In a major way, proponents of honoring America’s history, including that of the bloodiest war ever fought on American soil, the Civil War, have proposed a new monument honoring the African-American soldiers who fought for the Confederacy during the war in South Carolina.
Two state Representatives, Republican Bill Chumley of Woodruff and Republican Mike Burns of Travelers Rest have stated they intend to push forth a bill before the January session to create an African-American Confederate memorial in addition to the 31 monuments and markers which already exist on the 18-acre Statehouse grounds.
The move is supported by local communities and the constituents of each of the representatives as well as their districts, since so many fought and died for the Confederacy and it's literally an ode to history.
"This history is the truth and is being white-washed," Burns told <a href="http://www.postandcourier.com/politics/confederate-monument-honoring-black-veterans-proposed-at-south-carolina-statehouse/article_defd66dc-acf9-11e7-ab99-3354d981ab03.html">The Post and Courier.</a> "Some of our history is good and some of our history is not so good. But they deserve to be honored for what they did on behalf of South Carolina."
According to both state and Federal records, 350 valiant African-American troops served the Confederacy during the Civil War on behest of South Carolina, many of whom received post-civil war pensions for their service.
The <a href="https://blackconfederatesoldiers.com">Black Confederate Soldiers</a> website supports the monument and says it is necessary to pay respect to those who fought and served their nation.
It brings into question what types of outside activists from elsewhere in the country will attempt to shut down the efforts of South Carolina and it's residents who are in support of the new Confederate Monument.
Boston Historian Kevin Levin, author of “Searching For Black Confederates” says that the idea of Black Confederate soldiers was popularized during the 1970s after the series “Roots” to hold of the nation and inspired research into the history of the war.
"The stories about slaves in the war have been distorted to make them out to be soldiers," said Levin. "The myth of the lost cause allows white Southerners to reconfigure what war is about, that it's not about slavery."
Levin likely isn't the first to speak out against such ideals, and we can expect much more.
Representative Burns, however, says that the implications that all black Confederate soldiers were slaves simply isn't true.
"There were free men who actually chose to fight because they thought the South was being oppressed," said Burns."It's a shame our third- and fifth-graders don't get to hear this side of the argument."
This is, of course, a fact, one that's been distorted terribly through Hollywood and film. Many Servants also decided to remain on the plantations which provided for them, having suffered far worse conditions in their homeland.
Whilst slavery isn't something to gloat over, not all plantation owners were evil oppressors either. Many compassionately cared for their staff as if they were family.
It is true many were barbaric and vicious and there's no denying this. That, however, accounts for less than 1.4% of the population actually owned slaves as of the 1860 census.
In the South, it's believed that 4.9% of households owned slaves.
Either way, you're talking an incredible minority, and the fact remains many people fought alongside the Confederacy regardless of reason and lost their lives, deserving to be honored.
It will be interesting to see how the new monument causes controversy, and what outside influences attempt to create a controversy out of the already hot-button issue in America.
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