It’s complicated…

Posted on June 17, 2010 by


Not the best photocopy, so probably an even worse scan, but consider the following…

The caption reads… “Love of master means more than freedom to William Slaughter. Slaughter refused to accept freedom under the emancipation proclamation and remained the servant of W.D. Colvin of Culpeppper, Va. The two attend all Confederate reunions together.”

Now, I know that one of my most recent posts addressed how slaves would bluff their owners into thinking they were “good and faithful servants”. Then you have this post at John Miller’s War Returns to South Mountain blog in which it is pointed out that Carlton McCarthy William S. White (Richmond Howitzers) observed captured “Negro cooks” returning to the Confederate army, after having been captured by the Union army while in Pennsylvania…

A few of our Negro cooks, who were with our wagon train when it was captured by the enemy, escaped and returned to camp today. Certainly they were the happiest fellows I ever saw and were greeted with loud cheers by our men. A chance for freedom they had, but they preferred life and slavery in Dixie to liberty at the North.

Then, we have this post from Andy Hall’s blog.

So, again, returning to the photo of William Slaughter and W.D. Colvin… thoughts?

* Though the image was not the objective of my search, I discovered the photo recently while perusing of The Daily Mail (Hagerstown). This particular image appeared in an issue from the 1920s.