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77 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helps to tell the WHOLE story . . .
Probably, the discovery that more than a few African Americans served on the Confederate side in the Civil War -- and not just as servants, either -- will strike some readers as contradictory, or even unnatural. Certainly, most historians have ignored the subject. But history is history: One must deal with past reality, not subordinate the facts to modern political...
Published on July 22, 2002 by Michael K. Smith

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35 of 66 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just plain wrong
Most professional historians have discredited this work, especially its claim that large numbers of Southern blacks fought on the Confederate side. The author, Charles Kelly Barrow, is associated with the Sons of Confederate Veterans organization, which seeks to dis-associate the Confederate cause from the issue of slavery. The honor of my own Confederate ancestors does...
Published on October 22, 2010 by Bliss


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77 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Helps to tell the WHOLE story . . ., July 22, 2002
This review is from: Black Confederates (Paperback)
Probably, the discovery that more than a few African Americans served on the Confederate side in the Civil War -- and not just as servants, either -- will strike some readers as contradictory, or even unnatural. Certainly, most historians have ignored the subject. But history is history: One must deal with past reality, not subordinate the facts to modern political positions. In researching the subject, Barrow called on the readership of _Confederate Veteran,_ the official publication of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, to submit information on black Southern loyalists. The results were large and diverse, based on official reports, pension applications, family correspondence, newspaper articles, and published memoirs, and from that came this anthology of historical documents and accounts, originally published under the title _Forgotten Confederates._ In fact, the most conservative estimate is that some 50,000 African Americans served on the Confederate side, compared to 600,000 to 1,000,000 white Confederates (depending on who did the counting). Few of them were "properly enlisted," of course (the Confederate Congress did not authorize such enlistments until the War was in its last days), but those who worked as servants, bodyguards, nurses, cooks, scouts, barbers, teamsters, musicians, and construction workers frequently joined the fight, whether sanctioned or not. The irony, of course, is that black Confederates served within white units, while black Union troops were carefully segregated from white troops. At least twenty-five percent of the Confederate Ordnance Department was black, and several black militia units were raised in Louisiana and Alabama. There were black Confederate sharpshooters in the Seven Days campaign in 1862, and more than 1,000 black sailors served in the Confederate Navy. And a surprising number of black faces appear in photographs of post-War Confederate reunions, many of which are reproduced in this volume. This is an engrossing collection of material and the twenty-one-page bibliography of sources for further study will be most useful to local historians.
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33 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenges commonly held precepts, February 7, 2002
This review is from: Black Confederates (Paperback)
Collaboratively compiled and edited by Charles Kelly Barrow, J. H. Segars, and R. B. Rosenburg, Black Confederates is a scholarly analysis of historical evidence of those black Americans who served the Confederacy during the Civil War. Correspondence, military records, preserved narratives and newspaper accounts present as clear a picture as possible of some seemingly self-contradictory people. Why did they fight, and in some cases, lose their lives for the South in a conflict fought to perpetuate the institution of slavery? This question is carefully scrutinized in a historical work that challenges commonly held precepts and brings to light an oft-overlooked side of America's deadliest war. Black Confederates is a welcome and fascinating addition to Black Studies and Civil War Studies reading lists and reference collections.
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25 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A student of the great mind who wrote this great book., February 13, 2002
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Black Confederates (Paperback)
This book is a wonderful claberation of doucments overlooked by history.The author is a great mind and I recomend this book highly for its agnolagement of our forgoten heroes.This book brings halt to all "myths".
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book should be required reading for all High School kids!, February 21, 2014
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Southron Patriot (Huntsville, Alabama) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Black Confederates (Paperback)
This book should be required reading for all High School kids and should be required to take a test on it to graduate!
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35 of 66 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Just plain wrong, October 22, 2010
By 
Bliss (Gainesville, Florida USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Black Confederates (Paperback)
Most professional historians have discredited this work, especially its claim that large numbers of Southern blacks fought on the Confederate side. The author, Charles Kelly Barrow, is associated with the Sons of Confederate Veterans organization, which seeks to dis-associate the Confederate cause from the issue of slavery. The honor of my own Confederate ancestors does not require being defended by falsehoods, nor should that of anyone's ancestors. This book represents another attempt to smuggle overblown claims and bogus data into the record as if they are serious history. They are not.
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10 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than I learned in government schools, July 2, 2010
By 
Max Turbo (Newport News, VA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Black Confederates (Paperback)
I picked this up while visiting one of the battlefields and found it very interesting to learn about the many free men of color and slaves that served in the Confederate army. Being forced to watch Glory back in high school and fed the claims that Lincoln freed the slaves I think a book like this needs more attention. Say what you will about the Confederacy but the pictures and stories are memorable. Finding out their were Blacks that fought for the Confederacy and helped them doesn't surprise me since the Native American Indians were also helping the Confederacy.
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7 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Without Them the Confederacy would have Collapsed, March 31, 2010
By 
Ron Braithwaite "Hummingbird God" (El Indio, Texas United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Black Confederates (Paperback)
This book is an account of some black men who fought, and sometimes died, for the Confederate States of America. The only criticism I have of the book is that it is not detailed and complete as perhaps it could be. I myself read of an account not mentioned in this text--a black southern sniper at Vicksburg who was literally blown into the Yankee lines by a close miss from a cannon ball--and remarkably survived the event.

