Following is an e-mail from Mr. Edgerton that gives us a little-known, but badly-needed perspective about that war:
On Tuesday, June 14, 2011, the Asheville Citizen Times newspaper would carry on it's front page a story about a Black man who had traced his ancestry and found that his great grandfather had served in the Confederate army, and had received a pension for his service. Nothing uncommon about this, but he would relate that he was so surprised to find this out , and further exclaimed that he could not understand why his relative had joined the Confederate army, and further didn't his ancestor know that the Union army was coming to save him. The paper would go on to say how this was a revelation in light of the ruckus that some pedant who had exclaimed in Virginia that there was no such thing as a Black Confederate soldier. Some more poppycock.
After reading this, my first reaction, and probably that of anyone in the know would be to look at this man in disgust at the revelation of his ignorance. However, as a Christian Southerner with first hand knowledge of how the Federal government quickly established the Public school System, sent it's northern school teachers south after the war to dumb down our Southern populace, and arguably the nation about the real reasons the honorable people of South took up arms against a man who illegally invaded their homeland, raping, burning, murdering innocent defenseless old men, women and children; "total war policy against a defenseless civilian population. And then systematically excluded from written history the place of honor and dignity earned by not only the Black confederate soldier, but also that of the millions of of Southern Bondsmen, Bondswomen, Freedmen, and Freedwomen who from 1861 to 1865 loyally served and supported the Confederate cause in however humble and noble a capacity. And further gave to the North an unwarranted since of virtue for ending the evil economic institution of slavery that they and the whole of the civilized world was complicit in.
Even though the Southern armies had surrendered, the North had not finished their conquest. They began a deliberate policy of poisoning the minds of the former slaves against their former Masters. The White South was ready to do right by their former slaves. They accepted the fact of freedom, even though it was not intent of the North, and were prepared to make provision for the new freedman within the limits of an impoverished and devastated South. The North spread anarchy and hatred through their secret Black societies called the Union or Loyal leagues. By the misrule of the Carpetbag governments, and unknowledgeable Blacks , they spread corruption across the defeated South.
The average Black Confederate understood his duty as God gave him the light to perform it. He performed his duty without expectation of reward or promise of freedom, but knew that if he worked and struggled and fought hard for the Confederate Cause as a loyal subject, the White people of the South would do right by him. Unfortunately for the nation, the North instituted a plan of divide and conquer , coupled with economic strangulation of the South, while duping, bribing, and pandering to a few poverty pimps who willingly to this very day do their bidding because they fear the day when Southern Whites, and Southern Blacks will rekindle the love that they found for each other in lieu of the economic institution of slavery that the whole world was complicit in.