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Uncivil Podcast: The Story of Silas Chandler

Discussion in 'Civil War History - General Discussion' started by Dedej, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. Dedej

    Dedej Retired User

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    [​IMG]

    "The Portrait:" -- A listener voicemail sends us deep down the rabbit hole into one of the most toxic myths of the Confederacy.

    Listen to "The Portrait" @ https://megaphone.link/GLT5787464345

    Below is a snippet from the interview with Myra Chandler Sampson… the great-grand-daughter of Silas Chandler.

    JH: Before the war, Myra says, Silas was already a carpenter…. He helped in the construction of many buildings on the plantation…. And he was loaned out to help build the courthouse in West Point, Mississippi.

    MCS: When he went away to the war he had just married and his wife was pregnant. and so his son, his first son, was born while he was away with Andrew. And I’m sure that if Silas didn’t have a family, if he didn’t have a wife back home, and he had a chance to escape, I’m sure he would have. He obeyed his oppressor, and followed directions because he wanted to survive, and he wanted his wife and his unborn son to survive.

    JH: After the war… Silas went on to have seven more children… he continued to be a builder and taught his sons his trade… Silas Chandler lived until 1919…

    MCS: He’s buried in the Greenwood Cemetery in West Point, Mississippi.

    JH: Mm-hmm

    MCS: That’s the black cemetery, the African-American cemetery.

    JH: When Silas died, his family had a mason symbol engraved on his headstone -- to acknowledge his work as a carpenter.

    But almost a century later, the Confederate supporters came up with a different idea about how to memorialize Silas Chandler

    MCS: I believe it was 2003 the Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of the Confederate Veteran uh, they, they put an Iron Cross on his grave and a Confederate flag. And they declared Silas a Confederate hero.

    It was on all the TV stations and throughout the state of Mississippi. I, I was invited to the ceremony but I told them there was no way in hell that I would attend a ceremony like that.

    CK: But of course, that didn’t stop them… and it went far beyond just the ceremony… pro-Confederate groups turned Silas into an icon….There are posters… even t-shirts with his likeness... One t-shirt features Andrew Chandler wounded in battle...

    MCS: And Silas is down on his knees, uh wrapping Andrew’s leg. And Silas has on a Confederate uniform with a Confederate cap at that time. And believe it or not I ordered that T-shirt ‘cause, ‘cause I wanted to see it.

    JH: These groups… had taken Myra’s ancestor away from her…... They had redefined who Silas was.

    This is the video Myra mentioned in her interview:

     

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  3. CW Watch Collector

    CW Watch Collector First Sergeant

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    A great thread. It is a reminder that nearly every person confronts limited choices, and some people's choices are far more limited than others. Bottom Line: The only choice a slave can ever truly make "freely" is to resist. All other choices necessarily involve at least an element of coercion.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
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  4. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Lt. Colonel

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    The black Confederate myth is a rather pathetic attempt to cast the Confederate Army as a multi racial army. Yes the CSA had a few Indians and Mexicans but they were a tiny percentage of the Confederate Army. @jgoodguy has a thread where all black Confederate soldiers with sources are listed and maybe less then 100 are referenced only 12 with actual pension records.
    Do blacks fight on behalf or governments that discriminated against them ? Absolutely yes but that would be at least semi modern politics and they were not enslaved.
    Leftyhunter
     
  5. CW Watch Collector

    CW Watch Collector First Sergeant

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    No southern slave had much reason to trust either southern or northern intentions for them. Most slaves had never met a Yankee, and what they may have known or imagined about Yankee intentions and attitudes might very well not have inspired confidence. Some were confronted with a choice between serving a proximate oppressor offering some kind of nebulous but immediate possible improvement in status, or waiting instead for a rumored liberation in the uncertain future by some group of people about whom one actually knew almost nothing. Declining the dubious opportunity offered by the proximate oppressor may even have risked a diminution in one's living conditions or status. Then too, there were "free" negroes in the South, some of whom owned slaves themselves, and a few may have decided that they likely had at least as much to lose as to gain from a Yankee victory. This would not be shocking, nor does it say much at all about race relations in the ante bellum South. Down through the ages, a small number of the oppressed, owing to limited choices or information, have served their oppressors. The ante bellum South was no exception.
     
  6. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Lt. Colonel

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    But what a small amount ! We have the Native Guard who never fired a shot. We have a group of newly impressed medical orderlies who fired one or two volleys at Union cavalry and ran away. Not a whole lot of examples to go by. Yes Quantril had one actual black Confederate. The pro black Confederate crowd didn't even discuss black Confederates until the 1970s. Plenty of time if they really existed in any significant number to place monuments to them.
    Leftyhunter
     
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  7. leftyhunter

    leftyhunter Lt. Colonel

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    170k black men mostly from the South trusted the Yankees enough to join their army. So there was some trust.
    Leftyhunter
     
  8. CW Watch Collector

    CW Watch Collector First Sergeant

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    Yes there was some, and perhaps more even than we deserved. I am grateful for it.
     
