"Ramblins from Forrests 'Riter"
By Ed Butler, Tennessee Division Heritage Defense Chairman

Because of the two memorial services scheduled for the afternoon of Sunday, 14 July I did not open the paper until late evening. The picture and article on page B-8 of the Herald-Citizen were mentioned at one of the memorial services. I made inquiry about where the article originated and was told it was an Associated Press article and that it related the story of three African-American who had recently joined the SCV. To say the least, I was shocked. My surprise was not caused by the fact that African-American men were joining the SCV but that the Associated Press would release an article on that subject. At the time, I wondered how an AP writer would attempt to make Black Confederates politically correct.

Late that afternoon when the cannon and other equipment were cleaned and returned the their place of storage and I had drunk a couple of gallons of water, I picked up the paper to read the article. Initially the article was accurate and Confederately friendly. I could not help but wonder if the staunch advocates of political over-correctness were suffering from a new malady. Perhaps this writer had a near death experience or an encounter with disaster and decided to retract the usual message of hate and lies in hopes of laying up treasures for the next life.

Alas, it was not to be. About half way through the article the message began to assume the shape of Eve's tempter. The writer had consulted with the Executive Director of the SCV concerning the existence of African-Americans in the Confederate Army and had made inquiry about the number that have membership in the SCV. I was much gratified that the first portion of the article was historically accurate but the latter part of the article totally evaded any semblance of the truth. The writer used as a quotable authority a human that holds on to a chair in a University. Can you imagine a quotable source holding on to a chair? My immediate image pictured someone standing in the hall of some 1940's era school with their nose in a circle drawn on the wall, one foot placed on the rim of a garbage can, one hand held up behind their back until it touched the shoulder blade and the other hand holding a large wooden chair - straight out from the body. My greatest hope would be that the chair was made of white oak - it is very heavy! That would be one honest to goodness real-live Chair Holder.

I suppose the writer included that tidbit of trivia about their consultant in order to instill in the reader a sense of authority and accuracy for the article. I must say it was a feeble attempt. The very next paragraph proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mr. Chair Holder had only studied the northern version of "The War". Mr. Chair Holder may have a Piled Higher and Deeper in Civil War history but he has failed in his study of "The War Between the States". He deflated what he called the inflated Southern estimate of Black Confederates. Now that takes talent! That feat probably could not have been accomplished by someone that did not have some type of foreign matter that was Piled Higher and Deeper.

He must have given very little thought to his next statement that the number of Black men in the Confederate Army was statistically insignificant. For the sake of making an example, we could be so bold as to assume that Mr. Chair Holder would admit that 9,000 Black men served in the Confederate Army. That is only ten percent of the number that is often accepted by actual authorities. Using the standard ratio, that required another 36,000 blue bellied draftees or immigrants just to offset the impact of the Black Confederates. That is what I would call a lot of blue beef and would be significant.
Mr. Chair Holder dismissed the notion that Black men supported the Confederacy and stated they served only because they were made to do so. If an average sixth grader were told that the cooks, nurses, and valets were left in camp far behind the lines of battle, that child could figure out why they did not run off. That is really not a sixth grade question. It is no more than a fourth grade question. Why is it that an AP writer or a Chair Holder can not figure it out? I wonder how Mr. Chair Holder would explain that many Black Confederates fought shoulder to shoulder with White Confederates. His explanation would probably stretch even the most active imagination.

Mr. Chair Holder's most irresponsible statement concerns the enslavement of Blacks. How could someone that is holding on to a chair not know more of the truth about slavery. He apparently would like to place the entire burden of slavery on the backs of Southerners, but that too, would be a lie. Do you suppose he has an ancestor that owned slaves? Perhaps he is the descendent of carpetbaggers that came South






(RAMBLINS Continued PAGE 3)