Those crafty Republicans in the South Carolina legislature thought they had an ingenious way to have their beloved Confederate statues. They’d build a monument to black people who fought for that state on the side of the Confederacy during the Civil War. There’s just one problem: There weren’t any.
Two South Carolina lawmakers want to build a monument at the Statehouse to honor black Confederate veterans, but pension records show the state never recognized armed African-American soldiers during the Civil War.
The State newspaper reviewed pension records from 1923 that show three blacks claimed armed service in South Carolina units under the Confederacy. Two pensions were confirmed as cooks or servants, and none for armed service.
That didn’t surprise historian Walter Edgar at all.
“In all my years of research, I can say I have seen no documentation of black South Carolina soldiers fighting for the Confederacy. In fact, when secession came, the state turned down free (blacks) who wanted to volunteer because they didn’t want armed persons of color,” said Edgar, who spent 32 years as director of the University of South Carolina’s Institute for Southern Studies and is author of “South Carolina: A History.”
Any African-American who served in a Confederate unit in South Carolina was either a slave or an unpaid laborer working against his will, Edgar said.
You can almost hear the gears working and smell the smoke as their little minds came up with this strategy. “Hey, if we build a statue to all those black people who fought for South Carolina during the Civil War, those liberal snowflakes can’t say a word! They’ll be in favor of taking down statues of black people and we can claim that they’re racist for doing that and it will turn this whole issue around for us. High five, bro!”
The punchline? South Carolina actually banned black people from carrying guns during the Civil War because they were afraid those guns would be used against slaveholders. Historical facts, how the hell do they work?