I would like to take this time to introduce myself and explain why this issue is such an important one to me. First of all my name is Bob Harrison, and I am a 1st Sergeant with the the 37th Texas Cavalry, Company B, CSA. I am also a totally devoted AFRICAN American historian and scholar who is deeply offended at ANY SUGGESTION noting Jefferson Davis or CSA heritage in general in a negative light. I was born in Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia in a tiny town called Valley Forge which I am sure you recognize. While I was born in the North, I was raise very Southern by a devoted AFRICAN AMERICAN Belle born and raise just outside of Richmond, Virginia. I was reared with good strong Southern values and a deep sense of respect for ALL of Black history and American History in general. As Marc Allen has stated so eloquently, slavery was not such a clear cut issue as most would like to present it. Slavery was a NORTHER-based industry backed by Northern money. They brought their shipments of "human hardware" to Southern ports to prey on the heavily agricultural South which did not have the financial might and manpower of the North. Secondly, slavery was NEVER a Southern only institution. In fact most slaves were owned by Northerners due to the fact, most Southerners were too poor to feed their families basic foodstuffs let alone own slaves. In no way am i negating Southern slavery, but what’s good for the goose is surely good for the gander.
Do you realize sir that MANY people of Color actively and loyally served the Confederacy of their own FREE WILL? To name just a few, their Private Louis Nelson who rode with Nathan Bedford Forrest, whose name I am sure you recognize. There is also Silas Chandler who went to war with his childhood friend and master Andrew Chandler and saved Andrew’s leg from amputation. Robert E. Lee himself had a devoted black Confederate in his service by name of William Mack Lee. Again these are just a very FEW of the peoiple of color who served their country faithfully and honorably. To belittle and dishonor them, their country, and their President in such a manner is distateful and disrespectful not only to President Davis, but to all of the Black Confederates who served.
Jefferson Davis in particular adopted and raised a very abused black child. Clearly a dishonorable man would not do such a humane and loving act. If you wish to read about and bring to light dishonorable men, you only need to look to Abraham Lincoln and US Grant. Both of these "men" abused and exploited blacks and their plight for their own power-centered agendas. I suggest you read "Forced Into Glory" by Lerone Bennet, executive editor for Ebony magazine. Considered to be an authority of the so-called Civil War, Dr Bennet has put together a very well written scholarly document that will truly test what folks THINK they know about Lincoln and the war.
If you want to remove TRUE reminders of opression and degredation, then you MUST start with the Stars and Stripes. Aside from being the banner that flew on Slave Ships and a symbol of our government which passed such laws as the Three-Fifths Compromise and the Fugitive Slave Laws, "Old Glory" is a symbol of the attempted genocide of the true native peoples of this country the American Indian. The Cherokee people alone, of which I a have ancestry, should be the first to be acknowledged for the horrors they were FORCED to endure under the Stars and Stripes. I am sure you have heard of the "Trail of Tears." Go and walk it sometime and get a feel for what those people endured under the Stars and Stripes and its government. Look at the horrors the Irish immigrants went through under that banner. The irish were greeted with storefront signs saying "Irish need not apply" or "Irish and dogs not welcome."
Jefferson davis was President of a Constitutionally LEGAL independent country. This country was served by people of every color, hue and ethnicity. ALL served out of loyalty and devotion and of their own FREE WILL. At no point did he ever commit any acts of barbarity or any "Nazi-Facist" behavior like many try to claim. Like the rest of his countrymen he tried to follow the laws of a constitution, mainly written by Southerners I might add that purposely designed a central government that would work for the good of the people, not the other way around. When that government began oversteppingits boundaries, he and his fellow countrymen left, a right guarenteed to them by that same Constitution. It is the Union government and its Gestapo stormtrooper armies that committed acts like that of the Nazis. It is they who raped white and black women with no mercy, destroyed everything i their path, and tried to subjugate the South treating it like a child. I call your attention to the story of the Roswell Women of Georgia and the horrors that Sherman so lovingly gave them on his famous March to the Sea.
With all due respect sir, before any nasty comments are made there needs to be more studying on the matter so that a PROPER analysis can be made. If you are a man of honor, I challenge you to visit the website of my unit. The 37th Texas Cavalry is a mass gathering of professional and amateur historians who have presented scholarly well-documented information about the TRUE history of Confederates of Color. I invite you to go with an open mind and heart.
Sincerely at Your Service,
1st Sergeant Bob Harrison