240 pp., 6.125 x 9.25, 18 halftones, notes, bibl., index
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-4696-5326-6
Published: September 2019
eBook ISBN: 978-1-4696-5327-3
Published: August 2019
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Levin also investigates the roles that African Americans actually performed in the Confederate army, including personal body servants and forced laborers. He demonstrates that regardless of the dangers these men faced in camp, on the march, and on the battlefield, their legal status remained unchanged. Even long after the guns fell silent, Confederate veterans and other writers remembered these men as former slaves and not as soldiers, an important reminder that how the war is remembered often runs counter to history.
About the Author
Kevin M. Levin is a historian and educator based in Boston. He is author of Remembering the Battle of the Crater: War as Murder and the award-winning blog Civil War Memory (cwmemory.com).
For more information about Kevin M. Levin, visit the Author Page.
“Levin’s timely and telling account should be required reading for anyone who wants to understand the uses and abuses of history and the power and dangers of mythmaking.”--Library Journal, starred review
"Should be required reading for anyone interested in how Americans remember the Civil War. Acolytes of the Lost Cause will no doubt find little to like. But for anyone else, Levin's powerful indictment should represent the death knell for Civil War's most persistent myth."--America's Civil War
"Excellent. . . . a bracing corrective, a slender yet vital volume in the growing library of texts dedicated to dispelling white supremacist talking points."--The New Republic
“Provides an important corrective to a thriving, albeit bogus, subtopic of Civil War history, which claims that some African Americans willingly fought for the Confederacy. . . . [and] comprehensively dismantles the associated “Lost Cause” narrative.”--Choice
“Levin’s objective in Searching for Black Confederates is to inoculate the public against the “myth”—to make readers aware of the often-purposeful distortions and agendas that underlie it.”-- Virginia Magazine of History & Biography
"The pose one sees in photographs of Confederate soldiers with their seemingly loyal 'camp slaves' is in microcosm what the issue of 'black Confederates' became in our own time--a 'pose' by neo-Confederates seeking legitimacy for their fool's cause. Kevin Levin has provided this mythic problem what it dearly needs: a carefully researched and beautifully written history, first of wartime itself, then of the Lost Cause memorial period, and then of the Civil War sesquicentennial in which the question of blacks in gray would not die. Levin's book needs to be widely read as a rich history drawing the life out of a lethal narrative of wish fulfillment."--David W. Blight, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom