Black Confederate Reenactors

From: Jacob Leigh Amend

Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2008

To: H.K. Edgerton,

My name is Jacob Amend and I am a Master’s of Arts candidate and graduate student at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, Wyoming. My thesis project is called Covered in Gray: Tidal shifts in the Historiography of Black Confederates and the African-American memory of the South. I am writing you because I need help and I have seen lots of information tying your name to this topic of study. Historically speaking the Confederacy has often been viewed as a sharp advocate of the institution of slavery and white supremacy as a whole thus portaraying the memory of the Confederacy in a negative light within the black community. What I am looking for is firsthand accounts/testimonies from black reenactors that would help me piece together the connection between them and the way in which the Confederacy is remembered. I am interested in two questions: Why are you reenacting for the Confederacy? and How do you reconcile the connection between the Confederacy and the institution of slavery. If you would be willing to consider these two questions and issue a respose it would be very much appreciated. Additionally it would be very beneficial if you could e-mail me any other information that might guide me to resources related to this topic.

Jacob L. Amend
University of Wyoming

From: HK Edgerton [] Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008
To: ‘’
Subject: Black Confederate Reenactors/ An Open Answer for University of Wyoming Student

Dear Jacob,

While I have taken the field with re-enactors on several occasions, I don’t consider myself a re-enactor. I would direct you to my web site( ). I believe you will find answers to your questions there. I don’t understand your question about how I reconcile the connection between the Confederacy and the institution of slavery. The economic institution of slavery had many world wide players. However, when it comes to taking the blame for it, and it’s purported evils, it is only the Southland of America and the Christian White folks from the South that are laid to blame. It would be hard to disprove that in the body politic that during the epoch in which we speak that the standards for racial superiority set forth that the white man in the South was not superior to the Africans on this continent , but also because of his chivalrous nature towards his women, his manners, his religious ethics, and tenacity in combat; he probably was racially superior to most men on God’s earth. This does not mean that I am defending the economic institution of slavery . However, in an institution that the whole world was complicit in, Africans who were lucky enough to find themselves in the Southland of America were on a path of social vertical mobility unparalleled in the annals of mankind; only to have that journey derailed by greedy Northern protagonist who were jealous of the Southern wealth. These protagonist came from many circles; religion, industrialist, politicians and so forth.

It does not take a Rocket Scientist to understand or to prove that Abraham Lincoln was in the pocket of Northern industrialist , who were hell bent on building the infrastructure of the North and maintaining some semblance of industrial superiority . The criminal behavior of Lincoln and far too many of his soldiers have been swept under the carpet of history for too long. The old game of using the African people against the only man who ever cared about him or his well being ; the Southern White man is an old ploy . It is one that has been taught well since the establishment of the public school system in the South in 1865. I can only hope that your studies at the University of Wyoming will lead you to a more truthful understanding of why an honorable people went to war against their brother who invaded their homeland and on more than one occasion almost bankrupted it . Furthermore, I hope that you can come to understand that right down here in the South, a love was formed between a man called Master and a man called slave. It is unfortunate that there are those who continue with their Reconstruction modus operandi to destroy that love .

HK Edgerton