Kevin M. Levin, Gann Academy

Searching For Black Confederates

In recent years, Internet stories, textbooks, and even a Harvard professor have insisted that thousands of slaves took up arms and fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. And yet, after close to ten years of research, I have yet to find a single wartime account from a Confederate soldier or civilian demonstrating the presence of black Confederate soldiers in the army before the final weeks of the war in March 1865.

This session will examine the ways in which enslaved blacks were utilized in support of the Confederate war effort, the emergence beginning in the 1970s of the myth that thousands of African Americans served as Confederate soldiers, and why this myth persists to this day.

Kevin M. Levin (kevinmlevin95@gmail.com, cwmemory.com) is an Instructor of History at the Gann Academy.