date.16 The digitization of wartime and postwar documents opens opportunities for more people to delve into the arcana of the past, but Tatum’s and DeWitt’s misinterpretations suggest one important role for historians at this cultural and digital moment is helping people gain the skills to interpret an era’s documents, photographs, and material culture.

Permalink for this paragraph 0 Kevin Levin has provided the most extensive and substantive critiques of the black Confederate myth, including analyses of the major websites dedicated to the topic. On his blog Civil War Memory, Levin carefully dissects the failures of Ann DeWitt’s Black Confederate Soldiers site to distinguish between soldiers and slaves on the front line. Levin highlights the site’s utter lack of realistic context for the experience of African Americans laboring on behalf of the Confederates. For example, DeWitt’s site assumes that parallels can be drawn between “body servants”—a term she uses to denote slaves who accompanied their owners into the field—and pink- or white-collar administrative employment today: “In 21st century vernacular the role is analogous to a position known as an executive assistant—a position today that requires a college Bachelors Degree or equivalent level experience.”17 Public audiences may find history more lively if they can draw parallels with their own era, but this particular comparison effaces the deprivations faced by slaves and wartime laborers.

Permalink for this paragraph 2 Another case of black Confederate proponents misinterpreting a primary source—or rather trusting a manipulated photographic scene—involves a photograph of a “black Confederate” “corpse.” The website Black Confederate Soldiers of Petersburg published a photo of one white and one black corpse lying on the ground, stating the “original caption” referred to them as “rebel artillery soldiers.”  However, the version of the image at the Library of Congress website, as well as those I located elsewhere, is titled “Confederate and Union dead side by side in the trenches at Fort Mahone.” Further complicating website author Ashleigh Moody’s presentation of the image, the Library of Congress cites photographic detective work by David Lowe and Philip Shiman and summarizes the photo thus: “Photo shows a body lying in the background that is actually the photographer’s teamster posing for the scene. The live model appears in the same clothes in negative LC-B811-3231.”  While Moody likely posted her photo prior to the discovery of photographer Thomas Roche’s duplicity, she has not yet removed the photo since its fraudulence was brought to the black Confederate proponents’ attention by Andy Hall and Kevin Levin.18 This isn’t the only case of this kind; the proponents’ credulity is echoed in their acceptance of an “1861” photo purported to be of a gray-coated “Louisiana Native Guard,” but which is actually an 1864 photo of a company of the 25th United States Colored Troops unit wearing pale blue winter overcoats—with the dark-coated unit commander cropped out of the image.19

Permalink for this paragraph 0 Conspiracies and credentials
Many black Confederate proponents invoke conspiracies as the reason more people have not heard of these soldiers. For example, H. K. Edgerton calls the black Confederate narrative “a perspective of Southern Heritage not taught in our public schools or seen in our politically correct media.”20 The implication is that Edgerton’s and others’ websites provide a valuable public service in highlighting primary source documents and interpreting them for an Internet audience—though a brief survey of their sites often reveals conservative, and even reactionary, ideologies—while at the same time occasionally calling out as white supremacists those historians who seek to debunk the black Confederate soldier narrative.21

Permalink for this paragraph 0 Such charges highlight one significant way in which digital tools have changed the way people do history: there has been an increase in the speed with which they exchange information or, more likely in the case of proponents and dissidents of the black Confederate soldier narrative, barbs. Prior to the age of easy digital publishing tools, such unpleasant exchanges might have been kept private, perhaps e-mailed among colleagues and partisans; they would have been unlikely to see print, and they certainly would not have been made easily found by Google’s indexing. This war of words flared up tremendously in summer 2011, when the exchanges devolved into name calling, with each side accusing the other of revisionism motivated by racism.22

Permalink for this paragraph 1 Milder ad hominem attacks take the form of a questioning of credentials and a disagreement about what constitutes a historian. In one weeks-long iteration of this rhetorical dance, Connie Ward takes issue with some bloggers’ insistence that real historians do history for a living: “I’m as much a historian as Corey [Meyer], [Kevin] Levin, [Andy] Hall and [Brooks] Simpson. I’m a writer of history; I work with history. No, I’m not employed to do that, but I nevertheless am a historian.” She then turns the tables, claiming these men are teachers more than they are historians: “With the possible exception of Andy [Hall], . . .what these gentlemen do for a living is. . .is teach. That makes them teachers.”23 She voices a common charge of black Confederate soldier proponents: historians are only willing to share certain facts and they are suppressing some big truth:

To be a historian at an institution of learning just means you have to show some papers that presumably verify that you’ve studied and learned.

