Thursday, March 29, 2007

Retouching History: The Modern Falsification of a Civil War Photograph

Retouching History is a website publication, technical in nature, that brings to light the extent to which neo-Confederate apologists for slavery will go to revise the history of the South. For those of us committed to establishing the black soldiers rightful place in history, as a freedom fighter, we must be vigilant and thoroughly versed in our history and aware of the tactics used to distort the truth. In recent years we have seen the intensified efforts of ideologues to manipulate, revise, and suppress information, including scientific knowledge. The authors describe how a photograph posted on a purporting to be a picture of the 1st Louisiana Native Guard, is in fact a deception. It is well documented with citations which are helpful in researching the issues.Thanks to Byron Childress of the 3rd USCT for bringing it to our attention.
Pvt Leon Brooks, 6th USCT

Thursday, March 8, 2007

1888 Population Statistical Map

For educators, living historians, and history geeks in general, looking for unusual presentation of primary sources information - this is it. It is an interactive map, includes information on Proportion of white Civil War soldiers to white population ; Proportion of colored troops to colored population; and Pensioners, July 1, 1888. Check it out. How could you see this being used?

PVT Leon Brooks, 6TH USCT

Women Spies

As this is Womens History month, you may find The Civil War: Black American Contributions to Union Intelligence, a CIA publication, very informative. Of course it mentions Harriet Tubman, whose exploits are well known. It also describes the intelligence contributions of two other black women - Mary Touvestre, and Mary Elizabeth Bowser (picture).
Though interesting it is not comprehensive. Some other women who spied for the Union are

Sarah Emma Edmonds :
She disguised herself as a man to serve in the Union Army, and sometimes "disguised" herself as a woman -- or as a black man -- to spy on the Confederate troops.

After her identity was exposed, she served as a nurse with the Union.

Elizabeth Van Lew :
An abolitionist living in Richmond, she helped bring food and clothing to Union prisoners and smuggled out information. She also placed a spy in the home of Jefferson Davis.

Mary Edwards Walker :
Known for her unconventional dress - she often wore trousers and a man's coat - this pioneer physician worked for the Union Army as a nurse and spy while she waited for an official commission as a surgeon.

Mary Elizabeth Bowser :
She served as a maid in the Confederate White House -- and, ignored while important conversations were held, she passed along important information from those conversations and from papers she found.

PVT Leon Brooks