A top Civil War historian is calling out Republicans in South Carolina who are proposing the construction of a new monument intended to pay tribute to Black men who served the Confederacy.
Kevin Levin, who has written an entire book about the myths surrounding Black soldiers in the Confederate Army, described the South Carolina GOP's legislation establishing a monument to "Africa American Confederate Veterans" as being "filled with one historical inaccuracy after another."
Although there were some Black South Carolina residents who drew pensions related to their service during the Civil War, Levin notes that "the vast majority of these men were body servants or what I call in my book camp slaves."
In fact, the original legislation establishing pensions for these men and their families describes Black Confederates as "servants, cooks, and attendants on the side of the Confederacy."
Additionally, notes Levin, the amount of money set aside for Blacks who served the Confederacy was dwarfed by the pensions set aside for white Confederate soldiers.
"As was the case in the other states, the amount of money earmarked for African Americans in SC paled in comparison with that for veterans," writes Levin. "In 1924 the state appropriated $750,000 for soldiers and $3,000 for Black pensioners."