Another Black Confederate Debunking

More

The myth of whole regiments of black Confederate soldiers gets thinner


chandlerscropped2.jpg

Silas Chandler (pictured above) is a popular name among those who like to trumpet the myth of whole regiments of black Confederate soldiers. History Detectives recently did an excellent job debunking the notion that Chandler was a "soldier." 

I was struck by the same thing's that caught Andy Hall. The most interesting portion was looking into the part of the story which held that Silas Chandler was freed, voluntarily, and went on to fight for the Confederate Army. But apparently, in the run-up to the Civil War, Mississippi actually made it illegal to manumit any slave. 

And this statement from Andrew Chandler, descendant of the white soldier pictured above, after getting the results:

I think it's interesting to understand the place of stories in family histories. Obviously, the story that we've shared is one that is very comfortable, and comforting to believe. But without documentary evidence, it is a story. Our families' histories have been, and will always be, deeply intertwined and evolving with the times.

Like Andy, I thought that reaction showed some real moral courage. But it also shows progress.

Watch the whole the thing. It's something more than "report the debate."
Jump to comments
Presented by

Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Death of Film: After Hollywood Goes Digital, What Happens to Movies?

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

The Death of Film

You'll never hear the whirring sound of a projector again.

Video

How to Hunt With Poison Darts

A Borneo hunter explains one of his tribe's oldest customs: the art of the blowpipe

Video

A Delightful, Pixar-Inspired Cartoon

An action figure and his reluctant sidekick trek across a kitchen in search of treasure.

Video

I Am an Undocumented Immigrant

"I look like a typical young American."

Video

Why Did I Study Physics?

Using hand-drawn cartoons to explain an academic passion

Writers

Up
Down

More in National

From This Author

Just In