In the middle of a world where partial truths seem to fly everywhere, I was visiting a Civil War reenactment in Virginia at The Battle of Cedar Mountain.
There were men and women dressed in period clothing consistent with the Civil War, and they shared with us their knowledge of the battle that took place on those hallowed grounds. During one of the talks by an older gentleman dressed in a Union Soldier's blue uniform, I learned about a black soldier who fought in the "Colored Infantry" for the Union Army. I learned that it was because of the reinforcements of the black soldiers that tipped the scales toward the North winning the war.
"Fleetwood was born on July 21, 1840, into a free family in Baltimore, Maryland. He was educated in the home of his father’s employer, a sugar merchant, and later graduated from Ashmun Institute in Oxford, Pennsylvania."
Later in the article she writes that SM Fleetwood was 23 years old when he entered the Army and was one of 17 Black Soldiers who received the Metal of Honor. He entered the war seven months after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation.
By my calculations he never was a slave and the Civil War took place 23 years after his birth. He and other black soldiers gave their lives fighting for a cause they believed in. Yet, this is the same history that is being destroyed by those who want to undo or rewrite history based on half truths and lies.
Those who judge the past by present standards do so out of ignorance for the future. To attempt to discredit the truth because a lie of omission doesn't offend, is to offend the memories of those who lived and died for the truth. They deserve to be honored and respected. Life is seldom as black and white as people make it appear. There was slavery and there were those who were abusive, but there were more who loved and included others in their homes as family. There will always be hate, there will always be those who minimize the lives of others, but thankfully, that is not the majority.
There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.