Actually what happened is entirely predictable and logical. Most black people lived 'South', even if they lived as slaves. They themselves were southernors with predominantly southern values--and fears. They also had little access to information other than that provided them by their white overseers. At the same times there was sometimes genuine love between some highly esteemed blacks and their 'masters'. These black men were more than delighted to go to war against the feared and hated Yankee foe.

Some skeptics might claim that these cases were the rare exceptions that proved a far greater general rule--that black people detested their masters and longed to be 'free.' Indeed, it is true, that a large number of blacks left the plantations to follow the Union Armies as detested 'contraband', and a number of black men joined the Union Army which significantly improved their manpower situation.

STILL--there can be no denying that most black people remained at their jobs on the various plantations, producing food for the southern war effort. These people could have rebelled or, with varying degrees of difficulty, simply walked off. They war would have ended within weeks. They didn't and the war lasted 4 long years and, at the end of the time, most now free blacks remained on the farms and plantations in much the same situation as before--WHY?

Here I'll introduce a controversial theory. They remained on the plantation because, over the years of slavery, both in the South and perhaps back in their West African homeland, many had become institutionalized. The 'massa' took care of them; fed them; housed them; gave them medical treatment; clothing--and all they had to do was--work. Granted, none of the things they received was of high quality but it was livable and, although they were required to work, they worked only as hard as slaves work. How hard does a slave work? Generally speaking, just hard enough to avoid punishment which usually isn't that hard. It's no wonder that various northern writers during the slave era claimed that one free man could do the work of 3 slaves.

It is unfortunate that now, almost 150 years later, that the Federal Government has reestablised itself as the paternal 'massa' who takes care of his 'children.' Many remain institutionalized. In any event this is an informative book and tells of one of the great opportunities that the Confederacy missed--the early enrollment and emancipation of black soldiers in the Southern cause. Thousands--perhaps hundreds of thousands--would have joined and the history of the world might be very different.
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29 of 69 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars rumor and myth, October 31, 2007
This review is from: Black Confederates (Paperback)
Since it was illegal for Blacks to carry arms until March of 1865, and numerous Confederate Government documents attest to the illegality of using slaves and free Blacks in that capacity it is hard to see how much unsubstantiated material can be believed. Look at the Confederate Senate and House records. As late as March 17th, 1865, after the final passage of a bill authorizing such service, the Senate repudiated the bill and Jefferson Davis waffling from November 64. Please look at the original documents! Also know that slaves serving as teamsters, cooks, etc. were allowed pensions it did not mean they were weapons carrying soldiers.
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Black Confederates
Black Confederates by Charles Kelly Barrow (Paperback - October 31, 2001)
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