Why is history a mystery? I think it is mostly because we want the truth to be something other than what it is, and that is true of all of us, not just some of us. We all have egos. We all want the universe to affirm us. That includes the present, the future, and the past.

Therefore, to understand history well — to get past our own prejudices — we must study it carefully. To avoid being manipulated by those with an agenda, we must study history carefully. It is not enough just to read the history books we read in school, for the writers of those books and the people who bought them have egos too. Instead, we must strive to read what the people in the past regarded as important, and we must consider the evidence that remains from the past from multiple points of view.

So where do we begin? Today?

Doug (FPS/DougLite.com)

Hey, Tom… and your fellow readers… I ran across this today while doing some more research…


Pay special attention to that poem by the ex-Confederate chaplain, at the end. It rather falls into line of what you have been favoring.

is referring to this post, What You Must Learn from White Supremacists. If you want to know more about the context of this post, please read it.

After the Civil War many people were bitter, feeling quite entitled to hate the other side.

  • People in the North had lost loved ones, and for what? Some egotistical fools in the South wanted to behave like aristocrats and be served by slaves.
  • People in the South had lost loved ones. Their homes had been burned. Their land impoverished. And for what? So the North could save a tyrannical Union?

Fortunately, as ‘s comment shows, as time passed the wounds began to heal. Slowly, even the soldiers who had fought found it their hearts to forgive.

Perhaps the most notable events were two reunions.

Here is some video of the 1913 event.

If you are curious about these reunions, google civil war veterans reunion.

What is the usual criticism we here about these reunions? Racism. That is what we hear from “experts”. Here is an example from Smithsonian Magazine, Civil War Veterans Come Alive in Audio and Video Recordings. The video in the article records a reenactment of the Rebel Yell by Confederate veterans. Because it is funny to see those old guys doing the Rebel Yell, the video is a hoot. At the same time, we have to remember they gave that yell because it did inspire terror. Nevertheless, this is how the text of the article ends.

Sadly, in the eyes of the press, not all Civil War veterans were equal. No black volunteers served with the Confederacy, while African Americans contributed some 160,000 volunteers to the Union war effort. Yet they are almost never even acknowledged, much less seen or heard in the library’s films and recordings. Ironically, however, the most surprising film of African American “veterans,” a few minutes of silent footage made at a Confederate reunion in 1930, shows a dozen elderly black men wearing fragments of gray uniforms, flourishing miniature battle flags and wearing lapel buttons representing Robert E. Lee. Enslaved body servants, or perhaps laborers who had been pressed into service by Confederate armies, they were presumably served up to newsmen as “proof” that slaves were so loyal and happy in their servitude that they fought to retain it.

After Reconstruction, the role of African-American soldiers was largely airbrushed out of the war’s narrative in the name of national reconciliation. William Smallwood’s brief martial appearance against that brick wall in Boston thus stands as a powerful if all too fleeting reminder of both the sacrifice of the black volunteers who fought for the Union, and of the nation’s promises to them, so many of which would remain unfulfilled generations after the Civil War had ended. (from here)

Why such an absurd preoccupation with racism? Is that not racist?

Still, there is a gaping hole in the record. What role did blacks have in the Civil War? Because of the airbrushing (mostly by both the North), most have the impression black did not fight in that war. In fact, they fought on both sides.

Why would black fight for the South? There no simple answer, and the people who could answer are dead. So we can for the most part only conjecture. Why would we do such a thing?

  • We care the most about the people closest to us.
  • Slaves don’t have a choice.

Here is the first of three video clips that summarizes the role of the black Confederates.

The film above is part of “Black Confederates: The Forgotten Men In Gray” by Desert Rose Productions. Since I don’t know anything about Desert Rose Productions, I made some effort to verify the facts presented in the video. Here are some References.

So were they black confederate soldiers? Huge numbers? No, and the video does not make that claim. The basic problem is that the people of the South were not about to give slaves guns.  Consider the following quote, and consider also South’s reasons for leaving the Union, to preserve the institution of slavery.

Once let the black man get upon his person the brass letter, U.S., let him get an eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder and bullets in his pocket, there is no power on earth that can deny that he has earned the right to citizenship. — Frederick Douglass (from here)

To arm the black man was basically the same as freeing him. When in desperation the government South finally approved the use of black Confederate soldiers, they virtually conceded the end of slavery. And they knew it. The war was lost.

Still, even as slaves there were blacks who considered the South their homeland, and the people of the South their people. These had mixed feelings about the Yankee invasion. So they willingly, if not eagerly, fought wearing gray.


  1. It’s virtually impossible to truly understand historical context while living in the modern world.
    If anyone has ever lived in a foreign country where the customs are very different they’ve most likely experienced that thing called “culture shock”. That gives one a very small glimpse of the experience.