Most people so credentialed get their papers from institutes of higher learning, which as we know, have changed over the last fifty or sixty years from places of free thought and inquiry — a setting for acquiring knowledge — to centers of indoctrination.

Permalink for this paragraph 0 Corey Meyer calls Ward “an amateur historian” and points out to Ward that

I nor the other blogger claim no more authority than you. . . You and yours have repeatedly shown that you do not have a grasp of the original source material that you present. However, the other blogger and I have history degrees which is not the be-all-to-end-all on the situation, but it does help us when we are working with source materials. . .we have a background understanding of how to work with those items.24

Permalink for this paragraph 0 This exchange raises three related questions, one of which lies at the heart of this volume: what constitutes real historical practice, how are digital research and publishing tools changing that practice, and what ought to be the role of professional historians in a space where authorship has been democratized? On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog25—and they can’t be sure, either, that you’re a credentialed historian.

Permalink for this paragraph 2 Interventions by professional historians
The most vocal opponents of the black Confederate soldier narrative in the digital realm are not employed by universities, museums, or other organizations as public historians. Corey Meyer teaches U.S. government; Kevin Levin was until earlier this year a high school teacher, and now bills himself as a “history educator” and “independent historian” who publishes in academic publications and has a book forthcoming from a university press; and Andy Hall does not disclose his profession.26 Brooks Simpson appears to be the only regular commenter employed as an historian outside of K-12 education.

Permalink for this paragraph 6 Why have academically employed historians been reticent to engage in such debates? “Eddieinman” suggests that participation is pointless: “Seems to me about like space scientists devoting themselves to the Roswell incident.”27 Similarly, Matthew Robert Isham writes that countering the black Confederate soldier narrative distracts historians from more significant and rewarding varieties of public engagement during the sesquicentennial.28 Marshall Poe offers a more substantial reason for historians’ absence: such online engagement “doesn’t really count toward hiring, tenure, and promotion.”29  Furthermore, he points out, while “amateurs” have written books, authored screenplays, and created historically themed TV programs, academic historians have tended to write for an audience of other academics. The result of historians’ and their institutions’ reluctance to embrace digital media and public engagement means that, in Poe’s words, “‘users’—uncritical, poorly informed, and with axes to grind—are now writing ‘our’ history. Some of that history may be good. But the overwhelming majority of it is and will be bad.” He maintains that crowdsourcing history via the “wisdom of the crowds” fails because “the crowds are not wise.”30

Permalink for this paragraph 1 My outlook on how the public “does history” online is less cataclysmic than Poe’s. I have seen enthusiasts produce interesting and useful historiography, and the ease of sharing digitized primary sources makes it easier than ever to determine the strength of the evidence presented in those narratives. Even when her historical narrative is on shaky factual ground, we can learn something useful about the writer’s—and possibly her audience’s—beliefs, habits, and values, which can also be useful to historians seeking to understand a specific public audience or contemporary cultural moment. That said, there is much at stake in the case of black Confederates, as the existence of black Confederate soldiers has been cited as proof the Civil War was not fought over slavery, but rather was pursued because of a regional disagreement about states’ rights.

Permalink for this paragraph 1 So where do we go from here? Levin suggests a better sense of mission and audience would help historians determine when to become involved in discussions of black Confederate soldiers. He writes that persuading the Sons of Confederate Veterans to adopt a different perspective is a lost cause, but that mainstream audiences might be highly responsive to historians’ critiques of the black Confederate soldier narrative. In that sense, Levin points out, the effort to debunk this narrative is about digital literacy, as professional historians can provide alternative, and ultimately more convincing, interpretations of primary sources.31

Permalink for this paragraph 0 This intervention by historians, of course, is not merely about digital literacy; each interaction provides an opportunity to educate people about historical context. Even before the high-stakes testing of No Child Left Behind, high school and college students were taking multiple-choice tests that focused on textbook content rather than historical context, on political players and events more than on the diverse everyday realities and allegiances of, in this example, nineteenth-century black men, enslaved or free, literate or illiterate, in the North, the South, and the far West. Brooks Simpson emphasizes the importance not only of sharing the quotidian experiences of blacks living in the Confederacy, but also what these people’s experiences, mundane and extraordinary, meant in the bigger picture. He tells historians that, in best practice, “you are going to make sure that, for all this talk about memory, that we remember that the Civil War destroyed slavery in the reUnited States, and that black people, free and enslaved, played a large role in that process and in the defeat of the Confederacy. Tell that story, and tell it time and time again.”32

