A Virginia fourth-grade textbook falsely claims that “Thousands of Southern blacks fought in the Confederate ranks” during the Civil War. The author of the book relied heavily on a pro-Confederacy group she found on the Internet.

Washington Post via NPR:

The Sons of Confederate Veterans, a group of male descendants of Confederate soldiers based in Columbia, Tenn., has long maintained that substantial numbers of black soldiers fought for the South The group’s historian-in-chief, Charles Kelly Barrow, has written the book “Black Confederates.”

The Sons of Confederate Veterans also disputes the widely accepted conclusion that the struggle over slavery was the main cause of the Civil War. Instead, the group says, the war was fought “to preserve their homes and livelihood,” according to John Sawyer, chief of staff of the Sons of Confederate Veterans’ Army of Northern Virginia. He said the group was pleased that a state textbook accepted some of its views.

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Historians, of course, reject such nonsense. Most troubling of all, the book made it through a series of checks and was labeled “accurate and unbiased” by the Virginia Education Department. — PZS

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