    Once you live it for a while, it becomes the norm…or even if not, your brain accepts it better. And everything is relative. I had an Asian friend, stationed in Qatar and married to a US army officer. Whenever she went out, it was assumed she was either a prostitute, or childcare person, and she was treated accordingly. Sometimes we forget (those who actually know) caste systems, and even de facto slavery, STILL exist throughout much of the Middle East.

    Sometimes I wonder what future historians will say about us.
    Stuff like this doesn’t even make sense to me, and I’m living in the now:

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I heard about Robert Lee. I would like to say that only the politically correct can be that silly, but I suppose that is not literally true. Just close to it.

      The Robert Lee thing does not make sense because it does not make sense. It is about power. Political correctness is about power. When the enforcers of politician correctness can make us accept their reality, they can control us.


  2. Interesting, Tom.

    There’s a lot of history we don’t know, we don’t speak of, because it’s uncomfortable,it’s inconvenient. Like the fact that free black men actually owned slaves. In Charleston, SC around 1850, about half the free blacks actually owned slaves themselves,and about half of those slave owners were actually black women.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. History is something we use to manipulate each other. Information in general is power. With history the power of information is quite evident. So their are rules for it, often unspoken.


  3. “It is not enough just to read the history books we read in school, for the writers of those books and the people who bought them have egos too. ”

    Nicer than what I usually say. History is the propaganda of the ruling party.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Those blacks or really slaves, that fought for the south, I would imagine would have done so as it too had been their “home” and what they had known…sometimes we’ll do anything for the place we call home…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It depends. Slaves that are treated like dirt won’t fight. Would the slaves of the South fought? I don’t know. I just know the South hated the idea. The freedmen of the North did fight, and they fought well, but the South never tested the concept on a wide scale. My guess the people in power knew they would have to free their slaves. They also knew they even if they did the idea might not work.

      The Ottoman Turks tested the idea of slave armies to its fullest extent, and for awhile it worked quite well. Eventually, it blew up in their faces.

      Look up Janissaries (=> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janissaries).

      Most of us — probably all of us — are descended from slaves of some sort. Europe was full of serfs. Almost every country in the world had peasants tied to the land. We have to go back to hunter-gather societies before the concept of slave at least seems to disappear. Even then I supposed feminists will argue women were slaves. Generally, slaves were not even allowed to fight. Their owners refused to train them or trust them with arms.

      The Napoleonic Wars, with massive armies of ordinary men probably did as much to end slavery in Europe as anything else. Those wars demonstrated the effectiveness of sheer numbers. Since the American Civil War required similar tactics, the South’s refusal to use a large proportion of its manpower (slaves) in the war crippled it. I suppose there is an ironic sort of justice in that.

      The citizens of a society have to fight for it somehow, some way. Ultimately, our ability and willingness to defend our homeland is what entitles us to citizenship.

      It is our tradition that men labor and secure the homeland. Women provide the primary care and security for our children. Are both sexes fulfilling their role as defenders of our society today? No, but that is another subject, another post, perhaps.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Not sure how to get to Craig’s website, but finding Tom DiLorenzo articles at LewRockwell.com is easy enough. Thanks.

      One of life’s difficulties is two people can see the same thing, and each of them can come up with a different interpretation. Does not mean either of them is either right or wrong. However, if the interpretation is important to at least one of them, there is probably going to be a problem.

      I am a fan of Abe Lincoln and abhor the South’s excuse for succession. I don’t think the average Southerner put his life on the line to defend slavery, but that is what got the war started. Were there other causes? Yes. Could Lincoln easily point to anything in the Constitution to justify invading the South to stop the South from leaving the Union. No. I think it is obvious the framers of the Constitution deliberately chose to ignore the issue. The could not come up with a compromise. So the just left the issue hanging and worked upon the immediate problems. Hence, Lincoln and the North did what they thought necessary, and it was very messy.

      Anyway, I doubt we necessarily agree as to what the history means, but we might agree on the facts themselves. I suspect we will also agree that is stupidly narrow-minded for people to tear down those monuments, and that is the immediate problem.

      Again. Thank you.


  5. Tom, let me check but I have relatives who are black and they swear there was a volunteer regiment from above Savannah. I’ll have to double check on this, but this is what I am told. Was told too that their flag is guess what: the Confederate Battle Flag of all flags. Yes, this would be unusual, but apparently it does exists. I’ll have to confer with relatives and match up the facts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Would not surprise me. The headache with this stuff is that the white supremacists and the politically correct feud over it so much they cloud the facts.

      Since there obviously could not have been substantial numbers, some people deny there were any black Confederate soldiers at all. In war that big, however, that’s hard to believe.

      Liked by 1 person

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