Permalink for this paragraph 4 The same digital resources that allow for the spread of the black Confederate soldier myth may provide for its containment. Deployed thoughtfully, digital technologies allow for online public historians—by which I mean, in this case, any credentialed historians who engage with the public—to focus on details that, were they merely in print, might seem abstruse or patronizingly didactic. The annotation feature on Flickr, for example, allows enthusiasts to highlight and comment on the smallest details of a photograph, asking or answering questions. “Black Confederate soldier” photos could provide a rich location for comprehensible, pixel-scale interpretation of much larger issues. Take Thomas Roche’s photo of the dead artilleryman and his own not-so-dead assistant; historians could unpack elements of the photo in ways that prove useful to students, and in many cases Civil War enthusiasts might recognize important details that escaped the historian. Similarly, audio annotation of visuals, as on VoiceThread, might provide both the lively polyvocality many netizens desire as well as a venue for the historian’s expertise, without descending into unbridled relativism.

Permalink for this paragraph 0 Flickr's annotation function could allow for nearly pixel-level analysis and discussion of Civil War photos.

Permalink for this paragraph 0 Considering the low opinion some reference librarians and historians have of genealogists, historians might be surprised to find genealogy forums to be self-regulating regarding the black Confederate myth.33 For example, multiple threads on the Afrigeneas Military Research Forum open with a question about black Confederate soldiers, then turn immediately to a debunking of the myth. Here Sharon Heist offers a counternarrative in a response to a post:

I’m sorry, but I have to tell you there were no Black Confederate soldiers. There has been a lot of confusion about this, but they were illegal until the very end of the war (General Order # 14, passed two weeks before Appomatox [sic].)

There were thousands who served as servants, teamsters, laborers, cooks, etc. but the fact is they were not there willingly, and to fight for the Confederate cause.34

Permalink for this paragraph 0 As these examples make clear, digital technologies are allowing a broader spectrum of people to research the past and write about it for a large audience. Previously, one needed the time and money to travel to archives and, in some cases, the academic credentials to study particular primary source documents. Once the research had been transformed into an article or book, there were usually gatekeepers—publishing houses, editors, and peer reviewers—to ensure some level of academic rigor. As historians, more of us need to explore new roles in the digital realm, assuming whatever responsibilities appeal to us as individuals. For some, this might mean starting a blog or podcast on an area of research; for others, it might mean publishing an ebook on how to interpret primary sources from a particular era and geographic region.  Others will relish a more assertive, or even combative, role as debunkers of myths on forums or Wikipedia.

Permalink for this paragraph 5 That said, our best role is perhaps not that of an authoritative figure or the “sage on the stage”; the “guide on the side” role makes more sense in the digital space. There are tremendous possibilities for collaboration with the lay public, amateur historians, and other professionals. This digital revolution is making accessible ever-larger pools of primary source materials and opening avenues for new, exiting, and sometimes challenging interpretations of those sources. Our role as historians ought to be encouraging greater, and more thoughtful, participation in historiography regardless of medium. Despite my own dissatisfaction with some of Connie Ward’s assertions about black Confederate soldiers, I would like more members of the public to share her interest in historical interpretation; I’d like to hear more people say that, despite their lack of academic credentials, “I nevertheless am an historian.”

Permalink for this paragraph 0 About the author: Leslie Madsen-Brooks is an assistant professor of history at Boise State University.

