Thursday, September 17, 2009

My Favorite Invalid Photo

The Sons of Confederate Veterans try to "prove" that the Civil War was not about slavery by claiming that there were Black troops in the Confederate army. Black troops would never have fought to save their own enslavement, so therefore the war was about... tariff policy or something.

The movement to recast the Civil War and to vindicate the South against Yankee lies is called the "Neoconfederate" movement.

The problem is, there are no substantiated reports of Black Confederates. And a mountain of evidence that it never happened.

But pictures don't lie, do they? Several Neoconfederate sites feature the following photo to "prove" that Black Confederates existed:


My excellent history students are wondering about this primary source’s validity – is this picture what the Neoconfederates say it is?

Of course not. This is actually a photo of union troops – with their union officer carefully cropped out of the picture (And a Microsoft "Algeria" font added. Like no one would notice the photoshopped caption?).

Great googly-moogly! The gall of the prevaricators is intensified when you realize that the original portrait was taken to serve as the model for a union recruiting poster that emphasized the true nature of the war: "A Battle Cry of Freedom."
See here for a step-by-step outlining of how this falsification was created.

This post is excerpted from a longer post from a couple of years ago when a Neoconfederate came to our class blog and took exception to my saying that slaves were not happy to be slaves. If you would like to see an evidence-based smackdown, click here , here, here, and here.

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