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CIVIL WAR OP-ED: A Southern Black History Month Tribute
This Black History Month tribute is dedicated in memory of Atlanta, Georgia native and friend Eddie Brown Page, 111. Eddie was a Black Historian who loved American history “not political correctness” and knew the true stories about the men and women who bravely carried the United States and Confederate flags into battle.
The stories about Billy Yank and Johnny Reb of color should be shared during Black History Month by teachers, students, parents, historians and all who love the true history. Please read the Sons of Confederate Veterans information sheet about Black Confederates at: http://www.scv.org/documents/edpapers/blackhistory.pdf
Black Americans today like Mr. H.K. Edgerton from North Carolina, Mr. Nelson Winbush from Florida and Professor Edward Smith from Washington, D.C. teach the true history of the South and the USA. Mr. Winbush’s Maternal Confederate Grandfather Louis Napoleon Nelson fought with General Nathan Bedford Forrest and Winbush and Edgerton are both members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Mr. Edgerton is also past president of a North Carolina Chapter of the NAACP. Read more about Mr. Edgerton at: http://www.southernheritage411.com/
Black Confederate Soldiers included men like: Amos Rucker who fought alongside his Southern Comrades and upon his death in 1905 was buried with full honors with his Confederate gray uniform and casket draped with the Confederate Battle flag. His long missing grave marker at Atlanta’s Southview Cemetery was remarked in 2006 by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. http://gascv.org/
The 1989 movie “Glory” educated us about the Black men who fought in the Union Army during the War Between the States…But, where are the movies about the Black men who served the Southern Confederacy? Did you know that Black units were segregated in the Union army but Black soldiers were integrated in the Confederate Army?
Mr. Ed Bearss, who served as Chief Historian of the National Park Service from 1981 to 1994 said:
“I don’t want to call it a conspiracy to ignore the role of Blacks both above and below the Mason-Dixon Line, but it was definitely a tendency that began around 1910.”
Did you know that….
Frederick Douglass, a former slave, made an interesting but accurate statement in 1861, saying:
“It is now pretty well established, that there are at the present moment many colored men in the Confederate army doing duty not only as cooks, servants and laborers, but as real soldiers, having muskets on their shoulders, and bullets in their pockets, ready to shoot down loyal troops, and do all that soldiers may to destroy the Federal Government and build up that of the traitors and rebels. There were such soldiers at Manassas, and they are probably there still.”
Some people today call for the removal of Southern monuments but do they know that….
In Mississippi on February 1, 1890, an appropriation for a monument to the Confederate dead was being considered. A delegate had just spoken against the bill, when John F. Harris, a Black Republican delegate from Washington, county, rose to speak:
"Mr. Speaker! I have risen in my place to offer a few words on the bill.
"I have come from a sick bed. Perhaps it was not prudent for me to come. But sir, I could not rest quietly in my room without contributing a few remarks of my own.
"I was sorry to hear the speech of the young gentlemen from Marshall County. I am sorry that any son of a soldier would go on record as opposed to the erections of a monument in honor of the brave dead. And, Sir, I am convinced that had he seen what I saw at Seven Pines, and in the Seven Day's fighting around Richmond, the battlefield covered with mangled forms of those who fought for this country and their country's honor, he would not have made the speech.
"When the news came that the South had been invaded, those men went forth to fight for what they believed, and they made not requests for monuments. But they died, and their virtues should be remembered.
"Sir, I went with them. I, too, wore the gray, the same color my master wore. We stayed for four long years, and if that war had gone on till now I would have been there yet. I want to honor those brave men who died for their convictions.
"When my Mother died I was a boy. Who, Sir, then acted the part of Mother to the orphaned slave boy, but my old Missus! Were she living now, or could speak to me from those high realms where are gathered the sainted dead, she would tell me to vote for this bill. And, Sir, I shall vote for it. I want it known to all the world that my vote is given in favor of the bill to erect a monument in HONOR OF THE CONFEDERATE DEAD."
When the applause died down, the measure passed overwhelmingly, and every Black member voted "AYE."
Confederate History and Heritage Month is coming in April. Please read more at:
Johnson is a speaker, short story writer, author of book “When America stood for God, Family and Country” and chairman of the National and Georgia Division Sons of Confederate Veterans Confederate History and Heritage Month committee. http://www.facebook.com/ConfederateHeritageMonth