  1. Permalink for this paragraph 2
  2. The ethics of digital data collection are much debated—especially reading, analyzing, and citing postings on blogs and forums. My stance is that blogs and static websites are analogous to any serialized print publication; they are published online and, if indexed by major search engines, are discoverable by any Internet user. I did not post in the forums cited here, nor comment on the blogs, and thus did not influence the discussions. I cite posts only from public forums that do not require membership approval. For more, see Heidi McKee and James E. Porter, “The Ethics of Digital Writing Research: A Rhetorical Approach,” College Composition and Communication 59, no. 4 (2008): 711-49.
  3. Kevin Levin, “Ngram Tracks Black Confederates and black Confederates,” Civil War Memory, 20 December 2010, accessed 1 August 2011, http://cwmemory.com/2010/12/20/ngram-tracks-black-confederates-and-black-confederate/. I performed an additional search on terms that may have been used to describe black soldiers prior to 1989, and particularly during the nineteenth century, including “Negro soldier,” “black soldier,” and “nigger soldier.” None of these terms, of course, isolates Confederate soldiers from Union troops. Not surprisingly, the term “negro soldier” spiked (in books at least) in the first half of the 1860s. Searches of digitized periodicals from the era for these terms proved unsuccessful.
  4. Edward A. Bardill, “Black Confederate Soldiers overlooked during Black History Month,” Knoxville News-Sentinel 27 February 2005, accessed 5 August 2011, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1351948/posts.
  5. Stephanie McCurry, Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010): 265-66; 288-300.
  6. Ervin L. Jordan Jr., Black Confederates and Afro-Yankees in Civil War Virginia. (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1995): 217.
  7. For more on African Americans’ contributions to the Confederate war effort, see James Hollandsworth, Jr., “Looking for Bob: Black Confederate Pensioners After the Civil War,” The Journal of Mississippi History 69, no. 4 (2007): 295-324, and Bruce Levine, Confederate Emancipation: Southern Plans to Free and Arm Slaves During the Civil War (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006).
  8. For more on this shift in discourse and the growing acceptance of the black Confederate soldier myth by Southern heritage enthusiasts, see Bruce Levine, “In Search of a Usable Past: Neo-Confederates and Black Confederates” in Slavery and Public History: The Tough Stuff of American Memory, ed. James Oliver Horton and Lois E. Horton (Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 2006): 189-91.
  9. Charles Barrow, Joe Segars, and Randall Rosenburg, eds., Black Confederates (Gretna, Louisiana: Pelican Publishing, 2001): 2, 4, 8.
  10. Kevin Sieff, “Virginia 4th-grade textbook criticized over claims on black Confederate soldiers,” Washington Post 20 October 2010, accessed 5 August 2011,  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/19/AR2010101907974.html.
  11. Connie Ward (a.k.a. Chastain), “The Black Confederates Controversy,” 180 Degrees True South, 8 Jun. 2011, accessed 11 August 2011, http://one80dts.blogspot.com/2011/06/black-confederates-controversy.html.
  12. Royal Diadem, posting to Southern Heritage Preservation Group on Facebook, 7 August 2011, accessed 11 August 2011, https://www.facebook.com/groups/shpg1/?view=permalink&id=271184879563396.  “Royal Diadem” is a pseudonym used by Ann DeWitt.  Corey Meyer, “The Leap. . .” The Blood of My Kindred, 14 April 2011, accessed 11 August 2011, http://kindredblood.wordpress.com/2011/04/14/the-leap/
  13. Andy Hall, “Famous ‘Negro Cooks Regiment’ Found—In My Own Backyard!” Dead Confederates, 8 August 2011, accessed 11 August 2011, http://deadconfederates.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/famous-negro-cooks-regiment-found-in-my-own-backyard/.
  14. Hollandsworth, “Looking for Bob,” 304-5.
  15. Bruce Levine, Confederate Emancipation: Southern Plans to Free and Arm Slaves During the Civil War, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006: chapter 5, Kindle location 1795.
  16. Ann DeWitt, “Confederate Soldier Service Records,” Black Confederate Soldiers. n.d., accessed 12 August 2011, http://www.blackconfederatesoldiers.com/soldier_records_for_black_confederates_50.html.
  17. David Tatum, “Myth Buster!” Atrueconfederate, 2 July 2011, accessed 13 August 2011, http://atrueconfederate.blogspot.com/2011/07/myth-buster.html.
  18. Ann DeWitt, “Civil War Body Servants,” Black Confederate Soldiers, 1 May 2010, accessed 10 August 2011, http://www.blackconfederatesoldiers.com/body_servants_17.html.
