Bob Montgomery, Spartanburg Herald-Journal, December 28, 2017
State Reps. Bill Chumley, R-Spartanburg, and Mike Burns, R-Greenville, pre-filed a bill that would establish a commission to design an African-American Confederate veterans monument.
The commission also would be charged with promoting historical awareness in public schools.
Chumley said the flag represents an historic period that should be recognized. He said his interest in recognizing African Americans from that period came from his respect for history.
“We came to the realization there was a lot we didn’t know about the war and their sacrifices,” Chumley said. “These people were heroes and forgotten heroes.”
The pre-filed bill states that as late as the 1920s, many African-American Confederate soldiers still drew Civil War pensions, but their contributions have been excluded from history taught in public schools.
“While there is representation of those African Americans from South Carolina who took up arms for the Union, there is nothing to show the contributions, sacrifices and honor of their Confederate counterparts,” the bill states.
College of Charleston history professor Adam Domby has written that the 1920s-era pensions were paid out to enslaved workers who served in Confederate camps, often as body servants to their white masters, rather than black Confederate soldiers.