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  9. CW Watch Collector

    CW Watch Collector First Sergeant

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    Yes, if indeed Silas had any choice at all in his service, his trust was misplaced.
     
  10. E_just_E

    E_just_E Moderator Moderator

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    Is this based on any facts or just a personal opinion about how people felt?
     
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  11. CW Watch Collector

    CW Watch Collector First Sergeant

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    Please identify the specific statement that you consider an opinion. Is it that slaves had little reason to trust white intentions? Is it that most slaves had never known a Yankee before the federal armies had penetrated the South? Is it that a very small number of black persons "may" have decided they had more to lose than to gain from a Yankee victory?

    Call them opinions if you like. I consider them either facts, or reasonable conclusions based on facts. I also suspect that the sun will set this evening, but that's only an opinion too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
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  12. JPK Huson 1863

    JPK Huson 1863 Colonel Forum Host

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    I don't know. Have always felt this myth one more of the Happy Slave genre; those darn Yankees disrupting things and a system even those captive inside it would fight to maintain. A photo of a single black man as evidence 4 million humans fought against their own inclusion in the country whose banks overflowed with their sweat- makes the top of your head want to pop off.

    But worse. That it's a divisive topic 150 years later is heartbreaking, to me. Heartbreak galore, in this war. Posting it draws attention from a ' side ' and you have to post disclaimers, too, who had it worse.

    Seems to me sometimes all the war did was make captives of the whole country, since we continually resist acknowledging how over it is.
     
  13. E_just_E

    E_just_E Moderator Moderator

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    Well, there is one sun and it sets, this is pretty much a fact based on Physics.

    There were a lot of people, slaves, slaveholders, white, black, in-between, Yankees, etc. Saying that all people on a particular arbitrarily ordained category (eg. "slaves") felt in a particular way, or were even informed on the details of what was going on, to have a consensus point of view about a situation as a whole, is a hastily generalized opinion.

    Would had been a fact if there were a poll or other data, and again, even in a poll, there would be more than one results.

    Thus, the opinion part. Opinion is a hypothesis not supported by data. So saying that no single slave would have a reason to do something or another is an opinion, unless you go and poll every single slave. And this is a fact :smile:
     
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  14. Rebforever

    Rebforever Major

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    Then show your resources for the facts if you don't like opinions. So far that is all you have put up.
     
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  15. Pat Young

    Pat Young Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Featured Book Reviewer

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    Thanks for posting this. I got an invite to the launch party for UnCivil but unfortunately I only got it a few hours before. It would have been fun to go to particularly since it was at the Bell House in Brooklyn is only two blocks from my fiance's apartment.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
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  16. Dedej

    Dedej Retired User

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    My pleasure. It really is a great podcast series.
     
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  17. Pat Young

    Pat Young Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host Featured Book Reviewer

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    I hope it does well. I really like the approach that they have and the fact that it targets folks beyond the "white hair/white face" demographic that makes up the membership of Civil War Round Tables and many other manifestations of interest in the Civil War Era. As an old guy with both white hair and a white face I have no problem with folks like me being interested, but we don't reflect the broad richness of the American people.
     
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  18. thomas aagaard

    thomas aagaard 2nd Lieutenant

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    save the fact that the CSA army was made up of a regular army (that only held a few officers) and the Provisional army.
    Partisans was not part of any of them, and as such not part of the CSA army.

    So sure he was black and fought for the csa... but that don't make him a CSA soldier anymore than the insurgent fighting the Russians in Afghanistan where US soldiers or any other warlord given US cash are US soldiers.
     
  19. uaskme

    uaskme Sergeant

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    Was there a problem with Insurgent Fighters in the Civil War? If someone who pick up a Gun and fired it against an opposing Force they were some kind of Combatant. Was anyone ever arrested for Attempted Murder during the Civil War? It all comes down to what the definition of a Soldier is.

    I don’t think that anyone on the Southern Side is advocating there was a large number of Black Confederates. I think that most of us just refuse to accept the definitions and numbers which are defined on a Yankee Blog. Just because the Majority Opinion is Fixed, don’t mean it is accurate. Whatever it is, it is.
     
  20. thomas aagaard

    thomas aagaard 2nd Lieutenant

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    A soldier is a person who is enlisted or an officer in an recognized army. (and the CSA army was)
    That was not the case with the mentioned black man.
     
  21. 19thGeorgia

    19thGeorgia First Sergeant

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    "MCS: I believe it was 2003 the Daughters of the Confederacy and the Sons of the Confederate Veteran uh, they, they put an Iron Cross on his grave and a Confederate flag."

    They did so with the permission of family members.

    "JH: These groups… had taken Myra’s ancestor away from her…... They had redefined who Silas was."

    I've never seen any writing by Silas or even a quote in a newspaper about his Civil War experience. And I don't think MCS knows any more about his sentiments regarding that conflict than anyone else. It's all speculation. BTW Andrew (the "oppressor") was witness for Silas when he applied for a Confederate pension after the war.
     
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