  19. “(Confederate and Union dead side by side in the trenches at Fort Mahone),” photo by Thomas C. Roche, 3 April 1865, Selected Civil War Photographs, 1861-1865, Library of Congress, accessed 11 August 2011,  http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/cwp2003000602/PP/. David Lowe and Philip Shiman, “Substitute for a Corpse,” Civil War Times 49, no. 6 (2010): 40-41. Kevin Levin, “Scratch Off Another Black Confederate,” Civil War Memory, 10 August 2011, accessed 11 August 2011, http://cwmemory.com/2011/08/10/scratch-off-another-black-confederate/.
  20. Jerome Handler and Michael Tuite, “The Modern Falsification of a Civil War Photograph,” March 2007, accessed 10 August 2011, http://www.retouchinghistory.org/. My search on 14 August 2011 for the original version of this photo at TinEye.com turned up more instances of the cropped photo than the one with the officer.
  21. H. K. Edgerton, “Southern Heritage 411,” Southern Heritage 411, n.d., accessed 11 August 2011, http://www.southernheritage411.com/index.shtml.
  22. See, for example, Edgerton’s publication on his site of the article “Isn’t the Southern Poverty Law Center the Real Hate Group?” by Michael Brown, 28 July 2011, accessed 11 August 2011, http://www.southernheritage411.com/newsarticle.php?nw=2270.  See also Carl Roden’s comments, as reprinted on Andy Hall’s site: “The Self-Appointed Defenders of Southern Heritage,” Dead Confederates, 3 August 2011, accessed 14 August 2011, http://deadconfederates.wordpress.com/2011/08/03/the-defenders-of-southern-heritage/.
  23. For some examples of the vitriol, see David Tatum’s posts at Atrueconfederate, http://atrueconfederate.blogspot.com/2011/08/anti-southern-society.html (11 August 2011) and http://atrueconfederate.blogspot.com/2011/08/research-is-like-box-of-chocolates.html (10 August 2011), both accessed 12 August 2011, as well as Connie Ward’s post “The Civil War Thought Police,” 180 Degrees True South, 10 August 2011, accessed 12 August 2011, http://one80dts.blogspot.com/2011/08/civil-war-thought-police.html.
  24. Connie Ward (a.k.a. Chastain), “Corey’s back for more,” 180 Degrees True South, 8 August 2011, accessed 13 August 2011, http://one80dts.blogspot.com/2011/08/coreys-back-for-more.html.
  25. Corey Meyer, “Connie (Chastain) Ward Responds Again,” http://kindredblood.wordpress.com/2011/08/08/connie-chastain-ward-responds-again/, The Blood of My Kindred, 8 August 2011, accessed 13 August 2011, and “Connie (Chastain) Ward Admits: ‘History & Heritage Are Not Synonymous,’” The Blood of My Kindred, 22 July 2011, accessed 13 August 2011, http://kindredblood.wordpress.com/2011/07/22/connie-chastain-ward-admits-history-heritage-are-not-synonymous/.
  26. See Peter Steiner’s cartoon for the New Yorker 69, no. 20 (1993): 61.
  27. Corey Meyer, comment on “Ponderings on American Exceptionalism,” 25 September 2009, accessed 12 August 2011, The Blood of My Kindred, http://kindredblood.wordpress.com/2009/09/25/ponderings-on-american-exceptionalism/#comment-147. Kevin Levin, “Welcome,” Civil War Memory, http://cwmemory.com/about/, n.d., and “Resume,” http://cwmemory.com/cv/, Civil War Memory, n.d., both accessed 13 August 2011.
  28. eddieinman, “Re: Simpson – Prof. Historians and the Black Confederate Myth,” 19 June 2011, accessed 4 August 2011, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/civilwarhistory2/message/173491.
  29. Matthew Robert Isham, “What will become of the Black Confederate controversy?—a follow up,” A People’s Contest, 13 May 2011, accessed 11 August 2011, http://www.psu.edu/dept/richardscenter/2011/05/what-will-become-of-the-black-confederate-controversy—a-follow-up.html.
  30. Marshall Poe, “Fighting Bad History with Good, or, Why Historians Must Get on the Web Now,” Historically Speaking 10, no. 2 (2009): 23.
  31. Poe, “Fighting Bad History,” 22.
  32. Kevin Levin, “What Will Become of the Black Confederate Controversy?: A Response,” Civil War Memory, 8 May 2011, accessed 11 August 2011, http://cwmemory.com/2011/05/08/what-will-become-of-the-black-confederate-controversy-a-response/.
  33. Brooks Simpson, “Professional Historians and the Black Confederate Myth: Part Two,” Crossroads, 20 June 2011, accessed 11 August 2011, https://cwcrossroads.wordpress.com/2011/06/20/professional-historians-and-the-black-confederate-myth-part-two/.
  34. For librarians’ stereotypes of genealogists, see Katherine Scott Sturdevant, Bringing Your Family History to Life through Social History (Cincinnati: Betterway Books, 2000): 166-70.
  35. Sharon Heist, “Re: AA Confederate Solider (sic) Info,” Afrigeneas Military Research Forum, 24 October 2004, accessed 9 August 2011, http://www.afrigeneas.com/forum-militaryarchive/index.cgi/md/read/id/1553/sbj/aa-confederate-solider-info/.