Today, I’m back with another writing post! (Click here for post 1 and 2!) I thought it would be nice to do another themed around the War Between the States, so we’re going to look at a few more common myths (or facts) about the late war!
Claim #1: Coffee in the South wasn’t real Coffee
During the war, it was extremely difficult to come by because of the Federal blockade. Instead, Southerners were content to drink coffee substitutes made of sweet potatoes, corn and other root vegetables.
Claim #2: Drummers never saw action
Contrary to what many say, drummers were often on the field of battle, for that was their whole purpose, conveying orders that otherwise could not be heard over the den of the weaponry. But that wasn’t the only battle task allotted to them. They also carried(or dragged) soldiers off the field to the medical stations. They fetched water and held horses and ran messages. Without drummers, battles would not have turned out as they did.
Claim #3: Blacks only served in the Union Army
This is one of the things that bothers me the most about people calling the Confederacy racist. Southern blacks were serving the Confederacy long before the federals allowed them to fight. I’m shocked at the number of historians who chose to ignore and deny the fact that blacks willingly served. True, they were not given the official rank of soldier until 1865, but that does not justify ignoring their valuable and honorable service. They served as wagoners, cooks, barbers, and yes, soldiers, carrying flags, drums and rifles into battle.
Claim #4: Jefferson Davis “adopted” a black child
While in town one day, Varina Davis witnessed a black guardian beating a little black boy in his care. Varina, indignant over the scene, took the child into her custody and raised him in the Confederate White House with her children. His name was Jim Limber and he stayed with the Davis family until their arrest in 1865. He was then ripped away from his family, kicking and screaming. They never saw him again, though they heard people say that Varina was the one who beat him, not his former guardian. You can read more here.
Claim #5: Firing on Ft. Sumter was an act of War and started the War Between the States
Firing on Ft. Sumter was not an act of war, but a mission to protect the public from an enemy threat of violence. Col. Robert Anderson had moved his men from Ft. Moultrie to Ft. Sumter, which he felt was a stronger place of safety for his men. The people of South Carolina took this as a clear signal of violence, especially since the cannons of the fort were aimed directly at the city of Charleston. This was a direct attack on the safety of the civilians living there.
Action had to be taken.
Previously, the state had tried to buy the fort from the federal government, even though they knew it was rightfully their own. The government refused, the threat persisted and the fort was attacked on April 12th, 1861.
Another thing that shows this wasn’t an act of war is the fact that none of the soldiers who surrendered were treated as Prisoners of War. They were allowed to leave the state and return to their families.
War was not the objective here, but rather peace and safety.
So that wraps up today’s post! Have a blessed week!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.