July, Anthony Hervey, an outspoken black advocate for the Confederate
flag, was killed in a car crash. Arlene Barnum, a surviving passenger in
the vehicle, told authorities and the media that they had been forced
off the road by a carload of "angry young black men" after Hervey, while
wearing his Confederate kepi, stopped at a convenience store en route
to his home in Oxford, Mississippi.
His death was in no small
part caused by the gross level of ignorance, organized deceit and anger
about the War of 1861. Much of the ignorance stems from the fact that
most Americans believe the war was initiated to free slaves, when in
truth, freeing slaves was little more than an afterthought. I want to
lay out a few quotations and ask what you make of them.
the "Civil War," ex-slave Frederick Douglass observed, "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" (Douglass'
Monthly, September 1861).
"For more than two years, negroes had
been extensively employed in belligerent operations by the Confederacy.
They had been embodied and drilled as Rebel soldiers, and had paraded
with White troops at a time when this would not have been tolerated in
the armies of the Union." (Horace Greeley, in his book, "The American
"Over 3,000 negroes must be included in this number
(of Confederate troops). These were clad in all kinds of uniforms, not
only in cast-off or captured United States uniforms, but in coats with
Southern buttons, State buttons, etc. These were shabby, but not
shabbier or seedier than those worn by white men in rebel ranks. Most of
the negroes had arms, rifles, muskets, sabres, bowie-knives, dirks,
etc. They were supplied, in many instances, with knapsacks, haversacks,
canteens, etc., and were manifestly an integral portion of the Southern
Confederacy Army. They were seen riding on horses and mules, driving
wagons, riding on caissons, in ambulances, with the staff of Generals,
and promiscuously mixed up with all the rebel horde" (report by Dr.
Lewis H. Steiner, chief inspector of the U.S. Sanitary Commission).
April 1861, a Petersburg, Virginia, newspaper proposed "three cheers
for the patriotic free Negroes of Lynchburg" after 70 blacks offered "to
act in whatever capacity" had been "assigned to them" in defense of
Those are but a few examples of the important role that
blacks served as soldiers, freemen and slaves on the side of the
Confederacy. The flap over the Confederate flag is not quite so simple
as the nation's race "experts" make it. They want us to believe the flag
is a symbol of racism. Yes, racists have used the Confederate flag as
their symbol, but racists have also marched behind the U.S. flag and
have used the Bible. Would anyone suggest banning the U.S. flag from
state buildings and references to the Bible?
Black civil rights
activists, their white liberal supporters and historically ignorant
Americans who attack the Confederate flag have committed a deep,
despicable dishonor to our patriotic Southern black ancestors who
marched, fought and died not to protect slavery but to protect their
homeland from Northern aggression. They don't deserve the dishonor. Dr.
Leonard Haynes, a black professor at Southern University, stated, "When
you eliminate the black Confederate soldier, you've eliminated
history of the South."