Honoring locals who fought for the Union
The most interesting paragraph in this article [“McAuliffe push to remove Confederate monuments prompts lessons in law, history,” August 24] to me: “That said, at least 56 previously enslaved African American residents of Rappahannock County, many of them newly freed, took up arms and fought for the Union. Several of these Rappahannock men wearing blue uniforms were similarly killed on the battlefield, yet they have no memorial on the courthouse property, and certainly their names aren’t listed on the Confederate monument.”
This imbalance cuts to the heart of the problem of Confederate monuments throughout the South. I would love to learn more about those unsung patriots from the South who fought for the Union, and
learn of any efforts to honor and memorialize these brave Rappahannock sacrifices. It must have been so difficult to rise against the dominant local pro-Confederate sentiments and fight to keep our country together and end slavery throughout the U.S.
RACHEL BYNUM Sperryville
Editor’s note: In the Feb. 19, 2017 article, “Brothers in arms: Shedding light on an otherwise forgotten group of Rappahannock Civil War veterans,” the Rappahannock News wrote about dozens of previously enslaved Rappahannock residents who, clad in the blue uniform of the North, fought bravely and in some cases to the death in the final stages of the Civil War. One year before the war erupted, as pointed out in the April 10, 2017 article, “Rappahannock County’s stunning past,” more than 3,500 enslaved blacks resided in Rappahannock County, almost outnumbering whites.
U.S. Colored military records shed light on African-Americans known to have fought in the Civil War.