Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Dumb as a Box of Rocks

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on February 4, 2016

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Edgerton Poster

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The soldiers in the historic photo — “OUR Black Brethren,” according to the flier — are the men of Company E, Fourth U.S. Colored Troops, photographed at Fort Lincoln, Washington, D.C. in November 1865. They are veterans of hard-fought actions at Petersburg, Chaffin’s Farm/New Market Heights, and Fort Fisher. It’s one of the best-known images of U.S. Colored Troops in the entire war.

They are not Confederates.

So the question becomes:

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GeneralStarsGray

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22 Responses

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  1. M.D. Blough said, on February 4, 2016 at 6:43 pm

    I wish one of the answers on the poll could have been “All of the above”

    • Andy Hall said, on February 4, 2016 at 6:59 pm

      It’s also worth noting that Edgerton is not “a former NAACP President,” but a former NAACP local chapter president. Important distinction, although one often elided in Edgerton’s [promotional materials.

  2. Scott Ledridge said, on February 4, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    I’m going with fraudulent for more reasons than just the photograph.

  3. Neil Hamilton said, on February 4, 2016 at 7:05 pm

    (Sigh.)

    Some folks just can’t seem to lift themselves out of the same, old mistakes. At least make new mistakes to hold my interest!

    Sincerely,
    Neil

  4. OhioGuy said, on February 4, 2016 at 8:33 pm

    I wanted to vote for All of the Above. Your categories are not mutually exclusive. You can, unfortunately, be dumb as a rock, be intentionally fradualent, and think all blacks look alike simultaneously. It’s kind of the inverse of a Renaissance man! 😉

  5. Shoshana Bee said, on February 4, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    More manufactured “Heritage” (the truth is too ghastly to let stand on it’s own) B

  6. Jimmy Dick said, on February 5, 2016 at 10:04 am

    I looked for all of the above too along with “If it involves H.K. Edgerton, you know it’s a con act for money.”

  7. Leo said, on February 5, 2016 at 11:08 am

    HA!

    As soon as I looked at the photo, I knew the soldiers were USCT and thought either someone is trying to pull a fast one or is totally ignorant of the historical facts.

    I wonder if Edgerton will tell of the exploits of those brave black men to “rode with Forrest”.

    I want extra butter on my popcorn, thank you.

  8. Martin said, on February 5, 2016 at 11:42 am

    What about an option of “Completely lacking in any sort of self awareness.” I almost spit out my drink when I read the line that said “…will be talking of OUR Black Brethren…” How obtuse can you be.

  9. OhioGuy said, on February 5, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    Well, those bozzos aren’t the only folks who are dumb as rocks about the late Rebellion:
    https://www.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1293498077334431&id=100000227520265

  10. H. E. Parmer said, on February 6, 2016 at 1:22 am

    Now look, if it hadn’t been for the vast Union conspiracy which destroyed all those photographs which must have existed of Black Confederates, the boys in the Dinwiddie — Must.Refrain.From.Making.Obvious.Pun. — Grays wouldn’t have been forced to put those men from the USCT in their poster. Besides, you just have to believe that people who refer to it as “The War of Northern Aggression” more than a century-and-a-half after the fact are all about forgiving and forgetting, right?

    At the very least, it seems there’s a fair amount of history they’re hoping “OUR Black Brethren” will forgive and (more important) forget … I mean, it’s kind of instructive that Mr. Edgerton seems to regard 1861 as a sort of Year Zero for those “difficult and strenuous struggles”. And how pathetic is it, to be the sort of individual who revels in the notoriety he gets by hob-nobbing with a bunch that insists the South was truly the aggrieved party in a devastating war their ancestors launched to preserve their right to enslave his ancestors?

    Although I have to admire the weasel-worded semi-plausible deniability of “a former NAACP president” vs. “a former President of the NAACP”, it’s the cynicism that makes this poster so very special. Even with a willing beard like Edgerton, it takes real chutzpah for the SCV to co-opt Black History Month in the service of shoring up their Not-White-Supremacist credentials.

    • Andy Hall said, on February 9, 2016 at 5:17 pm

      Even with a willing beard like Edgerton, it takes real chutzpah for the SCV to co-opt Black History Month in the service of shoring up their Not-White-Supremacist credentials.

      _____

      Here you go:

  11. OhioGuy said, on February 9, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Hmm . . . 180,000+ men in USCT units (including infantry, artillery and cavlary) versus a few thousand Louisiana Militia who switched sides as soon as the Yankees arrived, two integrated regiments (blacks in separate companies) recruited in a last-ditch effort at the very end of the war (never saw combat), and a few companies of Melungeons reported in a Tennessee regiment or two. Now let’s do the math: If we count the Louisiana turncoats, we have 2,000 + 500 end-of-war volunteers + 200 Melungeons = 2.700 (and this is a very generous over-estimation). This would mean that of the total black fighting men in the late insurrection about 1.47 percent were in Confederate service at one time or another. Or, in other words more than 98 percent of African Americans fought for the Union. This is a surprise to anyone?

    • Andy Hall said, on February 9, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      . . . versus a few thousand Louisiana Militia who switched sides as soon as the Yankees arrived,

      _____

      In fact, the Louisiana Native Guard was disbanded by the State of Louisiana weeks before Farragut made his move up the Mississippi. It had already been made abundantly clear to them that theyir services were not wanted.

      But hey, why quibble over mere numbers? After all, as the odious Kirk Lyons said a while back, “there were more than a million Black Confederates if everyone will stop defining the term as an equivalent for ‘military’ service.”

      • OhioGuy said, on February 9, 2016 at 9:20 pm

        Well, Andy, you are right. But, as you know I was giving them the benefit of the doubt and including any folks that were even halfway legitimate. The Louisiana Native Guard was technically in Confedrate service from May 2, 1861 until April 26, 1862 though they never actually did much in that capacity.

  12. Scott Ledridge said, on February 10, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Wow. 114,000 troops trained in a few weeks. That’s incredible!

    I wonder what the explanation is for them wearing blue.

    • Andy Hall said, on February 10, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      Apparently they all died in service, too. It’s amazing what you can learn on Facebook, and sooooo much faster than with books.

  13. OhioGuy said, on February 10, 2016 at 7:57 pm

    I’m sticking with my extremely generous 2,700 figure! 😉

    And, 2,000 of them became traitors to the Confederacy. That leaves 700 real black Confederates, most of whom only signed up in exchange for promised emancipation. Too little too late for the CSA.

  14. Sandi Saunders said, on February 18, 2016 at 6:54 am

    Despise them or love them, at least the Confederacy had the integrity to own their mentality. They made no bones of their white supremacy or with their goal of an independent slave republic. Even the Jim Crow South made no effort to hide their racism and caste system for those living there, but these apologists lack even the integrity to allow them their truth. It is so sad and telling. This is not their history and it is not their heritage, it is their sickening apologists tour. The South cannot heal because the liars will never stop lying. For much of our history, all we had was our honesty. These people take even that.

  15. Jeffry Burden said, on February 18, 2016 at 8:13 am

    So…let’s think charitably, and say that the “struggles” of the “Black Brethren” to which they refer are the struggles of ALL persons of color, North and South (in which case, a photo of the 4th USCT is just fine)…and that ol’ H.K. will deliver a highly-nuanced survey of social, legal and economic history of that period. Sound reasonable? Anyone? Anyone? Buehler?


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