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Family of African-American Confederate veteran, of Salley accepts Statehouse honor

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by AshleyMel, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. AshleyMel

    AshleyMel Corporal

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    Sure as heck don't want to stir the pot but I saw this just this morning. I found it interesting as, in my limited knowledge, I had never hear of a female servant in camp. I hope I'm posting it right. Please let me know.

    http://www.aikenstandard.com/news/f...cle_56060e74-fa11-11e6-8923-0ba00a5347b5.html

    An African-American Confederate veteran with ties to Aiken County was recently recognized by the S.C. Senate after her family discovered what they describe as a remarkable story.

    The Senate presented a resolution on Feb. 21 to the family of Lavinia Corley Thompson, of Salley, to honor Thompson, who served in the Confederacy during the Civil War.

    Thompson is the only known female African-American Confederate veteran in the state of South Carolina at this time, said Tonya Guy, with the Old Edgefield District Genealogical Society.
     

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  3. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    What an interesting story! From the article:

    Thompson was born June 3, 1844 to Robert Staley and Phillis Corley, according to information provided by Guy from the Old Edgefield District Genealogical Society.

    Thompson served as a cook for the Confederacy under Sam Webb, who was in Company A, 1st Regiment of the Reserves. Curry said she served continuously from Sept. 1, 1863 to the end of the war in 1865.

    Thompson would have been wherever Webb went, Guy said.

    "Even if she was in camp, it could have been treacherous because they could've been overrun by a cannon, fire coming over," she said. "It was treacherous to be in camp. They were just as much in the line of fire as if they were on the battlefield."

    Though she is the only known female African-American Confederate veteran in the state, according to Guy, there were a number of African-American males who served in South Carolina.
     
  4. Chassy

    Chassy Private

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    It is a very interesting story, thanks for sharing!

    One potential issue I found with the article is that it portrayed all slaves who served the Confederacy (for example, building fortifications during seige of Charleston) as doing so purely out of service for the Confederacy when I think a good number likely did it because they were, you know, slaves. Or maybe I just extrapolated that from the article, which just stated the fact that they did serve in a number of capacities. Anyway, also not wanting to stir the pot, I think motivations of blacks serving the Confederacy is a worthwhile discussion to have. If it's already been discussed to death on this forum, forgive me as I am a newb :D
     
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  5. east tennessee roots

    east tennessee roots 1st Lieutenant

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    On the roll of Company H 63rd Georgia Infantry, Catherine and Hannah Dawson is another such instance.
     
  6. 1SGDan

    1SGDan Captain

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    She may have been a participant and a pensioner but by definition was not a veteran.
     
  7. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    Does one have to be a soldier to be a veteran?
     
  8. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    Was she a slave?
     
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  9. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    Ask any soldier that question.
     
  10. matthew mckeon

    matthew mckeon Brigadier General Moderator

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    The dangers in any Civil War camp were real: disease. Being run over by a cannon is just a...weird thing to say. Maybe it by a stray cannon shot?

    By "serving" "under Webb" does this mean she was enslaved by Webb? Or someone else?

    I love the tone of the article describing South Carolina using slave labor like its something to be proud of.
     
  11. 1SGDan

    1SGDan Captain

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    Dictionary definition
    Veteran - a person who has served in a military force, especially one who has fought in war.
    We know she did not serve in the Confedrate forces because she was barred from doing so by Confederate law. I applaud her loyalty but a veteran...no.
     
  12. Chassy

    Chassy Private

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    Glad I'm not the only one who picked out that tone. As I said upthread, maybe I extrapolated that while they were just stating the fact that slaves built fortifications, but it did make it seem like the slaves CHOSE to serve the Confederacy. Black confederates seems to be another one of those things where people are either all on one side or the other with it. I have yet to encounter a complex human situation in which the situation is without shades of gray and so I balk at taking an extreme position one way or the other, but I mean come on.

    Using that definition, I guess it also depends on how one defines serving a military force. Performing essential tasks around camp could, IMO, constitute service of a type.
     
  13. 1SGDan

    1SGDan Captain

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    Then ammo plant workers are vets? As UB said ask any soldier if they think so. Veteran is an honored term and should not be tossed about so cavalierly.
     
  14. Bee

    Bee 1st Lieutenant

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    Kevin explores some of these same queries: http://cwmemory.com/2017/03/02/the-first-female-black-confederate/
     
  15. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    I know of civilian contractors since 1971 all the way through the present. They cook, repair, service and serve the armed component of the military.

    They are not veterans.
     
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  16. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 1st Lieutenant

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    I just hate that we can't remember her service, willing or not, without always falling back on the same old arguments about status. It's sad.
     
  17. 1SGDan

    1SGDan Captain

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    If you have no qualifiers for a title then the title means nothing.
     
  18. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    And I think it's a shame that her real story cannot be shared without all the fluff and misdirection.
     
  19. Rebforever

    Rebforever Captain

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    You saying slaves don't deserve recognition if they worked for the Confederacy?
     
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  20. Chassy

    Chassy Private

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    Oh my gosh. NO. !!!

    My intent was simply to highlight that it's erroneous to portray it like all slaves willingly served the Confederacy.
     
  21. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    I gladly await the day when the SCV offers to sponsor monuments to the Confederacy's nearly 4 million slaves in recognition for their enforced service.
     

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