Honor­ing lo­cals who fought for the Union

Rappahannock News - - COMMENT -

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.

PHO­TOS BY JOHN MC­CASLIN

U.S. Col­ored mil­i­tary records shed light on African-Amer­i­cans known to have fought in the Civil War.

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